Small Town News Verses the Public’s Need to Know
Recently, I had the opportunity to set up as a vendor during a two-day fundraising classic vehicle show. I love the people I meet. Through our conversations I learn about their area, interests, community plus a wide host of valuable information.
I met a lady, her daughter and grandchild in a stroller. While looking at personal protection products the older woman commented that the women of her city needed protection products to protect themselves against a local rapist.
I leaned toward her with great interest. I asked her how long the rapist was active and how many instances were documented. She told me her minister announced it at church that Sunday just before she came to the event. Her minister wanted his congregation to be aware that there were five or more rapes in the recent past in their area. I asked her what the local news has provided. She answered that none of the instances were in their newspapers or on any other news over the airways.
The general public has a need to know, specifically if the attacks are against only women, girls, both, or boys and men also. Remember the scout motto: “Always be prepared”. If the public does not know what they need to be prepared for, they will not be prepared. With today’s electronic news, social media sites, and information at your fingertips not as many subscribe to newspapers as they did in the past. Radio news and Television news requires that you be a regular listener to get the news they want you to hear.
I live in a small town and still subscribe to our local paper plus a weekend paper from the second largest metropolitan area in the state I reside in. The county and city where the clergy announced the rapist to the congregation is the same distance to the metropolitan area as the county that I live in. Nothing has been published where I live or in the large metropolitan area paper. With that being stated, I am hopeful by sharing valuable information through my social media, and article writing media channels, the public will be informed about a rapist in NE Indiana.
I do not know if the rapist operated just in the city or county that I visited, or if the geographic area spans across a few counties and cities. I believe that more than two rapes in a defined area which the rapist uses the same methods of operation, the attacks define a serial rapist in operation.
I understand that the Public Relations of a community not wanting to publicly announce there is a serial rapist in their midst. I also understand why policing agencies may want to suppress the crimes committed in their jurisdiction. However, I know that helping communities and alerting them to potential dangers out weigh the ramifications of suppressing information. I know also that the general public will not be prepared to protect themselves unless they know what the threat to them is.
I am not suggesting that every citizen needs a hand gun permit. I do believe that knowledge of a potential threat will produce ways and means to better protect themselves, their residences and their behavior patterns of daily routes, parking and heightened awareness to situations around them.
A true life example: My daughter was working in a mall that has since been torn down. New stores have been built where the mall was. Around the 1999 to 2000 year time frame she went on break from a national retailer where she worked. She was approached by a couple of men and a woman selling perfumes. When asked if she was interested, she replied no, because of allergies. She was sprayed, fell to the floor and was crawling and attempting to crawl, she could not get up. A recruitment officer from one of the US military branches was coming back into the mall from his supper break. He went to where my daughter was laying (the “sales people”) immediately dispersed. He picked her up and carried her to his recruitment office. He notified the store where she worked. A couple of the male employees said the perfume sales people were in their store but they had no reaction to the perfume. My daughter was 17 years old at the time. No one called me or made a call to the police.
A coworker told me he was friends with the bar owners just outside the store where my daughter worked and offered to ask questions. The bar owners had the perfume sales people on surveillance in their bar and a clear view of their van in the parking lot including the license plate number. The license plate was from Illinois. I spoke to the bar manager. The bar manager informed me he could not share the video with me but if I made a police report, he could share the information with the police. I did make a police report. A detective went to the bar and viewed the sales people and their van. The detective called me back and told me that since the sales people did not physically assault my daughter they would not arrest them.
There were reports over social media with the same sales people operating in other cities in Indiana and Ohio. Close to six months after my daughter’s incident, a policing agency in Ohio arrested them. They had been using the rouse to subdue and abduct attractive young females.
If every city with similar incidents were shared through their state and bordering states, and provided public notice to be on the look out, or beware of alerts, the perpetrators could have been apprehended much sooner and saved the abduction of many young females.
This is one of the reasons I offer personal protection products. This is also why it should not be illegal or restricted to carry pepper spray or stun devices.
If you have read this entire article, you probably have a good understanding of why I believe a rapist operating in any area needs to be shared with the public through all news avenues.
If this article helps one person avoid being assaulted it is worth sharing. A hint for those of you that need more information, if you scan through my face book page and one of my web sites http://www.safepractice.co, you will find the classic vehicle event and city where the rapist actions were shared with the congregation by their minister.