Remembering The Baby In the Well

Before the Chilean miners there was Baby Jessica.

Baby Jessica grew up to get married two years out of high school; in March of 2011 she will come into possession of a trust fund made up of donations that is rumored to be in excess of one million dollars. She has a kid now, and as far as I can tell, she still lives in old Midland, Texas, where she had her adventure in the hole (which ended up costing her part of her foot).

Baby Jessica’s rescuers didn’t all turn out so great. There were two guys who became synonymous with the rescue effort, and both came to dark ends. Paramedic Robert O’Donnell, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and an inability to cope with the fleeting fame he found, ended his own life with a shotgun blast to his head.

Police Officer William Andrew Glasscock Jr came to a more sinister conclusion; in 2004 he was sentenced to 15 years in the federal pen for sexual exploitation of a child (not Baby Jessica, we assume), as well as improper storage of explosives. A year later he got 20 years in the state facility for two counts of sexual assault. Yikes.

But let’s not think about the dark side of Baby Jessica’s rescue. Let’s remember those heady days when CNN was young and so were we, before we got so cynical about Missing White Woman Syndrome, before anybody had been really irritated by the antics of Nancy Grace. Let’s go back to those halcyon days of 1987,  just before the Berlin Wall fell, and remember how we all came together to root for a little baby trapped in a little pipe.

Visit Bill Bentley’s hypercomprehensive web site dedicated to the rescue. While you’re there, visit the rest of his home page, which includes his caving and ghost hunting adventures in Texas.