The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Police Find Remains Believed to Be Missing UVA Student Hannah Graham

Posted on | October 19, 2014 | 21 Comments

Virginia authorities have not yet officially confirmed that the remains found Saturday in Albemarle County are those of Hannah Graham, but it appears that suspect Jesse Matthew will be facing a murder charge in the case of the missing 18-year-old student:

The remains were found around noon near Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County, said Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo.
The area is less than 10 miles from where Graham, 18, was last seen. Longo said he “made a very difficult phone call” to Graham’s parents to share the discovery with them, but forensic tests need to be conducted to determine the identity of the remains.

More from the Associated Press:

The weekslong search for a missing University of Virginia student appears to have come to a sad end with the announcement by police officials that they have discovered human remains that could be hers.
Further forensic tests are needed to confirm whether the remains are those of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, but Graham’s parents were notified of the preliminary findings, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo told a news conference Saturday, shortly after the discovery was made. . . .
Longo said a search team from the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office found the remains Saturday on an abandoned property in southern Albemarle County — the same region where police found the body of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington three months after she vanished in 2009.
Last month, after arresting a suspect in Graham’s disappearance, police said they found a “forensic link” between the two cases.
Thousands of volunteers had searched for the 18-year-old Graham in the weeks since her disappearance Sept. 13. . . .
“Countless hours, thousands of hours, have been spent by literally hundreds of law enforcement, civilian volunteers in an effort to find Hannah,” Longo said. “We think perhaps today proved their worth.”
Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., 32, has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 4 on the charge. . . .
[After Matthew was arrested] Virginia State Police announced a “forensic link” to Harrington’s killing. That case, in turn, has been linked by DNA evidence since 2012 to the rape of a woman in Fairfax, Virginia, who survived after a passer-by startled her attacker, the FBI has said.
Following Matthew’s arrest, Christopher Newport University released a statement noting that he had been named in a police file involving a Sept. 7, 2003 sexual assault on the Newport News campus. Matthew was a student there from January 2003 through Oct. 15, 2003.
Matthew had transferred to CNU after three years at Liberty University, where he also was briefly on the football team.
When he was at Liberty University, he was accused of raping a student on campus. That charge was dropped when the person declined to move forward with prosecution, Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette said.

That’s at least two sexual assaults and one murder in which Matthew was suspected before Hannah Graham disappeared last month. Our justice system often fails in this way. A criminal gets away with one crime (a rape charge was dropped in Lynchburg) and gets away with another crime (he was a suspect in a second assault in Newport News, but not prosecuted), and the fact that he has escaped apprehension encourages him to continue pursuing his criminal habits. Then one day, usually after years of escalating his criminality, the petty criminal is charged with an atrocity that makes national headlines.

People say, “Were there warning signs? Were there clues that this person was a dangerous monster?” Yes, always there are. Why were the clues and warnings overlooked, so that the monster got away with his life of crime for so long? It’s simple: Most people do not think about crime and criminals in a realistic way. The reality can be expressed very simply: Who commits crimes? Criminals do.

True, any law-abiding citizen may decided tomorrow to stop obeying the law, commit a crime and so become a criminal. Yet in terms of law enforcement generally, a majority of really serious crimes — murder, rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, armed robbery, grand theft — are committed by a relatively small number of lifelong criminals. These people are characterized by their general anti-social personality; the criminal’s contempt for decent citizens is expressed by his refusal to live by society’s law. The habitual offender gets away with many small crimes (petty theft, breaking-and-entering, narcotics possession, etc.) and this confirms his view that people who obey the law are just chumps, or cowards who lack the boldness to defy the law.

This anti-social worldview is at the root of the criminal’s persistence, and explains why some petty criminals continue escalating their criminality until they commit murder.

The good news is that law enforcement has in recent years begun to figure out how to apply this common-sense understanding of the criminal mind in a systematic way. Technology has provided very useful tools — video surveillance and DNA testing being the most obvious — and the development of nationwide database systems means that it is increasingly difficult for the persistent criminal to evade detection. Furthermore, our laws and our courts have become less tolerant of the repeat offender. Our prison population has increased because the criminal justice system is no longer biased toward “rehabilitating” the perpetrator of serious violence. Now, we understand (and act on the understanding) that the violent criminal must simply be kept off the streets, if we are to protect citizens against violent crime.

It appears that Jesse Matthew was able to evade apprehension for more than a decade from the time of his first serious crime until he committed the crime that made nationwide headlines. But law enforcement moves forward every day, and if not every crime can be prevented, we can at least hope that every criminal will be punished.



