Tags: Runaway | Hoax

Runaway Hoax

Sunday, 01 May 2005 12:00 AM

In the world of crime fighters, this is a commonly known as a racket!

But Saturday, when TV talking heads blathered on about the Jennifer Wilbanks so-called "runaway bride-to-be" saga with insipid statements like "Hey, we all make mistakes," and interview "experts" who, like Dr. Judy Kuriansky on CNN, shed more darkness than light in talking about the "psychoanalytical psychodynamics" of the case and guessing that perhaps Ms. Wilbanks' thinness points to an eating disorder or an obsessive-compulsive personality, it is clear that accountability has no place.

Wilbanks' "issues," a member of her family claimed, had compelled the 32-year-old medical assistant to flee from her upcoming nuptials – a wedding planned for 600 guests and 14 bridesmaids, which had been preceded by no fewer than eight bridal showers!

She left behind her house and car keys, identification and cell phone, as well as what appeared to be a bewildered fiancé, a distraught and sobbing mother, hundreds of guests who had descended on Duluth, Georgia, and family members who said they were "absolutely devastated" and immediately posted a $100,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for her disappearance.

And, according to CNN.com, "a mournful prayer vigil instead of a wedding."

Oddly, the issues-driven Ms. Wilbanks managed to carry with her enough money to take a Greyhound bus to Las Vegas, a pricey trip by any measure – unless, that is, it is found that she purchased the ticket more than a week ago, as some TV commentators have claimed.

To avoid recognition, she cut her own hair and then rode for hour after hour after hour after hour, apparently never feeling – not for one millisecond – conscience-stricken or responsible enough to put herself in the place of her distraught mother, her weirdly unruffled fiancé, her "good" friends or the horde of guests who had already shelled out hundreds if not thousands of dollars on her behalf.

"She wanted to be alone," some friends of hers theorized, never wondering, apparently, why the mountains or ocean wouldn't suit that need better than the mecca of pinball machines, neon lights and garish glitz, Las Vegas. And they never mentioned, after tiring of the hoax she perpetrated, that she had some serious explaining to do and apologies to offer.

"We prayed yesterday that she'd be alive," intoned her pastor and prenuptial counselor, "and God was faithful." Again, strangely, no mention of the grief and then rage she had inflicted on her "loved" ones. And of course, no allusion to any penance.

To their credit, a number of highly credentialed law enforcement officials spoke about the need to hold Ms. Wilbanks accountable, not only for the great time and expense her self-indulgent caper had cost the local police department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, but also to make sure that any profit she may gain from TV and tabloid interviews or book or movie deals would be spent on reimbursing those agencies.

Therapy won't help Jennifer Wilbanks because what she did was unutterably sadistic to her parents, uncaring and unloving to her fiancé, contemptuous of her friends, and irresponsible to the law enforcement community that has better things to do than waste their valuable resources on yet another spoiled brat.

What she did is a matter of bad character – and there's no cure for that!

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In the world of crime fighters, this is a commonly known as a racket! But Saturday, when TV talking heads blathered on about the Jennifer Wilbanks so-called "runaway bride-to-be" saga with insipid statements like "Hey, we all make mistakes," and interview "experts" who,...
Runaway,Hoax
559
2005-00-01
Sunday, 01 May 2005 12:00 AM
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