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Why the disappearance of Gabby Petito has swept across the globe

Updated: Sep 22


Gabby Petito, missing, Brian Laundrie, True Crime
Image courtesy of CNN, taken from Gabby Petito's Instagram.

The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and views of the West Island News.


There is a term within the social sciences known as “missing white woman syndrome” which attempts to highlight the astronomically disproportionate media coverage and social support received by cases involving young white women and girls.


Compare this with the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women across North America which go virtually unspoken about. Or with the case of Jelani Day, a 25-year-old black man from Illinois who was reported missing on August 25th, 2021 (SOURCE) and has only seen a fraction of media coverage in comparison to Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old white woman who was declared missing on September 11th, 2021 (SOURCE).


JonBenét Ramsay went missing 25 years ago, and yet the details are fresh in our minds. Now, as new evidence emerges and technology advances, the story continues to be covered in the news and on popular chat shows such as Dr. Oz.


I include all this because it is important to be considerate of this as you move forward through the rest of the article. Although the points I seek to make in regard to the Gabby Petito case are pertinent, it is equally important to be mindful of the other ongoing tragedies in the world.