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Friday, May 28, 2004

Find Brooke

By now most Oregon residents who read this blog have heard and read about the missing teenager, Brooke Wilberger, who disappeared into thin air the other day in Corvallis. The rest of you, please take a look at this and keep your eyes peeled.

Prayer time.

Comments (31)

Or, for that matter, these kids or these kids.

Just to be the insensitive one here - why is this missing girl getting all of the coverage (tv, papers, this site, etc)? She's a photogenic girl, but why the special treatment?

Perhaps this is more newsworthy because she disappeared very recently under highly suspicious circumstances and she has a large network of friends, family and community members working to find her.

The fact that she was young woman with model behavior and is "photogenic" (as Scott put it) only makes it likelier that she was actually abducted, rather than being a runaway. This means that she is probably the recent victim of at least one crime (kidnapping) and a there is a strong possibility that she remains alive and vulnerable to additional crimes at the hands of her abductors (we don't really need to explore those possibilities).

This is very different from the the runaways and decade old disappearances in Bix's links. I'm not trying to be insensitive either, but one of those kids that Bix implies we should equally donate our time to, disappeared during the Carter Administration!

I am not sure what point Scott and Bix are trying to make (e.g., maybe we are more apt to care about the disappearance of an attractive person or a white person). Maybe that is a worthwhile discussion at some future date removed from these events, but questioning the motivations of folks who are trying to save a girl's life (while her search goes on) is pretty fucking shameless.

Pardon my French.

Shameless? Not at all. But very curious. What I've seen & heard of this girl's disappearance mentioned nothing of her (possible) abduction circumstances - merely that she's gone.

When the girls from Oregon City disappeared (Ms. Gaddis and her friend), the coverage at the time was very thorough. Every tv report listed in detail where they were last seen, and a couple of guesses where they may have been abducted from.

All the stories I've seen about Ms. Wilberger have focused on the groups looking for her (namely her church). The stories have been about the search itself, not the actual disappearance. Bottom line, all I've heard from the stories is that she's gone - with no details other than she was a student in Corvalllis.

I don't pretend to be consistent on these stories. This time, someone personally asked me to post something.

As I recall the story, the young woman had just moved into an apartment complex where a relative was a manager. She was out cleaning some light poles in the complex parking lot when she was last seen.

At this point, I'm sure her running away would be among the best-case scenarios.

Thanks for the clarification Jack, but to be clear - I wasn't singling you out by any means. What struck me in the television coverage was the focus on her picture, and the dearth of important information. I remember every story of Miranda Gaddis including the name of the street near her apartment complex.

I went to High School with Brooke Wilberger and there is no way possible that she ran away. She had everything to live for here with her family and friends, her boyfriend is on his mission trip and they were very serious. Brooke, was a beatiful person and her religion was always her number one priority in life. I never heard a single negitive or profound word out of her mouth.
She wasn't a student at OSU and did not live at OSU. She graduated from Elmira High School in Elmira, Oregon in 03 and then went to BYU for her freshman year of college, returned home for the summer in Elmira and was visiting and helping her sister in Corvallis where she was abducted.
Again Brooke is a beatiful girl and would never just vanish into air, its clear that there was foul play and someone has abducted her. If anyone has any information on this please contact the authorities. We all miss her and want her to come home safely!

Why is it that the only people who ever turn up missing on the news are young, pretty, white girls.

Apparently, boys, hispanics and blacks never go missing.

I'm guessing Catalyst is a troll.

Here's the answer he's looking for:

Obviously, it is an overt racist strategy in the media nuanced by a paternalistic desire to intimidate womyn, leaving them emotionally victimized.

The only question is who is directing it.

Probably the NRA.

Catalyst "trolling for an argument"?? More like "stating the intemperate truth".

Without any animosity let me state, I can't think of any televised missing-person campaign that featured a non-photogenic woman. I remember one involving a small Hispanic girl, but she was really, really cute. All the others were Caucasian. Not a troll, just the intemperate truth.

I certainly hope they don't start reporting every ugly missing kid. Consider, for example, CALLETANA MARIA TAMAYO, BERNICE ARLETHE RITCHIE, BREANNA JO LLOYD, AMANDA JOY LIEBERT, and MEGAN MARIE ANJELIC COLLINS. They are homely kids who all went missing within the past year in Oregon. I never heard anything about them on TV. I hope they are found safe, but they've got to prioritize - 1st the cute kids, then the war, then other things like cat shows and stuff. That in mind, they ought to report more about CYNTHIA LEE GIBSON and STEPHANIE ROSE MILLER, who may grow up to be hot women, but whose disappearances are under-reported right now. If they can air home videos of them acting cute, that would be entertaining to watch.

