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Interesting story -- such a tricky issue and a betrayal of trust. Don't forget the Runaway Bride from Georgia... Olbermann called that one from the get go on MSNBC while everyone was freaking out...

Posted by GoodGrief | October 25, 2006 11:53 AM

Good story to point out. Alongside the issues brought up... TV, Reality TV and mainstream news media sensationalism are all somewhat to blame. This kid had more to gain than just being an advocate/hero: it got him face time, in a world placing an increasing value on reality TV face time.

I had a transient in Kirkland once threaten to "cut my gook head off and send it to Chinatown." I didn't need to go to the cops or the news, as I walked away, he drifted off somewhere and nothing else ever came of it... but I'm an exception to what's becoming an ominous social rule. I wonder what another would have done in my situation.

Posted by Gomez | October 25, 2006 12:02 PM

Sounds more like Narcissistic Personality Disorder with a focus on being perceived as a victim - though the reality TV idea is an interesting take on it.

Posted by dewsterling | October 25, 2006 12:07 PM

There's a reason why we have these things called trials. Your cop instincts are great as far as they go, but ultimately some kind of dispassionate analysis needs to take place. Knowledge is impossible, which is where "reasonable doubt" comes in.

Unfortunately we are now asked nightly to make immediate judgements based on deeply managed presentations on news programs, or even worse, Nancy Grace-style prosecution shows. And everyone knows how to manipulate this process now.

Domestic violence is a crime. It's JUST a crime. That is not meant to sound callous; it's just recognizing the fact that it is not a special category of offense so heinous and so delicate that we have to throw out centuries of rules of evidence and procedure. Victims of abuse do need protection, but we have to be careful not to reduce them to the equivalent of dolls in the process. Likewise, rape should not be treated as a special kind of crime, that not only injures a woman's person but damages her delicate sensibilities as a fragile flower of womanhood, which is what a lot of rape legislation has traditionally been based on.

Stick to the facts, and prosecute the crime. If the bad guy is guilty, punish him. All the rest is emotion masquerading as justice. And vigilante justice is ALWAYS WRONG.

Posted by Fnarf | October 25, 2006 12:18 PM

In the interest of fairplay, I'd like to point out that several years ago in the Seattle suburbs, if I recall correctly, a gay couple trashed their own house, spray painted "faggots" on their walls, and reported it as a hate crime.

Some people lie, fags are people. Some fags lie.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 25, 2006 12:59 PM

Similarly, Audrey Seiler, who inspired the brilliant play "Audrey Seiler, Where Are You?"..

Posted by brandon | October 25, 2006 1:09 PM

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