Person of the year: The runners up

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When the remains of her daughter Morgan were discovered on a southern Albemarle County farm nearly two years ago, Gil Harrington could have let searing anguish push her into a quiet corner.

But through her exquisite pain and rage, she has put a powerful voice behind every parent's deepest fear. Straight talk about the killer and poetic talk about her daughter have combined with a recent lawsuit to make Gil– short for Gilbert (a French name with a soft "g")– a powerful national advocate for the families of missing people. Along with her equally fervent husband, Dan, she has been lobbying lawmakers for tougher crime laws. In October, the couple launched a new nonprofit, Help Save the Next Girl, which they hope will help prevent other deaths through safety education initiatives and help those who have violently lost a loved one navigate the unfamiliar and overwhelming terrain of police investigations and relentless media coverage. "We're not going away," Gil has promised. Does anyone doubt she means it?


You could call him "king of the flip," and for much of his real estate career, Hunter Craig ruled over creative and oh-so-lucrative real estate transactions. In 2011, however, Craig's crown was knocked askew by the ever-growing controversy over Biscuit Run, the development-turned-state park that focused an unflattering light on the concept of conservation tax credits. First announced by outgoing Governor Tim Kaine in December 2009, the sale of the 1,200 acre-property to the state was presented as a generous gift by investors, but it didn't take long for the cracks in that story to show. First, there was the $88 million appraisal Craig and company hoped would provide more than $30 million in tax credits. That, coupled with the $9.8 million sales price, would have helped the investors recoup most of their losses on what many saw as a bad bubble-era speculation. The state rejected that valuation, and now Craig is suing the state– er, that would be you, the taxpayer– in an effort to refill his diminished coffers. Wait a sec–  Is he a king, or a dictator?

When conservatives hear progressive political activist David Swanson coming, they might want to run away. But sometimes, they do so quite literally. After Vice President Dick Cheney announced plans to speak at the Miller Center on November 16, Swanson publicly called for Cheney's arrest for conspiracy to commit torture. "Were a local resident credibly accused of torture, I sincerely doubt you would hesitate to seek his or her immediate arrest and indictment," Swanson wrote in a November 14 letter emailed to Charlottesville and Albemarle law enforcement and posted on his website, Mere hours later, the Miller Center announced that Cheney's visit would be postponed for "personal reasons" and that he'd reschedule for early next year. Coincidence? Perhaps. But either way, Swanson will undoubtedly lead the welcome parade if the former Veep appears.





With her extensive technology credentials, Albemarle County Public Schools Superintendent Pam Moran has lived up to her promise that County schools will lead the nation in adopting educational tools for the 21st century– for instance, the school system was one of the first in the state to give iPod Touch technology to every high school student. But a Hook investigation revealed that Moran's ties to a corporation known as SchoolNet run deep and raised questions about a multimillion-dollar contract for a grade-keeping database that malfunctioned so badly that high school seniors could have had their college plans derailed. When the Hook sought emails explaining how tightly Moran was connected to SchoolNet, Moran clammed up. And then sent the Hook a bill of nearly $2,000 for her obfuscatory efforts.


When a big-time crime happens in a rural community, resources can be stretched thin, but Orange County Commonwealth's Attorney Diana Wheeler showed that her office meant business when Eric Abshire was arrested in December 2010 for the four-years-earlier murder of his wife, Justine. In October– just weeks before she was up for reelection and mere months after the infamous non-conviction of Casey Anthony– Wheeler and assistant commonwealth's attorney Rick Moore laid their case out for a jury. It had been painstakingly investigated over five years, but like the Casey Anthony case, was built on circumstantial evidence. Even without a single physical link between Abshire and the murder, Wheeler won a first-degree murder conviction– and, less than two weeks later, reelection.


Over the past decade, Charlottesville-based hedge fund manager Ted Weschler quietly earned a reputation as one of the best money managers on the planet, making wise long-term investments (the wisest, of course, in a small town newspaper known as the Hook.) But the man who has reportedly brought his investors a more than 1,200 percent return since 2001 wasn't satisfied, and after donating $5 million to charity in exchange for two meals with Warren Buffett– the most expensive job application ever, as various national media noted– Weschler was offered a top spot with Berkshire Hathaway. Now that he's one of two heirs apparent to the man known as the "Oracle of Omaha," all Weschler needs is his own nickname: The Virginia Visionary? The Channeller of Charlottesville? The Augur of Albemarle?





