Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare
I’m the product of a very overprotective mother. Growing up, I had a hard time understanding her insistence on always knowing where I was and what I was doing. When I was a kid, I remember she had a bumper sticker on her car with a phone number to call for anyone with information about a missing girl named Laura Bradbury.
Laura, who was 3½ years old at the time of her disappearance, was abducted in the fall of 1984 during a family outing in Joshua Tree, California. She accompanied her brother to a campsite restroom and waited outside. When he returned moments later, she had vanished. No one saw a thing. A subsequent search of the area and exhaustive investigation turned up little if any promising leads. The case went cold.
Recently, I began thinking about the disappearance again and wondered if it’d ever been solved. I came across this article ( http://www.lacp.org/2010-Articles-Main/092010TheMysteryOfLauraBradbury.htm), which discussed what happened to the family in the years following and the ultimate outcome of Laura’s abduction. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have a happy ending.
It was heartbreaking to not only learn the bad news Laura’s family waited years to be given, but also the feeling of deprivation they’ve experienced and how it changed each of their lives. What’s even more disturbing is that the person or people who abducted Laura are probably still out there looking for others to victimize — if they haven’t already. Whether you’re a parent or not, I encourage you to read this article. Then afterward take a deep breath, hug your kids or someone else you love, and let’s talk about how we can defend ourselves and protect the next generation of survivalists.
It makes sense to teach our kids the “stranger danger” concept, but we also must be cognizant of the fact that many times an attacker may be someone we know (or at least think we know) who’s secretly conspiring against us. There are predators roaming the streets with compulsions that are beyond our comprehension. Google David Parker Ray or Otis Toole, and you’ll see what I mean.
People who find fulfillment in inflicting pain or kidnap for financial gain spend years perfecting their ability to strike and get away with it. We can ponder the origins of this sadistic behavior all day long, but one thing is for sure … you can’t reason with insanity. Be that as it may, we’re all born with the instinct to protect our own lives and those of our loved ones. There’s a word for this … survival. That makes us all survivalists. You can’t be there 24/7 to safeguard your children from the world’s monsters — but you can teach them how to survive among them. So let’s get started.
We posed a question to two of our contributors — what would they do if their child went missing in a foreign country? I think you’ll find their ideas for prep and action items during the crisis an informative read. Mykel Hawke has also returned to grace our pages with tips on how to communicate when dealing with a language barrier. We’ve also thrown in some information on how to prepare yourself and your kids for possible assault or kidnappings, with some tips on situational awareness and how children can defend themselves against a much larger attacker.
In our survivalist spotlight, we had the pleasure of getting to know Ed Calderon, a counter-custody expert who has worked some of the toughest groups and areas south of the border. Enrolling in one of his classes is an eye-opening experience that I’d recommend you check out. Getting a glimpse of the kind of remorseless abductions that happen each year puts a new perspective on how you view the world. Remember, you’re worth something to someone. Don’t give those who view you as a dollar sign a chance to add your life’s worth to their criminal coffers. Be aware of how they select their targets.
Monitor both your own and your kids’ online behavior — don’t put vanity ahead of the safety of privacy. Discuss options with your loved ones on how they can get in contact with you during situations where communications are limited (see also our piece on having and locating landlines). You might also want to invest in a device like a Gizmo Watch after reading this story: http://ktla.com/2016/08/11/9year-old-utah-boy-escapes-kidnapper-uses-smartwatch-to-callfor-help/. No matter the problem, there’s always a solution.
The world is a dangerous place, and unfortunately those who choose murder, manipulation, and ransom as their pastime don’t come with a warning label stamped on their foreheads. RECOIL OFFGRID is here to provide you with the tools to protect the gift of life we’ve all been given, so you can stack the survival odds in your favor. We all have the wherewithal to outsmart the bad guys. It’s just a question if you have the willingness to learn. I’m sure we both know the answer to that.
And one more thing … thanks, mom. I get it now.
Love you always.
CORRECTION: In Issue 25’s article, “Ignite Your Inner MacGyver,” when discussing using a chainsaw as an improvised fire-starting device, we neglected to mention that the chainsaw must be close enough to create a ground. For the updated version of the article, please visit www.offgridweb.com/survival/ advanced-fire-starting-techniques-in-cold-weather.