Sunday, June 24, 2007

Refllections on another tragic ending

The sad and hardly unexpected ending to the story of Jessie Marie Davis took place in a corner of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I drove down that stretch of Riverview Rd on Friday afternoon, stereo up and singing along on a glorious sunny day, past where her body had been hidden in a shallow grave.

The searches had all been going on in the next county over headed south toward Canton. The media circus arrived in town early in the week and I expect it will stick around until the arraignment on Monday, then depart until the pre-trial action heats up. Local television reporter Eric Mansfield has poured his heart into his blogging this past week. If you haven't been reading it, please go there.

This story at first reminded us locals about the pregnant woman in Rootstown a few years back, who was kidnapped and killed for the child she was carrying. But all too quickly it felt more like the tragic story of Margo Prade.

I've been trying not to dwell on it too much. It's too sad, all too typical and quite frankly touches way too close to personal experiences. Yesterday at around 3:30 pm, I looked at the bulletin board at Ritzman Pharmacy on Copley Rd. There was a black and white photo of Ms Davis on a Missing flier. When I got home, I turned on the TV to see if there was any news from all the searching. The cable news networks were buzzing with the Discovery, the Arrest, the Latest Developments. I watched for awhile and then left it for the back garden.

Out in the garden, all fenced in and private, I have tried to create beauty, harmony and a peaceful place to sit with dog near by, sip coffee and read a book. It is a place far removed in years and distance from a time of chaos and emotional bondage. I was lucky. I got it together enough to ask for help and plot an escape.

How does it happen that so many little boys grow up to be viciously jealous and controlling brutes who end up murdering the former object of supposed affection?

The sad facts from the American Institute on Domestic Violence:


85-95% of all domestic violence victims are female.


Over 500,00 women are stalked by an intimate partner each year.


5.3 million women are abused each year.


1,232 women are killed each year by an intimate partner.


Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women.


Women are more likely to be attacked by someone they know rather than by a stranger.

More statistics here. Women, be smart, get help and leave before you get hurt bad.

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