Perhaps the best test of grace is how you appear when you're falling from it. And in 2011, no one made financial catastrophe look more glamorous than Pat Kluge, once married to America's richest man. This year, she kept her head high as she faced foreclosure on two homes, her vineyard, and the County subdivision she'd planned to develop. With Donald Trump swooping in to purchase Kluge Vineyard Estates, now known as Trump Vineyard Estates, Kluge– who earns a six-figure salary working for the Donald– stood proudly by his side at an October event, ribbing reporters and looking every bit as regal as she did when she had billions at her disposal.



In this age of struggling newspapers, Brian Wheeler's at the helm of the nonprofit growth-watching website Charlottesville Tomorrow whose no-fee coverage of municipal meetings has helped keep the Daily Progress in business. That contribution– which dates to 2009– won recognition this past March from Editor & Publisher magazine as an innovative solution to the challenges facing the industry. Although Wheeler's cheerleading of the dam and pipeline plan pushed by the Nature Conservancy have brought him criticism, even critics can see that Wheeler's doing something right simply by compensation: over $100,000 according to records on






In his first year as Charlottesville City Manager, Jones has proven he has the communication chops to get along with various departments and elected officials. His predecessor, Gary O'Connell, who held the job for years, was criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike for foisting plans for a new reservoir on elected officials. Jones, however, has a background in news. A sports reporter for NBC29 back in the 1990s, he later served as the city spokesperson, launching a public access program featuring interviews with various movers and shakers. The first African American to hold the City's top job, Jones has accomplished more than mere symbolism. He oversaw a peaceful resolution to the Occupy Charlottesville movement, which took over Lee Park on October 15 and remained a tent city until the city eviction on November 30. Unlike in other cities, where protesters and police clashed and pepper spray and billy clubs appeared, the only headline-grabbing element of the Charlottesville eviction was the naked lady protester.

With an all-Democrat city council that's likely to stay that way, and a city populace that typically votes 80 percent Democratic, conservative radio show host and former City Councilor Rob Schilling may be in the minority, but his is a loud and persistent voice of opposition to the leaders of what he calls "The People's Republic of Charlottesville." The most recent target of his wrath: Occupy Charlottesville, and the city officials who approved the tent city that sprung up in mid-October and remained until November 30. Calling the Occupiers a "lawless group" and criticizing the condition of Lee Park after the group vacated, Schilling has also pointed out that the Tea Party hasn't been met with the same level of favors by the city.





He hiked the Appalachian Trail at age 17, ran for public office in his mid-20s, and has long been known locally for his news aggregator and his legislation-centric But 2011 was the year the world seemed to recognize Jaquith's talents. In June, Jaquith was awarded $160,000 from the Knight Foundation to develop an interactive website to make the Virginia State Code more accessible, an effort he hopes to repeat for other states across the country. As if that weren't enough, the White House came calling this fall, offering Jaquith– who recently became a father– a top-secret part-time job that he'll describe only as "something to do with open government." Even when he writes a blog post on making a cheeseburger from scratch, national media perk up, including Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. Dude. Care to share the success a little?





If there's one thing you can say for Tom Frederick, it's that he sticks to his guns. Take the community water plan. Even after numerous groups and individuals provided hard data showing the water demands of the future have been grossly overestimated, Frederick still stands by the need for a new dam and 9.5-mile pipeline that could continue the spike in local water bills (which have already tripled since 1999). Any concern that Charlottesville's water supply is getting overbuilt to provide a test case for the Nature Conservancy and its deep-pocketed donors (Nestlé Waters and American Standard, to the tune of $1 million each) hasn't stopped a majority on City Council from listening to Frederick– and letting him tear up the Ragged Mountain Natural Area.






