Viral near-kidnapping tales

Fueling moral panic and safety-first policies, the regularly circulated viral accounts of near-kidnapping at shopping centers and supermarkets are curiously stylized: “Inevitably, the mom congratulates herself on having had the wherewithal to figure out what was going on just in time, and bravely thwart the heinous crime by, uh, staring the guys down.” [Lenore Skenazy]


  • Of course, you have the 5 year old who wasn’t kidnapped, but grabbed and chucked off the third floor of the Mall of America.

  • Don’t laugh, situations like this are very real, I should know it almost happened to me. Minding my own business while shopping in a mall, noticed a strange lady was glaring at me. The weird part was the blond straight haired bevy of brats accompanying her, were also staring. Maybe it was my cataracts acting up, but their eyes were definitely glowing. The spell was broken when the smell of body odor wafting in my direction started a gagging reflex. It was as if they belonged to a cult and hadn’t bathed in over a year. I barely escaped with my life, a friendly reminder, be careful out there.

    • Reminds me of the village of the damned movie from when I was a child… Except that the glowing eyes did not extend to the adults.

  • Murderous attack at the Mall of America– The perp was a poster-boy for a “three strikes and you’re out” law. California repealed their 3S law, partly because “strikes” included victimless offenses like drugs, partly because some other “strikes” seemed minor, but partly because of a fatigue with fighting crime generally. We seem to have a shrinking space in this country between those who want to criminalize everything, and those who would decriminize crime.