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  1. #1
    los2188's Avatar
    los2188 is offline North Carolina Tar Heels..your NCCA Champs!!
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    Does physical appearance 'matter' in posting cases?

    Does the physical appearance of a crime victim/missing person/suspect play a part as to whether you post a case? I'd like to think that everyone here would say no, but then does it? I know we all have different reasons as to why we are interested one or two types of people....ie...same state, or just blondes... but are you turned off, so to speak, to a person's physical appearance?

    I guess being black, even though most people think I am Latino and look like Al Roker, I'm sure that I have relatives or people that know me that would be upset at me because I don't try to post all-black cases all the time. I guess I don't know why I don't do that more. When I look around I really try hard to find the very edges of the internet or on that top dust shelf to find cases that didn't get quite the attention as others, yet when I would post them, no comments or movement. But posting a well covered case and seeing a happy ending I guess kind of makes me feel like I actually helped. Sorry for rambling.

    So what about you?
    -Los...PhD.
    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  2. #2
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    Speaking only for myself, physical appearance has nothing to do with any of the trials I follow. It doesn't matter to me what a criminal looks like; I think all criminals are ugly, no matter what they look like.
    I don't like to follow trials that have murdered children- it's just too much to bear for me.

    Right now, I am following 3 trials: Jodi Arias/Travis Alexander, and just recently the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Boston Bomber), and the Eddie Routh/Chris Kyle/Chad Littlefield (Amer Sniper) trials- that's all the trials I have time for. I followed the Julie Schnecker trial because I am interested in mental illness (Eddie Roth's defense is insanity).

    They're all different and have nothing to do with the appearance of anyone involved in the trials- mostly, I just follow what I'm interested in.

    There is not a lot of interest in the Boston Bomber trial that I can see, but plenty of interest in the Arias trial (it's been going on for at least 2 years), and some interest in the Amer Sniper trial.

    I'm interested in terrorism, so that's the Boston Bombing trial. I got hooked on the Arias trial when it was televised on HLN, I watched it, and I have been following it for the past 2 years and that's when I finally joined WS. Don't know what caught my interest in the Amer Sniper trial except maybe that I value our soldiers who fight for our freedom and the insanity defense.

    I'm Italian, but that doesn't mean I am just interested in trials that have/only have Italians in it or, since I am female, only female trials, nor does the fact that I am white have anything to do with what trial I follow/will follow. I have followed the case about Pastor Carol Daniels from OK, who was black, but the fact that she was black/female had nothing to do with following the case or not.

    The color of anyone's skin, the color of their hair, their appearance,in general, means nothing to me. Murder crosses every boundary, IMO, and it's all horrible.
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  3. #3
    Skin color doesn't matter, but there usually has to be something about a case that I can relate to in my own life--maybe something about their location or personal background. I don't think I have ever followed a case out of the US, or if I have, just very casually.

  4. #4
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    Purple, green, grey, I don't care.
    I just really want to know WHY!?!

    Thank you, Los, and everyone else that posts cases here for us.
    Be the most brilliant color in the box!

  5. #5
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    I mostly get sucked in by the magnitude of craziness around the accused, but also by proximity to me, or something about the victim that I relate to personally. I have always had a need to read about serial killers more than one-timers. Also, because I was molested as a child I tend to gravitate to the cases of young victims where pedophilia is a factor, and because I was assaulted by my ex-bf when I was in my early 20s I tend to gravitate towards those cases as well.

    In other words - physical appearance is not really a factor, but because of my own background and experiences I likely lean towards cases where the victim reminds me of myself in some way.
    "The opinion prevailed among advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed." - Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    I think usually there is something in a case that I can relate too. For example cases involving women, children or mental illness are too areas where I can relate to the situation more.

  7. #7
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    I am mostly drawn to cases involving crimes against children, missing children. Sometimes missing adult females or couple/family victims of crime. The kids just speak to me. I rarely follow a missing adult male case. I don't know why. Nothing against adult males. Maybe as a female, I find those cases less relatable for me.

    Missing young women and children there is no appearance or social status although I have found myself following more cases involving the less privileged. I rarely find myself following cases where the victims are of means or wealthy.

    ETA I have a soft spot for the ones society seems to notice the least and ones who get less press or national attention.
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  8. #8
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    Does physical appearance matter in posting cases? It shouldn't, but... there have been cases that I knew weren't going to gain many followers here, as I was posting them. Even a blonde woman can be a hard sell, if it looks like her pic came from the Faces of Meth website.

    But I've posted them anyway because it isn't about gaining a following, it's about putting the word out that this person may be in trouble, they need help. Getting their faces out there, possible locations where they might be, keep your eyes open.

    When you hang around here long enough, you do get a feel for what kinds of cases will catch popular interest. Pregnant women, missing children, aways. Hinky, heinous, gory, multiple victims, college students, regular ordinary law-abiding folks who had the spectacular bad luck to cross paths with a homicidal maniac...

