Monday, March 24, 2008

She never gave up.

From the very first moment and up until the very end four days later, Meredith Emerson fought back. In a chilling account of events, her killer admitted that she'd even been able to disarm him. Nevertheless, she ended up as just another body found in the woods, another vibrant woman lost to a predator, another statistic.

She was young, in good health, and athletic but the 24-year old was still considered easy prey by her 61-year old murderer - because she was a woman.

GBI agent Clay Bridges said, "That's the one thing that broke my heart in this case. She was doing everything she was supposed to do to stay alive, and we didn't get there in time."

It breaks my heart too. I wish she'd had a gun.

There is no knight in shining armor who will ride to your rescue, ladies.

The only one you can depend on to keep you safe is YOU.


Lorimor said...

Sadly, this happens far too often.

.gov has warned us, through many, many court decisions, that they are not responsible for our individual safety.

Then they turn around and do their best to make it difficult, if not impossible, for responsible law abiding to defend their lives.

Mike W. said...

Not only that, but we have the "only ones" specifically telling people not to fight back, or to carry nothing more lethal than pepper spray.

I wish more people would confront cops when they say this and ask "What would YOU do?" I have a feeling those cops wouldn't practice what they preach to the rest of us.

James R. Rummel said...

I've been posting lately about how a woman is at a disadvantage when attacked by a male. Males are generally larger and have greater upper body strength, both of which are very serious factors in a hand-to-hand confrontation.

Two things jumped out at me while reading the news article. First was that Meredith, the victim, was a 22 year old with open hand martial arts experience. Her 61 year old attacker then beat her into submission with his fists.

How long would that 61 year old perp have lasted in a straight up fight with a 22 year old male with some martial arts training? How long would he have lasted against a 22 year old that didn't even have the advantage of ANY martial arts training?

Less lethal self defense devices and open hand martial arts are useful, but there is a reason why firearms are known as "equalizers".


staghounds said...

1. Every woman should read this to learn how bad it can get, and to never go along willingly.

2. Everyone who thinks rape has anything at all to do with sex should read this.

3. Everyone who says that some gun law should be passed, "if it saves one life", should read this.

4. Everyone who says "You should just give them what they want" should read this.

5. Some one should ask why the criminal's veteran status matters in these stories. They never say things like "public school alumnus" or "registered voter".

pax said...

On the one hand, women NEED to be told that fighting back can make a difference and that you should never ever just give up. Women should know that they are not, by nature, incapable of defending themselves, no matter what the "women can't..." brigade might tell them. Most of us can benefit from martial arts training, sometimes to an amazing degree. In part this is because the self-confidence the physical training gives also often provides its own protection during the prey selection process. From an early age, girls should be taught that if they are attacked they should use every ounce of strength, guile, savvy, and grit that they can summon to get away. These physical skills are beneficial and should not be neglected!

On the other hand... sometimes, only a gun will do.

Rest in peace, Meredith. God knows you earned it.

the pawnbroker said...

correction, breda: there are many that you can depend on to help keep you safe; there's yourself, mr. browning, mr. colt, mr. smith, and mr. wesson, among others...

but when you choose your partner, get to know him very well, how to use him, and most importantly when to have him with you and when to use him...

this occurred very near our north georgia mountain vacation place, and i was pretty sure i knew what had happened during the days the young woman was missing...(attractive young woman hiking alone in a relatively remote area where other things had happened, and this particular piece of shit had been known to lurk and act suspiciously)...

as i've preached to my wife and grown daughters for years, you just can't tempt fate without being prepared to do what's necessary to face off the evil in this world; it ain't fair, but that's life, or tragically in this case, that's death...


Geoff said...

Not to slight the efforts of Meredith in the least, but after reading the reports I wonder if perhaps it never occurred to her to try and kill the critter. Granted, I have no idea what all she unloaded on the guy, but sounded like she was cleaning his clock until he managed to batter her down. They mentioned injuries she sustained in the fight, but not so much on the critter's end. Consequently, I wonder if she was focused on running away rather than putting him in the dirt decisively.

