Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Teague investigation begins

Police have received approximately 400 tips regarding the murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Teague. She was discovered in a marshy swamp off Moodie Drive. Jennifer had been walking home late at night from her job at Wendy's and was on a National Capital Commission walking path.

Two years ago in August of 2003, graduate student Ardeth Wood was on an NCC biking path when she was murdered. The Ottawa Sun asked if we have one serial killer on the loose or two separate killers -- two equally undesirable situations.

Aside from both young women being strong, independent and athletic, and both of them traveling on NCC paths, their deaths seem to have little in common. Ardeth was abducted during the day whereas Jennifer was last seen around 1 a.m. She finished her shift at Wendy's at 12:30 a.m. and called her mother to ask her to lay out her pajamas on the chair. Then she hung out with her friends for a while and began walking home around one o'clock. The suburban streets were dark and deserted but the area was well populated with homes. In fact, Jennifer's job was on the same street that my doctor's office is on! It's not an area where anyone would feel threatened.

According to reporter Lisa Lisle, Jennifer was a "spunky" teenager who was a terrific goalie. She had an interest in the environment and worked so hard and well on a particular project that she and her team won a David Suzuki award. Apparently, Jennifer had a web site where she listed her favorite things. Instead of going on about music or clothes, she cited her six best friends as her favorite things.

It's hard to know what responsibility Wendy's has in this matter. Is it right for them to employ young girls on the night shift and then to lock the doors of the restaurant before these girls have been picked up? Do they have a moral or ethical responsibility to their young staff? Wendy's has said that they are going to look into their policy about having young people working the night shift. That's good but it's a little late for Jennifer Teague.

I'm not blaming Wendy's. And I certainly wouldn't blame Jennifer for walking home alone at that hour, although in retrospect, it's easy to see that wasn't such a clever thing to do. The real fault lies with her killer and it's a big concern as to whether or not he will be found since Ardeth Wood's murderer is still at large.

Andrew Seymour of the Ottawa Sun quoted a U.S. Department of Justice study that claimed that about two thirds of all female victims of violence know their attackers. Aside from the men in Jennifer's life from school, I wonder if one of her customers was watching her. It sounds as though someone knew her hours; maybe someone had been checking her out and was aware that she walked home alone in a desolate area late at night.

Will see if those tips to the police pan out. The least that we can do for the Teague family now is to find the perpetrator.

Sigrid Mac

P. S. I'm updating this on September 22 and police have received close to 800 tips now. Please add your comments and thoughts to this post. I welcome discussion and discourse.

No comments: