A Call For Protection - Rachel Cooke

Discussion in 'The Search for Rachel Cooke' started by RC, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    Your priorities

    have taken a 360 degree turn, RC, and rightly so. If it were any one of us, we would be asking the same question you did - what's the purpose? In the scope of things, this thread means little or nothing - just an outlet for us to pop off. What really does matter and what really does have substance is that your daughter is missing. Your life has been consumed by it. I understand completely where you are coming from.
  2. AustinGirl

    AustinGirl Member


    I was saddened by the story of Rachel going missing when it happened in January and continue to be so. I am praying for her and for your family.
  3. fly

    fly Member

    odds and ends

    Tricia - If the plan is to work toward getting laws changed, one of the methods that many folks would use to move toward that goal would be to get others interested and informed. That requires communicating with people - like talking with civic groups, or posting web pages.

    RC - Given your post, it appears that what I assumed is true: that unlike the Ramseys, there's little chance that you would be considered strong suspects, especially once your alibi was checked.

    Your question was fine. The answer was obvious, IMO, but it doesn't hurt to ask it once in awhile. I often wonder why any of us bother to continue discussing the JBR case at this point. There's never been much chance that our discussions would accomplish anything tangible, and now that every scintilla of evidence has been chewed, swallowed, and regurgitated to be chewed again several times, there's hardly any value in the intellectual exercise of playing sleuth.

    WY - I was simply trying to explain why I don't consider this nit-picking. I agree that past episodes have been worse, but the core issue is basically the same, and it is always likely to generate some dismay when I see it. Call it a cause if you want to. I prefer personal bugaboo or pet peeve.
  4. AK

    AK Member

    Sticky keys, forgive typos

    RC, I think you can learn a lot from these forums as we represent a microcosm of what a jury will go through. The Ramsey case was the beginning of many posters' judicial information, while others began with O.J. Fact is, this back-and-forth goes on with all cases, big and small, and has throughout history. What's neat now is that changes in forensics and law are promoting growth and through forums like this one, people are finding out without having to be in a courtroom. When one's loved one is the subject of a kidnapping or murder trial, clear thinking may not be possible -- so you will see some worthwhile debates here. I didn't realize that Rachel worked at Hooters, but that might well have an impact on the case, appropriately or not. It's similar to the question of whether the van Dams' reported swinging lifestyle introduced a negative environment.

    Fly, I believe the cops weren't invited to the Ramseys' first questioning, only DAs. Remember how the tapes were shuttled out so Thomas et al could study them? I can't recall whether cops were invite to the second round. Does anyone remember?
  5. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member


    RC and I had that very conversation on Saturday. I have never been to Hooters but based on what I know of them, they are no worse than other restaurants like Peppermill which is or at least use to be considered a "better" restaurant in California. I consider them a higher quality (and priced) coffee shop with a bar attached, personally.

    RC did acknowledge the name gives Hooters gives this chain a less than ideal image to some.

    It's too bad that things like this do impact the victims. Kind of like a rape victim being accused of "asking for it," because she chose to wear more "provocative" clothing than other might. But when all is said and done, rape is not a sexual act it is an act of power and control.
  6. Camper

    Camper Banned


    Now I am setting sail on a thought trail that has probably been pursued. Was the Hooter's that Rachal worked at - on a main through highway?
  7. Scully

    Scully Member

    To Fly

    Please pardon the interference on this thread, but I would like to know what your impressions are on the Chandra Levy disappearance. I could have posted this elsewhere on the forum, but I wanted to make sure you would see it. If you have a thought or theory regarding this case, please post your response on the Levy forum (where this post belongs...LOL)

    Again, sorry for the interruption.

  8. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member


    RC will have to verify this, but I believe Rachel worked at Hooters in Southern California and was doing so to help pay her way through college.

    Rachel was home (Georgetown, Texas) from college for Christmas break. Rachel went out for her morning jog and never returned. She was running in her own neighborhood and was last seen within 200 yards of her own home. The area she was in is roughly 9 miles from the Interstate (I-35.) I also understand the road she was on was a dead-end road going in the direction she was headed.

