Tiffany Souers and College Murders
Don’t ask me what it is, but I tend to get a little unglued when college students get killed. Something about it makes me think of all my college friends, the girls I lived with, how it could’ve been any of them, etc. During my many years here as a journalist in the Clemson University area, I took a keen interest any time a college student disappeared or was killed.
The closest I ever came to such a situation was the case of Brooke Holsonback. She was murdered near Clemson University back in 1997. I wasn’t living here at the time, but eventually came to know Brooke’s parents and the man who, to this day, is still trying to pin the crime on…well, on the two people everybody suspects were involved. Brooke was strangled and dumped in Lake Hartwell.
I remember driving (incidentally, with my late friend Chris) a long way to talk to Brooke’s parents. Her dad, a southern gentleman of the first order, talked of his daughter and sunrises. At the time, he said, “You look at a sunrise and you know there is a God, but some of that beauty is gone, because you know there is evil in this world.”
My unsuccessful efforts to help dredge up anything else in the case can be found here.
I also dug deeply into the case of Norsaadah Husain, a Clemson graduate student who was killed in 1992. She was stabbed in a laundry and later dumped in some woods in Oconee County. That case dragged on for so long that the police investigator had retired and started driving a bus for a Christian tour company. I wrote this story about her a few years ago.
For a long time, I toyed with the idea that a serial killer was at long, labored work in the Clemson University area. Eventually, I came to the realization that the cases (and several other unsolveds in the area) just weren’t similar enough to merit any serious thought about a single killer being responsible for everything. I still believe that, but this past week hasn’t helped much.
A former roommate found the body of 20-year-old Tiffany Souers in her apartment on Friday. Souers had been strangled with her own bikini top and left dead. She came from Ladue, a nice St. Louis suburb (also home to some people I know). Because Souers was a beautiful and successful college girl, the national media networks are jumping on this one. If the cops here can’t get their act together quickly, I suspect they can expect a media frenzy.
This is not a trip down a nightmare memory lane. I’m actually angry at more than Souers’ death.
In the days since she died, I sort of toyed with the idea of (don’t make fun) coming out of retirement. While I had no plans to run back to TV, I thought I might work my old sources and maintain a web presence on the investigation. Why? I don’t know. Nothing else has made me want to follow crime again. Maybe it’s just that the investigation is six days old and the reporting of the case, so far, has been lackluster. I don’t blame the reporters (many of them my friends). It’s more the fault of a small police department not being able to handle the media load. The 13th Circuit Solicitor, Bob Ariail (the South Carolina version of a district attorney), has now taken over role of spokesperson. Frankly, that’s not going to help, as Ariail is notoriously stingy with information and rarely speaks to the media. He and I had a decent relationship, but most of what he ever shared with me on any case was off the record.
Damn, I’m getting worked up over this. The entire point of this post was supposed to be how sick I am at web squatters.
See, I’d already decided that my schedule wouldn’t allow me to properly handle what could end up being a long and drawn out case (given that some drunk college boy doesn’t end up getting hooked up by week’s end). So, I was going to leave the job to the professionals (where it belongs, admittedly) and go back to my other work. Still, I couldn’t help but consider registering www.tiffanysouers.com.
This makes me sick.
Indeed, somebody from Kenya (Kenya?) registered the domain two days after Souers was found dead (and about the time the national media started touting the “Bikini Murder”). Indeed, somebody from Kenya (KENYA!) registered the domain and is now using it to hawk their affiliate deals with various Tiffany (lamps, vases) distributors.
Now, I readily admit, I work in an industry that can sometimes get a little…creative…when working out a marketing plan. However, capitalizing in this fashion on the murder of a college girl is beyond sickening. (And lest ye think I had the same plan in mind, I’d invite you to take a long walk. I’m creative, but I’m not that kind of creative).
Here’s what I hope: I hope the cops wrap this one up in a couple of days. I hope Souers’ family gets some quick resolution and eventual peace. I hope the www.tiffanysouers.com domain never gets any traffic. And I hope a maneless lion visits Spiral Matrix on Kenyatta Avenue in Eldoret, Kenya and has a nice lunch on the bastard that thought marketing lamps on a dead girl’s memory was a good idea.