The Other McCain

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Arrest in Hannah Graham Case

Posted on | September 25, 2014 | 42 Comments


The disappearance of University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham has not been solved — she has not been found and it is not known whether she is dead or alive — but a suspect in her Sept. 13 disappearance, who fled to Texas, is now in police custody:

The man suspected of kidnapping a University of Virginia student reported missing on Sept. 13 was taken into police custody Wednesday night.
Jesse Matthew was arrested in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday on charges of abducting 18-year-old Hannah Graham, NBC Washington reports.
Police obtained a felony arrest warrant for Matthew, a 32-year-old patient technician at the University of Virginia, earlier this week.
Officials believe Matthew was the last person seen with the teen before she vanished. Graham went to dinner with friends the night of Sept. 12 before attending two parties held at off-campus student housing units.
She left the second party alone, and surveillance videos appear to show her walking with Matthew, his arm wrapped her waist, walking at Charlottesville’s downtown mall at around 1 a.m. Sept. 13.
Police say Matthew bought Graham alcohol at a restaurant and they left the establishment together.
Graham has not been seen since.

There are many troubling aspects to this story, and things that don’t seem to make sense. These “parties held at off-campus student housing units” — was alcohol served at these parties? Was Hannah Graham drunk when she “left the second party alone” after midnight? Do police in Charlottesville plan to prosecute those who illegally provide alcohol to 18-year-olds? Because it seems to me that there is a rather lackadaisical attitude toward the enforcement of laws against underage drinking in Charlottesville, and that this may have been a contributing factor in Hannah Graham’s disappearance.

You see this scenario all the time in “date rape” cases on college campuses: Teenage girl and teenage boy get drunk; sex happens; girl subsequently says the sex wasn’t consensual; feminists then begin shouting about the heteronormative patriarchy. Yet common sense suggests the obvious question, how are these teenagers getting drunk at college, if the legal drinking age is 21?

My supposition is that underage drinking is so common for college kids that school officials and police in college towns take it for granted, so girls keep getting raped and feminists keep shouting about patriarchy, when booze is really the basic problem.

Hannah’s parents, John and Sue Graham, moved from England to Washington, D.C., when Hannah was 5. At a press conference earlier this week in Charlottesville, Hannah’s father said:

“As this nightmare for Hannah, for us, for Hannah’s big brother James, her grandparents and extended family continues we would like to make this statement.
“Hannah is our little girl, our only daughter, James’s little sister. She is also the oldest granddaughter of her grandparents. She is enormously precious to us.
“Now somebody knows what happened to Hannah. We don’t know who that is. Others who may be watching, they may know something about what happened to Hannah.
“Did anybody see Hannah? Did you see Hannah? Who saw Hannah? Somebody did. Please if you have anything no matter how insignificant you think it may be please call the tip line.
“Anything that just might help us to bring Hannah home.”

Every parent’s worst nightmare, and I’ve got the feeling that feminists shouting about patriarchy won’t solve the problem.



42 Responses to “Arrest in Hannah Graham Case”

  1. Dana
    September 25th, 2014 @ 7:59 am

    Blaming the victim! You h8er, you, you h8ful h8ey h8er! I denounce you!

  2. robertstacymccain
    September 25th, 2014 @ 8:04 am


  3. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    September 25th, 2014 @ 8:58 am

    Our prayers to Ms. Graham and her family.

  4. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    September 25th, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    A very well done post. And this is every parents nightmare.

  5. M. Thompson
    September 25th, 2014 @ 9:19 am

    Not surprised. The desire to protect people from themselves by passing the 21 year old age for consumption has meant there is no way to effectively promote safe drinking habits to 18 year old students.

    Old enough to fight and die for your country, but can’t buy a beer.

  6. Art Deco
    September 25th, 2014 @ 9:34 am

    He shows up at the police station in Charlottesville, asks for a lawyer, then skidoos, then skips town to Galveston. Two possibilities suggest themselves:

    1. Fellow in question is the proverbial bag o’ hammers.

    2. Quite apart from that, he’s got some splainin’ to do.

  7. RS
    September 25th, 2014 @ 10:28 am

    I write only to note that state laws differ on what is an offense relative to minors and alcohol. Purchasing same is forbidden to minors; sometimes possession is forbidden; less often, consumption is forbidden, and if so, then only when there is no adult present. Providing alcohol to a minor is forbidden under certain circumstances. It’s the latter which becomes problematic. The exceptions are in place primarily because of religious and family observances.

