This weekend I had a long talk with the tenant who was kidnapped. (If you haven’t seen that story yet, please read it – otherwise the rest of this blog post won’t make any sense).
Here are some additional details about her case:
#1: One of my other tenants told me that she SWORE that on the night of the kidnapping, she heard a bloodcurdling female scream, followed by heavy footsteps that sounded like running.
But all of the information I’d received about the kidnapping was inconsistent with that. There was no talk of a scream or any running.
Those noises remained a mystery – until this weekend, when my tenant told me the more complete story.
Apparently, this tenant’s roommate – by coincidence – happened to step outside and witness her roommate being forced, at gunpoint, into the driver’s seat of her own car.
Then she witnessed her roommate start to drive away, with two gunmen in the car with her. She started chasing the car, on foot.
She had no idea what she’d do if she caught the car. She was simply reacting. Her roommate had just been kidnapped in front of her eyes, and she didn’t want to lose sight of the car.
The kidnapping victim saw her roommate chasing the car on foot, so she started driving very slowly. That’s when – as I reported in the previous blog post – the gunmen said, “I’ll kill you if you don’t drive faster.”
She sped up, until she lost sight of her roommate in the rearview mirror. That’s when the roommate sprinted back to the house to call 911.
#2: The tenant who was kidnapped is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Nicaragua. The Peace Corps trained her in what to do in a variety of situations, including “What to do if you’re robbed at gunpoint” – and – “What to do if you’re forced into a car and kidnapped.”
She didn’t use that training in Nicaragua, but she needed it in Atlanta!
She reacted to her kidnappers in the manner in which she was trained. She didn’t consciously think, “Hmm, what did they teach me to do next?” – she simply responded in the way that felt most natural. In hindsight, the reaction that felt most natural is the reaction she was trained to show.
Lesson? Rehearse situations until they’re drilled into your sub-conscious. If you’re lucky, that preparation will be a waste of time. If you’re less lucky, that preparation might save your life.
#3: At the time I spoke with the kidnapping victim, she was returning from a meeting with a police sketch artist. The artist showed her dozens of possible shapes for jaw lines, cheek bones, lips, noses, foreheads, and helped her jog her memory.
By the time the sketch artist had finished the drawing, she said, “It was scary. The sketch looked dead-on accurate.”
“Did you know,” she added, “that there are only 19 sketch artists in the United States?”
There are a few in Florida and a few in California. The rest of the sketch artists cover entire regions. The sketch artist she met is tasked with covering all the crimes in Georgia and most of Alabama.
I tried to fact-check that data online, but I couldn’t find any information. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps “police sketch artist” together with all other types of artists (sculptors, print makers, painting restorers).
Lesson? If you’re looking for a job, there might be a need for more police sketch artists. ☺ Just sayin’.