Her daughter reported being raped, and Susan Russell expected authorities to do something about it. When they didn't, an enraged Russell turned activist, launching and outing her daughter's alleged assailant. This year, the fruits of Russell's labor hit Richmond in the form of a bill forcing collaboration between local and campus police departments in felony rape and murder cases and that would require schools to notify local prosecutors within 24 hours of a crime involving a student being reported. While the Virginia Crime Commission rejected several of the HB2490's measures, Russell's hopeful that when it goes to a full vote in the state legislature early next year, lawmakers will see the light. We'll stay tuned.

Read more on: Person of the Year


When is the final announced?

It's going to be Teresa Sullivan- that's the only notable not mentioned

None of the above!

Deleted by moderator.

Thank you Courteney. So glad to know about all of these good people and so proud to know Gil Harrington. Under nearly unbearable circumstances, she has soldiered on to make the world a better place. One would be hard pressed to find a kinder soul. Congratulations to all who are mentioned here. :)

Diana Wheeler da truth mane

Has anybody tole David Swanson that the president that has been president for three years now is a criminal under the War Powers Act? (eh, don't waste your time)

Kluge gave well over a million dollars to build the new science building at PVCC, just as she was going broke. How much did the entire staff of the Hook donate? ($0.00) Give her a break.

What will the Hook do when HB2490 passes and they have to cover up yet another death of a UVA student (like they are right now)?

Oh it's that nut sean.

Maurice Jones has accomplished something? Really, what? Most importantly, has that county resident accomplished moving into the city he supposed leads?

For details on Obama's war criminality see my book "War Is A Lie" and my blog. For a t-shirt demanding his arrest, ask and I'll give you one.

Politicians and government officials do not deserve to be honored for anything- IT IS THEIR JOB TO DO THESE THINGS FOR THEIR CONSTITUENTS!!!

The Harringtons went through a terrible ordeal and have my utmost sympathy. I do not approve of suing the security company at the concert for what happened. They have rules and the rules seem legitimate. If they really want to make a big impact, they should focus on drug prevention as well.

Person of the Year ; James Halfaday going away . He did it all by himself ,using his own bootstraps and initiative he got more stories than anyone .

Maurice Jones is the Totalitarian Regime Puppet of the Year maybe. He ended the oc peacefully unlike NY, Oakland, and every MAJOR city in the U.S. What a joke. These kinds of articles and Lisa Provence's writing is why the The Hook will never be taken seriously.

Is moran REALLY worthy of any runner up other than the Poor Judgment award? Who comes up with this list anyway? Roll of the dice or darts???

I'm saddened to see Gil Harrington is not THE "Person of the Year." Nobody has done more for the safety of America's youth, most notably C-ville's youth, this year. With her ad campaign that airs nationally not to mention the passage of the bill that allowed Familial DNA to become a resource for VA LE, this woman is unstoppable. She has appeared on national television and BEFORE CONGRESS to fight for the safety of our future. Her philanthropy doesn't end there--she makes an annual pilgrimage to Africa to help those most in need in our world and to provide them with medical care through OMNI. She is a true selfless individual--we could all learn multitudes from her. My hat is off to you, Gil. 2*4*1. May God bless you and your family for all you have endured and all the great work you all continue to do. We will NEVER FORGET your precious daughter or the monster that took her life. We are united in our pursuit for justice, and I for one think you are the salt of the earth.

Crozet Parent - then what would you do with all of your spare time?

Cosmo- when you say something in print that is untrue and damages the reputation of another, that is called libel. I do not know you(probably) so to cast aspersions unprovoked in a public forum is rather juvenile.

I merely expressed my opinion that to have a lawsuit, not matter what good cause the money is earmarked for, is inappropriate when the defendant did not violate a law and merely enforced policies common at so many venues. Alcohol and drugs cause poor judgement and often lead to harmful consequences.

Don't you think America's youth would have benefited more from knowing what choices Morgan and her friends made that made her easy prey for the killer. No amount of marches, ribbons or increased bureaucracy will stop the predators from seeking out the vulnerable. In my opinion, it would be more helpful to potential victims to know what mistakes were made by their peers to hopefully scare them from repeating them, though that may be painful for the harringtons to share.

Susan Russell I would hope is the only person that should even be considered. I dare say she would not even want the title. Hell hath no fury as a women scorned.

