While Katherine Jackson has made headlines the past few days for being kidnapped by her own children who want you to know that they definitely didn't kidnap her, she's not the only celebrity mom who was kidnapped this week. Baseball superstar Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 74-year-old mother, Violet, was also abducted and, thankfully, returned home.
The Washington Post reports that Vi Ripken was forced at gunpoint into her Lincoln Continental sometime between 7 and 8 Tuesday morning. She was found bound but unharmed in the back seat about a day later near her home in suburban Baltimore. The kidnapper, whom Vi described as a tall, thin, white man wearing glasses and camouflage clothing, has not been apprehended.
At the moment, police are unsure of the motive behind the abduction. There was no ransom demand in exchange for Vi's release.
Vi's next-door neighbor, Gus Kowalewski, has plenty of theories, though and is proving to be a first-rate gossip in the aftermath of the abduction.
In addition to speculating that the kidnapper "just wanted money and her car," (recall, if you will that the kidnapper did not take the car, and again, no ransom demand), Gus also told a reporter from the Post that Vi was discovered around 6:15 a.m. after honking her car's horn until another neighbor found her.
Kowalewski, the neighborhood griot, said he was surprised the honking didn't wake him up.
Police said Mrs. Ripken was discovered after someone reported a suspicious car.
Other possibly fanciful details from Gus Kowalewski presents Vi Ripken's Kidnapping: an Interpretation
- While Vi was in his care, the kidnapper stopped and bought food for the two of them.
- The kidnapper lit cigarettes for Vi to smoke, presumably at her request.
- The kidnapper initially planned to cover Vi's eyes with tape, but settled for a more traditional blindfold after Vi told him, "‘Pease don't do that ‘cause I'm claustrophobic.'"
The man can tell a story.
Police still don't know if the kidnapper had any ties to the Ripken family, though the son of another of Vi's neighbors (in other words: just a random guy uninvolved with the investigation), speculates that the crime must have been committed by someone "very local," if he was able to return her to the neighborhood undetected.
Police, this man adds, had been "swarming" the area a mere six hours prior.
The Baltimore Sun notes that Vi shares not only her son Cal Jr.'s "understated demeanor," but also his "piercing blue eyes."