Do You Remember Sherry Arnold?

Let’s talk about Sherry Arnold.

Do you remember Sherry?  Do you remember the teacher who lived in Sidney, Montana who went out for a run on January 7, 2012 and never came back?  Do you remember the story of her kidnapping, murder, and the search for her body?  Do you remember the details of the perpetrators – two men from Colorado aged 22 and 48 who were in the area to pursue jobs in the oil patch?  Do you remember that they killed her for shits and giggles and then buried her body in a shallow grave near Williston, North Dakota?  Do you remember the Mayor of Sidney saying how desperately they needed an increased police presence to deal with some of the challenges they were facing with the influx of oil workers?  Do you remember the anguish of the community of Sidney and surrounding communities – communities who understand that this could have happened as easily to one of their beloved community members?  Do you remember the calls for justice for Sherry and her family?  Do you remember?

Sherry was laid to rest yesterday.  The community of Sidney came out to mourn her tragic loss.   In the months to come we will revisit Sherry’s loss in the testimony that comes at trial.  There will be sentences and appeals and much hand-wringing about what we should do to prevent this from happening again.

And then Sherry’s loss will fall off the collective radar.  Some sports star will behave badly or a movie star will die before their time because of drugs and our attention will drift from Sherry Arnold.  We will begin to move on and only think of Sherry in passing until we hardly ever think of her at all. We will drift into a blissful fog wherein we once again believe that the type of horrible thing that happened to Sherry doesn’t happen here.  At least until it happens again…then we will all remember Sherry Arnold and her story as if it happened yesterday.

If we owe Sherry, her family, her friends, her community, and ourselves one thing it is this – we must remember what happened to her.  We must do something that acknowledges the risk her death made us aware of and address it.  We must address the increasingly volatile impact the oil patch is having on the little communities that serve and surround it.  These communities are becoming places unrecognizable to the longtime residents; and, safety is becoming a critical issue.

Remember Sherry Arnold today, tomorrow, and every time you hear the term oil patch.  Remember Sherry Arnold in every discussion you have with a legislator and every time you cast a vote.  Remember Sherry Arnold when you hear how great the oil patch is for the economic health of North Dakota and Montana.  Remember Sherry Arnold when you hear about the unbridled growth without sufficient infrastructure that is occurring in the oil patch. Remember Sherry Arnold when you look at your loved ones and know that if we don’t remember Sherry they may be the next person we are remembering with regret.

Remember Sherry Arnold.

Day nine hundred and ninety-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

4 Responses

  1. I think of Sherry Arnold every time I lace up my running shoes and step out onto the street to go for a run. Her death resonated loudly through our running community, and I believe her tragic story will continue to be in the back of all of our minds every time we are out running alone.

  2. Barbara

    I think of Sherry Arnold every time I recall the five years that I lived in eastern Montana (1955-60) It was a place very close to being paradise. One of those years we lived just a few miles from Sidney–nicest town and area you could imagine. Now it sounds like something very close to being hell. Is this mess really any better than depending on the mideast for oil?

  3. Julie

    I live in Fairview, MT which is only 12 miles from Sidney. I did not know Sherry Arnold, but your article really hit home for me. It is horrible and heartbreaking what happened to her. And yes the area has changed considerably here because of the oil boom. In small towns a person does have to worry about crime, but now you have to look over your shoulder constantly, be on qaurd and travel in groups. I am not blaming everything on the oil boom, but it did open the door to changes in eastern MT and western ND that have basically happened overnight. Not all of the people that have come up here for the oil boom are horrible and evil, it is the few that are ruining it for everybody. God bless Sherry, her family and everyone who knew her. A life taken because of all the money that will be made due to the oil is a debt that cannot and will not ever be repaid.

  4. Yes please remember her, when the oil boom comes to eastern ND and it will. The oil boom will render ND completely a useless baron land. The advances in oil, and pumping water into the ground will have some recourse. It will in a few years affect the eastern part of the state as well. A few years ago a fellow wrote of the buffalo comunes. He never realize what he was even saying. Dakotas will be baron land. Its a matter of time. Doubt we will see it in our life time, but its coming. From what I understand “fracking oil” is so illegal, but its hard to bite the big money maker. If you pump endless supplies of water below the water table, it has to come up some where. Ground level is neutral ground. Below has to come up, above has to come down.

    I have to admit I like advances………I have a friend who sends me almost weekly messages on genetically modified grains. When I said they now have gmo sweet corn, I was told “i will never eat corn again” The current rate is, 12,000 seeds for $400. I mentioned to the guy that brought us the seed, and he said, he would rather have gmo seed rather then standard seed. Yep heard you can drink round up and it wont hurt you. You have to make your own choices.

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