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xx Jennifer Wilbanks - The Runaway Bride
« Thread started on: Apr 27th, 2005, 11:34am »

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Police joined the search Wednesday for a 32-year-old woman who never returned after heading out of her home for a jog Tuesday night. Jennifer Wilbanks of Duluth, Ga., is supposed to be married on Saturday.

"Of course, my fear is that maybe something has happened to her because this is so uncharacteristic for this time in her life. This is such an exciting and happy time for her and she's been so excited," said bridesmaid Shelley Ray.

The woman's fiance said Wilbank left to go jogging about 8:30 p.m. and said she would return in about 40 minutes. When an hour passed, he went looking for her on foot and then checked area hospitals. He finally called police.

"We called out a tracking dog. A tracking dog searched the area but didn't find anything so we felt like it may be best to start in the daylight where we can see better, so we have a search organized now with some of our officers and some family members to see if we can find out where she may be," said Maj. Don Woodruff of Duluth police.

Police set up a grid in a one to two-mile area Wednesday morning and her relatives and friends have been handing out fliers in the area.

http://www.11alive.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=62311
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xx Gainesville native missing
« Reply #1 on: Apr 27th, 2005, 1:13pm »

by Ken Stanford

DULUTH - A lookout has been posted for a Gainesville native who failed to return after going jogging in Duluth Tuesday night.

Jennifer Wilbanks is the daughter of Joyce Parrish of Gainesville and Harris Wilbanks.

She reportedly went jogging around 8:30 Tuesday night but never returned.

Wilbanks is a former employee of the Labor & Delivery Department at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and currently works at Heritage OB-GYN in Gainesville.

Friends and family say she is supposed to get married Saturday.
http://www.accessnorthga.com/news/hall/newfullstory.asp?ID=91816
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xx Bride-to-be goes missing while jogging
« Reply #2 on: Apr 27th, 2005, 4:46pm »

[bBy JOHN GHIRARDINI
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/27/05[/b]

A bride-to-be went out for a jog Tuesday night in Duluth and hasn't been seen since.

Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, originally of Gainesville, was due to marry John Mason of Duluth on Saturday
Mason told police Wilbanks, a former marathon runner, went out for a run about 8:30 p.m. and did not return to the house the couple shared. He said he went out looking for her, and then he and his parents went out on a second search. Finding no trace of the slim brunette, they called Duluth police.

Maj. Don Woodruff said authorities have found no evidence of foul play. "You hope for the best and plan for the worst," he said.

Search parties began fanning out early Wednesday morning. Mason's father, Claude Mason, estimated that about 200 people were participating.

Parents of both Wilbanks and Mason discounted speculation she got cold feet about the upcoming wedding. A co-worker and prospective bridesmaid agreed.

"I saw her yesterday and she was happy," said Tiffany Tucker
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/0405/27missingbride.html
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xx Re: Jennifer Wilbanks - April 26, 2005 GA
« Reply #3 on: Apr 27th, 2005, 5:12pm »

The police here have CALLED OFF THE SEARCH for Jennifer. They sent home the 200 plus volunteers that came out. They say that there is no evidence that a crime occurred even though Jennifer remains missing!!!!!!

She did not take her purse, keys, cell phone, or any of her jewelry. She has not called anybody nor has she been seen since last night.
The GBI is still going to follow up leads, but they are telling everybody that the searching is OVER.

I do not think this is a good idea but what else can you do?
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xx Kidnapping Or Runaway Bride?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 27th, 2005, 6:08pm »

(CBS) Georgia police are wondering if they have a runaway bride on their hands.

A bride-to-be went out for a jog Tuesday night in Duluth and hasn't been seen since. Jennifer Wilbanks, a 32-year-old former marathon runner, was due to marry John Mason on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Mason told police that his fiancée went out for a run about 8:30 p.m. and did not return for more than two hours to the home the couple shared.

"I was relaxing watching the Braves game, the next thing I know it's 10 o'clock and this thing has gone too long she's not back so I waited a little longer," Mason said. "About 10:30 and I went out looking for her and never found her anywhere."

