Header Image Source: Photo by Ryan Wilson on Unsplash
Kelsey Collins (via JusticeForNativeWomen.com)
Kelsey Collins, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (via FBI Seattle Twitter)
"Kelsey Collins was 16 when she fell silly in love with a loser.
It was bound to happen. For all of her street toughness, Kelsey was naive, the kind of kid who would accept a ride from a stranger with only a vague sense that bad things could happen.
Being young, she fell for an older boy who was plenty nice at first, buying her shoes, clothes and dinners.
Which is why Kelsey was so confused when, a few months into the relationship, he hinted that she could make a lot of money.
When it finally sunk in that he wanted her to sell her body, Kelsey told him “hell, no,” she later wrote. But before she knew it, or even fully understood why, Kelsey had joined hundreds of other teenage girls who are prostituted on the streets of King County, shuttled along the Interstate 5 corridor by pimps who take their money and control them through violence.
Kelsey started living a double life: She was a special-education student at Mariner High School in Everett, and she walked the streets as “Lady Dollars.”
Within months, she was picked up by Portland police as she climbed out of a car in an area known for prostitution. She was tired, ready to talk, and told a detective that her new pimp, a 36-year-old man whom she had known for less than a week, had brought her to Portland.
At the detective’s urging, Kelsey eventually told her story to a federal grand jury, but she vanished — without a trace — weeks after testifying.
Her family now can’t stop wondering if there’s a connection.
“They had a moral and ethical responsibility to my sister when they asked her to come into court and testify against a pimp,” said Dominique Hicks, an older sister. “That’s what hurts so much — that she was used, and used in a way that probably cost her her life,” Hicks said. “How can you ask these girls to do what they do, and then send them on their way?”
Kelsey’s immersion into the dark heart of prostitution put her in the hands of police, courts and prosecutors — a system that doesn’t always know how to protect teen prostitutes.
In Seattle, she was arrested and booked as a prostitute and put in juvenile detention. In Portland, police treated Kelsey as a runaway and victim. And at the federal level, before a grand jury, Kelsey was a star witness — until she disappeared.
Three jurisdictions and one troubled teen they couldn’t corral, control or help.
And now they can’t find her..."
— Source: Seattle Times article by Susan Kelleher
Header Image Source: Photo by Pierre Herman on Unsplash
Reenactment of British Airways flight BA5390—Mayday: Air Disaster, Cineflix Productions (via Facebook)
British Airways BAC 1-11 (via Alamy)
Nigel Ogden (via Birmingham Mail UK)
Pilot Timothy Lancaster and flight attendants Simon Rogers and Nigel Ogden (via Shared)
"British Airways Flight 5390 was a flight from Birmingham Airport in England for Málaga Airport in Spain. On June 10, 1990, the BAC One-Eleven 528FL suffered explosive decompression resulting in no loss of life. With the aircraft flying over Didcot, Oxfordshire, an improperly installed windscreen panel separated from its frame, causing the plane's captain to be blown partially out of the aircraft. With the captain pinned against the window frame for twenty minutes, the first officer landed at Southampton Airport.
Atchison handled a routine take-off at 08:20 local time (07:20 UTC) then handed control to Lancaster as the plane continued to climb. Both pilots released their shoulder harnesses and Lancaster loosened his lap belt. At 08:33 (07:33 UTC) the plane had climbed through about 17,300 feet (5,300 m): 3 over Didcot, Oxfordshire, and the cabin crew were preparing for meal service.
Air Steward Nigel Ogden was entering the cockpit when there was a loud bang and the cabin quickly filled with condensation. The left windscreen panel, on Lancaster's side of the flight deck, had separated from the forward fuselage; Lancaster was propelled out of his seat by the rushing air from the decompression and forced head first out of the flight deck. His knees were caught on the flight controls and his upper torso remained outside the aircraft, exposed to extreme wind and cold. The autopilot had disengaged, causing the plane to descend rapidly. The flight deck door was blown inward onto the control console, blocking the throttle control (causing the aircraft to gain speed as it descended) and papers and debris blew into the flight deck from the passenger cabin. Ogden rushed to grab Lancaster's belt, while the other two air stewards secured loose objects, reassured passengers, and instructed them to adopt brace positions in anticipation of an emergency landing.
The plane was not equipped with oxygen for everyone on board, so Atchison began a rapid emergency descent to reach an altitude with sufficient air pressure. He then re-engaged the autopilot and broadcast a distress call, but he was unable to hear the response from air traffic control because of wind noise; the difficulty in establishing two-way communication led to a delay in initiation of emergency procedures. Ogden, still holding on to Lancaster, was by now developing frostbite and exhaustion, so purser John Heward and air steward Simon Rogers took over the task of holding on to the captain. By this time Lancaster had shifted several centimetres farther outside and his head was repeatedly striking the side of the fuselage. The crew believed him to be dead, but Atchison told the others to continue holding onto him, out of fear that letting go of him might cause him to strike the left wing, engine, or horizontal stabiliser, potentially damaging it.
Eventually, Atchison was able to hear the clearance from air traffic control to make an emergency landing at Southampton Airport. The air stewards managed to free Lancaster's ankles from the flight controls while still keeping hold of him. At 08:55 local time (07:55 UTC), the aircraft landed at Southampton and the passengers disembarked using boarding steps.
Lancaster survived with frostbite, bruising, shock, and fractures to his right arm, left thumb, and right wrist. Ogden dislocated his shoulder and had frostbite on his face, with damage to one eye. There were no other major injuries..."
— Source: British Airways Flight 5390 Wikipedia
Newsbreak article “Her Mother Hung Missing Posters. The US Attorney Asked Her To Stop. What Happened To 18-Year-Old Kelsey Collins?”
Seattle Times article by Susan Kelleher “Teen Missing After Testimony Against Pimp”
Seattle Times article by Charles Brown “Sex-Trafficking Suspect Appears In Federal Court In Portland”
HeraldNet article by Eric Stevick “Everett Mother Shares Tragic Loss To Fight Sex Trafficking”
Oregon Live article by Bryan Denson “Two Portland Residents Indicted On Sex-Trafficking Charges”
CNN article by Patrick Oppman “Sex Trafficking Victim Testifies, Then Vanishes”
Our Black Girls website by Erika Marie