Posts Tagged ‘Hannah Graham’

In Nepal they have stopped searching a famous Himalayan trekking route for the hikers who went missing in a storm. Last week’s tragedy was unprecedented with 38 people dead, and still only 25 have been identified.

In Charlottesville, a city with a vibrant Nepalese refugee community because it is said our Blue Ridge is similar to their mountain home, another search has been called off. A team from Chesterfield County, near Richmond, found the remains of a body on a farm just a few miles from the area where Amanda Harrington was found, near Old Lynchburg Road.

In last night’s news conference, Chief Christopher Longo only said that he notified Hannah’s parents, but that it would be up to the medical examiner to identify the body. Forensic tests will be done and I can’t imagine that those parents will have to view the body, will have to look at her clothing or hold a piece of jewelry. But we all know this is Hannah. People that have signed up to search and deliver food to the volunteers today have been told they will not be needed.

I wonder if they have put a suicide watch on Jesse Matthews?

I wonder if the FBI will begin searching Walnut Creek Park with cadaver-sniffing dogs for the other missing girls?

I wonder if Matthews knew Randy Taylor who was convicted of Alexis Murphy’s death, without finding her body

Or will any other forensic evidence tie him to other unsolved cases? http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/12/us/virginia-murdered-daughter-familiy/index.html

I’ve been thinking about this, IF Matthews had been charged and prosecuted for those two rapes in two separate colleges, years ago, would we even be here? As a society we need to address the failure of our institutions, and our justice system in dealing with college sexual violence. Calling something “date rape” is purely a semantic way of demeaning attacks on young women, placing some blame on the victim because she may have been impaired. Our culture needs to stop ‘slut shaming’ our girls, using terms like “the walk of shame.” We need to empower our girls to use their voices, say their names, and prosecute rapists, even if it gets ugly.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/06/virginia-wesleyan-rape_n_5940404.html


Hike Cancelled

Today, on this beautiful crisp Fall Sunday, Bob is busy saving lives at his hospital. I think I will go the Mall where Hannah was last seen and find some Buddhist prayer flags for my deck. And I will support the Help Save the Next Girl Campaign in any way I can.  http://www.helpsavethenextgirl.com



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This morning I have chain saws in my woods. We’ve hired a man to do what Bob used to do all the time in Windsor, MA, cut down trees.

Except these trees are not for fire wood to be used in our stove, no this time around we installed a gas burning fireplace. We’re felling only the dead trees around the house. Now when Bob gets into the hot tub and there’s a strong west wind, I won’t worry he may never get out! We are seven years down the road from carving out this serene spot in the forest, time enough to know which oaks will live, and which are gone.

And speaking of “gone,” should I see David Fincher’s “Gone Girl?” I’m conflicted since I love a good murder mystery, however I didn’t read the book. Yes, I am part of that small minority of women who didn’t, and I’m not sure why.

Maybe because the idea of someone going missing is anathema to me, and it’s also hitting close to home with our own missing UVA student, Hannah Graham. We have had too many girls disappear in this college town. The FBI has traced evidence, presumably DNA, from Jesse Matthews who is the last person seen with Hannah, to the Morgan Harrington case; which is also related to a rape in Northern VA.

I would not be surprised if we hear about more charges in December, when his hearing is scheduled. This is the hot topic around town. One woman told me had such a sweet demeanor, and then we hear he was a suspect in 2 other college rapes that were never prosecuted. I saw many state police cars parked on the side of the road yesterday, troopers with sticks were walking up and down Barracks Road, past grazing cows near Ivy Farms, an area we lived in when we first moved to town. Helicopters and drones are searching for Hannah. A multinational media circus has taken over the Historic Downtown Mall. There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to her safe return. And yesterday we heard this plea from Hannah’s mother:

“Somebody listening to me today either knows where Hannah is, or knows someone who has that information,” the mother, Sue Graham, says in a video released by the city of Charlottesville, home to the university. “We appeal to you to come forward and tell us where Hannah can be found. Please, please, please help end this nightmare for all of us,” she continues. “Please help us to bring Hannah home.” http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/04/justice/virginia-hannah-graham-case/index.html

I cannot imagine how her mother is standing, the pain of not knowing must be unbearable. On this too beautiful Fall day, may her family find  grace, courage and healing during this not knowing time.    IMG_1220


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Today is the People’s Climate March all over the World. My Twitter feed has been buzzing with all the climate scientists I follow, like Michael Mann, the ex-UVA prof who was actually sued by our AJ and WON his right to teach about the “hockey stick” stats of climate change https://mountainmornings.net/2012/01/14/baby-its-cold-outside/

Although 161 countries will participate, New York City will be action central today with thousands pouring into the streets (stay uptown Kay!) along with the United Nation’s Director, Ban Ki-moon. The UN will host a Climate Summit on Tuesday with 125 heads of state

He (Ban) will join thousands of people on the streets of Manhattan, including business leaders, environmentalists and celebrities. Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio will also attend, having been appointed as a UN representative on climate change last week. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29301969

But here in Cville, volunteer marchers/searchers are combing the area for the second day in a row for any clues to the disappearance of Hannah Graham. It’s been a confusing weekend. Our Police Chief gave an inspiring press conference, saying they have a “person of interest” in their scope, that they have searched his car and his apartment, but they have yet to make an arrest. People are wondering what he’s waiting for, did they ever question him, do they need more evidence, or is their suspect in the wind?

