(5-5-14) This post has been edited because I was contacted and asked to remove the photographs I used in the original post. I woke up this morning thinking about Faith Hedgepeth and her still unsolved case. I got on Facebook and saw a few remarkable photos of her picture on campus, posed with a graduation cap and sash as if to show Faith was about to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill. Perhaps most of you have seen them on Facebook already.
They are almost crushing in their beauty and their power. You want to smile for a second, but mostly, you resist the tears…until they come. For Faith Hedgepeth, for all the women lost to violence. Throughout time, throughout the world.
I have covered so many deaths, so many that are sadly and terribly similar in circumstance. But the victims - all unique - and I remember each and every one of them. They number in the hundreds in my mind.
Faith, I’ll never forget. So many have not forgotten. She deserves that.
Her college graduation: an accomplishment Faith was heading toward with immense pride. One of life’s biggest moments. To share, to remember. To know: I did it. I dreamt I could do it, and I did it.
Faith is not here to hug or congratulate. Nor is justice here to put salve on the always-open wound of her loss for those who knew her, cared about her, loved her.
I did not know her. But as I have reported on and written about Faith’s case, it is so easy to see why she mattered so, why she is missed so, why a murderer or murderers must be held accountable for seizing such a promising life. --
I have recently talked to two people who know about the case. I heard or detected nothing about a resolution coming soon. But: one takeaway. A case can be cold until the moment it is hot. Then, in 48 hours, it can be over.
All that’s needed, at times, is one key piece of information. One call. One call to conscience. Or one mistake.
Or one twist of fate. Fate will turn in Faith’s favor at some point.
The singer-writer, Duffy, and Bernard Butler wrote the song, “Distant Dreamer.” I came across it months ago when a friend said Duffy was someone I should listen to. I did.
Only this morning, a week before Faith would likely have completed college, did I "see" Faith in the song. I listened as I began writing. For those of you who don’t know it, I encourage you to listen, too.