So Jaycee Dugard’s money problems are over

I forgot to write this earlier: the state of California has given Jaycee Dugard twenty million dollars in compensation for her abduction and eighteen-year captivity by Phillip Garrido. The money will pay for things like housing, education/job training, health care, and presumably lots and lots of therapy for herself, her children and the rest of her family.

Although I think people are judging the police a bit harshly for not finding Jaycee sooner — correct me if I am wrong but I haven’t seen that anyone had any good reason to suspect he had a kidnapped kid on his property — I do think Jaycee deserves the money as much as anyone. Some people are making a fuss, saying “we don’t give that much money to every kidnap/rape victim,” but Jaycee’s ordeal was extraordinary by any measure. And “we can’t help/save everybody” is not an argument not to try to help whoever we can. Other people are claiming that money can’t help Jaycee, which is ridiculous: housing costs money, psychologists/psychiatrists cost money, education costs money, and for someone as high-profile as Jaycee, privacy will also cost money. The girl has suffered enough. Now we all can get on with our lives.

Better late than never: a rare happy ending

Someone sent in his article and video that little Quranah Gilliam, who disappeared without a trace from Elizabeth, New Jersey in January 2005, was found alive, well and apparently happy in the Bronx (ahem) over a year ago. (And she is still on Charley. Not for much longer though.) Quranah was a year old when her father, Laquan, dropped her off with a family he knew and asked them to look after her for a few days. He promised to come back, but he never did and he’s now in jail on drug charges. The family tried to found out who she belonged to, but Laquan had given them a false name for Quranah and she herself was too little too help, so they just decided to keep her and raise her as their own.

Well, eventually two and two were put together, DNA testing established Quranah’s identity and she was sent to live with her cousins. I hope she is able to maintain contact with the adoptive family that took care of her.

Alas, all is not rosy in this picture — Sherrie Stout, Quranah’s mother, disappeared with her and has never been located. *looks hard at Laquan*

UPDATE: My criminal background check thingy says Laquan is doing five years in South Woods State Prison in New Jersey for selling drugs on school property. He’s up for parole in September. I hope the parole board asks him some hard questions about what happened to his ex.

R.I.P. My aunt

Earlier I wrote that my aunt had been diagnosed with cancer. Well, she died today. She had decided to go chuck it all and go home without treatment and be on hospice. They gave her two weeks, max. She didn’t make two weeks. A little over one. She died shortly before noon.