Jan 30, 2007

Someone I blogged about committed suicide this weekend

And my traffic has doubled in the past two days with people looking for more information about her. It's not hard to see why: She was a women's studies expert with a PhD in sociology who had been arrested for prostitution. Police alleged that she was working out of her suburban Maryland home.

My first blog post consisted of a snarky headline, a quote and a one-liner. It was a throwaway that I justified because she lived near me. And because I was interested in the intersection of feminism and prostitution. Well, it seemed half the state of Maryland wanted to hear more about her. My traffic went up. I got tons of comments and I began getting emails about her from people who claimed to know her. Nasty emails.

I didn't blog about the nasty emails. But I did post a few more times about the case. It turns out that a woman's right to "own her own body" had little to do with this woman's change of career--although that's kind of how she justified it to a reporter who interviewed her. Instead, a picture emerged of a life that was unraveling. She'd been fired from two universities. A second marriage fell apart amid allegations of domestic abuse. The police had been to her house 20 times over five years on a variety of complaints from neighbors.

And then she hanged herself a week before the trial. And hundreds of people are coming here for the latest news. And sending me links and pictures.

In the grand scheme of things, this blog isn't even an insignificant microbe. And her story won't put me on the map. But I won't post her name or link to stories about her in the media and in other blogs. I'm not trying to insert myself into the story here. She was arrested; I posted about it; so did many others. I certainly had nothing to do with her suicide. But--and I hope I don't sound like a self-righteous prig here--I'm not going to feed anyone's prurient interest about the case. Not anymore.

I just hope the woman has found some peace.

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