Handouts/03.28.07/RJTECH/email from Charlie Moore/APD’s new recruiting/This picture was placed on 10 billboards across the city. It was part of APD’s new recruiting campaign that used the runaway bride as a way to get recruits. Photo: COURTESY APD Albuquerque Police spokeswoman Trish Hoffman appears in a new recruiting ad for the department.
The Bride Who Faked Her Own Kidnapping
Jennifer Wilbanks became something of a folk anti-hero, inspiring an action figure and a grocery store condiment called “Jennifer’s High Tailin’ Hot Sauce,” and numerous other items, even toast…
John Mason and Jennifer Wilbanks had planned a late April wedding with 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen, but the wedding would get postponed when the bride got cold feet. For nearly a week media attention would focus on Duluth, Georgia, a growing city in the suburbs of Atlanta that the two called home.
32-year-old Jennifer Wilbanks disappeared while out jogging four days before her wedding, it sparked one of the biggest missing persons stories in America in 2005. Then the shocking truth emerged.
At roughly 8.30pm on a chilly April night in the small town of Duluth, Georgia, Jennifer Wilbanks told her fiancé, John Mason that she was popping out for a run. Mason, 32, thought nothing of it. She ran marathons – it was one of the many things they had in common. And with their wedding only 4 days away, Jennifer had a lot on her mind – a run would do her good.
But Jennifer, then 31, didn’t return that night. At 10.15pm, Mason went looking for her around Duluth in his car. “I thought maybe she might have turned her ankle and fallen,” he said. “Or someone could have beaten her up… No idea.” He called the police at around midnight and spent a sleepless night by the phone. He had little idea then, that it would be the first of many.
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