People have be so kind to follow the last few days of my blog as I unpacked the details of the scariest day of my life. There were a few random details I felt might be interesting to tag on at the end. The lessons one can learn from my mistakes are quite obvious…but I have included random details to tie it all together plus a few thoughts on how you might avoid being in a similar situation in the future!
Random details you may still be curious about concerning the Scariest Day of My Life series…
- One week after the incident Chris and I purchased his and her matching cell phones. Lesson learned…if humanly possible: Do not leave home (especially for long road trips) without a cell!
- I waited for about 30 minutes when my second tire popped. Two police officers drove by. I grew impatient and panicky. Lesson Learned: I would encourage you to NOT ever enter a car with a stranger (duh)! Wait for a uniformed officer or consider a membership with AAA.
- No, I did not get the license plate number of Jim’s navy A-Team van. This idea popped in to my head about an hour in to my drive toward Myrtle Beach. Of course he was a dangerous…but I was also focussed on escaping and not thinking my most clear thoughts at the time. Lesson Learned…use the cell phone you always take with you on long car rides to call and report such instances. If you or someone you love happens to hop in an A-Team van with a stranger and he drives in the wrong direction, says he has dinner in the back, and starts to called you Virginia–you will be prepared.
- Additionally, I did not go to the local authorities. It did not occur to me…the only thing I wanted to do was get to Charleston as fast as my Toyota Corolla would carry me. Lesson Learned…don’t do this. Use the cell phone you always take on long trips and call local authorities to report such incidents.
- Yes, I did attempt look up Jim’s face on America’s Most Wanted. No, I did not find a match.
- Only recently did I look up information from the Ohio State Penitentiary…searching if there were any escapees in spring of 1999. Though I did not find any information concerning foul play…I did find the majority of prisoners were categorized at a maximum security level.
- I do not remember Jim’s real name. (If he even gave me his real name.) I can see his face but do not remember his name. Virginia was his wife’s name…or at least the name he continued to claim was his wife’s name.
- I do not remember the names of the couple who owned the white Ford Mustang. Only after I started typing the 3rd installment of this story did I realize with the help of the internet and social media/connections…it might be possible to find this kind, heroic African American couple from Cary, NC. The couple traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC the first weekend of April 1999 for a funeral. Today they would have 16 year old twin (boys?). My only idea would be for folks to share the story–especially folks who live in the triangle area to see if by chance we can find them. I placed the entire story in ONE blog so that folks could easily share. If you feel like helping me solve the mystery you can post this: Blog…Searching for my “Guardian Angels” on your social media of choice. (Fingers crossed– I would still love to have them over to dinner! )
- I have several police officer friends who have been following this story. Feel free to add your personal comments on how to avoid situations like this today. Cell phones help, I don’t see this playing out today in the way it did back then…but when naive girls hop in vehicles with strange men…they are asking for trouuuu-ble!
May You Be a Blessing and May YOU STAY SAFE!