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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:21 AM
Original message
A Manhunt and a Woman's Story..WP's take on Ashley Smith
A Manhunt and a Woman's Story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35137-20...

Hostage Says She Appealed To Suspect's Spiritual Side

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A01



snip....

Smith already knew something about untimely death. Her husband was fatally stabbed in August 2001, knocking her life so off kilter that her daughter, Paige -- now 5 -- had to go live with Smith's aunt. She was trying to put herself back together, attending school and looking for a job, when Nichols came into her world after she got back from a quick trip to the store for cigarettes.

During the morning, she recalled, she had many opportunities to escape. Nichols had cut her loose and left his guns on the bed, unattended. But she never picked them up. Instead, she read to him from "The Purpose-Driven Life." "It mentioned something about what you thought your purpose in life was: What were you? What talents were you given? What gifts were you given to use?" Smith said.

Nichols asked her to follow him in her car while he drove the customs agent's pickup truck away from the apartment complex. She asked whether she could bring her cell phone and he said she could. But she never placed a call. She picked him up after he dropped off the truck and drove back to her home with him, she said. Her decision had a courageous purpose: She feared that he would kill more people if she did not do what he said.

She had taken it upon herself to end the manhunt.

When they got back, she said, she made Nichols breakfast and ate with him. They talked about their families. He wondered what his parents would think; she talked about her faith and her daughter. "I guess he saw my faith and what I really believed in. And I told him I was a child of God and that I wanted to do God's will," she said. "I guess he began to want to. That's what I think." By 9 a.m., she was reminding Nichols that she needed to leave, that she needed to see her daughter. She thinks he knew that she would call the police. But he let her go anyway, she said. As she was walking out the door, he had one more question for her: He wanted to know whether he could help her, if he could hang some curtains for her. She looked at him and said, "Do whatever you want." Then, she was gone.
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Virginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. She is the one getting the reward, isn't she?
I haven't heard yet if she is getting the reward money.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. She should be the one to get it... Without her phone call
they would have not caught him..

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
19. The trick is empathy. That is how you win over the hearts of the wrong
thinking repukes and freepers. She used empathy. I think she must of had great teachers because she was very good at it it seems. I wonder what happened to the majority of the politically active religious in the US. They could learn a thing or two from this girl about empathy.

Me - I have a hard time listening to her account of 'understanding him'. I was sure she was going to say: "and I was blowing smoke in the fucking monster's face the whole time" at the end of her description. But she didn't. Now that is a little to empathetic for me to understand. Though at 25 I was probably allot more like her.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. I heard on the radio this morning
that there was a poll as to whether she should receive the reward and 98% said yes.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. There's a "poll" on just about everything now..
:eyes:

(so if only 17% said give her the money, the Feds would withhold it??)
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barbaraann Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. The Christians I know don't go out for cigarettes at 2 am.
n/t
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grannylib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. this one does....i am sure the holier-than-thou crowd would heartily
disapprove, but fuck them.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
17. She was a victim of trauma a few years before. It would not surprise
if she was going out for a Mickey of Gin at 2:00 AM.

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. I'm not a Christian, but I would go out for cigarettes at 2 a.m.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:53 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. I have actually done that too..
but they never have my brand, so I have to be desperate.. :)
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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
35. yeah, I thought tobacky was verboten...
A lot of fundamentalist sects prohibit cigarettes (but then, it's probably so you'll give them the money you save by not buying smokes).

I do get a weird vibe from this woman, but I think she's essentially telling the truth. It would seem odd to make up a lie that would portray you as a simpleton and a fool - for instance, not turning him in while she was following him in her car is just inexplicable. Would you voluntarily return to your apartment with a known killer, who had been mowing people down like weeds? Not a chance - at least, not if you're sane.
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #35
53. I think she is telling the truth too
but there's something fishy about this gawd, angel sent from heaven angle. At first I thought, why would a good Christian woman have to go see her child. The article said she was trying to get her life together, good for her. It's unfortunate that the media has chosen to exploit religion as the reason for the non-violent ending to this tragedy.
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grannylib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
4. I am really fearful of how the Reich Wing will treat this. I thought she
was truly heroic, keeping her cool in a terrifying situation, and really handling the whole thing well. But I bet you dollars to donuts some fundie nuts will be all over tv talking up the 'faith' part of it, then turning around the next day and supporting the Bush regime in promoting EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what she LIVED (not just said she believed). She practiced mercy, compassion, peace...and the so-called Christian Right will point to her faith as an example, then they will urge the gov't and the courts to enact legislation that is hateful, discriminatory, pro-war, pro-death, pro-greed...
makes me sick.

