Stacie Madison and Susan Smalley were 17 and 18 years old, respectively, when they disappeared in 1988 - the same age as Ms. Forte's students. And I definitely appreciated being afforded the opportunity to discuss the Madison/Smalley case with people within this particular age range.
Ms. Forte's students proved to be an excellent audience, and both classes presented me with questions that demonstrated that the story of the girls' disappearance definitely made an impression on them.
A week or so following my speech, I received a packet in the mail from Ms. Forte containing some very gracious thank you notes.
Among the kind words contained within them was one student's statement that hearing about the case had "really sparked an interest" and "fired up" their "detective bone" and made them wish they could "help solve this mystery."
Another note included the words, "I hope the case is solved." Many students concurred with this sentiment, and one added that they hoped resolution might "end the sadness that's continued for so many years."
"I think it is good," observed one student, "to tell kids our age that something like this could still happen."
And another said they were moved by the way in which Carrollton (both the authorities and individuals) have rallied since 2009 in an effort to solve the mystery of the girls' disappearance and were "glad to know that there are people out there that care about people."
My thanks to both of Ms. Forte's classes for their interest in the Madison/Smalley case and their generous words of support.