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I'm going to jump in with some other people and say that the Smart case is not what it appears to be. Just a vibe I got from the beginning, and my inner psychic vibe machine (yep, I really have one) was beeping from the start of this one. I have my theories. Most of them point to Elizabeth herself. Just a thought. Anyhow, where I was going with this:

Tell me, what is the difference between this and this? Why does Elizabeth smart get 24 hour press coverage and Alexis Patterson is only getting a small story every two weeks or so? Why does one hold national interest and the other is only a blip on the radar screen?

2,000 kids are reported missing every day. Why does the story of Elizabeth Smart grab all the headlines? Is it because she is a rich, white, religious honor student? Does Alexis Patterson not get sweeping coverage because she is a black girl from a poor neighborhood? Does Elizabeth's story make for better sound bites?

I'm just curious as to why the nation is hanging on every word of the Smart family and the investigators, why millions of people are holding their breath for the safe return of this girl, and the other 1,999 people who went missing that day, and Alexis Patterson remain buried in newspaper filler stories.


it's a sad statement still in this day and age when you can buy press coverage. with this case, i have thought from the beginning something wasn't right. i can't put my finger on it but i have hope that with all the growing theories on this case, that the police and investigators will take a hint from everyday citizens with a sixth sense, and look into the family alot more than they are.

I think we feel more vulnerable when this stuff happens to people like us. And by "us" I mean SUV drivin, white suburban types that are the target market for the advertisers buying time on the network news. We are more interested, so the news covers it more, which leads to more interest, etc etc. Its a ugly cycle.

I live in DC - I had to put up with the Chandra Levy 24 hour coverage - same thing.

It's the bit in one of the Smart story where they say, "what happened in the early morning hours of June 5 in the Smarts' $1.19 million home".
You want to tell me what the market value of their home has to do with all this?

Alexis Patterson comes from the ghetto (in which I live, so I feel justified in admitting to such). Her parents are not of any financial substance. There are no videos of Alexis just laying around, which is necessary in order to be televised. [Or so the local paper is saying.] Not to mention, they were very happy to have gotten the attention it has. But then again, they may be trying to cover up the fact that racial fliers (talking about Alexis Patterson) were discovered at the Black Holocaust Museum written by a man who was later released, since hate is not a crime. It's a sad, sad story really. I'm planning on launching a website this week. Hopefully, you will all be able to link it and get the word out there, keep everyone's eyes open.

I have thought something was funky about this myself. I think it is the smile on her face in some of her pictures - it looks like she is gritting her teeth. Normal teenager stuff or something worse? My theory - she got involved with someone she shouldn't have, willingly at first, but now maybe not so willingly. Sometimes things that start off as rebellion against strict or distant family or a need for attention goes really bad in a heart beat.

Or maybe she got willingly involved with someone her parents didn't care for, so she willingly ran off with the complicity of her sister. There's no knowing these things.

Most news coverage is just like Fox News at 10. Ignorant. Blatantly tabloid in nature, and often times, (if not completely false), misleading. I can't even allow myself to sit through it any more.

After September, I just gave up. I want an (even somewhat) unbiased presentation of the events laid before me. I am not sure why that's so hard.

Because folks are so incredibly bored and dissatisfied with their own lives they must have the Jerry Spring variety of the news?

I am not their open-mouthed baby waiting for a giant spoon. It's really disturbing. Let me decide for myself.

(rant over. Sorry. :)

SLC is a very strange place.
Strange maligned, not strange odd.

I have seen too closely sundry brands of evil that reach out from SLC. shudder.

Wow, that precious girl disappeared in the HALF BLOCK between home and school? This is going to have a luridly bad ending, isn't it?

Being from SLC (although I currently live in Utah), I was actually shocked and surprised that anything that happened to us made it to the national news.

I don't blame SLC or the Smarts (although, I do feel that vibe of something rotten in the State of Denmark--or Utah) but rather the media. It was the media's choice to latch on to the affluential aspects of the Smarts lifestyle and play it up. I honestly think they are hoping for another Jon Benet Ramsey sitch or another Polly Klaas. (Polly got coverage partly because Winona Ryder got involved and offered a reward for information about Polly's whereabouts, since Polly came from her hometown.) I don't feel that any child should be brushed off by the police, regardless of race or class, and I do feel bad that the coverage of the two cases is hardly equal.

