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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
When a missing person has not been seen or heard from in years, most people generally assume that person is probably dead. At some point, a missing person case begins to look more like a murder case. But Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says we might want to think again.
While working to identify the last victims of the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Dart points out, investigators found five men who had been missing since the 1970s for reasons that had nothing to do with Gacy.
And they were alive.
Dart spoke with the Editorial Board this week about the Missing Persons Project, a new initiative to find about 170 missing persons who have been missing for three years or longer. It is an effort that appeals to us greatly. In our lead editorial, we write about the compassion that drives a search for people who are missing and how you can help.
This Saturday marks 20 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks, where we lost almost 3,000 lives on U.S. soil. We honor those killed on that dark day and shed tears for our troops who have died fighting since then.
In 2001, Americans were once united behind their government, but now trust is hard to find. Every report — or true facts coming from the highest-ranking members of government — is challenged by someone, Phil Kadner writes. In his latest column, he writes about how two decades after 9/11, magicians of history have been able to transform truth and fiction right in front of our eyes.
In Letters to the Editor, Daniel Pupo of Orland Park writes about the right-wing hypocrisy of the Texas abortion law. We have read stories by those on the right who say that requiring people to be vaccinated or wear masks indoors is a violation of their rights. Yet now, Pupo writes, with regard to the issue of abortion, they say that women may not use this same argument.
We want to hear from you, too. Send us your opinion on current events to letters@suntimes.com.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

Viola Brown Martin, who was 56 when she reportedly last was seen, has been missing since Dec. 26, 2009. | Brian Rich/Sun-Times
Viola Brown Martin, who was 56 when she reportedly last was seen, has been missing since Dec. 26, 2009. | Brian Rich/Sun-Times
Over the years, while working to identify the last anonymous victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was stunned by an unexpected development.
Investigators working the case found five other men who had been missing since the 1970s for reasons that had nothing to do with the Gacy.
And the men were alive.
Clearly, Dart realized, people go missing more often than most of us might imagine, and not necessarily because there has been foul play. And sometimes, even after decades, they can be found.
“It is stunning,” Dart told us on Wednesday. “At a time when we have cell phones that track us, and Facebook and computer data and license plate readers, that idea that somebody could be missing defies logic for most people. But it’s actually not that hard for people to fall off the grid.”
Because that thought has long nagged at him — and because he has seen the peace of mind that finding a missing person can bring to a family — Dart has launched a new effort to find some 170 persons who have been missing for three years or longer, using both traditional detective work and new.
The initial focus of his Missing Persons Project, for practical reasons, generally will be on people who have disappeared in the past 10 to 15 years, but Dart is asking the public — folks like you and us — to contact his office with information about any case.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
Phil Kadner on 9/11 and how we tell our history:
All of my life I have heard people say they will never forget, and the awful truth is they do. Worse, they sometimes remember things that never happened. That is a fact.
More editorials we published this week
Seize the moment, Chicago, in hiring and training a new generation of police officers
Any plan to make water affordable for all in Chicago can’t ignore the cost of providing it
In your words
“It is ludicrous to ban abortions and then, at the same time, refuse as a society to provide aid and support, as necessary, for the children who are then born.”
Daniel Pupo, Orland Park
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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