In the meantime, I've been meaning to say a little something on the subject of fear.
I get a lot of emails from people who read this blog or my true crime books and they begin something like this: "What a scary world we live in" or "I'm never letting my daughter out of the house, again" or "You can't trust anybody these days". For some reason, many people believe this is the message I'm trying to get across in my writing. It couldn't be further from the truth.
I actually believe people are generally good. The fact that abductions and murders are so unbelievably rare says something great about the society in which we live. We think these things happen more often because when they do occur, the news writes a lot about them. But your daughter has a better chance of dying in a plane crash than she does at the hands of a serial killer. At yet we still fly.
The solution is not to be more fearful but to be LESS fearful. Instead of building walls around ourselves in order to keep us "safe" we should be doing the opposite. If every one of us took the time to really get to know the people living to the right of us and the people living to the left of us, these abduction/murders might never happen. If we all did this, we'd know right away if our friend next door was beginning to get dangerously depressed or if he started to build a tent compound in his back yard where he could keep his kidnapped victims. If we took the time to befriend them, we could get them help before they went crazy.
Take the time to know your neighbors. Befriend them. Care for them. We're talking a couple hours a month in exchange for a better place to live. That's the answer.