Finding no trace, Mason enlisted his parents for a second search. Again, no luck. They called police.

Duluth and Gwinnett County police began a search, using bloodhounds to trace her normal jogging route, but that turned up no clues, Duluth television news station WAGA reported.

People lined up Wednesday for search parties, which began fanning out over the community. The husband-to-be's father estimated 200 people were actively searching.

Maj. Don Woodruff told the Journal-Constitution that authorities have found no evidence of foul play. "You hope for the best and plan for the worst," he said.

Parents of both Wilbanks and Mason discounted speculation she got cold feet about the upcoming wedding. A co-worker and prospective bridesmaid agreed.
"I saw her yesterday and she was happy," Tiffany Tucker told the Journal-Constitution.

Left behind when she went jogging were her cellphone, car keys, wallet and her diamond engagement ring, WAGA reported.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005...ain691420.shtml

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xx Re: Jennifer Wilbanks - April 26, 2005 GA
« Reply #5 on: Apr 28th, 2005, 05:06am »

Family, friends search for Duluth woman
Hall native missing after going jogging Tuesday
By NIKKI YOUNG
The Times


Hall County Fire Services personnel joined the search Wednesday for their former chief's niece, who didn't return from a Tuesday night jog in Duluth.

Jennifer Carol Wilbanks is the 32-year-old daughter of Harris Wilbanks and Joyce Parrish of Gainesville, co-owners of the former Satterfield's Sporting Goods. She is the niece of former fire chief Mike Satterfield.

Wilbanks left for a jog at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday near her home on West Lawrenceville Street in Duluth. When she did not return, her fiance, John Mason, called Duluth police.

The department has found no trace of Wilbanks. "We haven't found anything that indicates foul play, but we just don't know," Duluth police Maj. Don Woodruff said.

Woodruff said the search would pause overnight for safety reasons, then resume this morning. "We'll just have to see what (today) brings," he said.

Mason and Wilbanks plan to marry Saturday. But Wilbanks' friends and family said she did not have any prewedding jitters.

Based on those accounts, Duluth police started looking for her immediately rather than wait the usual 24 hours after a missing person report is filed.

A midwife at Heritage OB-GYN in Gainesville, Wilbanks is 5 feet 8 inches tall, 120 pounds with brown hair and eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, navy sweatpants and New Balance running shoes. She was carrying an MP3 player.

A frequent runner, she had completed the 26.2-mile Chicago Marathon, her first, with a group of friends in 2002.

Nearly 100 volunteers covered Wilbanks' lawn on West Lawrenceville Street at 7 p.m. Wednesday, when the search ended for the day.

Friends of the Masons in Duluth and Wilbanks and Satterfield's in Gainesville stayed to comfort each other and distribute fliers with the woman's picture.

Some stood in the streets of downtown Duluth, handing out fliers to motorists. Wilbanks' smiling face can be seen in windows of the storefronts less than a mile from her home.

Tuesday night, police conducted a preliminary search before continuing at daybreak Wednesday.

About 60 officers, dogs and a helicopter scoured a 1-mile radius around Wilbanks' jogging route, which circles Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital, Woodruff said.

They then expanded the search west to the Chattahoochee River, about 2 miles from Wilbanks' residence.

Hall Fire Services called off-duty firefighters to help in the search. Mark Arnold, chief of operations for the department, said he and 18 firefighters responded, mainly out of loyalty to Satterfield.

Each search party was assigned a section of the map to comb for clues.

"The search groups go out and search the area, then report back to the command post," Arnold said during a break in the search.

The Hall County Firefighters Auxiliary, a support group for the local department, also sent volunteers Wednesday afternoon, said Susan Gowan, the group's vice president.

Wilbanks' friends also turned out to help.

"The phones have gone back and forth all day. We've had some friends go down there to help in the search," said Brett Mercer, whose wife, Amanda Mercer, is friends with Wilbanks.

