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Dateline to Air Story on West Mesa Murder Victims TONIGHT
In February of 2009, a woman taking a walk near 118th SW and Dennis Chavez in Albuquerque noticed a strange protusion from the ground. Initial digging unearthed the bodies of eleven women who had gone missing in 2003-4. To this day, their killer has not been caught.
On Friday, December 10, 2010, Dateline will air a story about this case. Please tune in. This show marks the first national attention this case will receive.
Many of the West Mesa victims were sex workers. Although local news coverage of this case has altered in the last few months, early coverage included the words "known prostitutes," used at an alarming rate. In consistently calling the murder victims "known prostitutes," the media commuicates that the women brought this violence on to themselves. In essence, they "asked for it." Later news coverage tended to use the words "buried bodies." This is not a case of "buried bodies"; in fact, this phrasing connotes that the bodies of women were simply buried; the phrasing divorces violence from the act(s) that these women suffered. These women were taken. These women were stolen from loved ones. These women were murdered.
What? Reading of the names and candle lighting; speakers; all are welcome to speak; + cupcakes
The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was founded by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and SWOP (Sex Workers Outreach Project) founder Robyn Few. The first "Red Umbrella Day," as the day is commonly called (the red umbrella is a symbol for sex workers' rights), focused on a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway. Ridgway murderedat minimum 71 women between 1982 and 1998. "I picked prostitutes," Ridgeway said, "because I figured I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught."
The image above includes many of those murdered by Ridgway, and was created for the first ever Int'l Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
The women buried in the West Mesa were:
Michelle Valdez + her unborn child
The women murdered and buried in the West Mesa were daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, lovers.
The city of Albuquerque is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.
Please tune in to Dateline tonight and share your reactions with us here at Self Serve(d).