Thursday, December 01, 2011


By Paula Matter

ob·sessed, ob·sess·ing, ob·sess·es
To preoccupy the mind of excessively.
To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic: "She's dead. And you're still obsessing" (Scott Turow).

Any guesses where I’m going by showing the definition and the photo? Any clue what they may have in common?

I have become obsessed with following the tragic case of Michelle Parker’s disappearance. Are you familiar with the situation? Two weeks today ago this 33 year-old mom of three disappeared. On that day, the People's Court episode in which she appreared with her ex-fiancé aired just hours before she was declared missing.

It’s been like watching a train wreck.

I can’t stop looking at the following Web sites:

I tell myself in the morning that I’ll just go check to see if there are recent developments, then hours (HOURS) later, I’m still poring over the sites.

I feel like an armchair detective, an amateur sleuth. (That was my way of bringing this post round to mysteries. Clever, huh?)

Are there any cases, criminal or otherwise, where you’ve become obsessed? Do you crane your neck as you drive by accident scenes? Any tips on what I can do to curb this current obsession of mine?

I know, I know. Disconnect from the Internet.


Joyce said...

My solution was to pay no attention to the news. I have enough murder and mayhem ideas floating around my brain without bringing in more.

A few years back, I was obsessed with the Baby Grace case, where a toddler was found stuffed in a plastic storage bin that had washed up on shore down in Texas. I wrote a couple blog posts about it.

Ramona said...

We live and breathe the news at my house, so it takes a lot for a story to stand out to me.

The last one that did was Diane Schuler, the mother who crashed a van full of kids into another car on the Taconic State Parkway. The story grew into all kinds of crazy--the "perfect mother" whose tox screens revealed alcohol and drugs. Then HBO did a documentary that was positively riveting.

From a writer's point of view, it would be a frustrating read, because there's no closure. From a human point of view, compelling because no one seemed to truly know her.

Paula said...

Joyce, I'll look up those posts. Glad to know you understand what I'm talking about.

Paula said...

Maybe that's part of it, Ramona. I don't watch or listen to the news. Interesting.

I'll have to look for that HBO documentary.

Paula said...

The folks at Websleuth are finally latching onto something I've been puzzling over.

Jenna said...

Tabitha Tuders. 13 year old girl who disappeared just around the corner from her house waiting for the school bus one morning in April (I think) 2003. Maybe 2004. Nobody realized she was gone until her parents came home from work that night and she wasn't home. The school never reported that she didn't get there. The police investigated it as a runaway case, although the parents swore she'd never run away.

It's been seven or eight years, and there's been no sign of her. She just vanished. The house where she lived is just a few blocks from where my youngest goes to school. We drive by all the time. And I look at the corner where she waited for the bus, and at the banner with her face hanging from her parents' porch - faded now - and wonder what happened.

Jenna said...

You know, I post. And it shows up. And the next time I come back, the comment isn't there. This is a test.

Jenna said...

So I wrote this nice long comment earlier, about Tabitha Tuders, and then, when I came back to it, it was gone. And it gives my grave concerns about my blog tomorrow. What if I can't comment?

Jenna said...

I mean, they're there now. But the first one was there too. And now it's not. Hmph.

Rebecca Bradley said...

The internet can be an amazing tool, but it can also drive you insane with it's many links and searches for answers. I do have to be careful with it most of the time and only allow myself a certain period of time on it. Otherwise, if I don't, a whole day has been sucked away from me.