I do not understand why people get angry because this girl is beautiful and is getting media attention rather than focus on the fact that there is a PERSON, regardless of race, gender, or appearance that has been taken against her will and no telling what has happened or will happen to her. It is amazing to me that people that don't even know this young woman would show such agression and anger toward her. The reason that certain people get more media coverage than others is that certain families are more aggressive about getting the attention to find their missing person. Everyone should be concerned for this girl, have her in their prayers for a safe return, and get over all the petty b.s. I know she is in my prayers along with her family and friends. I sincerely hope and pray I don't ever have to go through anything as terrifying and agonizing as they are all going through. GOD BLESS!

Easy heather, it's not hatred. Just asking about the disparity.

What disparity?

I still haven't seen anyone point out a recent kidnapping (that didn't involve non-custodial parents) that hasn't been covered in the news.

Almost everything posted by Bix and referred to by Brookeishot (aka, Troll #2) related to runaways. Tragic stories no doubt, but different than an abduction (since they are presumably free to return home if they choose).

But even if I acknowledge your "disparity", so what? It's not like you have a "right" to get news reports on every endangerded child in Oregon.

At the end of the day, news organizations are providing nothing more than a service to their viewers. I'm guessing that viewers want to know about abductions by strangers more than they want to hear about runaway kids.

Then I will revise my earlier comment.

Apparently, males, blacks, hispanics and homely people never "get abducted".

I don't have a problem with the news highlighting Brooke's dissappearence. It's a tragedy and I hope she found soon.

Nevertheless, the media seems to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on the possible abductions of pretty white girls.

And why do they do this? Well, because I think they believe that society cares more about pretty white girls than anyone else. And you know what, they may be right.


The fact that black and hispanic victims don't get as much attention is an established fact. That is why organizations such as the Minority Outreach Program for Missing and Exploited Children was established. The mission of these programs is to increase awareness of problems associated with missing and exploited black and hispanic children. (WWW.MISSINGKIDS.ORG)

Therefore I suggest that instead of wasting your time posting your social complaints and denouncing heroic efforts to find this girl, maybe you can volunteer for the Minority Outreach Program yourself.

But then again that would take time away from your useless blog posting.


I still say the news is racist.

Ellio: Nice try troll.

Catalyst: you got it right, he news is racist and for entertainment. Too bad for us, misery is very entertaining.

The news is not racist, when I watch television I see people from all different races, religions, etc. It is ridiculous that every issue that comes up someone wants to cry racism. The media gives coverage to situations like this because there is no telling where this girl is, the more people that are aware she was TAKEN, the better. I am sure that her family contacted the news channels to give them the story for THAT reason, to get as much media attention as possible in hopes of the safe return of their daughter. If all families took the same measures, I am quite sure that they would get the same treatment.

Also, the news is not for entertainent, it is to make people aware of what is going on in this world we live in. I know it makes me watch my children even more closely and to be aware of my surroundings even more. To trivialize this tradgedy is absurd to me, I think it is petty and juvenille. I know I will be keeping her and her family in my thoughts and prayers. GOD BLESS!!

I also think this board should be used to post positive thoughts and comments regarding Brooke being missing. I'd hate for her family and friends to keep seeing all the negative crap people have to say. GOD BLESS!!

"Whatever..." - Catalyst

"Nice try troll." - Scott in Japan

You guys pose very convincing arguments. Tell me how your volunteering at the Minority Outreach program goes.

HeatherKY - The news companies present information that attracts an audience. Which creates a bias towards what (and who) gets airtime - and who doesn't. It's not rude to say this, it's the intemperate truth.

We all have nothing but positive thoughts for Brooke and her family, don't be silly.

Ellio - Why does having the intemperate truth pointed out to you get you so bent out of shape? You are the only one actually complaining inaction, what productive things are you doing about it?

For those of you who are only focusing on her physical appearance, and not the fact that an innocent young girl has disappeared - I feel truly sorry for you. I am sorry that you have to live in a life where you seen jealous or envious of a girl because she is white. She obviously cannot help the fact she was born that way. You need to look at facts about the other abducted persons - perhaps the family didn't push as hard as the Wilberger family has to keep the story in the spot light. Perhaps it didn't happen in a sleepy little town like Corvallis (which I have resided for the past 6 years) that doesn't have murder or kidnappings. Perhaps the other missing persons were taken by a family member. You should direct your anger not towards Brooke and the people who are frantically searching for her, but redirect it in a positive way somehow.