Authorities will halt the search only "once we're satisfied we've left no stone unturned," Woodruff said.
http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20050428/localnews/98903.shtml
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xx Re: Jennifer Wilbanks - April 26, 2005 GA
« Reply #6 on: Apr 28th, 2005, 09:42am »

Jennifer has a small site right now. It will be larger by tomorrow. This is only a sample until the other can be put together.

www.FindJennifer.FaithWeb.Com
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xx Re: Jennifer Wilbanks - April 26, 2005 GA
« Reply #7 on: Apr 28th, 2005, 1:15pm »

Folks, I know this might appear to be a Laci Peterson repeat, but let me share this article below with you. This lady vanished while jogging. She was to be getting married in a few days like Wilbanks. Turns out she got cold feet. Read this article and let's continue to hope for the best here. Lets not give up on Jennifer yet.

The wedding for a Sycamore township nanny who disappeared over the weekend and turned up safe is now off.

Rachel Honsvick, 22, reportedly went for a jog Friday night and never came back.

Her employer reported her missing and the police and community residents then launched a search.

Rachel's father and fiance flew in from Utah to help find her.

The 22 year old was supposed to go back to Utah in a few weeks to get married, but her father says she just got a bad case of pre-wedding jitters.

"She had no idea there was an extensive manhunt. She said, I'm 22 I didn't think if I disappeared anyone would care. She just wasn't thinking straight", said Steve Honsvick.

Rachel was questioned by Hamilton County Sheriff's investigators but does not face any charges at this time.


http://www.wcpo.com/news/2004/local/05/24/nanny.html

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xx Re: Jennifer Wilbanks - April 26, 2005 GA
« Reply #8 on: Apr 28th, 2005, 1:40pm »

Missing Jogger Case Now Called Criminal

DULUTH, Ga. - A 32-year-old woman disappeared just days before she was to be married, and authorities said Thursday they are treating her case as a criminal investigation.

Jennifer Wilbanks was reported missing Tuesday night by her fiance, John Mason, who said the bride-to-be was last seen hours earlier leaving her home to go jogging on her one-mile route, police said.

Friends and relatives have told police that Wilbanks seemed happy and said she was looking forward to her wedding Saturday. Her keys, cash, credit cards and identification also were found in her home. Her fiance said she left with only her radio and the clothes she had on.

"All of her friends and family said this is totally uncharacteristic of her," police Maj. Don Woodruff said Thursday after it was announced that police were treating her disappearance as a criminal investigation. "We don't believe it was a case of premarital jitters. She did not get cold feet."

Despite this, Duluth Police Chief Randy Belcher said hours later, "It's a very real possibility she did get cold feet. I mean, how many husbands have gone out for a pack of cigarettes and not come back."

The wedding was expected to be a big bash, with 600 invitations sent out and 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen, according to Mason's mother, Vicki.

The ceremony was to be held at Duluth First United Methodist Church followed by a reception at the Atlanta Athletic Club. The groom's father, Claude Mason, a former Duluth mayor and municipal judge, was to be the best man.

Gifts have poured in for the wedding, according to the couple's bridal registry at Macy's, which listed Lenox dinnerware and Waterford crystal among the items bought for the bride and groom.

"She was so in love. The wedding is huge. It's the talk of the town. Everybody knows her, and was so excited," said Killie McCauley, of Gainesville, who went to high school with Wilbanks. McCauley was at the police station to find out how she could help find her friend, she said.

On Thursday, about 100 police officers were expanding a search a quarter-mile deeper into the nearby woods. Police had not asked anyone to take a polygraph test, but her fiance has volunteered to do so, Belcher said.

The woman is a daily runner and police downplayed the five hours it took for her fiance to report her missing. Many of those who routinely saw her jogging cannot remember if they saw her Tuesday, Blecher said.

Woodruff said the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have offered assistance in the search.

Hundreds of volunteers searched the area Wednesday for Wilbanks. Authorities called off the volunteer search late in the day but continued canvassing door-to-door in this northeastern Atlanta suburb seeking clues in the disappearance.

