May 2005


The other day, Fulton County Courthouse shooter Brian Nichols plead not guilty to a number of charges related to overpowering his courthouse guard, killing a county judge and several others during his escape.

I guess we are all getting used to the automatic procedure of pleading ‘not guilty’ to everything. And maybe from the legal point of view, it may really be his best move.

But give me a break. Not guilty? What do you mean ‘not guilty’?

Was he really in the holding cell the whole time and some one else did all of the crimes (despite the eyewitnesses and video cameras)?
Did his identical cousin commit all of the crimes but he was the one picked up?
Does he really believe there were some mitigating circustances surrounding his actions? (And fear of being found guilty of his original rape charge does not count!)

This is ridiculous. No sympathy. No legal manuvering. Period. His is guilty. Period. Be done.

Not guilty, my butt.

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The media may be getting tired of the Jennifer Wilbanks story very soon… but it’s not coming to a very tidy conclusion. If she had truely left her fiance at the altar it wouldn’t have even been news. But she left town without a trace. Any reasonable person would know they would be missed and that it would cause havok because she chose not to let anyone know that she was safe and simply unable either to go through with the wedding or to cope with the stress or whatever it was that caused her so-called “running from herself.” Greyhound Bus and all, it seemed to be an exceptionally self-centered action. Did she want to see what kind of fuss would be made over her disappearance? Did she want to embarass her fiance (until the point when it seemed to be taking Scott Peterson-like overtones)? Was she simply so detached from any reality that she thought that this sounded like a good idea?

Now one week later, I am not so sure that it’s even that easy to dismiss as just plain foolishness.

There has been little to add to the story. She retreated to her parents’ home (oh I’m sorry… she’s been ‘in seclusion’). We’ve heard from one of her lawyers (eager to rebuff publicity-hungry Danny Porter’s not-really-substitive threat of charges against her. We’ve heard her parents’ minister read a prepared statement. A few other bits have leaked out.

The whole story would have went away by Monday afternoon *if* she had just come out in public upon her return to Atlanta and apologized and made whatever vague offers of restitution for the fruitless searches by local police. It would have just made for a few cute ‘runaway bride’ headlines.

But she doesn’t come out yet. Just prepared statements and lawyers. It’s really starting to tick more and more people off.

I don’t know her or her fiance. I wasn’t invited to their wedding. I don’t want to be involved in their private life. I don’t care whether or not she actually gets married. I don’t care that she’s had repeated arrests for shoplifting. Even if today’s claim in the New York Post that she’s dumped a finace before are true - that’s a problem for the couple to work out.

Forget silly suggestions from publicity-hounds that she apologize to the Hispanic community because she made up the phantom kidnapper from their race. [There was an excellent point made in today’s AJC Vent saying “Did I miss something here? Jennifer Wilbanks said she was kidnapped … that it was a Hispanic man and a Caucasian woman, that it happened in Duluth. Not once in Rick Badie’s column did he mention [the need to apologize for inventing] the Caucasian woman that Ms. Wilbanks said was with her alleged Hispanic abductor. I think Ms. Wilbanks also owed all Caucasian women in Duluth an apology.”]

But ever since she came home with her entire head covered with Grandma’s quilt, you just have to ask - why doesn’t she come out? Is there something we’re not supposed to she? She didn’t have to face the press alone… she could have sat there and still let her lawyer do all of the talking. She could have stood in the window and waved like the Pope. Now, I’m not a conspiracy-theorist, but is there something more about her appearance besides her self-shortened hair that’s being hidden? Why else can’t we see her? Is there more that she’s done to herself that puts the impression of a spur-of-the-moment stress-induced escape in question?

Are they really more afraid of being charged with a crime because there’s more to this story?

The first reports in the public press seem pretty thin. It would seem that the lie about being kidnapped (for however long she held on to that little story) is in the juristidicting of the Albuquerque police. Unlike the case of the Wisconsin student, the police did not go into action because of a false police report, it came at the conclusion of the adventure in another state.

We do know that it was more premeditated than an opportunistic flight. She bought the ticket well in advance of the date. She gathered money. She arranged for transportation to the bus station. She altered her appearance (at least her hair). I wonder if there’s more that she’s done.

First we heard about her concocting the story about being abducted to try to cover her tracks. I guess she thought that her mystery man & woman would get her back out of trouble for her own actions. Of course her family and friends are relieved, but embarrassed and confused. Now it comes out that she claimed to have been raped as well. She went as far as to have a rape exam. What the heck is all of this about? I don’t have any simpathy here. Unless she is a compulsive liar who fell off of her medication, I don’t see what kind of mitigating circumstances rise to the level of falsly claiming rape.

I think she’s in deeper than we all realize right now.

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