MP of the week: Allen Briscoe Jr.

This week’s featured missing person is Allen Briscoe, a Bartram High School student who disappeared from Philadelphia on December 13, 1985. (I was two months and eight days old at the time.) I don’t have a whole lot on Allen, other than it doesn’t look like he was a runaway. And a curious thing: Christine Green, another Bartram student, also disappeared earlier in 1985 and she was never located. I don’t know that there’s any hard evidence that these cases are related, but it does seem very odd that two students in the same high school would vanish without a trace in the same year.

I can’t find anything recent online about either of them.

God, how I do get sick of this

My dear friend Annie Keller shared an article on Facebook today about another family abduction case, where a mom made off with her two boys even though the father had custody. They’ve been missing for months.

Most of the Facebook commenters were supportive of the father and said they hoped the boys would be found soon and the mother punished for her crime. But typically, there were people who automatically assumed the father must be an Evil Abusive Parent ™ and the mother was right to kidnap the children. A comment on the Facebook link:

There could be a reason as to why the mother left with her boys. This is just his side of the story. I know a woman who ran with her daughter to keep her safe from the father who was molesting the girl. The father played like he had done nothing wrong and ask for help in finding them. Long story short……u never know what truly is going on and if someone does know where this mother and her 2 sons are and tells they could be putting them in danger. So before falling all for the dad’s sad story get all the facts first. And if someone does know where the boys are before telling maybe find out from the mother as to why she ran.

God, that kind of thing disgusts me. It seems like parental abduction is the only crime you can commit where loads of complete strangers automatically support you and even call you a hero.

I replied to that comment with one of my own:

If you heard about someone who robbed a bank would you say “he could have had a good reason, maybe his house was about to be foreclosed and he had to keep his kids from being homeless”? Why is it when a parent abducts their child, especially a mother, so many people automatically give them the benefit of doubt? Parental abduction is child abuse. Most kids in that situation wind up with their educations interrupted, little or no access to health care, having to move all the time and use different names, being told horrible lies about the left behind parent, not to mention losing access to half their family. I know a lot more than most people do on this subject. Most of the time the abductor isn’t trying to give the child a better life, they are trying to spite their ex. It causes immense psychological harm to the child. And people like you automatically support them. You should be ashamed.

Are there instances where the abducted child is being taken from an abusive situation? Undoubtedly. Once in awhile. Just like there are situations where, say, a person is forced to kill another person in self defense or be killed themselves. But what really upsets me is when so many people ASSUME the abductor is justified. Every. Single. Time.