Police checked the banks of the nearby Chattahoochee River and the state Department of Natural Resources searched the river, Woodruff said.

Wilbanks is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 123 pounds, with shoulder-length dark brown hair. She was wearing a gray sweat shirt and blue sweat pants, police said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050428/ap_on_re_us/missing_bride
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xx Concern grows over missing woman
« Reply #9 on: Apr 29th, 2005, 05:18am »

By DEBBIE GILBERT

Residents and churches in Hall County offered prayers and support Thursday night for Gainesville native Jennifer Wilbanks, who went missing Tuesday night in Duluth.

Wilbanks, 32, is scheduled to get married Saturday to John Mason, who reported that his fiancee didn't return from her nightly jog through their Duluth neighborhood.

She is the daughter of Harris Wilbanks and Joyce Parrish of Gainesville, who co-owned the former Satterfield's Sporting Goods. She also is the niece of former Hall fire chief Mike Satterfield.

Duluth Police Maj. Don Woodruff announced Thursday that they were treating her disappearance as a criminal investigation, because it was "totally uncharacteristic of her behavior" for Wilbanks to stay away without explanation.

Friends, family and law enforcement officers spent Wednesday and Thursday searching for Wilbanks. Chief Randy Belcher said additional bloodhounds were being brought in to help police officers search in overgrown areas. The search will resume today.

Belcher said Mason told them he would decide today whether to take a polygraph test, according to The Associated Press.

Ann Wilbanks of Gainesville, Jennifer's stepmother, said the family was overwhelmed by the number of people who helped with the search.

"We are so blessed by all of the people who volunteered," she said. "Lots of folks from our church, Lakewood Baptist, came down and brought food. Also, I used to teach at Riverbend Elementary, and even though I'm retired now, some of my former co-workers came to help."

The Wilbanks' Sunday school class at Lakewood Baptist Church on Thompson Bridge Road (Ga. 60) in Gainesville organized a drop-in prayer service Thursday night for their classmates' missing daughter. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., dozens of concerned church members stopped by to comfort each other and sign the guest book, letting the Wilbanks family know they are in many prayers.

"They're just great folks," said Jerry Gill, the church's minister of pastoral care.

About 70 cars were parked Thursday night in the Riverbend Baptist Church parking lot on Cleveland Highway (U.S. 129). The church sponsored a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.

Three Gainesville police officers were posted outside the church to block members of the media from entering the service.

Ann Wilbanks said the family was upset about some of the media coverage.

"Some of the media are implying that she was 'a bride with cold feet,'" she said. "That's just not accurate. She was about to get married to an absolutely wonderful guy and there is no reason she would have just disappeared."

Colleagues from Jennifer Wilbanks' place of employment, Heritage OB-GYN in Gainesville, have been supportive as well, Ann Wilbanks said. She noted that the media have described Jennifer incorrectly as a midwife or a nurse.

"She was a medical assistant, who kept track of patient charts and things like that. She loved working there," Ann Wilbanks said. "The midwives threw her a bridal shower Sunday, just two days before she disappeared."

Ann Wilbanks described her stepdaughter as "the most fun-loving girl in the world, and very personable. She's never met a stranger."

Jennifer Puryear of Gainesville, a friend of Jennifer Wilbanks for about 10 years, agreed.

"She is one of the sweetest, most genuine people you will ever meet," Puryear said.

Ann Wilbanks said she and others plan to keep looking for Jennifer, even in areas that have been repeatedly searched and where police have found no evidence.

"We're holding on to hope," she said. "That's all we've got left."
http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20050429/localnews/99235.shtml
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xx Discrepancies, Doubts
« Reply #10 on: Apr 29th, 2005, 11:23am »

From an article at Fox News titled Search for Bride-to-Be Now a Criminal Probe - emphasis has been added:
(John Mason) said that after an hour passed, he went looking for her on foot and then checked area hospitals. He called police 2 to 3½ hours after she left the house, he said.



