Have You Seen Me?

I woke up to Meredith Viera telling me of a 36 year-old woman who went missing from a cruise ship over the Christmas holiday.  There is a part of me that sinks a rolls my eyes a little.  It’s not I don’t want Jessica Sietz to be found.  I don’t know her and I quite sure she didn’t do anything to warrant falling four stories into the middle of the Caribbean.  It’s just when they show her picture I realize I am in for several weeks of this.


I live in a country with three hundred million people.  Three hundred million.  Excluding public personalities, is there anyone that goes missing and warrants national news attention?  Is Jessica Sietz the only person in the United States that went missing last week.  There are 2,300 people reported missing in the US every day.  That’s more people than San Francisco.  Let’s assume 95% of these are kids who got drunk and didn’t call home, women who left their husbands, men skipping town to avoid their bookies and good-old fashioned competent suicides where we’ll never find the body.  That still leaves 115 people or an average of 2.3 people per state per day or 69 people a month that have legitimately met foul play… in your state.

I had to hear about Caylee Anthony for six months.  In that time, 414 more people went missing (I know this because their pictures are in the breezeway of the Walmart) and they didn’t have a mom that neglected to alert anyone for thirty days while they were drinking and updating their MySpace page.  If most of the parents I know lose track of their kids, after the initial calls to babysitters, schools, ex-spouses and grandparents, someone is smacking the panic button.  Hard.  My old boss Jeff’s son got on a different bus to go to a friends house and didn’t tell him.  Jeff didn’t know where is son was for forty minutes and I swear it looked like he’d been awake for a week.  My friend Jessica once lost her son Jordan in a mall and said when she found him she wanted to kill him.  After that, they used to run kidnapping exercises in her front yard to see how long it would take someone to forcibly take an eight year old.  He was told he could do anything except punch her.  Jessica is a healthy 5′ 10″.  It took her over four minutes to push him into a minivan by herself.

And while I am here let my digress for a moment.  All those protesters who have been in front of the Anthony house are complete assholes.  This doesn’t involve you.  Somehow these idiots have forgotten that right or wrong, somebody’s daughter/granddaughter is dead.  Regardless of who did it, somebody else is going to be in mourning and holding onto hope the obvious isn’t true.  And the only thing that makes these people even larger jackasses is bringing toys and leaving them there for a kid who will never see them and when the family asks they be taken to needy children for the holidays so some good can come out of it, these ass-snacks argue with them.

Fuck those homeless kids who are getting Spam for Christmas.  I want these teddy bears and dolls to stay out in the rain so people know we mourn for a dead toddler we have never met.

Sorry about that but I live an hour from where that happened and have to watch news reports that actually show images of Caylee Anthony with the utterly ridiculous “2005 – 2008” subtitle.

I wish I lived in a country where Caylee Anthony et al deserved the media coverage because they were the only people that went missing this week.  Hell, run that shit twenty four seven and have Nancy Grace give us updates during commercials.  There is a hierarchy to death.  There are lots of car accidents but only the truly massive ones get newsplay.  A plane skids off the runway it’s reported because that doesn’t happen every day.  My point is people go missing and heinous shit goes down all the time but what makes Jessica Sietz so special that a national morning news show has to tell me about it?

Jessica Sietz is pretty.

Case in point:  Natalee HollowayChandra LevyLaci Peterson.  Granted, these are just three but from the news, you’d think only hot girls go missing in America.

200px-Natalee_Holloway_yearbook_photo  230px-Chandra_Levy  LaciPeterson

Remember Jessica Lynch who was captured by Iraqis in 2003.  Her story was everywhere.  Ten months later they made a TV movie about her ordeal (which she couldn’t even finish because it was so inaccurate).


Well, this is Lori Piestewa.


Lori Piestewa served in the same company as Jessica Lynch and was also captured during the same battle.  Unfortunately she became the first women to die in combat in Iraq.  Jessica Lynch has repeatedly declared her the true hero, not herself.  So why does Jessica Lynch’s name return 669 hits on Amazon.com and Lori Piestewa’s returns 49?  Lori Piestewa’s a minority (Native American) and no offense, isn’t as attractive as Lynch.  Shoshana Johnson was also in the same battle and received zero press.  Johnson is a larger black woman and single mother.  The sad part here is when the United States decided what it was going to sell the the American people as the sacrifice of it’s soldiers, it wasn’t a black woman or a native American, they chose Jessica Lynch.

They call this Missing White Woman Syndrome and to be honest being white doesn’t mean people will come for you.  I read an article where a detective was interviewed and said he had a missing persons file three inches thick on his desk but nobody wants to put rewards out for runaways, drug addicts and prostitutes even if they are white.  And statistically speaking there are more men than women that go missing every year but the general assumption is men can take care of themselves.  Women need to be rescued.

Let’s be clear: I am in no way criticizing any of these women.  They aren’t the media and God knows if a loved one of mine was missing and Greta Van Susteren was willing to put me on TV to find them, mark me a parking spot next to Wolf Blitzer because you’re never getting rid of me.  I throw this one down at the feet of the media and shame on them for all following the same story… there are plenty of messed-up things to go around.

It’s a little discomforting to know if I go missing I won’t get the attention these women get.  If Natalie, an accomplished (and if I may say, attractive) attorney goes missing, being an African-American, even she won’t get the attention these women get.

Years ago I lived next door to my brother.  I came home in the evening and went next door to find the front door unlocked, lights and television on.  I called out and no one answered.  I checked all the rooms… empty.  On the kitchen counter was a warm bag of Chinese take-out.  My brother’s truck was in the drive-way with his son’s car seat.  It would be unlike him to go anywhere without the car seat.  I went outside and walked the perimeter of the chain-link fence that bordered the empty lots that surround his property.

I was looking for bodies.  Sorry, that’s how my mind works.  You home invade someone and it would be really easy to toss the bodies into the empty high grass in the surrounding lots.

I called my father and asked if he spoke to him and he said, “No,” and when I told him my concern he dismissed me.  “He’ll turn up,” he assured me when everything in that house pointed to something that had gone wrong.

An hour later my brother, his son and his future wife (Danielle) returned, Alex’s head wrapped in bandages.  They had picked up dinner and Alex was running around the living room and ran into a wall and split his head open.  My brother scooped him up, Danielle grabbed her car keys and they went to the emergency room.  Alex still doesn’t grow hair where that scar was.

If anyone I know goes missing, rest assured, I will come looking for you.


2 thoughts on “Have You Seen Me?

  1. You make a good point. The media does focus on young white women who go missing. Let’s be clear though, the media has nothing to do with returning missing people safely to their homes. Thank goodness law enforcement isn’t interested in ratings.

  2. I agree….but…a novel wasn’t needed….you could have said the same thing in a “comment”.

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