Mar 23, 2015

Part II: My thoughts on Wesley Hadsell

I felt the need to clarify some things after I wrote the post My thoughts on the arrest of Wesley Hadsell, because it seems that some of you believe that I've somehow changed my opinion or mind -- sentiment that makes no sense, since I've done a pretty good job of not sharing a definitive opinion.

I'm going to do this in FAQ form to try to make it easier to understand for those of you who are having such a hard time. I've seen some comments lately that are falsely attributing ideas and opinions to me because some people chose to interpret my writing in a way that wasn't quite accurate.




Why did I refuse to cover Wesley Hadsell's criminal past?
Because there was no evidence at the time, or currently, to indicate that Wesley's criminal record has anything to do with Anjelica Hadsell's disappearance. In the U.S. justice system, when you serve your sentence you are paying your debt to society. Once that debt to society is paid, you have the right to a fresh start. With Wesley not being in any trouble over the course of the past decade, I saw no reason to go after him the way many people have done. I would much rather wait for some actual evidence worth looking at before I form a solid opinion -- and I shouldn't have to remind everyone that the authorities in Norfolk have not produced any evidence against Wesley or anybody else for that matter.

In my honest opinion, it's reckless to accuse someone of a crime without any evidence other than a decade-old criminal record -- and I've been reckless in the past before, so I know what reckless looks like.

Do I believe that Wesley planted Anjelica's jacket in the home he allegedly broke-into?
I honestly do not know. The answer is really just that simple. However, I've seen comments that are attacking me for questioning this possibility, accusing me of "flip-flopping," among other things. To be clear: Just because I ask a question in one of my headlines or blog posts, does not mean that I am making a declarative statement. Just because I asked if Wesley Hadsell planted AJ Hadsell's jacket in someone else's home, does not mean that I am accusing him of doing such a thing. I'm simply asking a question that is already hovering over this case in light of the latest developments.

Do I think Wesley Hadsell is a suspect in the disappearance and/or demise of Anjelica Hadsell?
Yes, I do think he's a suspect. However, that doesn't mean I think he's guilty. Police investigators are not infallible, and can definitely make mistakes. It's very easy for even investigative authorities to get tunnel vision, especially when dealing with someone who already has a violent past. There are many cases I can site where a suspect has been chosen on little more than their past offenses, leading to no solutions. One such case would be the disappearance of Michelle Parker, who vanished in 2011. Her estranged fiancee has been the prime suspect for years based on their rocky relationship and his known violent past. However, no evidence has ever proven useful against him and he has never been arrested. Authorities in Florida still insist that he's their guy, but it doesn't look like they're correct at this point. I'm not saying that Anjelica's disappearance is the same as Michelle's, but situations like Michelle's case are the reason why I am not always convinced when police declare a suspect.

Do I think Wesley Hadsell is responsible for Anjelica's disappearance?
This is a question I keep getting asked. And for some reason -- even though I've refrained from answering this particular question -- there are some folks out there who believe I have answered it. I haven't answered this question and I do not plan to answer it until I see forensic evidence that goes in one direction or the other. I don't make willy-nilly predictions without reasonable evidence. I have stated that I'm disappointed that Wesley was dishonest with me -- and the people who have listened to my show, but his dishonesty could be for other reasons. Could he be responsible for AJ's disappearance? Absolutely, but he could also be completely innocent.


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