The following is from a transcript of John Mason's interview with Greta Van Susteren on her nightly show on Fox, On the Record:
VAN SUSTEREN: At what point did you finally think, Oh, my God, she's missing? How long was she gone?



MASON: She was gone about an hour and 45 minutes. I didn't figure she would be out there that long. It just didn't feel right. So I hopped in the car and started driving around the different routes that I know that she could have gone. You know, she didn't really know her way down around here as well as, of course, she does back in her hometown, so she's still learning. So I went the basic routes, and then I checked a little park up town, and then finally, I wound up at the emergency room about 11:30-ish -- 11:15, 11:30 -- just to check and see if anybody there had seen anybody fitting her description.



John Mason's fiancee, Jennifer Wilbanks, disappeared Tuesday night, April 26, 2005. What you have just read above represents at least one discrepancy in the tale he has told about his initial worries and subsequent search for Jennifer before calling authorities.



Even in pleasant and safe suburban Duluth, Georgia, even at this time of the year, with the sun setting later, 8:30 p.m. seems rather late for a woman to go jogging alone. Heat was not a factor - at least one online message board already actively discussing this case questioned the reports of Wilbanks wearing sweatclothes - but this week has been extremely cool for Georgia in late April.



John Mason could be utterly innocent of all wrongdoing, though a discrepancy like the one outlined above is troubling. The culprit could simply be inaccurate reporting in the news article, but the transcript is Mason's own words.



Another mild discrepancy is Mason's recounting of Jennifer leaving to run. He stated she told him she'd be gone about 40 minutes, which would have had her home shortly after 9 p.m. In one news report he stated he became worried when she wasn't back by 10, another when she wasn't back by 10:30. Again, possibly just errors in reportage. However posters to those various crime-related message boards have been continually picking apart Mason's behavior in various interviews, as well as asking why Mason and Wilbanks did not run together, considering their mutual interest in the sport. Evaluations of Mason's demeanor in interviews such as the one he gave to Greta Van Susteren tend to find him lacking in affect, a quality noted early in the Scott and Laci Peterson case [Google search] - that is, people seem to think he is not upset enough for the situation.



Whether Mason is innocent or not, there are recent reports about possible evidence found that are ominous. The following is also from a Fox News article:
DULUTH, Ga. — Searchers looking for a missing Georgia woman who was to be married this weekend found a clump of hair Thursday, and authorities were working to see if a DNA match existed.



Additionally, police have now asked John Mason if he will take the lie detector test he offered to take early in the investigation. He has stated that he will let them know by 1 p.m. on Friday, April 29. Thursday evening Fox News reported two computers were removed from John Mason's natural wood-sided house on a quiet side road in Duluth.



Jennifer Wilbanks is 5'8", about 120 lbs. She has dark hair and dark eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt and gray sweatpants. As of the evening of Thursday, April 28, civilian searches were called off and law enforcement was still investigating.


Steve Huff blogs at The Dark Side.


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xx UPDATE on WILBANKS CASE
« Reply #11 on: Apr 29th, 2005, 11:43am »

Our local news (WSBTV) Atlanta has reported that John Mason took and passed a lie detector test this morning. There is also now a $100,000 REWARD for information leading to the safe return of Jennifer Wilbanks.

We are STILL waiting on the server to take the new website. For now you can use this link.

www.FindJennifer.FaithWeb.Com

When the NEW site comes up, it will be
www.FindJennifer.Net
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xx Search halts as wedding gives way to prayer, pleas
« Reply #12 on: Apr 29th, 2005, 11:03pm »

By JOHN GHIRARDINI, ROSALIND BENTLEY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/30/05


Anguished family and friends of Jennifer Wilbanks offered a $100,000 reward for information as an exhaustive search by police and volunteers for the missing bride-to-be was halted Friday.

Wilbanks was to be married this evening in a lavish ceremony before 600 guests at Duluth First United Methodist Church. Instead, the wedding has been cancelled and the church will be the site of a prayer service at 6:30 p.m.