Mr Frederick should be put in a wheel chair to cross Main St.

i really don't think that the "blame the victim" mentality will solve the problems this area has ... it is necessary to hold the agencies and organizations that are tasked and retained to provide security and maintain transparency accountable. until this takes place ... this area and community are broken and irreparable.

i really don't think that the "blame the arena" mentality will solve the problems this family decries... it is necessary to hold the killer accountable, and prudent to remind others not to put themselves in vulnerable situations by becoming inebriated, wandering away from their companions, and hitching rides with strangers... until this takes place ... attempts to save the next girl will be broken and irreparable....or at least incomplete.

So "cosmo" and "For Reals?" are the same person.

booo!, what?

I think For Reals?, Crozet Parent, and Red are making sense. No one is blaming the victim. All this blaming everyone else has got to stop. The first few days after Morgan went missing were when she had the most sympathy, before she was made out to be a flawless angel. Back when she was real. Making her out to be a better person than anyone else has backfired. I wish I had known the real Morgan.

Read again booo! I thought the same thing at first glance. "For Reals?" makes some sense while cosmo is still spinning.

obviously those closest to the killer(s) will blame the victim. i totally expect the uneducated confederate waving xenophobes to side with UVA and martial law. women ... how does it feel to know that your police, university police and major state and federal agencies have totally dropped the ball and allow for these injustices to continue for so long? AND you have to listen to the civil war losing side troll these sites and basically mock the fact that a girl was raped and murdered in their backyard almost with a pride that makes you sick. For Reals? and cookieJar ... it is time to grow up and brush the remaining teeth you DO have and admit that your community is ignorant, impotent and incapable of protecting and serving.

spin that

booo!, It appears that cosmo and sean ARE one and the same. I hope so at least, since I'd take some comfort in knowing that particular combination of illiteracy and lunacy to be unique.

lunacy and illiteracy, huh? you guys really must be hurting for intelligence. i grew up outside of Virginia, which means i don't inbreed and i have an education that doesn't consist of how to cook a squirrel. who are you trying to kid. it is obvious there is a problem in your area and only a matter of time before the population responsible for this crime is incarcerated, if they are not already. regarding your attitude toward women and the female gender ... that is obvious. your comments speak volumes and are wonderful examples of why the civil war was fought and won by the north. ignorance is bliss i guess? carry on and see where is gets you and your gang.


oh ... and have we heard anything from local law enforcement? UVA PD? FBI? CIA? any updates, leads, suggestions, ideas, etc. "uh we know they know the area ... "
wow - GREAT detective work. how many people who made promises are gone from this case?
whatever happened to the kid who got shot 58 times and didn't have a gun? dash cams?
i would NEVER want to have to place faith in the infrastructure of protection and security in the richest state in the United States of America if this is the way that crimes are handled.
Happy Holidays ... if you are a criminal.

My mistake, sean NEVER made me laugh like that.

cookieJar ... put the meth down if you can and try to stay focused on the topic at hand.

I don’t know who you are, cosmo, but you don’t live in Charlottesville and you don’t have any more facts than anyone else. Therefore to cry “cover up” or say someone is blaming the victim because their opinion differs from yours sounds extremely uneducated in and of itself. Why so much anger? You have called our people inbred and insult us and you don’t have any more facts than anyone else. For all you know, the person responsible for Morgan’s death came here after leaving Fairfax and left here after Morgan’s murder. The person could be proficient in reading maps. They could have military training. All the VSP is saying now is they were familiar with Anchorage Farm, not that they were local. The Fairfax connection threw a real monkey wrench in for all those with torches and pitchforks ready to come after anyone local.

Your insults show your bigotry and your shameful stereotypes betray your lack of education. Get some real facts from somewhere besides a crime blog where the writer can’t even get the former owner of Anchorage Farm correct. She claims the former owner of Anchorage went to Kentucky with his brother. The actual former owner, had the same name as the man who went to Kentucky, and the person she claims owned it NEVER did. It is PROVEN in PUBLIC RECORDS, which she would have known had she not relied on 2nd hand or 3rd hand information, as do you. But you who read there from somewhere other than Charlottesville will never know she makes egregious errors because you don’t know enough to even be able to check the facts. I'm making this reference because I've seen your name there. So, get a clue cosmo. You’re nasty and sound like a spoiled loser trying to cover for their inability to get what they want.

