On April 8 of this year, this small, pretty eight year old girl was abducted in small town Ontario on her way home from school. It was 3:30 in the afternoon and by six her mother reported her missing. Her 11 year old brother who normally walked her home from school as the story goes, was taking another disabled child home and when he got back to the school he couldn't find Tori. He assumed that she'd gone home by herself since it was only a couple of blocks away. Remember the time line here, from 3:30 to 6 Pm, that's two and a half hours. Had an Amber Alert been issued would the outcome have been different? The small town police force labeled it a missing person case and did not issue an Amber Alert. Today they are looking for her body after arresting two persons
for her abduction and murder. From all appearances the woman led the child away to her boyfriend who then allegedly murdered
her. The woman charged is now helping police to locate the body of this child. Shades of the infamous Paul Bernardo
and Karla Homolka kidnapping and murder team?
For nine days the small town police force kept calling it a missing persons case. Their justification for this was a video surveillance tape of the young girl "going willingly" with a woman. They concentrated on the mother, her boyfriend and her brother as the possible culprits. There was talk of drug debts and drug addiction. Ah yes, drugs... let's destroy the mother first. She did later admit to having an Oxycontin addiction that was being treated. The media and Facebook idiots had a field day.
Would it have been different if she hadn't been a single mother with a boyfriend, if she'd been a prominent member of the community instead? Yes, mother's murder their children, we have all seen the crying, sobbing, begging mother's on tv asking for their children to be returned only to later be charged in their murders. But, and this is what bugs me...maybe the police have tunnel vision and don't look outside the box anymore.
Finally a larger police force was called in and it was finally labeled what it was, an abduction.
The mother became the prime suspect and all the media jumped on the bandwagon. She held daily news conferences and was always calm never breaking down in tears. The media and most residents of the small town crucified her. She just didn't fit their mold of how a grieving mother should act. She was once asked why there were no tears and her reply was that she did that in private where she could be comforted by people who cared about her. She always looked perfectly made up with not a hair out of place. It was suggested that she looked like the woman on the video even though it was so grainy you couldn't see any features. There is something about small town gossip isn't there? I actually thought she was pretty brave facing the cameras day in day out and it did keep the focus on her missing child. That alone helped some of the small town residents look at someone else as the possible culprits. And that is in the end what lead to the arrests of the suspects. If it had been up to the police alone I'm not sure that would have happened after all, their focus was strictly on the mom as the suspect. That alone is very scary.
When my offspring was a young child I always worried about him. I was a working single mom and he was a latchkey kid. If he wasn't home on the minute I'd worry badly. Luckily we got through the childhood thing just fine but what if... would my life have withstood the scrutiny of the police and media? Probably not, none of us are perfect we all have some imperfections that the media can use to destroy us. In the case of Tara McDonald it's her addiction to prescription medicine. That didn't make her a bad mother and it didn't make her a murderess. Just about every local paper is apologizing to her in their editorials today.
Judge not lest ye be judged...