Early yesterday we scheduled Rebecca Hargon's aunt for our show. Her aunt wanted to do the show to continue to put pressure on the authorities to look for Michael, Rebecca and James Hargon. At the time we booked her, the investigation was still ongoing. No one knew if the family was dead or alive -- although I am sure we all feared the worst.
As most of you know, about an hour before our Monday show, 3 bodies were found in Mississippi. While the bodies were not identified as the Hargon family, I doubt there is anyone who has followed this case who does not think it is the family of 3.
When the show started, I suddenly found myself with a family member AND bodies discovered - not a continued search for the family. Can any of you think what to say to the family at a time like this? I can't. I am not sure what I said to Rebecca's aunt. All I know is that like all of you, I felt terrible.
I went to Mississippi last week just a few days after the Hargon family disappeared. One of the "problems" with doing that is that you actually meet the family in person. That makes the story very different for the journalist. In most instances, it is inescapable after a trip to the scene that you develop affection for the aggrieved families and you very much want the news in the end to be good news.
Once you have been invited in the homes of families, the story changes for you personally. Yes, we do our job, but it is profoundly different when you have been invited in their homes and sat around just talking. We remain journalists able to tell the facts -- but we are also human -- detesting the pain others go through.
Behind the scenes, since I was in Mississippi, I have maintained contact with the family -- always hoping that they would have good news for me. Some of my calls were "business" and some were "personal."
I really like the extended Hargon family (obviously I am not including the now arrested cousin in this list of who you would like.) The Hargons have endured the worst -- a 1994 murder of Michael's father and now this. I sure wish I could think of some way to make it better for them but I just can't. Incidentally, you would really like this family, too.
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