Wilbanks' fiancé, John Mason, reported her missing after the 32-year-old runner left their Duluth home for a jog Tuesday night and never returned.

Mason, a family spokesman said, took a privately administered polygraph test Friday and passed.

But Duluth police said at a news conference that Mason's lawyer, Jim Watkins, put conditions on a request that Mason take a polygraph administered by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Watkins wanted any such test given in a neutral location and videotaped, said Duluth Police Chief Randy Belcher. Videotaping the exam would violate GBI policy, Belcher said.

Law enforcement agencies prefer their own polygraph tests rather than privately administered ones because the questions must be carefully constructed, experts said. They don't like videotaped sessions because a tape provides a record that defense lawyers can later critique in court.

Police and more than 200 volunteers have searched nearly 6 square miles of Duluth three times since early Wednesday morning. The searches have turned up little more than a few random pieces of clothing and a strand of hair, being tested by the GBI Crime Lab.

As the search ended, family members made a public plea, promising $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for her disappearance.

"We love Jennifer very much, and we'd give our life and everything that we own to have her return," her uncle, Mike Satterfield, said at a news conference. The former Hall County fire chief emerged Friday as the spokesman for the two families. Standing behind him at the news conference were John Mason, who appeared distraught; his parents, Claude and Vickie Mason; Wilbanks' father, Harris Wilbanks; her mother, Joyce Parrish; and a host of other relatives.

His voice breaking, Satterfield described the ordeal of the past week. "The families have come together and are supporting each other," he said. "We are doing that through our faith, through our friends and through prayer."

Limits on polygraph

When asked if the wedding had been cancelled, Wilbanks' mother burst into sobs and crumpled into the arms of her would-be son-in-law. The two wept as family members tried to comfort them. Within seconds Parrish was led away from the press tent, while Mason and others remained. Mason's mother kept a constant hand on her son's arm, as if trying to shield him from the media attention.

Both families have deep ties in their communities, and Wilbanks' disappearance has hit hard.

Belcher said he had not ruled out the possibility of the bride's having gotten cold feet just days before her wedding ceremony. He also said that other than conditions Mason requested for the polygraph, he had been "cooperative."

Mason told police shortly after his fiancée's disappearance he would take a polygraph test, but asked for another day to decide after police shifted gears Thursday from a missing person search to a criminal investigation. In the meantime, Mason retained Watkins, who arranged for the private polygraph.

Belcher said Watkins informed police Friday morning of the conditions for his client's submitting to a police-administered test.

Watkins did not return phone calls Friday from reporters. Mason, reached on the phone at his home, hung up.

Videotaping an issue

Richard Rackleff, a retired FBI agent and private polygraph examiner, said videotaping such tests is rare.

"I've probably videotaped three or four tests in the thousands that I have administered," said Rackleff. "It is standard procedure for state and federal law enforcement agencies to not videotape polygraph tests."

Rackleff said videotaping gives defense attorneys a better opportunity to scrutinize — and possibly call into question in court — the tone and behavior of the polygraph examiner.

"But it is logical that an attorney is asking for a neutral test site and videotape," he said. "He is just trying to make sure that his client gets a fair test."

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said polygraph tests are typically conducted so that the examiner asks the subject basic questions, such as his or her name. The examiner does this to get a base reading on the subject, Porter said. Then there are usually two to four pertinent "test" questions.

The district attorney said the GBI wanted to do its own polygraph test because the phrasing of the questions is very important.

"They want to make sure they ask the questions they want to ask rather than having to rely on the questions of the private polygraphist," he said.

Ken Shull, a retired FBI agent who was in charge of polygraph testing, said he didn't think videotaping should be avoided, though the FBI did not videotape while he was with the agency.

Shull, who now runs Expert Polygraph Services in Knoxville, said he didn't see any problems with either of Watkins' conditions.

"There are so many facets of a polygraph test," he said. "You have to prepare the person to make sure they're suitable for a polygraph test; that's important for accuracy. You have to ask proper questions to get to relevant issues."

