Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, March 13, 2003 9:51 pm


Filed under: There but for the grace of God ... — Lex @ 9:51 pm

That’s what everyone’s calling it, the safe return of kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart to her family almost a year after she was abducted. And I’d have to agree.

When the story first broke, it chilled me to the bone, as I’m sure it chilled every parent, particularly the parents of girls: A stranger broke into the bedroom and kidnapped her from her bed. Our bedrooms are upstairs and the thought still scares hell out of me.

I also had been a cops reporter too long to have any illusions about where the story was likely to end: a shallow grave. If, that is, it ever ended.

There are still a lot of questions about how Elizabeth and her captors remained undetected as long as they did, and what might have happened to her during her captivity. I’m sure the tabloids are delving into those questions as I write. But to a large extent, I neither need nor want to know, unless there are lessons from that experience that my own children need to learn.

And they will have to learn them. While I was folding clean laundry last night, Victoria saw something on the news, and as any bright 4-year-old will, she raised a host of questions: What happened to her? How did that happen? Did the police find her? And, to V., the most important question of all, apparently, because before the night was over she had asked it at least seven times: Did they put that man in jail?

I was delighted to be able to tell her: Yes, sweetie, he’s in jail and will probably be there until he’s a very, very old man. [Victoria: “Will he die there?”]

Abduction of children by strangers is far less common than one might believe from watching TV news (or, for that matter, movies-of-the-week). For a victim to survive such an abduction is rarer still. But tonight we can hug our own children more tightly to us and rejoice in the reuniting of the Smart family … and in whatever small measure of hope Elizabeth Smart’s safe return might offer to the families of other abducted children who remain missing.


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: