While I may not remember the actual event, I remember seeing so much about it on television for years that it ended up being a big part of my childhood. I certainly remember the feelings that surrounded the rape and murder of a girl in my sister’s Girl Scout troop.
Marcia Trimble left home after school one day to deliver Girl Scout cookies to a lady across the street from her house and never came home. She didn’t take her jacket because as she told her mom on the way out the door, “I’ll be right back!” The lady who she was delivering the cookies to swears she saw Marcia and two others in her driveway and went to get her purse so she could pay for the cookies but when she came back to the window, no one was there and her cookies were never delivered.
There was a crazy hunt for this 9 year old girl around Nashville and it was on the news all day and night. She was missing for over a month and I remember there being all kinds of theories as to what happened to her. I remember a reporter talking about how she had been carrying a bag and the bag had her name on the outside and they theorized that that could have been used by someone to lure her away. I guess acting like he knew her name to trick her into going with him. Now I don’t even know if she had a bag. You know how people on the news like to make shit up sometimes when they should just be reporting but this stuck with me for some reason over these last 35 years and it’s because of this that I refuse to let my children have backpacks, bags, t-shirts or hats with their names on it. I made one without thinking for Owen when he was younger that said “Hurricane Owen” but once I remembered this, I got rid of it. It just isn’t worth the worry that something like that would bring for me. I don't know if this is a rational childhood fear or not and I don't really even care. It stuck with me all these years so it's ingrained. It's kind of like when I go to Sears, I think about Adam Walsh every time I walk through the door. Every single time. While I hate thinking of such horrible things, it makes me more vigilant with my own children. Maybe that is the legacy of murdered children. Maybe they've made my children safer by leaving such terrible memories for everyone.
On Easter Sunday in 1975 they found Marcia Trimble's body in the back corner of an open, detached garage, under an overturned blue plastic swimming pool, less than 200 yards from her home. They'd searched the garage once before and found nothing. I don't know if that means that it was poorly searched or that she wasn't there the first time but at the time this was a upscale all white neighborhood. The only reason I mention that is because I remember a lot of people saying that it would have had to have been a white guy that did it because everyone would have noticed a black man in that neighborhood. Perhaps it's that backwards thinking that took so long to find who did it.
It took almost 35 years for them to arrest and convict the asshat that did this and this is him, then and now:
I can't imagine that this brings much solace to her mother but perhaps knowing that this man will die in prison helps. He has a long history of assault, rape and molestation and had just been paroled from serving a 60 year sentence for rape. I think he'd been out less than 30 days before he murdered a Vanderbilt student and then Marcia Trimble.
So, yeah, this is something I've carried from my childhood. How could you not? I've kept up with this story over the years wondering if they'd ever figure out who did it. I would check once or twice a year and then more often once I got a PC in my home all those years ago. It came up again today while I was searching for a tote bag for my son's first day of preschool. The only ones I could find were ones that came with his name embroidered on the outside and I refused to buy one of those so I asked my friends if they had one we could borrow. One of them asked me why I didn't want one with his name on the outside and to me that's such a natural thing that I was surprised at her question but if this hasn't been your experience, maybe you just don't think about it. I envy that.
I was glad to see that they'd arrested someone and that the DNA, which was handled poorly because it didn't mean as much back then, matched this person who is the best definition of a career criminal. I hope if nothing else, it gives her mother some peace. The last 35 years must have been nothing short of a nightmare. I think there are many things that you want for your children but having their own Wikapedia page, just isn't one of them.