BTW, if you look up the Polly Klaas foundation, you will no doubt discover that these two girls are only a handful of missing children, and at least they have media coverage. When was the last time you saw anything about a missing twelve year old boy? (I can't remember when I last saw anything like that on national news....but there are several of them on the master list at the Polly Klaas page.) http://www.pollyklaas.org/misskids3.htm

of course the media grabs it up because she's rich and white. come on... ralph lauren athletic shoes? harp lessons? one of 6 kids who live in a multi-million dollar home? $250,000 reward? polo shirt wearing perp? gee... wonder why the press decided to feature this one. You couldn't write a cheap mystery/detective novel better than this. How much press could an average small inner city kid generate? There's no ratings in that kind of coverage. I agree with your feelings that something is wrong with this whole scene...

These things are a lot more random than you might think.

There is nothing inherently evil about harp lessons.

I have the same "odd" feeling surrounding this one as I did with the Sabrina Aisenberg kidnapping when it happened here in '97. Something...just isn't right.

The SECOND that I heard that her sister waited two hours before telling anyone my psychic vibe alarm was going off full blast. I just don't buy it - there is more to this story here. A lot that we don't know...

I find some of these comments sick. Yes she is getting a lot of media attention but we shouldn't try to reduce what she gets. However we should try to increase what the others get.

There is nothing sinister underlying the stark contrast between the Levy/Smart investigations and the investigations put forth by the families of, say… Alexis Patterson or Laura Ayala or Miranda Gaddis or Ashley Pond or LeVander & LeSean Murphy.

The University of Maryland found that the two greatest obstacles parents face when searching for a lost child are, KNOWLEDGE & RESOURCES. Dr. Levy and Ed Smart are fortunate to have the resources to develop the knowledge they may lack.

Chandra and Elizabeth have both been supported by strong publicist and media-managers. These are savvy professionals who know how to manipulate a story and entice the press. The Levy and the Smart families have made good use and wise investments in these contemporary investigative tools.

So the question at hand is, how do we balance the inequities faced by those children who do not share the same socioeconomic strata as the Smarts’ or the Levys’?

There really should be no difference between a black child gone missing and a white child gone missing. Unfortunately, the police and media execs control just how much televised attention each child will get. If you notice, the police give a press conference/update every day on the Smart case (and the same was done with the Levy case). That doesn't happen with the Patterson case (the little black girl).

I agree with the majority of you in saying that there are missing pieces to the puzzle in the Smart case. The sister has changed her story too many times and the police keep making excuses for the changes. In my opinion, the father is involved with the child's disappearance.

The Smart case has gotten amazing attention because of the rarity of it. A child is almost never snatched from inside his or her own home. The fact that this child could be taken while her parents were home (like Polly Klaas and Danielle van Dam) is frightening to other parents. It makes them feel as if nowhere is safe.

The Smart case has gotten amazing attention because it is so rare. A child is almost NEVER taken from inside his or her own home. It frightens parents, making them feel nowhere is safe. Last month a 15-year-old SC girl was abducted, but she escaped. Her kidnapper killed himself in order to avoid going to prison. It was later learned that he was responsible for the murders of THREE girls in Virginia (I provided a link to their page). We must protect our children. We need sticter laws against repeat offenders. Get Amber Alerts in your communities! Go to the address below for more info on it!


SLDP wasted the most precious moments
of the investigation chasing a guy they knew was not there man, The motive "An Axe to grind & and
a convient excuse"

Utah, you should get a new police chief.
Its Time.

This case should have been solved, Hell it took
weeks to get a suspect that had access.
Access is one of the primary issues.

Enough, I get upset thinking about it.

Hope this is solved soon.

i understand how you feel but my knowledge of it is MONEY they the smarts family have the money to keep an investigation going everything cost money and other families dont have it thats why it pays to have money. i understand i live in an unfortunate neighborhood too and i have two kids but you cant make this a racial issue its because she and her family have enough money to keep it going listen like me if my kids were missing i will not have enough money to keep the case going and i will have to understand that.it might not seem right but if you think long and hard about it in way its fair.