MY VOICE Goes NATIONAL - From LC to DC

I arrived in Baltimore, Maryland on August 31st. My flight was interesting, to say the least. A little too much turbulence for my liking. I've been flying alone since the age of 5 or 6, and I've never been afraid on an airplane until Monday. Let's just say...I wanted to kiss the ground when that plane safely landed on the runway! From Baltimore, I was driven into Georgetown, which is in the northern part of D.C. I was here almost 2 years ago, for the birth of my godson, Bryce. He was born in Bethesda, actually, but I also visited D.C. and saw all there was to see while I was in town back then...The Monument, The White House, etc. This time, I am here in D.C. to meet John Walsh and do an interview with him. It seems D.C. brings me big, life-changing events...maybe I should consider moving? It's great here, and this time, I stayed in Georgetown, where the atmosphere is completely different from where I live in Texas. There were sidewalk shops and cafes, and everyone seemed to be so friendly and can I just take a moment... to brag about the weather? It was beautiful every day I was there, with no humidity, and I don't think there was a time I even broke out into a sweat while walking outside. Just blocks away from my hotel ... Juicy Couture, Cusp, Mac, Sephora, Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters, Steve Madden...literally, the list here could go on and on...


One of the AMW producers, Cindy, and I went to dinner Monday night. She is such an incredible and amazing person, and I love her so much! We've kept in close contact and we've become friends since earlier this year when she came to Texas to interview me at my home and also the lead investigators on my case. I think Cindy would be the first to tell you she wishes I'd give up drinking DP, but I couldn't resist ordering one at dinner. At first the waitress said "sure." and I was so excited inside, because earlier in the airport, I tried buying a DP, and there was only Coca-Cola products. And, if you know me, you know I'm a Dr. Pepper addict. Well, this turned out to be an un-lucky moment for me at dinner, because the waitress quickly recanted and said "Oh, I'm sorry, I don't know why I said that, we don't even carry Dr. Pepper!" So, I settled for an iced tea....with lots of sugar added, of course. Dinner was wonderful, I had lump crab cakes with mashed potatoes and veggies, as I hear when visiting Maryland, you've GOT to try the crab cakes, and I did. What better than great food & great conversation with an all around great person? It just doesn't get any better...well, other than the fact that I wish Johnny was there to experience all of this with me. But, he stayed back at home, taking care of our house and dogs, but I'll admit, it was hard not to miss him! The first night, I slept pretty well, I did wake up a few times, but other than that, I can't complain. The hotel was gorgeous, and the bed was comfy, and I got to curl up in that big bed and catch up on the latest not-so-important celeb gossip.
Tuesday morning, I decided to get up and shower pretty early, and get ready for the day, you know..walk around Georgetown and see the sidewalk sites, and of course, I was on a mission for finding a tall glass of DP! After I got out of the shower, I noticed a piece of paper sticking out from under the door, and decide to see what it was. The Washington Post! =) I kept this copy. I quickly get back to getting ready, and needed to brush my wet hair, so I look for my big flat hairbrush. Of all things to forget..I forgot my brush back home. Not good. All I had was a tiny round brush that I only use when straightening my hair. Oh well, it would have to work during blow drying. As I start attempting to brush, the darn thing gets stuck in my hair! I was almost to the point of tears. It happened so quickly, I mean, totally caught me by surprise...it was stuck (and when i say "stuck" I mean wrapped, knotted, and everything else that could possibly be wrong) right in the front of my head, at the roots! It took me 20 (yes, 20) minutes to get the brush out! All I could think is "I'm going to have to cut this brush out of my head, and I'll have a baldspot" - Mortifying, might I add...because this same night, I am supposed to meet John Walsh! So anyway, as the day progresses and I leave my hotel, thankfully with a full head of hair, I'm hungry, and dying of thirst. I've been getting a little antsy about having no Dr.Pepper in my system by this time, and feel like I could get the shakes and go into having withdrawls at any moment. While walking down this strip in Georgetown, I see a little diner called Johnny Rockets, and it looked fun (and of COURSE reminded me of my Johnny back home) so I decided to go on in for some lunch. I look on the menu...and wasn't completely surprised to see.. all they had were Coca-Cola products! I gave in (clearly I was losing this battle) and ordered a Coca Cola, and then I felt like the ultimate traitor.

