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Suing Jennifer Wilbanks

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Jenny-On-The-Run (Jennifer Wilbanks) has a brand new website dedicated to her.

Sue Jennifer Wilbanks.

Here is, in part, what the site says about itself:

It appears that run-away bride Jennifer Wilbanks and her fiance, John Mason, are going to profit from her irresponsible and immature behavior this Spring.

I am exploring the possibility of filing a class action suit against the couple to prevent them from earning anything related to her actions. Members of the class could include professionals and volunteers who gave up time and goods to aid in her search, media outlets who devoted airtime to the story, citizens who altered plans or routines out of fear, or business owners who may have lost income…

It’s hard to know how seriously one should take this site. See, it is run by a dude who works for a popular radio show heard during morning drive in the Atlanta area — The Bert Show.

Here’s what Jeff Dauler, the site’s creator, says by way of explanation:

…(T)he idea for the class-action suit was born during an on-air discussion of the Jennifer Wilbanks case on The Bert Show, at All The Hits Q100 radio in Atlanta. I am one of the co-hosts of the show, and we were taking calls on the case when the idea stuck…

I don’t listen to the Bert Show — which gained some fame a few years back when it was fortunate enough to host the inimitable Miss Cleo (Youree Dell Harris) — but my first inclination was to believe that this is a stunt.

They insist at the Bert Show’s homepage that it is not.

Check it out yourself and see if, joke or not, Mr. Dauler has a point. I tend to think he does — and I’d bet Gwinnett County DA Danny Porter would agree.

And Dauler is tapping into something locally, at least. The feeling, particularly among residents in the area where Jennifer and her fiance John Mason live in suburban Gwinnett County, Georgia, that whatever genuine problems Jenny-On-The-Run may have, the public still got taken for an unpleasant ride. People left work. People lost work. People changed their schedules and stayed home out of fear. Then there is the large and hard-working hispanic community from that area of Gwinnett, some of whom went to the trouble to make out missing flyers for Jennifer Wilbanks in spanish and passed them out at intersections. Wilbanks’ sordid tale of “being kidnapped and raped” by a latino man and caucasian woman has now been immortalized in the national consciousness, thanks to the release of police tapes of her drawling the breathless details for Albuquerque, New Mexico cops. She even made it a point to tell the cops that the man “didn’t use foreplay.” That’s worth a lawsuit right there, ain’t it?

Maybe Jeff Dauler and the Bert Show gang are hurting for ratings or angling at large-scale syndication, I don’t know — or maybe they truly listened to the local folks calling in and heard one message loud and clear; make Jennifer Wilbanks understand that what she did was an offense. If not a gross enough offense to give the law a reason to put her in jail for a few satisfying months, still an act that however unintended, offended and insulted a goodly number of her neighbors once the truth was out. And now that Wilbanks has turned the sow’s ear of her bad behavior into a silk purse with high-dollar deals to publish her story in the media, many of those who fretted over the missing runner from the twilight streets of Duluth are feeling decidedly conned, and they want payback.

Personally I believe she’s ill, and though I’m no psychologist or psychiatrist, I think have a pretty good idea of what is wrong. Twenty-percent of people with similar behavioral disorders end up dead, usually by their own hand — in that respect John Mason and her family are lucky to have her back. I believe she feels genuine remorse, too — but I don’t think that’s come across to most of the general public still paying any attention. Read the comments from e-mails Jeff Dauler has posted on this page at SueJennifer.com for a sampling:

“Ms. Wilbanks should be in Aruba assisting law enforcement in the search for missing teenager, Natalee Holloway. Maybe the reality of seeing Miss Holloway’s family in pain would jolt Jennifer Wilbanks back into reality(…)”

“I am a white female and I was kidnapped, sodomized and raped by a man when I was 19 years old. Jennifer Wilbanks’ giant fib mocked and made fun of something that changed my life forever. I personally would like to see her prosecuted for filing a false report about being sexually assaulted/ raped. She completely made a mockery out of something I have personally experienced and I feel that she should have to pay for all of the rape victims that MUST endure the second victimization.”

Then again, there are those who think Dauler is taking advantage of the situation for his own ends, after all — it is to his credit that he posted these comments as well:

“Jesus Christ and all the Saints in Heaven, what do you care if she ends up with a book deal out of this. How would you like some uppity shock jock personality causing drama in YOUR life because of a stupid mistake that you made? Don’t be an a**hole like so many other has-been radio personalities. You’re not going to profit from this stunt like you think you will, and more than likely you’ll probably just set yourself up for more trouble than you think. The media may think that this is everybody’s business, but it isn’t. The government agencies have already worked out their settlement with Ms. Wilbanks, they’re happy with the way this is going to end. They don’t need you meddling in it(…)”

“Your an idiot Jeff. If someone wants to pay them for their story then what business is it of yours(…)”

I don’t even know anymore. Me? At first I just got an evil giggle out of the deal.