    Georgetown, Texas is about 26 miles north of N. Austin and there is no Hooters here in town. I do know when she was living here, she worked at a place called Reunion Ranch at least during the summers.


    This is an area that has been heavily searched by the way as has Rachel's neighborhood.
  9. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member


    Yes, Rachel worked at the Hooters in the Gas Lamp section of downtown San Diego. It does not really factor into the investigation because she disappeared in our Texas neighborhood.

    Again, Hooters is just a restaurant that serves food. It's not unlike the Hard Rock Cafes and other trendy places. The girls wear short shorts but they are not required to wear low cut blouses or be big busted. I bet if you all think about it you have been in other restaurants with waitresses in short dresses or shorts.
  10. Camper

    Camper Banned

    JR & RC

    I thank you. I will take myself over to Rachels forum area to carry on further.

    Cuz I jest swat flies over here.
  11. AK

    AK Member

    JR :)

    Thank you for telling me that you just found out yourself. I was so bothered by this I came back this late to respond.

    This is a very significant piece of information, and not one, I feel, that should be hidden out of embarrassment. I'll preface this by saying I have advised families of women who have made much worse choices, including strippers and hookers. I do not pass judgment on people and certainly working at Hooters is at the very soft end of sex-trade work. But in the mind of a fantasy-based sex criminal it might not matter.

    For a psychological profiler, this is a key development, both to figuring out Rachel's abductor's motivation and her own behavior. It may also affect the cops' handling of the case, fair or not, and the way a jury may see Rachel.

    To overcome that you must consider making it well known. I'm assuming police are fully informed, but I'll go a step further and say this is a highly promotional part of this case. My advice to you, RC, is to grit your teeth and realize it's coming out and blunt the impact. You are far more likely to get press by making this a part of the story, and that's what you need right now.

    I would hope that every worker in that restaurant has been fully debriefed by cops, and your own PI, if you have one. There is a matter of public safety here and until you can eliminate Hooters as a hive for attracting this kidnapper, you have to firmly assume it is in some way likely responsible. That means get tough with the management. Make them reach into their deep pockets and add to the reward money, advertise, help with the PI costs, and in general deal with the fact that they have a potential minefield of trouble. They owe that to every woman who works for them, and for the families of each.

    PR-wise, it's always a smart idea to break your own tough to swallow news. So Hooters can either cooperate and be the heroes for protecting their girls, or be the enemy who's trying to cover up a scandal.


    Update: I see from reading on that Rachel worked in another state. I will stand by what I posted anyway. An obsessed sex criminal could well have followed her home. Then again it could be completely unrelated. But since she was a Hooters employee, they still should be leaned on for assistance. Their corporate guys could have the argument that they are being helpful, even though the kidnapping was out of state.

    I would hope that cops are grilling every boyfriend she had within the last several years and every male associate, as well as all the girls she worked with. I would certainly recommend getting a San Diego PI to help (but not Pete Peterson, puhleeze!). Begin by finding out if there are other disappearances nationally of Hooters' girls. Don't expect their company to help you with this task, do it yourselves by taking out an 800 # ad if necessary.

    And, as I've added to yesterday's daily, my posting of that joke calendar was done before this thread was read.
  12. Camper

    Camper Banned

    Question, how far is Reunion Ranch from where Rachel's home was? Did she commute from her family home in the summers she worked there? Perchance was she home early enough from college at Christmas to help out at any of the Christmas parties at Reunion Ranch?

    I a$$ume that the PD checked out any part time employees, males, that would have a history of restaurant or ranch type work? Seems like the car that has been identified as having seen 'something' or however that is explained, is a BIG clue that should be followed heavily. Also the hat that the potential witness is wearing, I have seen that type of hat, and it usually is made of leather if my mind is being honest with me, is that correct? Not many of that type of hat around, another biggie, in my humble opinion.

