A sobering thought

Maggie Thompson, the murder victim in my Executed Today post from yesterday, reminds me so much of Kathleen Shea who was never found. The girls were almost the same age and both of them vanished without a trace, like “the sidewalk might have opened and swallowed” them. Both times it was during their school lunch break (Maggie was walking home to eat; Kathleen had finished her meal and was walking back to school). Both of them stopped to talk to neighbors while en route. Kathleen disappeared in Pennsylvania, Maggie in the bordering state of Ohio. And, though we may never know for certain, I think Kathleen’s fate was probably much the same as poor little Maggie’s.

Obviously, the two cases aren’t related: they occurred some 70 years apart, and Maggie’s killer was caught and suffered the supreme penalty. I’m just saying, these kinds of crimes are timeless. Homicide committed by juveniles (Maggie’s killer, Otto Lueth, was only sixteen) is not rare or new either. I get annoyed when people talk about how “the youth of today are out of control” (Aristotle said the same thing about the youth of 3rd century BC) and also “how bad crime these days” and how “in this day and age, you have to be extra careful.” The good old days were terrible.

9 thoughts on “A sobering thought

  1. Justin August 30, 2012 / 7:59 pm

    They are just getting more publicity than they used to. These things go in cycles. Really bad and less bad. Most people were just unaware how bad things were back then because they didn’t have the internet and TV blasting it all over the place.

  2. Lisa August 30, 2012 / 11:59 pm

    I so agree with you Meaghan! I am so tired of hearing how”these days” things are so scary and when we were kids things were so safe..we played till the street light came on yadda yadda..it never ends. I tell them about all the missing people(many children) from way back when riding their bike, walking to school, playing in their yard..but they do not get it, they still think today’s world is worse for child safety.. It is true about the media coverage today being nonstop.. I often wonder what it would have been like to have this media coverage when Evelyn Hartley, Beverly Potts, Connie Smith, Janice Pockett, the Lyon sisters and Kathleen Shea etc disappeared…

    • Meaghan August 31, 2012 / 9:58 pm

      I think, if anything, kids are safer today. Because people are willing to talk openly about sex predators, plus there are surveillance cameras everywhere. Recently re: Etan Patz they did an article where they proved he could not have melted into thin air now like he did in 1979, because every store along his route is now equipped with cameras monitoring the entrances.

      For better or for worse, I had a great deal of freedom to roam as a child, and I think I profited by it.

      • Lisa September 1, 2012 / 12:02 am

        I was born in 1967 and also had way more freedom than I allow my kids, and my mom was on the overprotective side.One good thing is I grew up in a neighborhood full of kids so was rarely alone. Since I have been reading these missing person cases for years, it makes it even harder to let my kids go, because I think of the cases..like when they ride off on their bikes I think Of Janice Pockett, when they go to the park I think of Beverly Potts….one good thing is we have cell phones so we check in but still it is worrisome. I have to let them grow up.
        That is interesting about Etan Patz and how he could be seen with the surveillance cameras we have today, . And you are so right about people today willing to talk about the sex predators, it is not hush
        hush like back then.

  3. Kat August 31, 2012 / 12:13 am

    Quick off topic question for you Meaghan…this might be just my computer settings, but I’ve noticed in the last few months that when I access or click on a case it turns blue (link wise) instead of grey..makes it hard to tell what I’ve seen and doesn’t register as a viewed case. Not sure if I’m explaining it correctly…this doesn’t happen all the time but seems to be more frequent for me in the archives, when I am looking for something. Is this just me? Most likely, but thanks if you know what it is and how I can fix it!!!

      • Kat September 3, 2012 / 9:17 pm

        Well, shit. That sucks. I’m not even sure how to fix it. Guess I’ll just start all over again….

  4. Mark Ryder May 11, 2013 / 12:03 am

    It’s always been dangerous in this world of ours. Especially for attractive young women and children. I’m amazed at how many times I see women putting themselves in vulnerable situations. Such as choosing to walk home alone in the dark late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Or jogging with earphones in, listening to music and not able to hear things like footsteps behind them or a car pulling up nearby. All women need to be more careful. No woman deserves to be a victim of crime but many are putting themselves at unnecessary risk. And when it comes to kids… You can’t be too careful. You should home-school them and never let them go anywhere alone until they’re at least 16. I’m serious. If I were a parent that’s what I’d do. Finally, CCTV cameras are often useless. Many of them provide a very poor image of any crime/suspect. Tons of people are still going missing without a trace. Despite all the cameras…

    • Meaghan May 11, 2013 / 11:32 am

      I’m glad you weren’t one of my parents. Don’t teach your daughters to stay home, teach your sons not to rape and abuse women. Every time I hear “I’m not saying women deserve to be attacked, but they shouldn’t do things like go out alone” I want to scream. In Israel there was a serial rapist once, attacking women during the nighttime hours, and they asked Golda Meir, who was then the prime minister, to set up a curfew for women to prevent the attacks. She suggested they set up a curfew for men instead, since it was a man who was committing the crimes.

      I had a very independent childhood, running around all over the place, biking 25-plus mile distances, making all the manner of friends on the internet, staying home alone starting at age eight (for brief periods at first), etc., and I’m very glad of it. I’m afraid my generation was the last to get a chance to enjoy that privilege. Most parents cannot afford to home-school their children and/or wouldn’t be able to do it well. Things like “don’t let your kid go anywhere alone until they’re at least sixteen” are part of the reason why so many young adults these days are hopelessly insecure and infantile, don’t know how to take care of themselves, get all the way through college without being able to do their own laundry, etc.

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