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How High?

A reporter from Florida’s St. Petersburg Tribune downplayed the story, saying a woman had “encouraged” her 7-year-old son to jump from their apartment window by saying a “serial killer” (she told the 911 operator it was her ex-boyfriend) was trying to break in. Reporters at other newspapers were more pointed: Michelle Vail, 32, allegedly threatened the boy with a loaded shotgun, and said she didn’t believe the officers at the door who responded to her call for help were really the police. Thus “encouraged,” the boy jumped, and she jumped after him, in an apparent suicide bid. But mother and son both easily survived: their apartment was only on the second floor. Police said there were no signs anyone had tried to break into the apartment, and charged Vail with aggravated child abuse. (RC/St. Petersburg Tribune, Tampa Bay Times, AP) ...Her boyfriend: likely not a serial killer. Alcohol addiction: the biggest serial killer of all.
Original Publication Date: 08 March 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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