Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hikers Unsettled After Emerson Murder

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of 9 January 2008 has an article by Bo Emerson titled "Emerson murder especially disturbing to N. Ga. hikers" (also here ). He has reaction s from some families out hiking in recent days, cautions about personal safety, the reflection that Meredith Emerson 'did everything right', and the recollection that murders on the Appalachian Trail are extremely rare.

On that last point,
"According to conservancy spokesman Brian King, the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail system receives about 3.3 million visitors a year, or 109 million since 1974, when the first homicide associated with the trail occurred, at a shelter in Georgia. There have been six more homicides between Maine and Georgia since then, the most recent in 1990.

"By contrast there have been at least six killings in metro Atlanta since Dec. 16, two just since Emerson disappeared.

"'It's extremely rare to have any kind of major incident like this,' said Bob Almand, chair of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy."
We just think violence like that is more out of place on the Trail than in the city.


Alex said...

The silence of veteran hikers here is disappointing. Zero comments? Also, your observation, "She did everything right," begs the question, "What did the 200 OTHER HIKERS on Blood Mountain that day do WRONG?"

I counted no less than six accounts of hikers coming forward after the kidnapping saying they got dangerously bad vibes off that scene of the Creep glomming onto Meredith, including one by an ex-police officer. Yet no one did anything, even passively, to intervene. Too much of an interruption of your schedule? No one cared enough to observe and react? No one broke a bootlace or enlisted a fellow hiker to chat or share a snack or write in their journal or anything to just tarry awhile and watch, to put a drag on this two-legged spider's stalk?

Shouldn't it be a part of the Hiker's Code to be alert to other hikers in danger? That, to me, is at least as important as being reminded to cover up your own crap!

"Concordia" said...

Thanks, Alex, for the comment. Yeah, in retrospect other hikers should have done something about the bad vibes they were getting. But most of us seem to put a pretty high value on self reliance and to let that trump caring for people we don't yet know - until after that person is hurt ... then we go all out.

(btw, it wasn't my comment that she did everything right; that came from the newspaper article)