Looking for Morgan: Well-intended documentary has fueled unbridled mania in case
By Shirley Boulder - Investigative Reporter
Just like L. Frank Baum’s fictional character, Dorthy Gale from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I’ve learned that there is no place like home.
It’s great to be back in the Ozarks!
I’m absolutely in love with the rugged beauty of the Ozark Mountains. There is nothing that can compare to the beautiful landscape, sparkling rivers and awe-inspiring mountain views.
There is truly no place like home.
While I had always planned to continue my True Crime writing career upon my return to Arkansas, I had not anticipated that I would pen another word regarding the Morgan Nick abduction case.
Boy, was I wrong!
As soon as the “Still Missing Morgan” documentary television special launched and “Morgan Nick Mania” took over the Ozarks, I knew my part in covering this most fascinating story was far from over.
I’ve chosen not to write any commentary today regarding the Morgan Nick documentary. Instead, I choose to focus my efforts on the madness that the film has unleashed.
The social media community is under siege with what can only be described as Morgan Nick Mania! Unchecked accusations are filling up Facebook status updates with claims of who kidnapped and potentially killed Morgan Nick.
Family members are turning against each other with outlandish claims.
Armchair detectives are rising up from their living rooms and sharing personal details of their would-be suspects on platforms like websleuths.com.
Horrific and slanderous accusations line the comment section of the Morgan Nick Foundation’s Facebook page.
One such accusation, leveled by a man known as “Joe Tollet” is blatant:
He claims that the truck in question in the Morgan Nick case was owned by his Grandfather and that his very own Uncle was driving the truck on the evening of Morgan Nick’s abduction.
“Joe” goes on to explain that there is a long history of molestation, rape and secrets in his family.
In fact, Joe goes as far as to post a photo of his uncle next to a photo of the composite sketch in the Morgan Nick case and accuses his Uncle of Morgan’s abduction. Joe is clearly pulling no punches!
On Websleuths.com, a popular “arm chair detective” platform, there is a pointed discussion about a man named Brian Sevier.
According to someone using the screen name “Phill1”, a man named Brian Sevier is an alleged suspect in the Morgan Nick abduction. In fact, “Phill1” claims that Brian Sevier was a little league umpire at the time of Morgan’s disappearance.
Others on the Websleuths forum describe Sevier as an alleged former sex offender. (According to court records, Sevier was once a registered sex offender but as of 2012, he is no longer required to register).
Someone else on websleuths.com goes as far as sharing photos, like the ones above, that compare Sevier and the composite sketch in Morgan Nick’s case.
While neither myself or the staff of Today in Fort Smith care to opine on the credibility of the information shared on any of these social media platforms, we do think it’s important to take pause and consider the seriousness of what is happening right now.
It’s mania. True, unadulterated, slanderous mania. All in the name of a missing little girl.
Obviously, I understand, appreciate and enjoy my right of freedom of speech just like the next person, but what is currently happening on social media is dangerous. In fact, it could be life-altering for the people being openly accused of Morgan Nick’s abduction.
What if these men whose faces are being compared to the composite sketch are completely innocent of any wrong-doing whatsoever?
Personal information, along with their photos has been shared thousands and thousands of times on social media.
What if the information is wrong?
Even more disturbing to me is that these dangerous and (so far) unfounded allegations are allowed to continue in the comments sections of the Morgan Nick Foundation Facebook page. This is incredibly irresponsible.
The Morgan Nick Foundation Facebook page is under the control of the Morgan Nick Foundation staff –a staff that also includes Morgan Nick’s mother, Colleen Nick.
I have to ask myself why information like this would be allowed to circulate, especially in places that are easily monitored by the Morgan Nick Foundation. Why?
Friends, all of this is starting to feel eerily familiar… almost like the time I reported information regarding the fact law enforcement, the Nick family, and the Morgan Nick Foundation knowingly allowed the wrong composite sketch to circulate for just over five years in the Morgan Nick case.