She deserves a medal though, for keeping a cool head. She probably saved some lives. Rock on, Ms. Smith!
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I am curious as to why she does not live with her daughter. Maybe I got
this wrong? Just curious is all.
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angee_is_mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. She had just moved
and the aunt was keeping the child while she readied the apartment. It is hard to get an apartment right with a toddler underfoot. I think that is why he asked if he could hang up some curtains.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. from the story in the original
August 2001, knocking her life so off kilter that her daughter, Paige -- now 5 -- had to go live with Smith's aunt. She was trying to put herself back together, attending school and looking for a job, when Nichols came into her world after she got back from a quick trip to the store for cigarettes
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
51. No, the aunt is raising the daughter. It's not because
she just moved.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #51
55. the article said she was "trying to get her life together"
but still.. her daughter would have been ONR yr old when her husband was killed.. Who would give up their baby after such a trauma?? Maybe they would move in with a relative to help care for the baby, but she's living the "single life" while someone else raises her daughter.. Not for me to decide which is better for the girl, but she's not living the June Cleaver lifestyle. :)
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Call me a cynic, but something about her doesn't
ring true. She was doing that "Susan Smith" tearless cry. Something doesn't fit.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I thought of Susan Smith too
signed,

a fellow cynic :)
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I'm glad I'm not the only one...
I feel like a defective for even thinking it.

However, last night--as I was up late listening to her story for a half hour--I thought to myself, "This entire story is hogwash."

All I have is my intuition on this one, and I'm feeling as if she was lying and that her entire story was fabricated.

Like you, I saw the fake crying.

I saw a fairly decent actress--acting.

I know...I know...it's absurd. However, that's how I came away feeling, after she told her story.

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. My wife and I both noticed the tear less cry.
If our hunch is right, there are going to be some angry and embarrassed people.

What if he was the person who stabbed and killed her husband? That case has not been solved.

He was waiting there near her house.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Do you have info on her husband's death??
any news articles from the time?? I have not seen much info on it..
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. All I know is that he was stabbed to death, and
that the crime has not been solved.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. I hope someone finds the news article about his death
There has to be someone looking for it.. I tried and got nowhere
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
38. uh-oh
what if this was the guy.

or it could have been her.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Hmmmm you have a devious mind...
:evilgrin:
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #8
15. Do you think maybe he knew her prior to going to her apt?
How did he choose her apt? Isn't it a big complex?

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
43.  I am sure there are some journalist
out there that have their doubts about her. She might be genuine, but if there are questions, it will come out. It took some time to catch Susan Smith.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. True, but the INITIAL stories linger...Look at how many people
still buy the first Jessica Lynch story. Retractions come on page G-23...Sensational "scoops" are Page ONE
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. The online, people's media was not respected
until just recently. The mainstream media has found they have another competitor.

The word will get out with or without the Corporate media.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
52. He did not go to her apartment. She went to the store at 2 am,
and he was parked in front of the building.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
28. I felt that way the first time I saw her on tv. I was like "oh, give it a
rest."

It's entirely possible that she thought Nichols was a hottie.
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MsTryska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
37. maybe she' s a stripper?
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 05:38 PM by MsTryska
lots of those down here.
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Tomee450 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
41. I feel the same way.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
27. I'm sorry, I think she is an irresponsible stupid ass.
She has a child (remember how the fundies love kids?). You don't gamble with leaving your child parentless in this world over the fate of someone who has already killed four people.

She's a fucking irresponsible nutjob with stockholm syndrome from way back, probably and if she was calculating this crap for the reward money the whole time then that makes her even wackier.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. I freaked when she said she "followed him in her car"
when he dumped the truck.. I hope she did not want him to escape from HER so THEY could get the reward.. If that was in her mind, she's very reckless.. MOST people with a brain would have been on that cell phone in a NY minute, and the cops would have arrested him at the drop-off point..
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confludemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. They have some things in common
OK it seems maybe hard for some to believe but...

Forget the religious stuff necessarily. A single mother trying to get her life back together after tragedy and in a world that is not easy on people like her and a black man who lost it and went berzerk have a lot to talk about and really can feel each others pain.

I've seen this same thing elsewhere.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. I have seen it too, but "most" people who lose their husband
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 12:53 AM by SoCalDem
to murder, would NOT turn over their one yr old to an aunt to raise. They "might" move in with an aunt, baby in tow, to get "back on track", but it strikes me as odd that she's "on her own".. I foresee problems ahead for that daughter..
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
54. I think you are right
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 11:18 PM by Blue_Roses
and I agree that there was a connection--something both related to on the same level---between the two. Her husband had been stabbed by some drug-dealers he had once knew because he befriended an undercover drug agent. I'm sure there's alot that they talked about that we haven't heard. Bottom line--she's geniune and she's alive to see her daughter. If it had been someone who had not been streetwise, they would be dead.

I say give her the damn reward money and leave her the hell alone!
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:51 AM
Response to Original message
18. As a victim of violent trauma the meds she is on could have had
her give a tearless cry. Those trauma suckers are pretty tough pills these days. I am on pills for trauma. Years after starting on the pills I witness some robbers, got terrified and 3 minutes later all the feelings of fear were GONE (processed, past, finito, nada, ended, finished). So I would not be surprised if the woman was on the same pills as I am. That is why she kept so calm that night, and thought so clear.

Trauma victims on trauma victim drugs... a new race of superheros!!!