We’re not protecting anyone, cosmo. People like you are the reason the people in Charlottesville are going to completely tune out the Harringtons. Thanks for being responsible for that. They are kind and generous people unlike those who attack and brand all of us as hiding someone that has not even been identified yet. If you had any credentials to investigate, I would say bring it, because I have nothing to hide. We have tried to help and for that get smacked by the blindly accusing like you. Shame on you. You have the luxury of your hometown being anonymous; otherwise I would be happy to show you the atrocities that have happened in the past under your own nose.

By the way, speaking of blaming the victm. . . the Harrington family are victims in this – and they live in Virginia – they lived in Charlottesville and Dr. Harrington went to UVA – so you colored them with the same hateful brush you used on the rest of us. Are you a winner, cosmo . . . I would have thought wiener is more likely.

Right on, Drain the Swamp. Leaches like cosmo, who like that blogger, have never set foot in Charlottesville and know nothing about it's people, are the ones causing even the most caring and sympathetic to turn away every time Morgan's name is mentioned. Calling us all inbred, toothless, women hating bigots is not doing the Harringtons any favors.

gee did i strike a nerve. thank you for proving my point Drain the swamp and Regular Joe ... obviously i am correct and i have no shame. you people need to wake up. people like me continue to keep this active as your apathy and sheer lack of intelligence has been the problem since the beginning. don't try to flip this around on those of use who refuse to go quietly into the night and let this situation pass after 2 years without so much as an update. Shame on you Drain the swamp and Regular Joe who just wish all of this would go away so you can continue your backwoods ways and live in blissful ignorance. i MUST have struck very close to home and thank you for making it clear that you and your crew have severe issues and you may even be responsible for the lack of success and the overall fear that upstanding citizens in your area are feeling. a girl can't go to a concern without it being her fault for her demise? who are you kidding? and i never claimed to be trying to do anyone any favors ... the Harringtons don't need you or me to fight for them. i just bring it to the forefront and maintain the relevancy of the fact that your infrastructure is broken and it is obvious. how in the world can the richest state in the United States not protect it's women? you need a good answer before you try to distract with name calling and totally irrelevant topics. this girl was murdered in your backyard and you and your community were powerless to stop it.


Cosmo -- Where do you get your information that she was raped and murdered ? There hasn't been any release of such information . You are making things up . You are also condemming a whole populace based on your assumption . Do you realize basically how unfair you are trying to be ? In any event the murder rate is high in the USA in comparison to most democratic Western countries . If your assumptions are correct and if you are a US citizen then by your own stated standards are as complicit in all aspects of the MH case as those you try to condem .

For the record, I have no idea who cosmo is - nor do I agree with his or her rants in this thread. Anyone can post under any name they want. Me and Susan are about the only two people who ever post using our real names. I don't come to the Hook often. I did notice that the Hook published a tiny blurb about the latest UVA student to die after I posted about it a few times in these threads. They deleted most of them, but this one survived.

The facts remain. Many of the details in the Harrington case that had a UVA twist to them took a very long time to come out, even when it was still a missing person's case. Notice also how nobody here is the least bit interested in another student dying at UVA, or why. The only thing that cosmo is right about (probably by guessing) is that there is a culture of cover up here that every facet of local media abides by when it comes to UVA. Their largest advertiser clearly tells them not to cover news that might cast them in a bad light. They obey those orders, as is once again obvious.

You can bet that UVA is flexing every bit of its financial and lobbying money in Richmond to stop Kathryn's Law (HB2490) to keep exclusive control of their private, armed militia. We'll see what happens.

i have been correct about each aspect of this case. i am sorry if it is making you natives uncomfortable, but the truth hurts and you need to hear it. notice how many of you all go out of your way to post here and say "oh cosmo is wrong" and "cosmo doesn't know what he is talking about" ... if that were really true, why wouldn't you just keep quiet? but notice how many people go out of their way to attack and refute, yet they don't post or contribute in any other way. the true finds it's way out and if you look above and the reactions that follow the truth ... it speaks volumes. R.I.P. Morgan and thank goodness i don't have to send my child to a Virginia school.

cosmo, your most obvious mistake is in thinking that you are addressing "natives." You clearly haven't haven't the first clue about Charlottesville or UVA.

