Lauren Spierer: Friends won’t talk, hire attorneys

I have just read that  the friends of missing Indiana University student, Lauren Spierer have “lawyered up,” or, I think it is safe to say, their parents have hired a lawyer for them, as it is unusual for young college students to have money for their own lawyer.

Jesse Wolff, Lauren’s boyfriend, and Corey Rossman, Mike Beth, Jay Rosenbaum and David Rohn, friends of Lauren, all who saw her hours before she went missing, have hired attorneys. In face, Jay Rosenbaum, 21, claims to be the last person who saw Spierer walking away in Bloomington at 4:30 am on June 3rd, before she disappeared, and he has recently shut down his Facebook page.

There are different speculations, why.  Jeff Cohen, program director of the Mercy College School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in Dobbs Ferry, New York, said, “My guess is a lot of those kids are a bit confused and afraid at this point.”

But, I am thinking that this has more to do with the parents of the students wanting to make sure their kids don’t say anything.  But, why?

Many years ago, when I was about the same age as these college students are, my ex-fiancee, Michael Simmons was murdered outside the Diary Queen in North Park.  He was at a phone booth, dialing my phone number,  when a karate student of his, whom he had gotten into an argument with during class, came up behind him and hit him in the back of the head.  Michael fell to the ground and the karate student, Phil Dench (who was later prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Michael’s death) continued to kick him.  I was sitting in my living room watching the news, when I heard that he died.

Before the trial, the defense lawyer tried to track me down.  My parents, trying to protect me, insisted that I walk away, that I hide out, if need be, so as not to get involved.  Even though I still was friends with Michael, I had married someone else and I had a one week old baby, which my parents pointed out were all good reasons to not get involved.  They felt that my being involved in a murder trial, would not benefit my future, and certainly would not bring Michael back.

I trusted my parents’ advice.  They had not steered me wrong in the past and I decided to listen to them, and had even convinced myself that I was doing the right thing.

It wasn’t till years later that I “grew up” and realized that I should have been the one to make the decision on how involved I should have been.  Maybe the outcome would not have been any different, if I had testified, but I know now that my reputation nor future would not have been jeopardized, for I would have been doing the right thing for someone else, instead of thinking of myself.

Although, my parents were right that testifying at the trial would not have brought Michael back,  it would have been the last thing I could have done for someone that loved me, and I would have the memory of my participation in the trial, instead of the memory of my avoiding it. 

I am hoping that Lauren Spierer’s friends, whether they are “lawyered up” or not will tell everything they know about the last few hours they spent with Lauren.  I hope they don’t worry about their future, their reputation, and carefully consider what is the best for Lauren and her family. 

This is a chance for Lauren’s friends to to be adults, which means to have a mind of their own and make a decision based on the overall good of their fellow human being.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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