    I do think we here at WS do a much better job of discussing cases from across the spectrum (race, religion, etc.) in a civilized and respectful way, and that's why I'm here. It's a godawful free-for-all almost everywhere else, and I just can't handle that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by los2188 View Post
    Does the physical appearance of a crime victim/missing person/suspect play a part as to whether you post a case? I'd like to think that everyone here would say no, but then does it? I know we all have different reasons as to why we are interested one or two types of people....ie...same state, or just blondes... but are you turned off, so to speak, to a person's physical appearance?

    I guess being black, even though most people think I am Latino and look like Al Roker, I'm sure that I have relatives or people that know me that would be upset at me because I don't try to post all-black cases all the time. I guess I don't know why I don't do that more. When I look around I really try hard to find the very edges of the internet or on that top dust shelf to find cases that didn't get quite the attention as others, yet when I would post them, no comments or movement. But posting a well covered case and seeing a happy ending I guess kind of makes me feel like I actually helped. Sorry for rambling.

    So what about you?
    -Los...PhD.
    I wish it didnt matter, in fact I like to know about the case before I see someone, but truthfully the cases that I jump in on are usually when ive seen a "real Pic" when I see the recons I dont feel quite as sad as seeing a picture, so for me it has more to do with the overall look, those sad faces with "that lost" look usually grab me no matter what race or color.......and on that note I do believe look(race, beauty, female) does play a part in the interest on a thread I hate it but Im in marketing so I know the cold hard fact Yes it does is my answer.
    Suzanne Marie Sevakis Welcome home.

  10. #10
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    I'm actually enjoying these questions, Los, as well as the responses. The members most likely to respond these particular topics are the very ones I'd love to hang out with and talk about various aspects of the work we do here — the thread starters, the researchers, the updaters. It's not like we can meet up at a coffee shop, so this seems like the next best thing.


  11. #11
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    So glad this thread was opened, as I think about this issue a lot! I got really ticked off a while ago (not here, on twitter) because there were a lot of complaints there about no-one caring about missing black people. With little Relisha Rudd still out there somewhere, it got on my nerves so much I checked the twitter feeds of anyone I noticed complaining, to see how many missing cases they'd shared word of themselves.

    Zero.

    I personally make a conscious effort to cover missing seniors, because I feel they are the most neglected/difficult group of all.

    I love coffee shops. Having a bunch of WSers to share a coffee - or tea with - would make it extra special.
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by los2188 View Post
    Does the physical appearance of a crime victim/missing person/suspect play a part as to whether you post a case? I'd like to think that everyone here would say no, but then does it? I know we all have different reasons as to why we are interested one or two types of people....ie...same state, or just blondes... but are you turned off, so to speak, to a person's physical appearance?

    I guess being black, even though most people think I am Latino and look like Al Roker, I'm sure that I have relatives or people that know me that would be upset at me because I don't try to post all-black cases all the time. I guess I don't know why I don't do that more. When I look around I really try hard to find the very edges of the internet or on that top dust shelf to find cases that didn't get quite the attention as others, yet when I would post them, no comments or movement. But posting a well covered case and seeing a happy ending I guess kind of makes me feel like I actually helped. Sorry for rambling.

    So what about you?
    -Los...PhD.
    It matters not to me. We all bleed the same color. Unless you're a Wildcat fan, then you bleed blue.
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  13. #13
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    I tend to follow closely cases that happened in close proximity to me. I don't know why. maybe just because I can understand the logistics and the context.

    I also follow cases that involve abused children because I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The race/color/looks of the child have no bearing on the matter AFAIAC.
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  14. #14
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    Thanks los2188 that's an interesting question. I'm in Australia - when Bung Siraboon went missing in Boronia (suburb in Melb) I remembered thinking at the time that her disappearance didn't receive the publicity it should have or for as long as it should have. It just didn't seem to pull at people's heart strings as much as say, Daniel Morcombes disappearance did (child in Qld who also disappeared) She was just an innocent babe on her way to school one day. I don't know if it's because she is Asian. But she should have been a news headliner for longer than she was. For me it's not about physical appearance, but the ones that disappear in 'groups'. I suppose this has stemmed from hearing about the missing Beaumont Children when I was a kid in Adelaide on Australia Day decades ago, and I have spent hours of my life thinking about the McStay Family and the Springfield 3. It just trashes the whole 'safety in numbers' logic and to stick together etc which is what most Aussie kids are taught.

  15. #15
    rosesfromangels's Avatar
    rosesfromangels is offline "The trilling wire in the blood / Sings below inveterate scars." - Eliot
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    I am always curious as to what the person looks like, because it helps me get emotionally invested in helping find them/solve their case. I am particularly drawn to unidentified doe cases, because I can't stand the thought of such a sad passing. I want to give them back their name, and have them RIP.
    I have a very hard time working on children's cases, I get too upset.
    But as far as ethnicity, I don't care. I've been given a grace to see us all as God's children, equal under the sun. I'm very grateful for that.
    My posts are opinion and speculation only, and may not be used for any purpose outside of this forum.

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