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/0405/30missingmain.html
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xx Jennifer Wilbanks found alive in New Mexico
« Reply #13 on: Apr 30th, 2005, 04:57am »

By DEBBIE GILBERT


A 32-year-old woman who vanished just days before her wedding was found alive early Saturday in New Mexico after calling her fiance from a pay phone and saying she had been kidnapped, The Associated Press has reported.

Jennifer Wilbanks was safe and in police custody more than 1,420 miles from her home in Duluth, Ga., said Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Trish Ahrensfield. Police were searching for a blue van with a man and woman inside.

The bride-to-be had been missing since Tuesday, when her fiance reported that she went for her nightly run and didn't come home, police said.

Wilbanks called her fiance, John Mason, late Friday and said she had been kidnapped, her stepmother said. "Jennifer said she thought the people got scared because of all the media coverage and just let her go," Ann Wilbanks told The Associated Press.

As she spoke to Mason, Duluth police traced the call to Albuquerque, Ahrensfield said.

"She went to the pay phone at the 7-11 there and called her family. Then we were contacted through their police," she said.

Mason told CNN that he wanted to "bust into tears" when his fiancee called.

"I grabbed the phone and just started talking to her until the police came here. She was scared, she didn't know where she was."

Wilbanks was picked up by police on the corner of a main street near the 7-11. Her hair, which was long in pictures released by her family, was short, Ahrensfield said.

After being interviewed by the FBI, Wilbanks may be taken to a hospital.

"There's some possibility she may need some medical attention," Ahrensfield said.

Mason and Wilbanks' family planned to fly to Albuquerque later today - the same day that the couple had been planning to wed. The wedding, with about 600 invited guests, was supposed to take place this evening at Duluth First United Methodist Church.

Earlier Friday, before Wilbanks called, her family offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for her disappearance.

Also Friday, family and police officials said her fiance, John Mason, passed a privately administered polygraph test.

Hundreds of volunteers, many from Hall County, spent Wednesday and Thursday assisting law enforcement in the search for Wilbanks. The daughter of Harris Wilbanks and Joyce Parrish of Gainesville, Jennifer Wilbanks worked at Heritage OB/GYN in Gainesville as a medical assistant.

Parrish is a former co-owner of Satterfield's Sporting Goods in Gainesville. Jennifer's uncle, Mike Satterfield, retired late last year as Hall County's fire chief.

Since Feb. 1, Satterfield has served as head of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency's communication and operations center in Atlanta. His experience in dealing with all types of disasters made him uniquely qualified to serve as spokesman for his own devastated family.

Family members, as well as many of their friends, have withdrawn from public comment, overwhelmed by the amount of state and national media attention the case has received. They've especially been hurt, Satterfield said, by the fact that Mason has become the focus of intense scrutiny.

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20050430/localnews/99501.shtml
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xx Police: Ga. Woman Fabricated Kidnap St
« Reply #14 on: Apr 30th, 2005, 07:15am »

By MARY PEREA Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Apr 30, 2005 — A Georgia bride-to-be who vanished just days before her wedding turned up in New Mexico and fabricated a tale of abduction before admitting Saturday that she got cold feet and "needed some time alone," police said.

Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, had called her fiance from a pay phone late Friday and told him that she was kidnapped three days earlier while she was jogging, authorities said. But she soon recanted, according to police.

"It turns out that Miss Wilbanks basically felt the pressure of this large wedding and could not handle it," said Randy Belcher, the police chief in Duluth, Ga., the Atlanta suburb where Wilbanks lives. He said there would be no criminal charges.

The wedding, which had been scheduled for Saturday, was elaborate. The couple had mailed 600 invitations, and the ceremony was to feature 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen.

Wilbanks, whose disappearance set of a nationwide hunt for her, was tired and thirsty, but was not complaining of any injuries, officials said. Her hair, which was long in pictures released by her family, was shoulder-length.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=717038
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