“You’ll have to kill me”

I read this article yesterday about John Gardner, who murdered Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot I hear about this case that surprises me. He was a predator. A repeat sex offender who had attempted to take the lives of other young women as well. After years of hearing all the horrible things people do to each other, I think I finally understand that in order to be effective in making things better I can’t let all that bad have so much power over me. So I am choosing to find some good in the bad.

There were two key points that struck me in this article. The first was about the woman who got away. She told authorities she was on a hiking trail and a man walked past her. She said hello, as did he. He then tackled her to the ground. She began screaming and kicking and when he told her to “shut up” her response was “you’ll have to kill me”. She continued to struggle and was able to sit up and strike him in the nose with her elbow. He was injured and she was able to get away.

I’m not in any way intending to say the other victims did anything wrong, but for this particular woman who did fight back and did get away – it shows me that self defense can and does work.

The second point was with another young girl Gardner was likely intending to harm. The girl told police that Gardner’s vehicle drove past her and then parked about 30 feet in front of her. Gardner stayed in the vehicle and did not attempt to speak to her. Then a woman pulled up next to the girl and told her the person in the vehicle “seemed very suspicious” and offered to follow her home.  She watched over her for the remaining two blocks.

That’s a wonderful testament to the goodness in people and why it’s so important to make it your business! I’m very hopeful about all of the people we can empower to fight back and to be good bystanders.

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