If you didn’t have the opportunity to tune in to what many around the trucking industry feared would be a smear effort targeting the nation’s highway haulers, Investigate Discovery’s “Killer Truckers” television special reruns this morning on the cable channel at 10 a.m. Eastern and Pacific. It’s about the FBI’s Highway Serial Killings Initiative Database, which includes scads of murders (some solved) where remains or bodies were found along major highways.
The show purports to answer this question, as put by Sandi Soendker on the Land Line media blog: “Are predators drawn to trucking or does trucking create predators?”
One bright spot to come out of the show’s promotion is that drivers have been out in public forums in force commenting on news of the show to dispel the notion proffered at least by its title, which considered alone parades around like it wants to go ahead and throw the blame around for all those killings on an entire industry.
Another part of that bright spot is inclusion throughout the story of bona fide advocates among the trucking community who recognize the problems and who are doing things about it — ID producers were on hand at last year’s Truck Driver Social Media Convention in Kansas City and, says driver and Truth About Trucking/AsktheTrucker.com proprietor Allen Smith (also the convention’s organizer), without what the perspective the crew got at the show, “Killer Truckers” might likely have indeed come out as a one-sided smear fest.
“The fact that they attended [the convention] allowed for the positive side of trucking to be a part of this airing. Had they not attended, there would be just the ‘Killer Truckers'” — without the overwhelming majority of good people out there represented.
Smith is one of those, featured himself in segments about the Truckers Against Trafficking effort and trucking’s importance to American life, likewise Hope Rivenburg, Jason’s Rivenburg’s widow and a tireless advocate for drivers’ safe parking needs around the country. Too bad ID Investigates producers couldn’t get Rivenburg’s name right, spelling it “Rivenberg” in captions with the video (see still).
In any case, Smith’s partner in Truth About Trucking, his wife, Donna, says that she saw the show as reasonably balanced in nature. “The reality is that this does exist, and we can’t pretend that it doesn’t — some people are using the industry and their targets are prostitutes… [In the show], when Allen holds up the Truckers Against Trafficking card and points out how one trucker can save a life by just a single call — that’s just great” to have out in such a high-profile forum.
If you’ve seen the ID show, what did you think of it overall? Tell us in the comments.
Speaking of the Truck Driver Social Media Convention — illness has prevented the Smiths from holding the convention this year, but they’re hopeful for a repeat in 2014. Stay tuned.