What Is Wrong in Charlottesville?

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    Charlottesville Chief of Police Longo photo TimorthyJLongoSr_zpse17850a9.jpgThere was a moment during Charlottesville Chief of Police Longo’s press conference on Friday that was telling. It wasn’t about the Hannah Graham case. It was about commercial media. A reporter asked why two recent Charlottesville sexual assaults hadn’t been in the news. Turns out, the press wasn’t interested enough.

    Chief Longo pulled out the morning briefings that detailed the cases. If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? We finally have the answer: not if it requires any investment or effort by local reporters; even those who feign an interest in women’s issues. “News”paper and electronic media staff have come to rely upon the kindness of plagiarism: press releases, internet bloggers, and wire services. They are more interested in the flavor of the day. Like beagles, they are easily distracted by any scent. Have you seen any follow-up reporting about the scheduled arraignment of Charlottesville Delegate Toscano’s wife’s assailant just last Wednesday? NBC 29 updated a story from 18 August for the second time. In case you missed it, well here it is: the case has been continued; again until 10 Oct.

    By now you may be wondering of it is open season on women in Charlottesville. Republicans would undoubtedly deny any such characterization. But, what is it? Four women gone missing in five years? Not a single one of those cases solved? Some may argue that is statistically insignificant. Others might wonder if there is or are (a) serial offender(s) that have found sanctuary. In fact they may wonder why these cases have been so frustrating and if they are, in effect, actually closed.

    There was something else about Chief Longo’s press conference. Someone should ask if he was calling for vigilante action when he intimated someone else should reveal the identity of a person the police interviewed (acting seemingly out of frustration). So I may. I have the name of a person matching the description of the person who owned that orange car who resides at the address of the search. It was not difficult to determine. So what is it Longo wants from me or anyone else with the same information. And why hasn’t the commercial “press” sniffed this person out? Frankly, that is Chief Longo’s job…not that of a mob.

    All of this is disconcerting.  

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      It is extremely troubling when the media doesn’t make the connection about missing women, but even more troubling is the fact that, as far as we know, the Charlottesville police haven’t investigated on the assumption that there may well be a serial perpetrator able to grab women and leave no clues the police seem able to find. Was the Harrington case the first disappearance? We don’t know.

      I also wondered at why the police chief was almost begging others to give clues when the police had contacted the “person of interest,” searched his car and his apartment. What could others tell them?

      I sincerely hope that the university will make every effort to make sure that its female students have friends to escort them when they are out after dark. The students themselves should be especially careful of where they party and with whom. And, if I were on the Charlottesville city council, I would move quickly to install surveillance cameras around town. Four missing women are too many for this to be just coincidence.

    • Jim B

      You have to wonder how professional the police forces are these days. Are they just revenue gatherers? Do they even attempt to patrol all areas of their jurisdiction? It has been my experience that state police patrol Rt 29 out of Charlottesville constantly looking for speeders along with county sheriff deputies. The roads use to be the domain of the state police, but sometime ago the counties looking for revenue have sheriff deputies using radar as well.

      If the police are just looking for speeders then the evil doers probably have noticed too.