    I second, M. Thompson’s comment above. We need a system which does not mystify alcohol and make it the forbidden fruit. I don’t often praise European social trends, but my familiarity with my European in-laws demonstrates a healthy regard among minors to the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, since kids are entitled to have a beer with their parents when they’re 15 or 16. They’re just taught to not overdo it.


  8. Finrod Felagund
    September 25th, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    Like usual, the federal government is to blame, extorting state governments to raise the drinking age or else lose federal money.

  9. Finrod Felagund
    September 25th, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    Back in Indiana, they used to bust up college parties and arrest the kids for ‘possession by consumption’, which I always thought was dumb.

  10. Finrod Felagund
    September 25th, 2014 @ 10:51 am

    Offtopic– in political news, remember New York’s 21st Congressional District? Apparently the DNC is cutting and running there:

  11. ConantheContrarian
    September 25th, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    Black on white crime … again

  12. petetheelder
    September 25th, 2014 @ 11:59 am

    We push college age kids to binge drink and to conceal their binge drinking. Europeans tend to drink more than Americans overall and many European countries have higher rates of alcohol related illnesses than we do, yet Americans age 18-22 binge drink much more often than Europeans the same age in any European country where alcohol use is legal for that age range.

    That is not a good outcome since binge drinking has very bad outcomes.

    You reward underage binge drinking by making it legally impossible for a 19 year old to drink responsibly in public. You are less likely to get caught drinking 6 beers in an hour than your are 6 beers over 6 hours. You are even less likely to get caught if you make that 6 shots in 20 minutes.

  13. ajpwriter
    September 25th, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    The booze is less the problem than the Must-Get-Shit-Faced college booze culture. Some of that is going to be natural in 18-21 year-olds, but some of it stems from the fact that, as others have said, we’ve made liquor a naughty thing, and thus and easy, cheap, and dangerous way to dance with the darkness.

    Also, as I’ve said before, social lubricant when you’re horny and inexperienced.

  14. Mal
    September 25th, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

    And a P.O.S.

  15. Adriane
    September 25th, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

    May her family and friends find strength and be comforted. May they be blessed with hope …

  16. M. Thompson
    September 25th, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

    I blame MADD mostly here. They had the idea.

  17. DeadMessenger
    September 25th, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

    A kid drinks enough, he’ll “unconsume” the booze all over the cop’s shoes. Then what happens to the “possession” clause when the kid is technically no longer in possession, I wonder?

  18. DeadMessenger
    September 25th, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    Al Sharpton told me there’s no such thing as black on white crime.

  19. WarEagle82
    September 25th, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

    Somebody should ask the former President of The George Washington University to comment.

  20. Matthew T. Mason
    September 25th, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

    Didn’t I hear this guy had actually been expelled from Liberty University(!) after an allegation of rape??

  21. kilo6
    September 25th, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

    Do police in Charlottesville plan to prosecute those who illegally provide alcohol to 18-year-olds? Because it seems to me that there is a rather lackadaisical attitude toward the enforcement of laws against underage drinking in Charlottesville, and that this may have been a contributing factor in Hannah Graham’s disappearance.

    Forget it Jake, it’s Collegetown

    Seriously, has anyone else ever tried dealing with a local Police Department that’s in a college town?

  22. theoldsargesays
    September 25th, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

    Who is this mysterious “we” that are pushing kids to binge drink and who is the “you” that is rewarding it?

  23. Jeanette Victoria
    September 25th, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

    …why was a sweetly pretty 18-year-old girl, the product of years of grooming, dressed like a street walker? Why did she leave a bar with a man she didn’t know, let alone a black man she didn’t know? Why was she drunk and walking alone at night? Why didn’t an alarm immediately go out to find her once it became clear that she was walking alone late at night?

    When women were liberated, they were liberated from common sense. They were liberated from adult protection.
    They were liberated from the wisdom of the ages. In short, they were liberated from civilization itself.

  24. Adobe_Walls
    September 25th, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

    “Old enough to fight and die for your country, but can’t buy a beer.” Add or to vote and you’ve got the argument used to lower the age to 18 for both in the early 70’s. The law changed after I became 21 (and no longer needed my fake Ids). They changed the age back to 21 in part because making 18 the legal age led to an alarming rise in younger teenagers getting in drunken car wrecks and other alcohol related troubles. However at the same time they also got serious about prosecuting those who purchased alcohol for the underage-ed. I suspect both played a part in reducing teen drinking tragedies.

  25. M. Thompson
    September 25th, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

    Good point. I was just unhappy with having to see 20 year old good sailors underway heading to mast because they were at a party with their legal age shipmates.