    Texas is a mighty BIG place, with lots of places for guys like this to melt in. Plus ALL cars need gas, have you covered the gas stations heavily with posters.

    When you have passed posters to places like this, has there been 'conversation' with the managers to get names of temporary gas station employees that may have served this type of car and individual? I am also reminded that stations in areas where I live, seem to have a running stream of part time help that you see one day, and the following week you don't, THAT JUST might have seen or visited with a described 'HAT' person, when he/they were getting gas.

    RC do tell us how a description of the person and car was obtained, what the circumstances of that were.

    RC, was Rachel a very open and visiting type of person, two of my daughters are very gregarious and visit openly and freely, the other three are more introspective and would not just visit or get involved in a fun conversation with strangers or casual acquaintances. They would however, most likely be friendly with co-workers, as would all five of my daughters.

    Fly this thread may just have turned into something very very good for RC and family.

    JR, there is so much information on the forum for Rachel, that I find myself swimming in it, and running way behind on being informed. So tolerate me if you will please.

    Also if you wish to move this over to Rachels forum, tell me how to find it again.
  13. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Rachel Information

    I think we need to move these posts to the Rachel threads so that we can keep the history in one place. I will do that later today and leave a link to be followed. In the meantime, I will try to answer what questions I can and RC can respond to the rest when he checks in.

    FedoraX, the facts that Rachel worked at Hooters in California and also was in a pageant locally were part of the Inside Edition story on Rachel. I am sure they are also facts that were shared with the Sheriff initially. The Cookes have been very open about all information because they realize the important thing here is to do what ever is necessary to locate Rachel.

    The IE story included video and pictures of Rachel including video of Rachel singing in the pageant and a shot of Rachel and her roomate who both worked at Hooters.

    Rachel's boyfriends both past and the current one have been questioned. I believe at least one of them has also taken a polygraph.

    Camper, the Ride for Rachel focused on all gas stations, restaurants, motels and business where folks make stops as they travel. Initially, local gas stations, restaurants and so on were a major area to post flyers as well. The push now is to get people to download the flyers and post them in these types of businesses in their own areas.

    One way everyone can help is to send out the link to the flyers to everyone in their email address book and ask them to download and distribute or post flyers. The flyers are available in both English and Spanish:


    The car was spotted in Rachel's neighborhood by more than one person. It is my understanding that there was a collaboration of those who saw the car and the "possible witness" so that the law enforcement artist could come up with the sketch.
    I will let RC address this further because I do not know how much information is being withheld (as is usual in a case) in order to protect vital evidence.

    Other areas that have been considered are things like out of town construction workers and so on and I presume those leads are being followed.

    Reunion Ranch is about 6 miles from where Rachel was last seen. Again, this area has been heavily searched as has the Cooke neighborhood.

    My understanding from others is that Rachel is very friendly and out-going, clearly a beautiful girl and one that would attract a lot of attention because she is. Again, RC will have to verify this because my information comes from others and who would know her better than a family member?
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2002
  14. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    I'm just a little curious

    I know there have been massive searches done in that area for Rachel, JR. What is the thinking on her having been picked up and taken elsewhere - like out of state? I haven't posted flyers here in NYS, because I thought the authorities must have believed she was still in Texas. She could be anywhere in the U.S., yes?
  15. Camper

    Camper Banned

    Another idea

    seems like pictures of the car that was spotted would be most helpful to women who cannot tell a white horse from a black horse.

    In other words a picture of the style of car and the color posted right on the missing poster of Rachel. Gas stations are such a BUSY PLACE that a picture should be worth a thousand words. Seems to me that that car is a KEY bit of information.
    I do not know what sort of a neighborhood it is, or how the streets are laid out, on who all saw the car and on what street locations it was seen, to see if it was a random drive through car, or was actually just passing through on a through street. It would make a great deal of difference in who was in that car at that time.

