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Published:September 22nd, 2014 11:19 EST
In the Case of Missing Coed Hannah Graham, What`s Behind the Frenzied Hysteria Currently Gripping Charlottesville?

In the Case of Missing Coed Hannah Graham, What`s Behind the Frenzied Hysteria Currently Gripping Charlottesville?

By John G. Kays

Hysterical and frenzied are good words to describe the feeling emanating out from Charlottesville, Virginia, that can be closely associated with a missing University of Virginia coed, Hannah Graham. A good question would be, what`s behind this apparent hysteria (an ineffable combination of frustration, hostility, and combustible fear), gripping Charlottesville? 

Part of the problem is due to ubiquitous press coverage, that projects this community-wide disenchantment on a global scale, therefore increasing its volatility ten fold. The other part of this transparent despair is a result of this troubling pattern, or history, of missing girls from this area (Morgan Harrington, DaShad Laquinn Smith, Samantha Ann Clarke, and Alexis Murphy), that is either related to Hannah`s or else is conveniently coincidental, although this probability is usually quite a bit smaller (than having a serial perpetrator at work).

I will add, I believe Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo is making the situation worse, by publicly pressuring the suspect, Jesse Matthews, to come clean. Most likely, this will produce an opposite result; the young man will clam-up all the more!

That is, Longo could have handled the investigation of the dread-locked Matthews a little more diplomatically, rather than ranting or raving at a podium with a live microphone and thousands of television cameras rolling. This case is getting tremendous attention and Charlottesville detectives ought to scrutinize the confiscated evidence (both items from his Albemarle County apartment and that pile of scrap metal, a 1998 burnt orange Chrysler coupe), initially, under more private conditions. 

The net effect, if they continue down this road, is frenzied screams of a rush to judgement with regard to this person of interest (I still call them suspects, so don`t place too much importance on these terms). I hate to mention it, but Jesse Matthews is an African-American, so this is now an important factor one will need to factor in (fresh off of Ferguson). Remember what I just said about a Rush To Judgement!

Enough said on that until later; what`s up with so much surveillance footage available, nearly capturing Hannah`s every movement, late September 12th/early the 13th? And what about the suspect, did he realize he was featured in a motion picture? Why did he turn around and start following Hannah? And who was this other young white man who was previously trailing Hannah, seemingly aware she was hyped-up about something, possibly aware she was tailed by an (heretofore) unknown party

Why have the police named (singled out) Jesse Matthews but not named this other man, even though he has already given them a statement and has been cleared, apparently? Isn`t this a double standard? And why does Hannah start running on Preston Avenue? Is this not a sign she`s being followed? 

And what about McGrady`s Irish Pub? Why wasn`t Hannah granted entrance? Was it because the doorman sensed she`d already had too much to drink? And naturally, we`d also like to know, exactly how many drinks were consumed by Ms Graham that fatal night? Why would she agree to have a drink with Jesse Matthews anyhow?

Did she know him before that night? If she was running from him, unless it was another person she was trying to dodge, why would she join him for a nightcap, much less get into his beat-up Chrysler coupe? If she was totally intoxicated, this would help to explain a blatant lapse of judgement on her part, yet no one saw her get into his car after leaving the Tempo Restaurant, so why do the police convinced she got into Jesse`s car? 

Why in the world would Matthews want to do Hannah Graham harm? Does he have any priors? Is it known whether he had any contact with any other of the missing girls, such as Morgan Harrington? What`s his work and school history, say, over the past 5 years?

I`ll ask it again, has he ever been arrested before? Well, I guess I better back off, `cuz I don`t want to be guilty of the same thing it appears I`m pegging on others, falsely and prematurely accusing this young man of a criminal act, possibly homicide. Let`s wait and take a look at what evidence they`ve confiscated, if any (that`s worth a darn), at his apartment and from his burnt orange clunker. In the meantime, he may want to cool it with his reckless driving!