I really hate that Meredith didn't come of this alive. Maybe I'm missing important information that tipped the scales greatly in the critter's favor, but I can't shake the sense that if she'd decided it was her life or his at some point during the days he had her, the dead body wouldn't have been hers.

Matt G said...

"'It was hard," Hilton continued. "You gotta remember we had spent several good days together.'"

Aggravated assault.
Pet torture.
Psychological torture.

Yeah. Good times.

Believe NOTHING your attacker says. Run like a striped-assed ape. RUN. If he shoots you or wounds you, KEEP RUNNING. Don't let him touch you.

And when he touches you, kill him or make him believe you'll kill him if he doesn't let go of you. Who the hell does he think he is?

Joseph said...

Sad. But this happens to female hikers from time to time. Often, they think a dog will protect them.

When I used to hike, I always carried a weapon. What the hell was I going to do if attacked, call 911 and wait for help when I was 6 miles from the trailhead?

Most people are not trained (with the exception of the military) to go hand to hand in a life or death situation. Almost any marital art has rules; a fight for your life has no rules.

LabRat said...

It doesn't say what the other martial art she was trained in was, but judo was one of the original "sporterized" martial arts in that its focus has been safe arena combat with an emphasis on throws and holds, rather than decisively putting your opponent down by any means necessary, for a very long time.

Martial art is not synonymous with hand-to-hand combat. Women have been done an even bigger disservice with "self-defense" classes that are even further watered down and seem to be more about empowerment rather than real effective defense against a determined male attacker.

That said... a gun sure would have helped a lot more.

Words Twice said...

It doesn't say what the other martial art she was trained in was, but judo was one of the original "sporterized" martial arts in that its focus has been safe arena combat with an emphasis on throws and holds, rather than decisively putting your opponent down by any means necessary, for a very long time.

Totally wrong. If anything Judo was the original MMA.

Over time it has been watered down, like most martial sports but to say that you can't decisively put someone down with Judo is laughable.

Sadly, it probably wouldn't have mattered what martial art she studied.

LabRat said...

to say that you can't decisively put someone down with Judo is laughable.

That's why I didn't say that. I said that Judo has been aimed at the ring for a long time now. So, for that matter, has MMA. Both of them limit the kinds of moves that can't be performed without seriously injuring the other person, which is why anyone trained exclusively in either will be at a disadvantage against someone who is fighting and always has fought in situations where nothing is off-limits, there is no protective gear of any kind, and the goal IS to injure or kill.

Anonymous said...

"How long would that 61 year old perp have lasted in a straight up fight with a 22 year old male with some martial arts training?"

Humbugging (going toe to toe, fist to fist) is always an open invitation for fate to roll the dice, and she is usually not kind to the loser.

That is the final, worst option...

Less, the "discontentedcookie"

phlegmfatale said...

This story is blood-chillingly heartbreaking.

Words Twice said...

That's why I didn't say that.

OK, sorry, you merely implied it. I don’t want to make this into a “my kung fu can beat your kung fu” argument but I can’t resist putting in my two cents.

Jeff Dege said...

Our PD's are constantly advising women to not fight back. That's very bad advice. I've heard some advise to always fight back. That's also bad advice.

Whether it is best to resist or not is something that only the person on the spot can decide. Nobody else has the information to make that judgment.

With one exception. If the perp tries to take you somewhere else, fight to the death. The professionals have another term for a secondary crime scene: "where we find the body".

You don't know what he plans, or what he might do. All you do know is that wherever he wants to take you is to his advantage, not yours.

Earl said...

I want to know why the government wants to honor an agreement not to seek the death penalty, they lie constantly otherwise, find the fellow not guilty and publish his known whereabouts on the internet with GPS tracking... FIGHT, never stop until they are dead or destroyed, the monsters and their madness. Teach your children to fight and flee, forever.

Glenn Bartley said...

I too wish she'd had a gun. I saw this and then wrote about it over on my own blog (with links back to this one). How I wish I could have been there walking through those woods and saw this happening; because then I would have been sure someone there would have had a gun, and this likely would have ended with her being alive.

Anonymous said...

Hey there; friend of mine posted this on LJ and I thought it might benefit from our viewpoint :).


Anonymous said...

I can only shake my head and cry.