I have been asked this question by a number of posters. So here is my answer, with the following caveats:
1. I don’t pretend to know where Hannah Graham is. This is just my opinion. And judging on what I’ve seen so far? The police / FBI know what they are doing.
2. I am about to break the cardinal rule: Don’t chase suspects. Having said that, this is more about chasing – what we have been told is – evidence, not suspects. So I will avoid what I observe a lot of sleuthies are doing: trying to pin every missing persons case / unsolved murder on Jesse Matthew.
3. To the parents of Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington: I know what you are going through because I have been through it. My sister’s murder is an unsolved cold case. My family lived with her being missing for 6 months. Your approach in this matter is absolutely right. Bond with each other, trust no one. The families possibly connected in my sister’s case are very close (Prior, Monast, Dube). We trust no one. Even the brother of Louise Camirand, who prefers to keep relatively anonymous: we talk when necessary. And we warn each other of the nut-jobs. (For more on those cases, click here.)
With those caveats, a few more:
1. I am a relatively sane person with a normal life. I have a 9 to 5 job. I have 3 daughters. My life is rich and fulfilled. I do not need attention.
2. I am not a professional investigator. My experience comes from living with a 35 year old cold case, and 15 years of semi-professionally studying the patterns of murder. Kim Rossmo – who invented geographic profiling – is a friend; we worked together on profiling the serial murders in Quebec, and he is always available to me as a confidante / consultant. Rossmo spent time at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, and has consulted with the FBI at Quantico, VA: I would be surprised if they haven’t yet consulted on these cases.
3. 15 years has gained me access to a lot of material; I have a library of over 1,000 photos of Quebec crime scene photos, I have pretty much exclusive access to Quebec cold-case files (no, you can’t know my source). I have frequently been asked for advice on cold cases (for better or worse). I sometimes “think” better than law enforcement on these matters… that is no-knock to law enforcement. As I said, I’ve got 35 years of experience.
4. And, one more time: I’m a dad. I couldn’t post about this until now because I was making dinner. But I think of these things because last night my eldest daughter was out at a concert until 12:30 AM: it’s hard not to think of these things.
So with that long introduction, here’s what I think about #HannahGraham / #MorganHarrington / #JesseMatthew:
1. I think police are targeting the right areas. I think Hannah Graham is West or South of Charlottesville. I believe this based on where Morgan Harrington was last seen and where she was found (that trajectory), where Matthew was born and recently lived, and because the North and East are more urbanized. Matthews has experience with the West (Harrington), and the the West and South are more rural. Also, for what ever reason, I have observed over time that predators tend to hunt near their living environment, and dump South. That’s not statistically significant, just something I’ve noticed in my experience.
2. Someone asked me – if we presume Matthew is responsible for the murder of Harrington and the disappearance of Graham – were the dump sites pre-meditated? Given those assumptions, I say No. If we take the account of Jesse Matthew’s assault on a driver to be true, he is very impulsive (consider the 1,300 mile run to Galveston). So, a guy who reacts, then figures out what he’s going to do later. No premeditation, though on the prowl. An opportunistic predator. Though I would say he’s learned from experience: impulsive in the heat of the moment, but over time, he’s learned to put contingencies in place.