Also his name, Jesse Matthew, was leaked on Twitter yesterday by our local newspaper, the Daily Progress, and by our NBC affiliate, some commenters said he was a UVA employee. However, this morning on the Today Show, they refused to name him! So they have this “person of interest” the last person seen with Graham, stalking her on video, they have his car and the contents of his place, and they have a witness who saw him buying her a drink…http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2759584/UVA-student-Hannah-Graham-FIFTH-young-woman-five-years-vanish-Route-29-corridor-one-body-found.html

Bob searched the brush around our yard in town, and all he found was a soccer ball. If someone saw her getting into Matthew’s car, she could be anywhere. He has been described as “…a black male, 6ft., 250lbs. with dreadlocks.” My prayers are with Hannah Graham’s family this Sunday. Latest update – police have confirmed his name, still no arrest. http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/updated-police-confirm-jesse-lj-matthew-person-of-interest-in/article_865681c2-4040-11e4-a18b-0710e0693940.html

I wonder if they put dreads on the police sketch they have of Morgan Harrington’s killer? I wonder if Bob ever met him in the hospital, where he works as a nurse’s aide?

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a familiar mystery gripped Central Virginia, where a string of young women have gone missing over the past five years, starting with Morgan Harrington in 2009.

When we first moved to this Southern enclave, the best place to retire/be happy/enjoy your golden years in a college town/ we loved it. The encircling, comforting Blue Ridge views, the non-stop cultural happenings, the historic homes and of course the weather wasn’t bad. Except for all the ice storms –  and so what if I had to learn to pump my own gas, I was still in my 50s, a mere youngster, anything was possible.

This is our tenth year in VA, it should be feeling like home about now. Seven years ago, on September 20,  we moved into our newly built house,

Niece Lucia came to visit

Niece Lucia came to visit

and yes it took us three years to find the land “with a view” and the contractor to make it happen………..

And today I’ve been invited to a Candlelight Vigil in town to “Bring Hannah Home.”

A Second Year UVA student, 18 year old Hannah went out to dinner last Friday night and was going to meet up with some friends at a party later. Her last text message was something about being lost in the very early hours of Saturday morning. More than 24 hours went by before her off-campus room mates noticed she was missing and her brother and parents notified the police on Sunday afternoon.

Before this summer came a string of cases involving young women, starting with Harrington, 20, the Virginia Tech student who disappeared outside the John Paul Jones Arena during a Metallica concert in October 2009. Her remains were discovered on an Albemarle farm three months later. No suspects have been named in that case.
Two 19-year-olds — Orange County’s Samantha Ann Clarke in September 2010 and Charlottesville’s DaShad “Sage” Smith in November 2012 — since have vanished. No suspects have been charged in their disappearances. In the spring, a jury convicted Randy Allen Taylor in the killing of Alexis Murphy, 17, a Nelson County High School student who went missing in August 2013. She never has been found.
Roberts said police do not believe there’s a connection between Graham’s case and the others.           http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/charlottesville-police-chief-landowners-should-check-downtown-properties-for-signs/article_9bd9be5e-3db3-11e4-9762-0017a43b2370.html

And now we are seeing video of her running past a gas station, and walking along the Historic Downtown Mall, with a man following her. This man told the police he was trying to “help” her and later he witnessed another man putting his arm around her. Bloodhounds are tracking her scent, the police have established a Tip Line, (434) 295-3851, and asked residents to check their property if they live within a certain radius of the Mall.

Our little four-square brick house, the 100 yr old home we lovingly restored to house medical students, is right down the road from that gas station, just two blocks off the Mall. Today I’ll check out the backyard. Tonight I’ll hold a candle.

When we first moved here, while I was looking for land with a view, the Cville police were looking for a serial rapist who was attacking young women in the university vicinity. Pictures of his face, drawn by a police artist, were hanging in the women’s bathrooms all over campus. It turned out he was working in the meat department of the Harris Teeter on Barrack’s Rd.

It would seem there is a serial killer in our midst, he may hide around gas stations, or he may live and work right next door. The FBI has been called in. Our thoughts and prayers are with Hannah’s family.

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham


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