But to be serious for a moment, the writer who mentioned Natalee Holloway made the best point. A point that could be made with any missing persons case currently causing a family and the surrounding community pain and fear. The haunted eyes of Natalee’s mother should mean something to Jennifer Wilbanks.

I would suggest Jenny-On-The-Run and anyone else who is interested take a look at The Charley Project, or The Doe Network. At the Charley Project alone there are over 5,000 missing persons listed, cases like that of Dorothy Arnold, who disappeared all the way back in 1910, or Luisana Alvarado, missing since November of last year along with her infant son, Sergio.

Instead of selling her low comedy to the highest bidder, Wilbanks should acquaint herself with the very real ghosts of the missing still trailing their loved ones through life. Donate her profits to organizations devoted to finding missing and/or exploited adults and children. Look their families and friends in the eyes and confront the truth. Understand that however unintended, her act made a kind of mockery of their terrible mysteries.

I really have no qualms with what Jeff Dauler is doing with SueJennifer.com — but if he wants to be taken more seriously he needs to make a links page — links to sites like the Charley Project, the Doe Network.

A few more are listed below.

(This post is also available at Blogger News Network.)

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About Steve

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Thanks, Steve, for a calm, balanced look at a story spurring so many to angry and ill-considered responses.

    Suing Wilbanks may make some feel better, but there is no guarantee it will make her realize the full meaning of what she did. That knowledge has to arise from somewhere inside her. If it does, she will make changes for the better and take a more responsible approach to life.

    If it doesn’t, all the lawsuits and outcry in the world will only do more to convince her she is a victim who cannot be held responsible for her actions.

  • http://mistwereld.blogspot.com Floris Vermeir

    I haven’t really followed it, only read about it and then read the end.

    I just find that she should take into account that her false testmony means that there will be those people who now look at Latino people as potential criminals and that should not be so. She put fear in some peoples minds, and for that she should be remembered that that is not a correct thing to do.

    ” “I am a white female and I was kidnapped, sodomized and raped by a man when I was 19 years old. Jennifer Wilbanks’ giant fib mocked and made fun of something that changed my life forever. I personally would like to see her prosecuted for filing a false report about being sexually assaulted/ raped. She completely made a mockery out of something I have personally experienced and I feel that she should have to pay for all of the rape victims that MUST endure the second victimization.”

    She should not pay for all rape victims, yet she should be reminded in a legal way that what she did is not allowed, and cause distress to those who did lived such an ordeal.

  • Lisa Fay

    Jennifer Wilbanks and John Mason have no conscience. She can weep all she wants but no way can she explain the fact that they could afford a wedding for 600 guests and have made big money from their interviews but have not chosen to pay for all the expenses they created. I believe that this was a stunt, a publicity thing, or whatever but most definitely intentional.

    What bothers me even more is that he wants to be a preacher. Just what the world needs one more immoral and dishonest preacher without a conscience or the ability to see right from wrong.

    I do not believe they should be allowed to keep any monies earned as a result of this awful stunt that she pulled.

    Thanks for the opportunity to express my views. Lisa Fay

  • katie

    I say leave the poor girl alone!! She seems like a cool person who just got a little overwhelmed. Besides, she is cute and I plan to get her new “haircut” this Saturday when I go to my hairdresser. You go Jenn…..

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Cerulean Cerulean

    It makes me mad that she is avoiding responsibility and admitting the full scope of what she’s done. I don’t think people around her are confronting her either. She just dances around it using vague medical conditions are a screen and hiding behind doctors. Very suspicious.

  • Vivian

    I can fully understand the pressure this young lady was under and how she wanted to just get lost. This does not mean she does not love the guy. Stress is 100% for a wedding. I think the world is way too hard on her. You have to be a woman who has been under this kind of stress to understand how nerve-wracking this was to her. God bless you Jennifer and may you find peace in your heart.

  • BRANDON

    HELLO THERE YOU ARE TRULY RIGHT JENNIFER WILBANKS IS A IDIOT AND SHE SHOULD NOT MAKE MONEY OFF THE STUFF SHE PULL AND JOHN SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF TOO FROM ME BRANDON

  • Brandon davenport

    Hello there you know anybody who saids jennifer wilbanks did not know what she was doing should not be scam by her and her bozo boyfriend john mason. she knew what she was doing and i bet she well be in playboy soon from me brandon

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