“Gary, we are here with Carol Sayers, the facilitator of the therapy group that Ashley was mandated to attend before her death. Ms. Sayers, what can you tell us about Ashley? Was she mentally disturbed? Do the police think the group had anything to do with her death?” The anorexic blond anchorwoman with her forced smile and wide-eyed stare stacks her questions in true journalistic style. She may think it sounds assertive or exciting, but it’s merely sloppy and confusing.
“The police have not informed me of any connection,” Carol says calmly. She is wearing a nice black skirt which reaches her knees and a snug-but-not-tight white sweater. She has even applied makeup for the occasion. “I firmly believe that Ashley’s demise has to do with her personal life and not the therapy group at A Ray Of Hope of which I am the facilitator. I don’t think you realize the good work this group does for the women involved. It’s a healing from trauma group, and many of these women have no other resources. We are nonjudgmental, supportive and nurturing. I believe this group makes a real difference in the lives of these women.”
I sit up in shock. How can she talk about the group like that on television? Granted, she doesn’t reveal any names or divulge any pertinent details, but I’m uncomfortable with her talking about it at all. The women who attend the group do so under the assumption that it’s anonymous and private. I don’t think prospective members would feel comfortable joining a group that is supposed to be confidential, but is high-profile. It also strikes me as odd that she is talking about Ashley’s death if she truly believes her support group has nothing to do it. It makes me wonder what her agenda is. It seems almost predatory of her to seize the unfortunate occasion to promote herself. I don’t want to hear the rest of the interview, but I can’t make myself turn it off.
“Take the night of Ashley’s murder. I was at home researching on the internet certain points for my upcoming book on the dynamics of group therapy as I do most nights. If it weren’t for the disrupting event of her death, would I have even remembered what I was doing? Most likely not.” Carol turns, stares right into the camera and smiles.
“I certainly don’t!” The anchor laughs artificially, careful to keep her face slightly turned towards the right to show off her best side.
“My point is, everything takes on more significance when a tragedy such as this occurs.” Carol nods her head wisely. “It’s natural to think that because Ashley was in a therapy group when she was killed that the two are related. As I learned in Psych 101, however, correlation does not mean causation.” The anchor quickly wraps up the interview, thanking Carol insincerely for being there.
I watch the whole fifteen-minute feature without learning much more than I already know. The few new facts I glean are: Ashley didn’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend at time of death; her father is seeing someone, but no one knows whom; despite all her troublemaking, Ashley was a creative girl who got high grades when she bothered to attend classes. Her father was not interviewed, most likely because he refuses to talk about the situation. I gulp the rest of my beer, my mind still on Carol’s interview. Why didn’t she mention it at group tonight? I think it’s unprofessional of her to not at least drop a hint casually that she would be on television talking about the group. I wouldn’t have pegged her for an avoider which makes her reticence even more intriguing. I shrug. It could be nothing more than opportunistic posturing by her. I noticed that she managed to get a plug in for the book she’s working on. I don’t like it, but I can understand. She even mentioned the name of the clinic, so perhaps she was trying to drum up support for A Ray of Hope.