Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bizarre and terrifying kidnapping case
dominates local media at this minute

A bizarre and terrifying kidnapping case is dominating the local headlines at this minute.

A 38-year-old suburban Philadelphia homemaker and her nine-year-old daughter, riding in a luxury SUV (Yukon Denali) were involved in a rear-end collision at a suburban intersection. A 90's vintage black Cadillac struck the rear of the SUV, the mother told 911, according to authorities.

When Upper Southampton Police got to the intersection neither vehicle was there. Later the mother placed seven or more calls to 911. In one or more of those calls she stated that she has been kidnapped and was calling from the trunk of the Cadillac while her daughter was still in the SUV, according to local television broadcast reports.

Philly police later found the SUV parked on a downtown street with a parking ticket on its windshield. They also found a black Cadillac with front-end damage but, according to another television station, no evidence that anyone had been held in the trunk.

Mother and daughter are still missing at 7:57 AM.

I recognize that this is a rapidly unfolding matter and reportage may not be 100 percent on point, so some of what I've heard my not be correct. The FBI is involved and the SUV has been towed to the Upper Southampton Police Lab.

This is the kind of crime that sends chills up and down the spines of everyone: a random abduction following a rear-end collision.

It is a stark reminder of suburban Philadelphia killing of Amy Willard in 1996 after her killer purposefully collided his vehicle with the college student's car.

But the skeptic in me is whispering in my ear just like Barton Keyes' (Edward G. Robinson) little man in Double Indemnity told him something was wrong with a pending insurance claim.

When I heard that "two black men" are alleged to have carried out yesterday’s collision-kidnapping I can't help thinking about Susan Smith in October 1994 who told authorities that a "black man in a knit cap" carjacked her vehicle and drove away with her two young sons in it. In a few days authorities learned the horrible truth. Smith had rolled the car, with the boys strapped into their car seats into a local lake.

If the mother and daughter are found, safe and sound or harmed in any way, I hope the two kidnappers get punished as severely as possible.

But if there’s no crime and the kidnappers are artifice created by the mother I hope she gets the book thrown at her.

My skeptical little man used to be a reporter. He has "hunched" before and been right.

Let's see how this plays out.

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