In the Jessica Ridgeway missing person’s case, it makes very little sense. HLN is the only news service releasing a police sketch, who I’ll dub the ‘Candy Man’. This man was trying to lure children at Witt Elementary School into his (what has been described as) a blue sedan, most likely manufactured in the 1990s, using the enticement of candy, just three weeks before Jessica goes missing. But why (say, The Denver Post) isn’t this important lead given any coverage by other major news organizations?
I only saw the police sketch on Jane Velez Mitchell and on Nancy Grace; for all others it’s a blind spot. I don’t know why? Are they not finding it credible? And why, pray-tell, is this so? An official letter reporting this scary incident (yet it may have occurred more than once), written by Witt administrators, was sent home with the students to the parents, as JVM’s producer reported. This is breaking news, and yet it’s withheld by virtually everyone else other than HLN (don’t forget, I give it to you now)!
This is the first time I’ve seen this happen, and I’ve been at this crime reporting since 2007. Every other case I’ve seen, where a police sketch of a potential suspect has been conjured, every news organization under the sun will publish the sketch. Not true with Jessica Ridgeway. Another significant clue which has been under-reported, if not buried altogether in the news, is that a witness or witnesses saw a van cruising Jessica’s neighborhood last Friday morning, when she was thought to have disappeared. HLN reported it was a white van.
I heard about this important clue in a piece posted by 7 News WPTV, which must be local to the Denver area. And yet, this is the only news story I could find that confirms what I learned from HLN. Of course, I’m referring to the suspicious trolling of the white van in Westminister, Colorado last Friday morning. So, why wasn’t this fact reported by say, ABC News or The Huffington Post? In stark contrast, all news services covered the possible connection (of Jessica’s case) to a rape of an 11-year-old in Cody, Wyoming.
How weird is this? Cody is 500 miles north of Westminister and the rape occurred 3 days after Jessica’s confirmed disappearance. The vehicle used by the perpetrator was a white SUV, which isn’t a white van, unless the Colorado witness was in error in identifying the suspicious vehicle. But look, the white van incident was right near Jessica’s house, where as this rape was way up in Wyoming. The more pertinent evidence is almost not reported at all, whereas peripheral evidence is ubiquitously reported! Conundrum junction? Irrational media?
And no tie-in here with the blue sedan, which is also much more significant as a potential connection with Jessica Ridgeway’s disappearance, since this Candy Man had been canvassing the Witt Elementary where Jessica attended. And yet no one touches this more convincing connection, other than HLN, and now yours truly. But this is the strangest thing I’ve ever come across in the 5 years I’ve been covering crime stories! Is there some kind of cover-up in place? Does this police sketch resemble somebody everyone knows well?
This type of thing has happened before; maybe more so in cop movies, such as Serpico, where virtually every cop in the NYPD is corrupt and taking bribes up the wazoo. Perhaps it’s just a fluke? But how could this be? Wouldn’t a senior editor have to say, don’t run with The Candy Man police sketch until? Until what? It’s source is the Westminister Police, isn’t that official enough to run with it? Very strange indeed and right on the heels of Halloween no less!