On Tuesday, June 21, 2005, Jennifer Wilbanks, her “fiance” John Mason, and Today Show’s perky Katie Couric sat down for a one hour interview.
The public’s questions about the runaway bride would finally be answered. Jennifer and John would declare their perfect love for each other. Katie would not balk at tough questions.
Although The Wise I does not want to be mean to Jennifer. Indeed for all the public outcry and ridicule, I’d suggest that most of us would be willing to at least listen. It was a desperate act. We understand desperate acts out here in la-la land. We understand that people resort to desperate acts usually under desperate circumstances.
A father steals a bag of groceries for his hungry children. Hey, we get it.
Jennifer Wilbanks steals goods from legal merchants. We don’t get it.
Beyond the shoplifting, we’re really not getting Jennifer Wilbanks and her motives for leaving her family to worry and her fianc to be under a cloud of suspicion.
Last Tuesday’s interview did nothing to help the cause.
Except we know a young woman carefully plotted an “escape” from her wedding. She ran off, leaving behind a wedding party of fourteen bride’s maids and over 500 guests. If Jennifer had been running from her serial murder fianc for whom she carried a deathly fear from the recent discovery, this might have made sense.
And while Jennifer claims she had no idea there was such a national search and so much angst for her, The Wise I is a little bit skeptical.
“There is no TV on the bus,” Wilbanks explained.
Although this is not necessarily true as I’ve been on buses with TV’s. They were chartered affairs, yes, but in today’s technologically advanced world I wouldn’t call that statement a given.
For the sake of argument, however, I’d concur that the Greyhound bound cross country had no TV.
Surely there were rest stops? Surely there were newspaper stands blaring for information on Jennifer Wilbanks? Surely, for the several days Jennifer was trotting across the land there had to be something, somewhere.
Okay, maybe it’s just me. But I’m not buying it.
Every day the good and law-abiding citizens of this country deal with life issues. We discover a child is on drugs. We lose a beloved relative. We collapse from the sheer torture of a daily job.
Very few of us just run off, leaving loved ones behind to worry and be accused of our murder. There’s just a total disconnect between the American public and Jennifer Wilbanks.
Yes, we understand mental illness. Duh. Most of us have someone we know or in our family that suffers from some form of mental torment that causes his/her behavior to be incongruent with the problem he/she faces. Even our own wise selves are sometimes guilty of an over-reaction, an inappropriate remark.
An action this incongruent with the cause is way out for us mere normal mortals to comprehend.
Be that as it may, Jennifer’s biggest chasm of disbelief stems from her fabrication for her disappearance. This and the fact that it’s simply unbelievable that the woman had no idea of the anguish she was causing.
I don’t think her book or movie will do all that well. The woman has shown her stripes and they’re far muter than that silly blanket she wore on her head from the airport.
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