As several other have stated, it's the obsessive and frequently ridiculous postings by the cult of internet Morgan worshipers like yourself that has turned the case into a tabloid spectacle that most locals don't want to participate in. The fact that those people wish to have nothing to do with engaging ranting online fools says nothing about their interest in the investigation. Only the most irrational of foaming at the mouth lunatics would would post garbage claiming that those of us that actually live here have some interest in protecting a murderer whose freedom threatens US locally while posing little or no harm to out of state posters. Get a grip!

Cosmo, I’ve read past things you said, and they made sense. But you have become really nasty. Here’s a tip: the only thing people are going to remember from your posts are your insults. If that’s what you want, keep scraping the bottom of the barrel. I responded to you once. Apparently, you consider that some kind of victory. I am a native of the area and it bothers me to see the insulting way you treat us. You don’t know how many people have supported the Harringtons from the local area. I do and I will continue to do so. But others won’t. Not because of your reminders of the crime in the area, but because of your insults. You are unfortunately misguided if you think you’re hitting any nerves other than the obvious one that your uncalled for insults hit. You have made one point though; I will not respond to you again. Nor will I read anymore of your boorish comments. Have a great holiday.

I don't usually address the trolls in blogs -- however, the insensitivity shown to the family of Morgan Harrington is disgusting. If people want to channel their energy, do something useful such as write the Delegates to support victims rights bills -- many bills were proposed in the past legislative session that the public took no notice of and provided little support to in the way of letter writing campaigns. Cities that welcome college students and appreciate the added income also have to deal with the added crime - it's part of the deal, so rather than ignore it, address it head on and be done with it.

Charlottesville is a great little town and also harbors some very dark secrets because the University does have control over their police and the amount of information shared with the Commonwealth Attorneys office. The only way for the public to deal with the additional crime is to acknowledge it and react to it by tightening the laws. That's what we tried to do with HB2490, however, your representative on the Crime Commission, Del Rob Bell, did not agree with this law. He represents you - not me - so only you people of Charlottesville can get an office call and talk with him. UVA did some lobbying and told the delegates that my daughter had no case - even after President Sullivan apologized to her and said she would stop her staff from distorting the truth. I fought for HB 2490 as a bill for all victims, not to settle a personal vendetta with UVA, yet UVA chose to make it personal and attacked my daughter's credibility during their private little meetings with Senator Norment and other Crime Commission members as well as a reporter on the Richmond Times-Dispatch. That was dirty politics and reprehensible. I took President Sullivan at her word that it would stop and it did not.

I really wish the people who have been bashing the victims and their families on this blog would realize how insensitive their writings are and stop writing fiction and stick to facts when discussing crime cases. No good ever comes from insensitive ignorant comments.

Here are the facts. Morgan Harrington went to a concert, left the venue and her friends during the show, tried to find her own way somewhere, and ended up dead. Not sure how any of that bashes her family. Those are just the facts of what happened.

She was an adult -- meaning she was free to disappear if she wanted to. Either way, no one reported her as missing until after her purse was found and her folks found out from her friends (the next day) that Morgan had not returned with them. UVA then handed it over to VSP. There's no coverup I can see in this case.

The Harringtons are obviously anguished and wish that someone could have saved Morgan from the fate no one knew was about to befall her. How can you save someone from an unexpected random event that is about to happen to them? Does anyone think the security guards instructed her to leave the safety of staying close to the venue to go hitch for a ride? Does anyone think the security guards knew a killer was lurking out there at that moment, ready to strike?

Most people who go to concerts at UVA are not murdered -- even patrons who leave and are denied re-entry. The venue surely does not intend the no re-entry policy to be a death sentence. Her death was an anomaly.

