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‘Murder’s Nobodies’

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‘Murder’s Nobodies’

The Detective Lieutenant from Homicide stood at the podium in front of the eight photos pinned on the board.  The pictures were of unnamed young women that had been brutally murdered.

The handful of Detectives seated in the room hung onto every word as he pointed at the Jane Doe photos of each young woman. The hard-nosed, no-nonsense persona of the old Lieutenant was mostly a front. He appeared to be a little rough around the edges. It went with the territory. Everyone in the room however, understood that his heart was soft. He motives were good. And besides all of that, he really cared about people.

Today, his personal mission was to bring attention to each case before them. That was clearly evident. All eight manila files in front of him had sat in the ‘Open-Unsolved’ Department’s file cabinet for too many years. He couldn’t sleep well at night any more because of them. They were his cases. This was his department. These were cases they all should be concerned about. Not just him. His mind raced ahead as he spoke to his team.

  • All the girls were listed as Jane Does.
  • No one had reported them missing.
  • Maybe they were runaways.
  • Maybe they weren’t.
  • No one seemed to miss them and several had been dead for more than five years.
  • Maybe they’d left in rebellion.
  • Maybe the family was glad they were gone.
  • They’d somehow slipped through the cracks.
  • No splash was made on the news.
  • There was no front-page write-up in the paper.
  • Why?

“These young women,” the Detective said, “are ‘Murder’s Nobodies.’ They are the victims that don’t count in the minds of those that knew them. No one knows they’re dead. No one has asked about them. No one cared enough to file a missing persons report. No one loved them. No one came looking. No one called.

“Every one of them was somebody’s daughter. Every one of them counted. They don’t deserve to lie in an unmarked grave. They don’t deserve to be forgotten. They all were horrible murdered. They suffered great pain and no one cries for them.”

The old Detective stopped in his speech and looked at the young men and women in front of him. He wanted his words to strike a note in every heart. He wanted everyone in his department to get a hold of what he was saying. He wanted them to get the Big Picture. He wanted them to care enough to do something.

“They’re ‘Murder’s Nobodies’. They weren’t famous enough to be missed. They weren’t rich enough to make the news. They weren’t pretty enough to be asked about. They were just nobodies. They lived an invisible existence in their society. Unseen, unheard of and now, forgotten. I don’t care how long it takes. I’m not willing to let these cases stay in the Open-Unsolved files. We’ve got work to do.”

The group all nodded their heads as one. Their eyes followed the Lieutenant’s eyes and looked again at the pictures on the wall. They saw them as victims who didn’t deserve to have everything taken from them. They saw them as victims who didn’t deserve to die. They saw them as victims who were called ‘Murder’s Nobodies.’ Every community has some. Every church has some as well.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 23, 2011 at 12:53 am