by jhwygirl

Had a coworker say to me this morning as work begun “What’s with Jon Krakauer? Why does he hate UM?” Tone and history told me where they were on the University of Montana – City of Missoula – Mayor John Engen – President Engstrom rape “thing”: The “It’s over!” “Why bring this up again?” “Jordan Johnson was innocent!” “No one ever proved anything!” crowd.

Whatever. I’ll continue to call bs on the matter if anyone discusses to any great degree – and it’s likely they do so just to get a rise out of me. I’m OK with it. I have a decent memory, and I deal with facts. Google is easily accessible. The #truth was revealed in the Department of Justice report; the statutes of limitations haven’t expired; Montana’s current Attorney General Tim Fox has stated he feels the matter has been resolved; both the previous Governor Brian Schweitzer and the current Governor Steve Bullock have done nothing, either, to press for justice; and – the real kicker here that everyone seems to forget – the rapists walk free. Those are facts, but apparently there are many here that feel comfortable to ignore the reality.

It’s not like this isn’t free and open information – the Missoulian did fine reporting on the matter, and I still thank Gwen Florio for her fearless journalism, along with the editor and publisher that stood behind reporting on the matter while there was some huge advertising and Griz Nation backlash.

I wonder how the vicitims feel? I think of them. Do you think Freddie Van Valkenburg does? Or the ever-so-efficient, John Engen-endorsed Missoula County Attorney Kirsten B. Pabst? I doubt it.

Does Montana Attorney General Tim Fox – who was hot on the campaign pulpit on the issue of sexual predators – think about the gang rape that happened? That President Engstrom’s own “independent” investigator – a former Montana Supreme Court Justice – also found and placed in her report?

Does Fox think about the other sexual assaults? The 5 year old victim? I do.

Krakauer may be facing an unfriendly welcome here in Missoula when (and if) he comes to sign books. Or speak. But it sure isn’t going to be from me. I’m glad he took the rape issue on. I’m glad it’s the rape issue here. I hope he continues to push for the University papers. I hope he finds the alleged connections that are there between the former Governor’s office and his cronies and friends that came to the Board of Regents, and the weave of politics behind the whole sordid mess.

But getting back to my cowoker…..

I said that I wouldn’t be so sure that he hates the University of Montana – that maybe Krakauer loves Montana and just looks for any excuse to come here to write. (I was in a jolly mood this morning – and as I mentioned above, all parties know where I stand on the rape matter. Plus I added my own little sprinkle of sarcasm.)

The reply was that “Well, he hates the Two Cups of Tea guy too.”

And I love pink ponies and rainbows.

Addendum: One of my favorite posts from the University of Montana rape scandal is this from Patrick Duganz, as it epitomizes the head-in-the-sand Good-Ole-Boy’s Club and seemingly socially acceptable rape and sexual assault is (or was, depending on who you ask) here in Missoula: Rape is not “knuckleheaded,” Rape is a felony.


  1. Nice to see you’re writing.

  2. larry kurtz

    Thank you for the thoughtful piece, j-girl.

    Watching the Mountain Water story going down and Keila Szpaller’s fine coverage provides plenty of evidence that your town would really rather listen to the women instead of hearing the mansplaining and watching the plumage displays analogous to the usual postings here.

  3. petetalbot

    Good to read you again, jhwygirl.

  4. As a Missoula ex-pat, who strangely does not miss the *magic* (or magical thinking) of the place, I also want to give strong kudos to this piece, jhwygirl. When Missoula was referred to as the “rape capitol of America” on Jezebel, that stung more than any of the embarrassments of our bat-crap crazy legislators. When I was 18, so long ago, I made a choice to stay in Montana because I thought this was a better place, that we were better people. This ‘scandal’, a word that ignores the true pain caused from injustice, needs to be exposed in the harshest light possible. I look forward to reading Krakauer’s book and hope that the fall-out goes beyond the sales and book-signings.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Jon Tester’s G… on Senator Tester Backs Wall Stre…
    Digging Deeper: Exam… on A visit from a Montana Na…
    Washing Ton on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Manitou springs on The Dark Side of Colorado
    C. Willie on American Poets: Robinson …
    C. Willie on American Poets: Robinson …
    bretagnebk on The Dark Side of Colorado
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,636,055 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,732 other followers

  • April 2015
    S M T W T F S
    « Mar   May »
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    2627282930  
  • Categories


%d bloggers like this: