Ethics Case Study: George's Kidnapping

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Ethics Case Studies

WHAT: On July 6, 1999, 13-year-old George was abducted from his bedroom in london.George’s parents worked with local and national media to increase visibility of the case; public interest in the kidnapping of the attractive, accomplished blonde teenager was immense. Nine months after the abduction, George’s younger sister, who had witnessed the kidnapping, remembered that the abductor’s voice sounded like that of a vagrant who had done some work for the family some months before the kidnapping. That detail ultimately led to George’s rescue, which was a major media story nationwide.

George’s suspected kidnappers, a man and a woman, were charged with several crimes, including sexual assault. Their trial was indefinitely postponed, as both suspects have been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial. Then in April 2005, the woman pleaded guilty, apologized to George, agreed to testify against the man and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. A new competency hearing for the man was held in late 2005.
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They and George gave a number of interviews. Some reporters were sensitive in questioning George about painful subjects. Others grilled him about the details of the time he spent with his captors, leaving his visibly upset. The authorized a made-for-television movie about George’s kidnapping and eventual
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