21 Responses to “Police Find Remains Believed to Be Missing UVA Student Hannah Graham”

  1. vermontaigne
    October 19th, 2014 @ 10:51 am

    Other possible victims listed here

    Serial killer Michael Nicolaou once owned a porn shop in Charlottesville. When I was there, UVa was constantly minimizing the frequency of violent crime in the environs of the campus in their stats. I hope the local and campus police have gotten more competent than when I was there.

  2. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    October 19th, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    They notified the Graham family and I doubt they would have done that unless there were almost certain it was Heather. RIP.

  3. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    October 19th, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    Dan, I doubt it. Schools always downplay campus crime since it tends to discourage some parents from sending their children there…

  4. M. Thompson
    October 19th, 2014 @ 11:34 am

    Just a terrible thing to have to say. Telling a family that a member, and a younger one at that, has been found dead.

  5. Police Find Remains Believed to Be Missing UVA Student Hannah Graham | That Mr. G Guy's Blog
    October 19th, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

    […] Police Find Remains Believed to Be Missing UVA Student Hannah Graham. […]

  6. Federale
    October 19th, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

    The real issue is that half of crimes such as this are committed by blacks.

  7. Claudius Templesmith
    October 19th, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

    The cold hard realities of race are inescapable.

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    October 19th, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

    Do you have a cite for that?

  9. Why We’re Losing | Regular Right Guy
    October 19th, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

    […] Police Find Remains Believed to Be Missing UVA Student Hannah Graham […]

  10. Julie Pascal
    October 19th, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

    They may have notified them because they felt the family would hear speculation… just to say officially that they found a body and did *not* know who it was, but would let the family know as soon as they could.

  11. ConstantineX1
    October 19th, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    Diversity kills.

  12. ConstantineX1
    October 19th, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

    More than half. Blacks are 12% of the population but account for over 75% of violent crime and more than half of all murders.

    That is a SIGNIFICANT disparity. It is NOT, therefore, a stereotype to associate blacks with crime, it’s FACT.

  13. Roy Schmalfeldt
    October 19th, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

    Near the bottom of the page:

    “In 2011, 69.2 percent of all individuals arrested were white, 28.4 percent were black, and 2.4 percent were of other races.”

    So, no, not half.

    Well out if proportion to their total numbers, however.

  14. Adjoran
    October 19th, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

    Then look at the numbers for murder and robbery.

  15. Adjoran
    October 19th, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

    The old line from Poe’s detective stories and Casablanca is based in fact: “Round up the usual suspects.”

    Another problem is criminals get off because none of their prior bad acts are admissible usually unless they testify. Even where they do show a pattern of behavior, which can be admitted in limited circumstances, the prejudicial effects outweigh the probative value.

    Our system of criminal justice is bent to protect the innocent over convicting the guilty. It’s a good thing, right up to the moment when one of the freed criminals enters your life.

  16. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    October 19th, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

    Apples and oranges. Most black murders are black on black, mostly black males killing each other. This is a black male killing a woman, presumably as a sex crime. What are the statistics for that?

  17. Dana
    October 19th, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    The Liberty University coed who “declined to move forward with prosecution” is probably crying day and night, knowing that her decision, as tough as it was, led to the death of Hannah Graham, an assault at Christopher Newport, and a rape in Fairfax. That’s a heck of a tough thing to say, but it’s true nevertheless.

  18. Claudius Templesmith
    October 19th, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    Not to mention, the murder of Morgan Harrington.

    This guy Matthews is a legitimate monster.

  19. Kirby McCain
    October 19th, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

    It seems to me that after the two rapes when he was in school Mathew probably blamed women for the ruination of his football career. It’s likely that those he assaulted in school were also white as well. In one report of the first murder there was mention of splintered bones indicating to me that there might have been a episode of rage. He moves in as a rescuer for these intoxicated women, he wants to help them. When he gets them alone and they resist his sexual advances he goes into a murderous rage. A living Jekyll and Hyde.

  20. richard mcenroe
    October 19th, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

    Why do you people hate our gentle giants so? /sarc

  21. DeadMessenger
    October 19th, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

    Speaking for myself, it’s because I’m a h8y-h8ing RAAAAACIST. And intolerant homophobe. And I value rational thought ahead of emotional, knee-jerk reactionism. I don’t know what word Marxists have for that, but I bet there is one. And probably a lot of other things, too. I’m pretty sure you are, too. 😀 Yay! Being a h8r is cool!