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Brooke Bennett is 12 and went off to a convenience store last Wednesday and disappeared.

This was about 60 miles / 100km from Burlington [our biggest city, my former home] and it's in a rural area but also near a freeway. She was reported missing right away and my old neighborhood blog just repeated it this evening.

Maybe only two of my LJ Friends live anywhere near Burlington or even in Vermont at all, but...hey, you never know where someone might see her.

One reason I care about Brooke is that this should never happen to ANYONE, child or family. Another reason is that she and Kiota are almost the same size....

http://www.ncmec.org/missingkids/servlet/AmberServlet and her pic and description are posted there, it's a national alert. Also a number to call if, by chance ...


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 28th, 2008 12:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the area includes about three little towns with a total population of 5000, maybe 1800 families. Lots of longterm residents, mostly everybody knows everybody else, things like that.

Do you have any kind of a police alert system over there? ... how are disappearances handled?
Jun. 28th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
Well, even while divers searched a lake for Brooke's body, cops started out to check MySpace.

It's now a probability that Brooke, with her twelve years of wisdom and caution, faked her disappearance to go meet with her MySpace partner, and is now with her / him / it / them. The story was that she told her parent / guardian that she was going to meet a friend to go to the hospital to meet another friend, which turned out to be a fiction.

If anything bad has indeed happened --- it's the IWNH2M syndrome: It Will Never Happen To Me --- that might have inspired Brooke to go play on MySpace. It's like two years ago when our UVM senior transfer student Michelle started walking back to her dorm alone at 2:30 AM, on the widest, most brightly lighted street in the whole state, and asked to borrow Brian's cellphone. Parents' Weekend, right? Nothing could happen, right?

Brian is on trial for her abduction, rape, and murder as you read this. His DNA was inside her corpse.

And not two weeks later, UVM women were down in the bars as careless about their personal safety as ever. GAAAAAAAH.

By 18, 19, 20, or at least 21, wisdom descends, right?

Edited at 2008-06-28 03:52 pm (UTC)
Jun. 28th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
I think you have "wisdom" & "teeth" mixed up thar, partner.
You'd think around 18-21 that one would have at least learned some common sense if not wisdom. I don't know if wisdom is really something that one can come by so young anyway, with the exception of a very very few (our girl being one of the few). Wisdom normally seems to blossom much later in life when people actually reflect & go "DAMN, I WAS A DUMBASS."

I feel terrible that this 12 y/o girl is missing & was stupid enough to pull this shit, but then again, I seem to remember a little about being 12 & OH TEH DRAMAZ! Everything was LIFE/CAKE/DEATH at 12. Of course, my situation was a little bit special (in a bad way), but the things that were actually NORMAL were the things that middle school-aged children pull. In other words, this does not suprise me at all.

I hope, either way, she is returned home safe & sound, unharmed, & just a LITTLE bit wiser to the world.
Jun. 29th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Re: I think you have "wisdom" & "teeth" mixed up thar, partner.
Haha we can all be a DUMBASS, reflected or not, at any age at all, you're totally right, Otter! !

One of my grad school friends down at NYU often wears this tee that says "CAKE OR DEATH" and you immediately reminded me of that. Now I feel like getting one that says OH TEH DRAMAZ! but I'm afraid the foreign students I English-tutor would copy it down and put it on an anatomy exam or something ;)

And of course this whole thing might be Brooke just playing her dramaz out to see if this works (1) to break curfew (2) to sneak off with some 'innocent' girlfriend that's not approved of (3) to get away with it (4) all of the above.

If any or all of these are the real story, she's in for a stern lecture from the FBI on down, when she saunters back up the driveway ;) ...which can't be too soon for me at all.

Of course she could be well aware of it all, seeing herself on TV, which has now scared the shit out of her and she's afraid of "turning myself in", waiting until the furore subsides. Which it won't, but she won't know that .... :/

Apparently she's not even a Vermonter, just visiting up there from Massachusetts.
Jun. 29th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)
Re: I think you have "wisdom" & "teeth" mixed up thar, partner.

More comes in: "Brooke's parents say they took away her privileges to use the site [MySpace] because of issues with respect. However, as they later found out, Brooke had secretly set up a new account on a different computer."

What triggered John Walsh was the discovery of some of her clothing outside her uncle's home, where she was scheduled to spend the night. Actually first came the VT State Police with dogs and choppers. Who found nothing else.

And they have her on surveillance camera, walking away from the convenience store, alone. That's it, except for the clothing and the "social networking site" computer trackings.



WTF did they think she was going to do? "issues with respect", my rosy pink ass. Parents slapped her with punishment instead of explanation, in place of treating her as having maybe at least one or two opinions worthy of adult respect?

So now look what that got them. And Brooke too.

*facepalm x 938479837*
Jun. 28th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Not that the IWNH2M syndrome makes it her fault, or makes it any less tragic. Just thought I'd add that.
Jun. 29th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
Absolutely, Kala. The fault truly lies with parents / caregivers / teachers who don't trot that idea right out and discuss it and make the risks clear. Some of the stuff I wrote about Michelle came out of a psych class where I was a guest: the prof pointed out that we don't like the fear reaction that comes from thinking about the unthinkable, so to block that fear out, we go into the thought of 'somebody else will get that, not me' and make illusion a refuge enough to let your guard down.

Otoh, nobody can live in fear all the time: hypertension is the result and it can kill you too. Everyone has to find some kind of life-assuring balance for themselves.

Also there's a big gap between Brooke, 12, and Michelle, 23-something; M had worked in Costa Rica and toured abroad. One strong reason, ironically, she had transferred to UVM for her last year was that she had grown up and gone to school near Baltimore and wanted to get away from the crime rate of a big city. Where could be more peaceful than Vermont?

So my point is that Brooke needed a lot more *effective* caregiving, a lot sooner. Actually it would have helped Michelle, too ...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
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