Kidnap victim Hannah Anderson has made her first public appearance since her horrific ordeal last week that left her mother and brother dead at the hands of long-time family friend James DiMaggio. She came out to a public fundraiser at the Lakeside Boll Weevil restaurant in San Diego where 20 percent of their sales were going to the Anderson family. She looked subdued and maybe even freaked out by all the media attention, which isn't surprising given how much people have been focused on her this week.
Anderson, 16, was kidnapped two weekends ago after DiMaggio, a man she called "Uncle Jimmy," killed her mother Christina and 8-year-old brother Ethan, then picked her up from cheerleading practice and drove into the woods where he hid out from the police for days. A pair of hikers spotted the "couple" and reported them, which ultimately saved Anderson's life. DiMaggio was killed during a gun fight with the police.
The family's ordeal has been unimaginable and, according to her father, they have many large expenses as a result. But Hannah's behavior in the days since her rescue have caused some to begin to question things about her. This is largely taking place in the Internet comments sections of news outlets, so isn't exactly reliable or even sane in many cases, but it's happening.
Hannah or a person posing as Hannah spent a lot of time soon after her rescue on a social media site called Ask.fm. She was answering questions and posting photos of the manicure she got in honor of her mom and Ethan and also of herself goofing around with friends.
Her family hasn't denied that it's her and family friends have confirmed that it was, leading many to assume that it's authentic. If it is, it's a bit ... odd. To be sure. But also, who are we to judge how a person behaves after something like this?
She may be so deeply in shock from all that has transpired and the new, sick details -- both her mother and brother were tortured by DiMaggio and her dog was shot -- that she may just be desperate for some sense of normalcy, which she is finding through social media, manicures, and time with her friends. She is 16, after all.
What happened to her was horrendous, hideous, beyond imagining. There is no road map for behavior when you survive something like this. It's just one foot in front of the other. We should be supporting her, not judging her.
Do you think people need to lay off Hannah in the comments sections?