    Plus after such a dastardly deed seems to me that they would be selling the car perhaps, and used car lots should be another target area. If they got rid of the car soon after, there could still be forensic evidence in the car, especially if a struggle occurred in the car, and hair was dislodged and left in the process.

    It might be worth everyones while to poll the neighborhood again, either the police or friends.

    Or just to check the pattern of visual sightings
    that have been noted already by the police. What time of day did she go missing?
  16. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Help RC!

    Wy, yes, Rachel could be anywhere including out of the country. When there is little evidence to go on you have to start your search within the family nucleus and expand outward in ever larger circles in order to be thorough.

    Camper, there were initial questions as to the car being a Camero or a Transam as they are similar cars. I believe it has been decided the car was an 80's Transam based on the decription of the windows. I searched for pictures but since I don't know the exact year I am not sure it would be appropriate to post what I found.

    Again, the area was a sub-division and the actual street Rachel was on was a dead-end street in the direction she was running based on th information I have been given. RC can probably give more specifics.

    I saw a similar car on a major street here and reported the license plate. It is my understanding that the car I reported was not registered. Hopefully, there is some way this can be followed up.

    Specifics: Rachel, an accomplished cross-country runner, left her home in the Northlake development northwest of Georgetown, Texas (north of Austin) on the morning of Thursday, January 10, 2002, to go on her usual 3-4 mile morning jog around the neighborhood. Sometime around 11 AM, near the end of her run and possibly within 200 yards of home, she disappeared.

    A white or light-colored sports car with a dark stripe on the lower panels (possibly a late 80's - early 90's Camaro, TransAm, or similar model) was reported in the area. Two young men who were seen driving it may have some helpful information.

    Name: Rachel Cooke
    Missing Since: January 10, 2002 at 11:00 AM
    Age: 19
    Missing From: Home in North Lake Area,
    Georgetown, Texas
    Sex: female
    Height: 5 ft 2 in
    Weight: 120
    Eye Color: hazel
    Hair Color: blonde with auburn streaks
    Race: white
    Complexion: fair
    Birth Date: May 10, 1982

    Distinguishing Marks: Ms. Cooke has pierced ears and a pierced naval. Both ears have multiple piercings, one ear having an upper piercing. She has tattoos of two heart shaped cherries on her left shoulder and a black star on her left foot.

    Clothing Description: green sports top, grey shorts, Asics shoes and carrying a yellow Walkman Rachel, visiting home from college, disappeared while she was out on her morning jog.

    Information is being sought from a possible witness: a dark complected male, possibly hispanic, 19-20 years old. He was last seen in the Northlake Subdivision driving a late model white sports car the morning of January 10, 2002.
  17. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Possible Witness

    This is the man the Sheriff would like to talk to.
  18. Camper

    Camper Banned

    I a$$ume the witnesses who saw the car were shown pictures of vehicles, or?

    Is this person wanted wearing a baseball hat or one of those short billed leather hats? It is hard to tell from the artists rendering, which kind it is, it could make all the difference in finding him.
  19. AK

    AK Member

    Thanks, JR...

    ...for moving this thread. I just put the Dateline contact info on the Cooke family thread.

    I'm glad to know so many avenues are out there being worked. We've got to concentrate on the good stuff.
  20. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    The case

    First of all you can stop being concerned with the car and composite sketch. I can't give you any details but those are probably going to be a dead end.

    We focused on Reunion Ranch very early in the case . Several psychics were even pointing that direction.

    Another place we focused on was Wildfire Restaurant. Rachel worked there while in high school and filled in for other people when she was home to earn some extra money. Yes, she worked there during this visit. Of course our neighborhood has been interviewed several times by law enforcement and search volunteers.

    Ex-boyfriends have been interviewed. A few people have been polygraphed.

    None of these actions have lead to any significant leads except the sketch and the car.

    We are very concerned that she might have been taken out of this area. That's why we have people trying to get the story on national news but they only seem to be concerned with children under 14.
    We will keep after them.
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