Well, to answer your question, I have logged approximately 40 hours searching the backwoods area of Corvallis, however this isn't about me or how much I have done to help a missing child. And no, I am not bent out of shape, I am just trying to help you and Catalyst point your social misgivings into a more productive manner.

Contradictory quotes from Scott-in-Japan...

"Too bad for us, misery is very entertaining." --6/2/04

"We all have nothing but positive thoughts for Brooke and her family..." --6/3/04

Since this thread refuses to die (and I'm very bored at work), allow me to clarify.

I do not mean to attack Brooke or anyone who is attempting to find Brooke. You are all doing an wonderful job (God's work, if you will), and I sincerely hope she if found safe.

I am, on the other hand, attacking the news which only seems to extensively cover the abduction of pretty, young, white girls.

This attack is not relegated simply to Corvallis and Oregon news. It's a national trend, for which I don't have the answer.

Obviously, bringing up this point at time when a pretty, young, white girl is missing, is insensitive. I recognize this. However, perhaps next time a hispanic goes missing... Ellio will log another 40 hours in the backwoods looking for this person as well.

Ellio - Let me spell this out for you, I was referring to the generic "us" in that first quote. The entire USA is suffering from the effects of misery-shown-for-entertainment that is driving many news reports.

The second quote is right on - I (and I assume the decent citizens around me) really hope that things work out well for Brooke and her family.

I have known Brooke from a very young and yes, she is beautiful. That's not what draws this attention to her. Brooke is wholesome and pure and good and innocent. People, including the media, are drawn to her morals and values which are hard to find in people these days. She is not just a person. She is one of the best people that I have ever had the privilege to know. If the people looking for her are anything like me, they feel an urge to protect this rare purity which they have found in her. This horrible makes my heart bleed. I can't even begin to underdstand how anyone could harm someone so wonderful. In my opinion, there has not been enough news coverage. Brooke Wilberger should be a household name and face that everybody knows. How else can we hope for her safe return? My heart bleeds for every person who has ever sufferred this horrible fate. This abduction has affected the lives of so many because that's the way that Brooke was. If you ever met her, you would understand. Her genuine kindness would have affected you too. Her pretty face is just a bonus. Believe me, she deserves every blessing that she has ever had and much more.

Brooke could have been of any ethnic origin. Corvallis is outraged that this could happen in our town. The only reason so many people have volunteered and that the word is out is that her church is extremely organized and quickly mobilized to help. They would have done it for anyone in their flock...we just happened to want to help. Anyone who was there on the searches had to be humbled by the outpouring of care and concern. I think we all were knowing this could easily have been our daughter or family member.

In this country the squeaky wheel gets the oil and the media attention...Brooke's church was squeaking loud and clear and Corvallis answered the call. Lay off on the white girl, pretty girl stuff...I think we all would look for any child if asked.

Hello from the Latino American who lives in Hesperia California, Catholic!
Maybe because of her religion who is supporting her? Hello! She is Mormon and they take care of their own! I read the story from the LDS news and I am Catholic. Beat your ass the Catholic Church wouldn’t have a story in the Catholic news if my daughter were missing. I was impressed with the Mormon Church and how they searched for her. I did not find out she was a beautiful blond until last week. Just for your information this gal was never mention in our city or any city around Hesperia and we have 82,000 people in our town. We did hear about the Mexican gals missing from our town. In fact their faces are on every door and window in town, beautiful girls. Hesperia Catholic Church never helped like the Mormons did. Guess you might say it’s bad to be black or brown or better to be Mormon if missing. Hope the Mormons fine their lost sheep. I for one asked the boys with those white shirts over to my home for dinner next Friday. The Mormons got the Smart gal back; maybe their combined efforts will bring Brooke home.

I pray for every missing child in America, every father and mother and brother and sister that goes to bed and can't sleep because they are worrying about there loved one. Pain and suffering know know boundary of color, race, or religiion.
I wish I could do more to help find this girl!
As to the "Mormons" a good group of people I suspect. 200 of them descended on our town last year to help rebuild an old park, many coming over 100 miles. Good for them! I too plan on having the white shirted middionaries over for dinner:)

I am very upset at the comments that some of you people make about these missing children. Stephanie Rose Miller is my sister in law, and we were very close. Her family is very desperate to find her and bring her home. The fact that she is cute has absolutely nothing to do with the situation that she is in, and I feel the same for Brooke and ALL other missing children. we should be trying to help rather than debate on who is cute or not. I would advise you who are thinking with you dicks to seek help since you seem to be getting off on the sight of some of these girls.
Get a life!


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