No Matter The Profession, Murders Should Not Be Minimized.

No Matter The Profession, Murders Should Not Be Minimized.

They were people too.

I know this is a very morbid topic to be writing about after the holidays but I recently read an article that triggered my obsession with this case again. I have lived on Long island all of my life and when I was in my twenties I used to hang out in the Robert Moses, Oak Beach area quite often. It is a beautiful, peaceful, popular area that was so much fun in the summertime. I will never go there again.

A recent article in New A recent article in Newsday brought the Gilgo Beach murders back to light. It was about an escort that had an encounter with Ex-Chief of the Suffolk County Police department James Burke. (I have my theories... but that is not what I want to write about. I want to write about the victims) The victims were mothers, daughters, sisters and friends that could have lived next door to you or I. They loved, they laughed, they cried. They were people that may have slipped through the cracks of society, but they should still always be remembered.

We've all heard the names, Melissa Barthelemy, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Costello, Shannen Gilbert, Jessica Taylor and Megan Waterman (including four more that are unidentified and speculation that there are seven more bodies possibly connected to the same killer). They were all escorts, but they were people with dreams and aspirations. Most of them had difficult childhoods that they were lucky to survive.

Amber Costello was raped when she was five years old. Shannen Gilbert had bi-polar disorder and a sister with schizophrenia, who killed her mother in July 2016. They were both distraught over the death of Shannen. Some were drug addicts, but they all had families that loved them. There is no cure for any of these things. People need to stop judging what these girls did for a living and focus on why these murders have not been solved.

Why did it take so long to respond to Shannen Gilbert's 23 minute 911 call? Why didn't the S.C.P.D even care about looking for these girls when they were reported missing? How would anyone feel if they walked into a police station to report their loved one missing to be told, "She's 24, she's where she wants to be, she's not missing."? Can anyone imagine being a family member and have reporters writing that family didn't care or didn't keep in touch like in Amber Costello's case or Shannen Gilbert's? Shannen;s mother Mari fought constantly to be heard.

Assumptions should never be made and judgment should never be cast just because someone is an escort. They all had their reasons for doing what they did for a living. No one seems to care that Suffolk County police officers are frequent clients of these girls and are paying for sex which is illegal. It's okay to judge the girls that were murdered but not okay to judge the police? It is the old "double standard" that it is acceptable to be a "John" but not acceptable to be the hooker! This and the "blue wall of silence" is what has kept this investigation from being investigated properly! If they would have cared from the beginning, maybe lives could have been saved. It is a tragedy that could have been prevented.

Cover Image Credit: Yahoo

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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