  26. trangbang68
    September 25th, 2014 @ 11:55 pm

    Dumb girl buys into the amoral crap spewed by the tenured a-holes on campus. Sick perv running a dragnet for drunk girls in the binge parties. Tragedy and broken hearts as the holidays are coming. Ideas have consequences.

  27. Adobe_Walls
    September 26th, 2014 @ 12:12 am

    I grew up within easy walking distance of Fort Myers (circa 1968-72) and hung around there and off base with a lot of army brat school mates. I seem to recall sneaking into one of the barracks that had (near) beer vending machines. At any rate I’d certainly have no problem with exempting active duty personnel under certain geographic restrictions. The military does after all have it’s own legal system. On the other hand perhaps the “magic age doesn’t have to be 18. There are a lot of 18 year olds still in high school which I’m sure played a large part in the problem of access to beer and wine among younger teens.

  28. M. Thompson
    September 26th, 2014 @ 12:24 am

    I see where you’re coming from. I got off active duty in 2012, and I’ve just seen the issues where CO’s have to give alcohol minor offenses to otherwise adult personnel.

    Perhaps a 19 year old age would be a better way to have it, and reducing access to the under 18 crowd, as well as a parental exemption.

  29. Matt_SE
    September 26th, 2014 @ 12:32 am

    Not only do we have rape culture in this, but race as well. If the pattern holds, feminists will be silent because race trumps sex.

  30. Adjoran
    September 26th, 2014 @ 3:00 am

    Charlottesville is a different world. Been nearly 40 years since my tenure there, but students with a U ID were treated as respected adults. The few bars that checked ages weren’t a barrier to drinking. It was easy to be comfortable with locals and especially anyone employed by the U.

    If it’s anything remotely like it was, the risky behavior the young lady apparently exhibited wouldn’t be so unusual, even if she wouldn’t think of doing the same things in Richmond or Roanoke.

    But questions remain. She texts her friends she was lost, but is at a local mall that’s a landmark – no second year student could be lost there, stranded, maybe, a long walk from most dorms. Then goes with this guy . . . there is much not yet known.

  31. Adjoran
    September 26th, 2014 @ 3:03 am

    There is no easy solution – many states had 18 for at least beer and wine, but as Fin notes, the feds held the highway funds ransom to make them all raise it.

    That is the fundamental error. Leave it to the states. There is no magic universal answer to drinking age.

    If anything, we should be raising the voting age to 25.

  32. Adjoran
    September 26th, 2014 @ 3:10 am

    By that logic there should be no drinking age at all because the same applies to those underage no matter what the limit is.

  33. Adjoran
    September 26th, 2014 @ 3:11 am

    I heard he played football there for 2 years and didn’t graduate, which is nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing about rape, but he has a record of assault charges.

  34. Bob Belvedere
    September 26th, 2014 @ 8:34 am

    On your last point: Age is not the problem. People who have no interest in keeping governments small are. Restrict the Franchise back to real property owners.

  35. Art Deco
    September 26th, 2014 @ 10:37 am

    I suppose what strikes one is as follows:

    1. Jesse Matthew isn’t pretty.

    2. It is doubtful that too many haut bourgeois like Hannah Graham ever take much interest in the ordinary run of the world’s hourly employees.

    3. So what was motivating her? I’ve just never understood this affection for rough trade on the part of many women, and I’ve seen it up close and personal.

  36. M. Thompson
    September 26th, 2014 @ 11:29 am

    How about those who show what we know of as signs of civic virtue?

  37. trangbang68
    September 26th, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

    drugs and alcohol will make a chump out of anybody. Unfortunately it cost this girl her life

  38. Art Deco
    September 26th, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    drugs and alcohol will make a chump out of anybody.

    Not quite. My high school art teacher had a poster by her desk with aphorisms. One was ‘things said while drunk have been thought out beforehand’.

  39. theoldsargesays
    September 26th, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

    There should definitely be a military exemption.
    During my time in I could drink legally in my home state of Florida, in Tennessee where I attended training and North Carolina, home of my permanent duty station. While stationed in California for 3 months of training myself and others of my age were reduced to standing outside the local liquor stores and asking ” Hey mister would you buy us some….”
    If a service member can go overseas and fight in these insane conflicts then he damn well ought be able to throw back a shot and a beer without having to hide it like some high school kid.

  40. theoldsargesays
    September 26th, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

    The problem with that is that our current President and Attorney General would readily pronounce “undocumented aliens” and “rehabilitated felons” as virtuous in order to boost Democratic Party voter rolls.

  41. theoldsargesays
    September 26th, 2014 @ 6:44 pm


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