The Fake Disappearance of Carlee Russell and the Tik Tok Kidnapping Panic
A 25 year old Alabama nursing student disappeared after calling 911 and claiming she was stopping to help a toddler in diapers who was walking alone on Interstate 459.• Jan. 17, 2024
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Carlee Russel returned home two days later and claimed she had been kidnapped and had barely managed to escape. She said the toddler was used as bait. If you like our content, please become a patron to get all our episodes ad-free.
Carlee described how a man with “orange hair” emerged from the woods and picked her up and forced her into a vehicle. No, it wasn’t Donald Trump. 1
She said the man then put her into the trailer of a tractor and drove her to an unknown location where he forced her to undress and took photos of her. Carlee also mentioned that the man had a female accomplice who fed her cheese crackers. 2
Police soon realized her story didn’t add up. Carlee admitted she faked her own abduction. Her motives are unclear, but we suspect she was “inspired” by the kidnapping social media craze, a new “Satanic Panic” type of phenomenon which has been spreading like wildfire online, especially on Tik Tok. 3
This new trend, started by right-wing evangelicals, aims to terrify women, and convince them they can be abducted at any moment and sex trafficked. The scope is to distract from real social issues like overturning Roe v Wade, the gun violence epidemic, voting rights etc.
Statistically, a woman in the US is more likely to get hit by lightning than get kidnapped and sex trafficked.
1. Ariana Baio & Andrea Blanco Carlee Russell smiles in mug shot as she’s charged with false police report in kidnap hoax Independent, July 2023 ⇤
2. Tiffanie Drayton ‘We will not be dismayed’: What Carlee Russell’s lie means for other missing Black women Daily Dot, July 2023 ⇤
3. UNODC UNODC report on human trafficking exposes modern form of slavery UNODC, February 2009 ⇤