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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. No side effects? n/t
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. Side effects could be a little weight gain. Powerful drugs my friend.
I am betting that there will be much less PTSD from this generation of vets. Because feelings (at least of fear) are just so "over" so fast.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. I would not assume that out-right.
SSRI's seem to have help a lot of people, I'm told, when carefully managed WITH some therapy. But it's hardly a cure-all.

I wonder, too, how ones liver responds to years of that stuff.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. I am not just talking about SSRIs. They have just invented new stuff.
Yes I think there will be costs on the body to using such drugs. But what can you do. Trauma & crime hurts man.. It hurts alot.
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GiovanniC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. She's One of Those G.R.I.T.S.
Girl Raised In The South.

My better half is one of them too, from the Birmingham and Atlanta area. I could see her reacting very well under these circumstances as well. She's a tough girl, and has her wits about her.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. I was robbed at gunpoint and jokingly told him to put the gun away
Didn't even wake my husband up to tell him when I got home that night.. I was not on drugs :)

The DA told me to "never assume that someone with a gun is joking" :)

I am a calm person in an emergency.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. You are one cool customer. Me I get terrified when my life is in danger.
I was terrified that night on the pills when I met a gun and three stockingheads. Terrified. And it was over in 3 minutes. I've never re-experienced the fear of that 'little' robbery again. Those pills I am on for trauma are really, really fast acting.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. I was majorly traumatized as a child, so maybe my senses are "numb"
The really hard part of the robbery was going to court for EIGHTEEN MONTHS to finally get the guy put in jail../ That was horrible..Every time I turned around, I was called to court (only witness who picked him out of the lineup)..

He ended up doing 7-12 (it was his FIFTH armed robbery..he was 25
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #33
44. I was not traumatized as a child. I was at 30 & on and on repeatedly.
Going to court? Wow a better person than me by far.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. I had no choice.. They would have subpoenaed me
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 07:14 PM by SoCalDem
I was the only witness.. :)

I had his weight within 2 lbs
height within an inch
age ..on the button
I remembered his tattoo on his left hand
knew he was right handed
and picked him from a line up of 6 guys who could have been brothers.. It was not like on TV where they look different.. these guys were practically look alikes.. I was so afraid I would pick the wrong one, and he would end up being a deputy or something

The thing that bothered me in court was that every time I went they would say..

"You are.....
you live at....."

When I finally got the courtroom transcripts in the mail later it shocked me.. I had forgotten.. And that scumbag's family was front and center.. For a long time I was afraid that they might pay me a visit..but they didn;t :)
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. I'm not worthy to be talking to you. You are a champion. n/t
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
40. I can't make heads nor tails out of this very weird story. It almost
sounds like one of Bush's Propaganda releases. Too Strange. :shrug:
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #40
58. Exactly. Like Jessica Lynch or the Saddam Statue
It might be real, but how are we to tell.

If we lived in a Free Nation with a free Press, maybe, but we live in Imperial Amerika where there is no "truth" or "lies" just what the Tv says.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. The "press" POUNDS this type of story so HARD and so FAST
because it's a "feel-good" story..and because of that the few real reporters who might actually have some hard questions, are scared off. If they DARE to question "America's Newest Sweetheart", they are pilloried. Only after the "story" fades a bit, do the "other" things start to dribble out, and by then the people have "moved on".. A few months from now (before the movie of the week and the book and the series) lots of people will hear "Ashley Smith" and say.. "Oh, one of the Olsen twins? or Smith?? the one who drowned her kids?".. The national attention span is less than the average gnat !

There are reporters right now who ARE questioning this, but they have mortgages and car payments and remember what happened to Dan Rather, so they are hol;ding back.. When they finally do have enough information to write their stories, and gain some notice, we will be looking frantically for these threads to say,.. "See ... we TOLD you so "
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Tactical Progressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
42. Maybe she could get Bush to come to her apartment
and get him to realize what an un-Christian asshole he is.

I mean, if she's got the power, how about continuing to use it for constructive purposes.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. LOL!! Finally some true comic relief for this story
Just thinking about that really made my day - thanks!!
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #50
56. We all know he doen't read, so maybe he'd like spending
time with her.. He could bring duct tape from his pal Tommy Ridge. ther have to be some rolls laying around Homeland Security :)
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
57. I wondered if she knew Nichols before. And, I wondered why her husband
was stabbed. What's that all about. The Christian spin on it is odd to given what we know of the media wanting to push Bush's faith based stuff and "born again."

I didn't see any interviews with her and haven't watched any of the story. Just read the newspaper accounts on DU and thought whole thing was odd. :shrug: Glad to see a thread on this.

We DU'ers are a naturally inquisitive bunch having found the media lies
to support the Bush agenda and remembering the Atlanta bombing suspect who was hounded, how can one believe most of what we read or hear these days.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. Being "born again" makes everything you did BEFORE... go away.
Notice how many people are conveniently "re-born" right about the time they would have settled down anyway. They never give credit to the natural maturation process. Somehow all that partying and goofing around just MUST be "cured" by a good dose of religion, so that the person does not have to "own" it..
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