2/18/2004 4:39:00 PM Daily News Editorial True crime in SE Illinois
Itís beginning to look as if it werenít for southeastern Illinois, the TV true-crime business would have to fold up its tent.
On Tuesday the Discovery Channel aired an espisode of its new ďCrime TimeĒ series focusing on the Lawrence County case of Julie Rea Harper, convicted of killing her 10-year-old son in 1997.
Last year, an episode of Court TVís ďForensic FilesĒ profiled Clark Countyís Fred Grabbe murder case of the 1980s, in which the farmer was convicted of the gruesome murder of his wife.
And right now, the Daily News is checking out the possibility of yet another major-network TV show being based on the Grabbe case.
Itís ironic, because as sensational as these cases are, our regionís biggest and most daunting crime problem will probably never attract the attention of Hollywood screenwriters and reality-TV producers.
Even though local law enforcement and prosecutors fight to keep ahead of the epidemic, and even though it has gained some attention from area legislators who have advanced bills to address the problem, the methamphetamine phenomenon still seems to be moving under the radar.
And why not? In our area, the perception is that it mostly affects those already on the margins of society ó†meth isnít invading middle-class homes or threatening our children.
At least on a large scale.
At least, not yet.
But itís still ruining lives, wasting resources and, directly or indirectly, killing people ó†right in our backyards.
Tragically, we donít have to turn on the TV for the reality of crime, addiction and violence; meth has brought it to our doorstep.
And even more tragic is the fact that itís been so easy for us to ignore.