A Tale of Two Missing Persons

Natalee Holloway
age: 18
vanished: May 30, 2005
last seen: leaving a nightclub in Aruba with three men
home: Mountain Brook
reward: $75,000 total
investigated by: FBI, Aruban Police, family, thousands of volunteers.
support: private donations, free hotel in Aruba, McWane Corp. private jet, donated airfare, massive prayer lists
media: nonstop national media coverage

Nancy Lewis
age: 47
vanished: May 18, 2005
last seen: leaving for work at 3:45 AM
home: southwest Birmingham
reward: $2000 (now $12,000)
investigated by: Birmingham police, friends and family.
support: friends, co-workers and family
media: four or five local newspaper articles, sparse radio PSA's

Update: The Birmingham Post-Herald has picked up on the comparison.


badbrains said...

As a journalism student, this is a trend that I find alarming. The country (fueled by the media) goes up in arms everytime a prominent white girl goes missing. Lacy Peterson, Lori Hacking, Natalee Holloway, Jennifer Wilbanks and what seems like a different child every week. Granted, the kids' cases (Elizabeth Smart, Jessica Lunsford, Shasta Groene) are more important and usually highlight a darker side of our society (child molestation & abuse). Still, I haven't ever seen statistics, but I'm willing to bet that such crimes occur among the black community on an equal scale, but we never hear about it. I don't know where my career will take me, but I do know that I won't ever give in to an editor's ANOTHER MISSING WHITEY lead. By the way, good work on FLICKR.

Dystopos said...

It doesn't really alarm me, nor is it a recent trend. (I'm a cynic, of course).

It is a reminder that infotainment is not the best way to sustain a well-informed democracy. Did you hear about the 200,000 homes levelled by bulldozers in Harare, Zimbabwe. I didn't think so.