What legislation could have prevented her death? There are already laws prohibiting underage drinking, which seem to have failed in this case. There are already laws against illegal drug use, which may have failed in this case. What additional legislation would have saved the poor girl? Should we outlaw concerts, even though thousands upon thousands make it out alive?

The point made was not that legislation would have saved her, the point was that legislation would have mandated that certain protocols would be put in place immediately once her disappearance was reported to police. There were many negligent steps taken in the first 48 hours after her disappearance. Arguing sporatically on blogs that she made a poor choice does not at all address what legal actions taken did/did not do to enhance the investigation and the search for Morgan. The first 48 hours were handled by campus police and then, at the request of her parents, it was turned over to the state police. Why did her parents even have to ask the campus police to turn it over. It was apparent something was wrong from the minute she did not renter the concert. By making comments "did security guards know a killer was lurking pout there", you change the argument from facts and turn it emotional and whether or not you intended, you revictimize the victim. None of us knows exactly what happened, but we do know how it ended. Mrs Russell's point is correct - we have to look at the issue and determine what protocols are necessary to minimize crime in our town and mandate collaboration and transparency between campus and local police. Constantly blaming these girls is reprehensible. This is an election year so you won't see it happen this year - Delegate Rob Bell now wants to be Attorney General so he won't do a thing to upset campus police and even though the State Police associations backed HB 2490, he went with the desires of the campus police lobby and did not vote for the full text of HB 2490. Shame on him - he just received an award for victims rights from the VA Sexual Assault Alliance - yet he thinks rapes on campus are exaggerated. I do not want him for my Attorney General.

sorry for the typos - my version of word seems to correct my typing .... but y'all know what I meant to say.....

Her folks aren't suing VSP or the campus police -- they're suing concert security, so that must be what they think failed to save Morgan.

As to the other kind of legislation and its proposed protocols, the girl was an adult. Adults can disappear if they want to. She wasn't a child waiting for an amber alert to be issued. As an outside observer, it seems like the police sprang into action a little more quickly than they would have for most missing persons cases where adults are involved, perhaps due to Dr. Harrington's connections with UVA. I don't see where an ungodly amount of time passed. 15 hours had already elapsed before her folks understood she was missing. That's not the fault of UVA or VSP.

What negligent steps were taken in the first 48 hours after her disappearance? I can't think of any , except for the friends not reporting her missing until being asked about it. And I don't think it's true that her parents asked for the investigation to be turned over to the state police. I think UVA PD turned it over to VSP -- or began spearheading it together -- as soon as they realized she had disappeared from somewhere that was not part of UVA's campus. And the FBI had gotten involved by Oct. 23. So lots of agencies were involved and actively investigating. Police -- including sniffer dogs, a helicopter, and a SWAT team in town for training -- searched the area around the arena 3 times early on -- starting as early as the Monday after she disappeared. So it seems like there was plenty of cross agency collaboration early on. You're probably confused by the Harrington's having thrown their support to Susan R's campus police bill -- which is a bit confusing, as that bill is completely unrelated to Morgan's case and wouldn't have changed a thing about her investigation had that legislation been in place.

You say "It was apparent something was wrong from the minute she did not renter the concert." Apparent to whom? Her friends never thought to report her missing until asked. It's apparent in hindsight, but apparently wasn't apparent at that time.

More proof that it wasn't apparent early on -- even to VSP -- that a crime had been committed: an Oct. 22, 2009 article called "Mystery of Missing Va. Tech Student Deepens as Police Say Evidence of Crime Inconclusive." It says in part:

"The disappearance of a Virginia college student last seen at a heavy metal concert remained a mystery Thursday as state police said they had no evidence to prove one way or the other that Morgan Harrington is the victim of a crime.
"Virginia State Police said that though they are treating the case as a criminal investigation, they haven't found conclusive evidence about whether or not a crime was committed."

I apparently was wrong in presuming that David Swanson would now be a supporter of starting wars, bombing grandchildren, renditions, torture, and drone strikes like most all Obama supporters are now that their idol is in charge of them. My bad.

But I invite everyone to spend 5 minutes looking over his War is Crime website, and ask yourselves how it is that the Hook could possibly have spun him as a local hero seeking to shout down a a former VP three years out of office.