Kelli Bordeaux looks in a distant mirror and snaps an iconic pic on her iPhone 4s. The time she took the snapshot must be shortly before she departed for the Froggy Bottoms bar (near the intersection of Ramsey Street and Andrews Road in Fayetteville, N.C.) on April 13, 2012 (Friday The Thirteenth). The email of the pic she sent her sister (Olivia Cox) should tell us more precisely when the photo was taken. And was her sister the only one she sent the timely self-portrait to? Investigators assuredly have already looked into this angle.
Without drifting off elsewhere, such as to the puzzling accounts of the patsy, Nicholas Holbert, or to the mysterious Froggy Bottoms bar owner, Steven Cantrell, or even to the perplexed and confounded husband of Kelli’s, Michael Bordeaux, I thought I’d commit the balance of my words here to what the enigmatic photo is telling us, if anything at all. One thing I might mention, before it slips my ken, is that I thought it was important to include the complete pic, which captures a closet of clothes, two other pix to her left, and what looks like her bed in the distance.
Naturally, we have to mention, this is the iPhone camera eye photographing what it sees in her mirror. An image of an image, if you will. Moreover, one must point out, everything is reversed, if you can untangle that (if you are a technology person, me thinks!) But without wasting too much time on trivialities, what does the image tell us in terms of the fact we now know she vanished in an unusual way, shortly after she thought to take this snapshot in time, that may exude a bit of whimsy or narcissism? It makes a startling statement, but what does it tell us exactly?
I can glean some insight into Kelli’s psychology here, but I need to pull back somewhat before I come to hasty and thoughtless conclusions, that are injurious to her or to her family, or even to the enthralling investigation, which is tossing and turning us about, as if we’re riding a creaky boat in the storm of the century. Well, we have a scarlet halter top, most short black shorts, barefoot (the bedazzled flip-flops are not in the picture), a visible tattoo on her thigh, and her iPhone 4s between her fingertips.
Kelli’s getting ready to go out on the town! No big deal to this, since she would have to go back to work with the army on Monday, and probably just wanted to have a little fun before she got back to the grind. Again, Ms. Bordeaux was only 23 and simply wanted to enjoy a bit of R and R, before she returned to work and possibly before her husband came back from his trip to Florida, when visiting his family there. But why did she decide to document (it’s nearly public once you hit the camera button) her kicking up her heels just in this fashion?
Most news organizations have cropped Kelli’s pic for publication in their sundry services. Taking the pic out of context or altering it could be injurious to any pertinent interpretations we might make when coupling a single slice of information to the bigger picture of complimentary (or contradictory) component parts. Another keen observation, is that the improved iPhone camera has better resolution, so we can see more detail. The look on her face is not particularly happy, yet it bespeaks a state of mind that perhaps might be characterized as rebellious?
Interpretation, judgments we must render; rebellion is what I see. Kelli Bordeaux is seeking a moment of freedom. Interpreting one photo only is a process I call an ‘inductive evidentiary revelation!’ You let yourself go for a moment, and see where the one example of evidence takes you. You might get it wrong, but the process is valuable. You unknowingly glean a fragment of the mystery. “Well, it’s complicated” comes back to haunt me. Where’s Kelli’s wedding ring?