Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:September 17th, 2014 14:45 EST
Should Hannah Elizabeth Graham`s Missing Persons` Case Be Compared With That of Morgan Harrington`s?

Should Hannah Elizabeth Graham`s Missing Persons` Case Be Compared With That of Morgan Harrington`s?

By John G. Kays

The disappearance of Hannah Elizabeth Graham, 18, a University of Virginia (in Charlottesville, Virginia) sophomore early Saturday morning is cause for a great deal of concern to fellow students, and especially for family members; I most certainly will need to add myself to this set of people who feel worried about this evolving situation.

A newly posted piece in The Roanoke Times (Search for missing UVa student Hannah Graham intensifies, by Dean Seal) reminds me why we all should feel troubled by the known set of facts we`ve been dealt; that is, Hannah`s not the first woman to vanish from this immediate area. Well, the article mentions a famous one, that of Morgan Harrington; once I saw that reference I got quite a bit more serious and considerably more concerned, since I had followed that case as closely as anyone could.

I`m not ready to jump to hastily conceived conclusions, other than to say, this community, which looks so sophisticated and civilized externally speaking, may need to factor in one not so civilized individual, in fact (it looks like) a most sick person`s living amongst those of a more genteel persuasion, but who heretofore, has managed anonymity and, at the same time, avoided detection; thus to some extent, can be characterized as clever *(cunning may be a better word to use when capturing criminal behavior).

I`m certain this thought has already careened through your mind, so I`ll not try to conceal the fact that the very same thread of logic streams through me; while I`m rusty on exactly how much progress, or lack of it, has been made in Morgan Harrington`s case, I believe I`m right in saying it never was solved (perhaps partially). 

I know there are a number of authorities (in existence) on her unsolved case, so don`t get bent out of shape for my lack of mastery; I have a large volume of cases I take a look at, and Morgan`s dates from 2009 (five years have passed). Okay, so I just now did some reviewing on Morgan`s, which, I`m aware of, had a tremendous impact on the community in Virginia, if not on a national level also. 

Alright, so there`s that police sketch again; that`s starting to stir my memory bank a bit. As I recall, many people (maybe they were merely amateur sleuths) weren`t so convinced this was accurate, with regards (of course) to Morgan`s actual killer. It may be, I fall in this camp of skeptics *(worth taking another look at, I gather).

Alright, so what does the Morgan Harrington case have to do with this new one, that of Hannah Graham? Maybe nothing, but it`s worthwhile comparing the two for similarities and for differences, if perhaps, we`re starting to go down the serial predator route, unless it`s a dead end and will take us nowhere. Okay, so these are not the only missing persons` cases of women that need to be pulled (cold case files) and reopened, with comparisons in mind, again for similarities and/or differences.


The same article mentions Samantha Ann Clarke vanished in 2010 and DaShad Laquinn Smith disappeared in 2012. I`m not ready to go there, but after considerable investigation, naturally, one might conclude either these missing girls is a very bizarre, yet ghastly coincidence (where different predators are at work), or alternatively, (if this is how the evidence stacks up) one and the same disturbed individual is at work.

I`ll gradually descend (for a brief moment) from my Sherlock Holmes` pedestal of lofty sleuthing and idle speculation, just to say, we better (mostly myself) stick with what we know, for now. The grainy surveillance video (aren`t they always that way) shows Hannah walking by McGrady`s Irish Pub on Grady Avenue at 12:46 AM (it must be inside a mall of sorts); whatever occurred, as far as why she suddenly disappeared, must have taken place not too long after these images were captured at McGrady`s. 

The text (I`m lost), nonetheless, has a 1:20 AM time associated with it, which is 34 minutes after the McGrady pinpointing. There`s something fishy about the time difference; then, we have the message itself: was it Hannah`s or did someone else (like the culprit) send it? How or why would a young college girl get lost in this little college town? True, she`d had too much to drink, but what transpired during those 34 minutes? How far was her apartment from the partying district where she`d been earlier? 

Was it walkable or would you need a car? Did Hannah have a car? The location of her last text looks like a nice area (14th St NW @ Wertland St), at least on the outside. Likely, it was at this house something not so nice went down; as such, detectives investigating will need to zero in on this location (probably a done deal already).