After lunch, and only somewhat quenching my thirst, I went in and out of some shops, bought a few little things and also visited one of the oldest standing structures in the nation's capital, The Old Stone House, built in I believe 1766. I took some pictures, and it was really neat to see such a beautiful place still standing, right in the heart of Georgetown, in the midst of D.C., where everyone probably forgets about this historical home because of all of the "big" tourist sites, and shopping there is around. I must admit, while walking through the house (it was 3 stories tall) I felt a little eery-ness going on at times, but got some cool pictures. Hopefully no orbs show up in them or anything when I get them developed! From there, I headed to a little French bakery/cafe we even have back home in Texas. I knew they would NOT let me down. =) I found my DP, and even got some great pastries...and the guy behind the counter complimented me and told me "You are so beautiful" and proceeded to ask me if Jonathan "knew how lucky he is" to have me. I definitely reminded Jonathan how lucky he IS to have me in his life, and then got accused of flirting with the baker and wanting to open a bakery with him! Oh how Jonathan cracks me up at times! As I walked back to my hotel with my paper bag full of to-go boxes filled with pastries, and that Dr. Pepper in my hand, I felt like such a confident, happy, and not to mention, lucky gal, ready for the night...my big moment, meeting John Walsh, and letting the world hear my story.

After I rushed up to my room, locked the door, and sat in my hotel room, stuffing my stomach full of pastries made of chocolate, fruit and pudding (sounds gross...but it was oh-so-good), and quickly gulping down my wonderful drink I'd waited over 24 hours to get my hands on, I kept in touch with friends and supporters online anxiously awaiting news of how I was doing, and giving me words of encouragement for the night. It is so nice to know that there are still so many kind people in this world that are willing to take the time to walk in this journey for justice right along side me, and send me personal messages filled with their own experiences, and such heart-felt words. On the news, this world is made out to be such a horrible place, filled with murderers, rapists, and terrorists of every kind, but I will tell you, I've been so incredibly blessed with meeting, knowing, and having some of the most wonderful friends and supporters in the world as a part of my life.

After having dinner again with the most-amazing Cindy, and laughing and sharing stories outside of her favorite French cafe, the time had finally come, a car picked us up, and took us to the set. It was about 9:45 p.m., and we pulled up to a set outside filled with smoke, and police cars with their lights on, and I immediately felt the weight coming down on my shoulders. I had to take a few deep breaths. Was I really ready for this moment? My heart felt as though it was lodged in my throat, and momentarily, I started to question myself...and as I stepped out of the car, onto the gravel in my heels, I knew I could do this, and HAD to do this...not only for myself, but for every other little girl, innocently and peacefully sleeping in their beds at that very moment, that could possibly be taken by this creep that had hurt me over 19 years ago. From that moment, I no longer questioned if I was ready, or what I was doing there, and I felt stronger than anyone on Earth.
..I can honestly say, I know I was there for a reason, and this was one of the most defining moments of my life.



When it was time, I met John Walsh, one of the nicest men I've ever met, and a man who I look up to because he stands up for and fights for the lives of people like he and myself, who have been hurt and had part of their lives effected in one way or another, by even in his own words, a "coward" who gets enjoyment out of harming others. For weeks, I felt like I would have a huge emotional breakdown when I met John Walsh, and I was so worried that I would make a complete fool of myself, but meeting him was one of the most natural, heart-warming experiences of my life, and it's definitely one...I will never forget. There I stood, FINALLY, face-to-face with someone that could actually feel and understand my pain and my passion, and as he put on his famous black leather jacket and then shook my hand, he assured me one day, the identity of who did this to me would be known, and justice would prevail. We talked, we walked, then we sat on the set and filmed what I feel will lead to a break in my case. Here it is a few days after filming, and it still baffles me that millions will be watching, and listening to MY STORY...and knowing John Walsh is on MY side...wow, words can't even explain how grateful and indebted to him and his whole team of people at AMW I am, for allowing me this amazing opportunity to help others by USING MY VOICE, and possibly save them from having to encounter something no little girl should ever have to.

As they say... at AMW, "You Can Run...But You Can't Hide!" Let's see if this guy stops running on September 12th! Tune into Fox and watch America's Most Wanted at 8 p.m. CST, for the season premiere show, and please tell everyone you know, because like I've always said, you never know...that one tip that you may feel is nothing, could be the tip that solves my case, and prevents other little girls from being harmed!

Using the voice so graciously given back to me,

Jennifer

2 comments:

Laura said...
September 3, 2009 at 9:34 PM

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see it. Please let us all know when it airs. Hooray for DP (though I'm a diet version fan)!

Christine said...
September 26, 2009 at 6:00 AM

OMG, I LOL'd when you got that hairbrush stuck in your hair. You are a funny girl! And the story with you and the baker setting up shop...your too much! Jonathon sounds like every other boyfriend/husband does when their lady is wooed by the pastry chef. :D
I didn't see AMW when it aired your story, so I'm going to look it up and watch it online.
I love the way you signed off...using the voice so graciously given back to you...so true. Glad you are.
Take Care,
Chris

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