Dead Prostitutes – Does Anyone Care? MOMS does.

So many American cities have women who, for one reason or another, live on the margins. In some cases, they are that sad combination of hooker and drug addict. They sell sex to feed their habits, or to feed their children.

In one small, North Carolina City, nine such women have vanished since 2005.

rocky mount women

Six were later found dead, murdered but so decomposed that finding a cause of death became near impossible. All of the victims were black.

The city is Rocky Mount, 60 miles northeast of Raleigh. Sadly, the story of prostitutes who die by violence is not unique to this particular place. Yet residents of Rocky Mount tell a story of alleged police inaction due largely to the lifestyles of the victims. That too is not unique. It’s almost a given that serial killers can ply their trade among prostitutes and drug addicts because it takes so long for the law to recognize what’s happening.

In the case of Rocky Mount, it wasn’t until the latest victim was discovered in June that  local and state police formed a task force, and it was last month that the FBI got involved. They won’t say if they suspect a serial killer, but an awful lot of people in Rocky Mount think its the work of one man. Keep in mind that three women have disappeared, and none of them have been found.

The issue here, beyond the tragedy of these homicides, is the value of human life. Say what we will about all being equal, we treat some as less than equal, in some cases, far less. The life of a drug addicted hooker isn’t one to envy on any level. Still, our own humanity should demand we care, especially if such women are deliberately targeted.

In a couple of cases, women who walked the streets of Rocky Mount and jumped in and our of cars with men decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

One woman who knew two of the victims has founded a group to publicize the slayings, and to search for the three women who remain missing.

The group is called Murdered or Missing Sisters or MOMS. They’ve raised awareness to the point that national media has begun to cover the story.

While that’s all well and good, one wonders if these killings would have been highlighted sooner if the women involved weren’t part of that shadow world of people living on society’s margins.

Will we ever consider that their lives mean as much as anyone else’s? You tell me.


Why is Mark Sanford Still Talking? Why is He Still in Office?

The bizarro governor of South Carolina seems incapable of shutting his yap. During the past week or so, this guy has admitted he lied to his staff about an Appalachian Trail hike, when instead he was visiting his mistress in Argentina.

Since then, he’s said, among other things, that his wife knew about the affair, that he asked her permission to visit the woman, that she was his soul mate, that he’d messed around with other women but hadn’t had sex with them. Let’s see, did I leave anything out?


Sanford, you may remember, was full of righteous indignation about the sexual foibles of Bill Clinton. He’s also the fool who didn’t want to take stimulus money even though his state’s education system badly needed it.

The people of South Carolina must suffer fools gladly. So must Sanford’s wife Jenny and their four kids. Talk about public embarrassment!

But this isn’t really about that. It’s more about a sitting governor being addle brained enough to drop looking after the business of the people of his state to follow his heart (or another part of his anatomy) all the way to South America. Is it any wonder he’s refused to release financial records that might show whether he used taxpayer funds to hang out with this woman in the past?

Equally as hilarious is the notion that Mark Sanford can somehow redeem his marriage by staying on as governor.

Jenny sanford

If there’s a connection between these things, it escapes me. It also escapes a growing chorus of voices in his home state that are calling on him to resign. Those who support him are telling the press he’s tired, but showing no signs of instability. Is that what it takes to govern  an American state in the 21st century? No sign of instability?

The amazing thing about the litany of serial political adulterers is that party affiliation has little to do with whether they stray. Democrats do it just like Republicans. Liberals, conservatives, religious zealots, it just doesn’t matter. I think I know why they do it, but I won’t share it here, lest I be called sexist or worse.

However, there is this to ponder. Very few women in politics get caught up in the foolishness that’s nailed the likes of Eliot Spitzer, John Ensign, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Bill Clinton, Mark Foley, and yes, I’ve left some out.

Why is that? Yes, there are fewer female elected officials, but are they better at not getting caught? Are they smarter? Or perhaps, are they just not drunk enough with power to think any member of the opposite sex they fancy is fair game?

Whatever. The central question is, Can Mark Sanford survive the calls for his political head? I’m guessing no, not too much longer.

What do you think?