Updated: September 2, 2014 2:01AM
Dick Wylie had a hearty chuckle when he read my column about the three women who disappeared from Indiana Dunes State Park in July 1966.
The former Post-Tribune photojournalist has been dogging this mysterious cold case since Day 1, and he believes it’s finally warming up.
“I am ready to break this case wide open so nobody will go digging for bodies on Mount Baldy,” he told me from his Florida home. “This story is really just getting started after 48 years.”
Patricia Blough, 19, Renee Bruhl, 19, and Ann Miller, 21, all from Illinois, never were found or heard from again after leaving their belongings on the beach that day. Rumors, theories and explanations abound about their fate, but Wylie has had an inside track on the case and he’s never forgotten it.
He vowed to one of the women’s families that he would never stop pursuing the case. He also wants to honor the lead detective in that case, Indiana State Police Detective Ed Burke, by unveiling an “almost iron-clad circumstantial case solving this crime,” Wylie told me.
He plans to do so through a TV documentary after being approached by a producer who’s intrigued by this case and Wylie’s efforts over the past 48 years.
“Hopefully, the film will be released on the 50th anniversary of the crime, in July, 2016,” said Wylie, who begins the TV project in October.
Today’s younger generation is all about self-promotion, though they don’t always realize it while taking endless selfies and repeatedly posting something — anything — about themselves on multiple social media sites. It’s all about attracting “likes,” new followers, new admirers.
“LOOK AT ME!” they say over and over to anyone who will listen, watch them or connect with them. Look at me smile. Look at me frown. Look at me be silly. But please, please, please … just look at me. And like me.
Most adults, of course, not only do the same thing — for whatever reason, for whatever rationalization — we also lead by example, often forgetting this timeless fact. Kids of any age — tots through teens — are little sponges, absorbing everything in their orbit, their midst, their parent’s every action. Or inaction.
Parents, however, don’t have the same vulnerability of children, who can be easily preyed upon, bullied and abused online. And routinely by the same social media that they disappear into behind parents’ eyes, ears and apathy.
This is precisely why we must remember that while kids are all about their self-promotion, parents need to be all about their kids’ self-preservation.
And just think after you do it well — ushering them safely into adulthood — you can post all about it. With photos, comments and well-deserved “likes.”
‘Jerry, people like you...’
“Jerry, I’m not sure if the Post makes you write these articles about race or if you do it on your own,” writes Ray B. from Highland. “Why must you feel that whites are always in the wrong? Why don’t people try to assimilate into society?
“Instead of sensitivity training, why isn’t there de-sensitivity training, so people don’t get offended by EVERYTHING. Why do you and the liberal media give the lazy, baby-making, disrespectful people so much slack? Why didn’t you stay in your hometown that you love so much?”
Another reader, Phil M., told me, “Blacks in America are killing and robbing in their own communities. You need to stop apologizing for the whites. Blacks get more free things in this country than whites.”
And, “They can’t act like humans. I don’t want ghetto blacks living near me. Even educated blacks can’t act right. I see this daily at work and in the media. People like you keep this race issue going. Jerry, you should consider moving back to Gary. I work in Chicago Heights but have no plans on moving back.”
To Ray, Phil and others who contacted me: I write about racial issues because we need to foster what little civilized dialogue we have regarding this topic. The point of my column regarding the racial violence in Ferguson, Missouri, suggested that this violence will not end until we address our country’s deepest divide. Period.
Ray also posed a challenge to me and to you: “Name ONE town or city that has actually become STRONGER because of diversity,” he writes.
“And don’t pull Merrillville out of your hat, either. As you well know, from about 1985 to the present, the best days of Merrillville have passed. And I don’t mean a town getting by. I mean a town that housing prices are going up, crime is not going up and school districts are not going down the tubes. Betcha can’t.”
Ray, instead of scanning a nationwide map for such cities and debating this issue, let me navigate you to a future map of our country. By 2040 or so, our nation will become a minority-majority, meaning that one or more racial or ethnic minorities will comprise the majority of our population.
In other words, diversity is spreading almost as fast as fear, hate and intolerance. And you, Ray, will be a minority in this nation, if you’re still alive.
I’m a realist, not an idealist. That’s simply a fact, like it or not. Critics of this fact can either press 1 for denial, press 2 for anger, or press 3 for delusion.
My belief No. 213
I believe that mankind has twisted the life of Jesus and the existence of God for its own self-centered purposes of power — historically based on fear, dogma and oppression.
Too many so-called “Christians” religiously misuse the Bible to justify and forgive their unforgivable sins in life so they can sleep at night and pretend they’re righteous. Meanwhile everyone else, including their God, knows they are merely hypocrites.
Especially those hypocrites who lie, cheat, steal, abuse others and so on while conveniently rationalizing their actions under the delusional haze of self-righteousness.
I know too many of these two-faced impostors. Do you, too?