Posted by: Opey | July 7, 2007

Anyone Smell a Seiler Situation? Madison Diappearance Has Many Morals

The plot continues to thicken in the June 23 disappearance of a UW-Whitewater student in Madison. Kelly Nolan was out with her friends on that Saturday night, split with them, and has not been seen or heard from since. There was a tremendous outpouring of support and volunteers to help raise awareness and search for Nolan over the past few weeks, with the city being blanketed by fliers and a few billboards. Now, it is being reported that Nolan was facing several difficulties in her life at the time of her disappearance.  Her father and stepmother have both recently died and Nolan herself has twice been convicted of DUI, with the last time earning her 14 days in jail.  She was also fired from her job for what is being termed “a lack of experience.”  This whole situation is a microcosm of so many different factors, morals and circumstances.  First, if (and this has not been substantiated in any way) there is foul play involved, it is a lesson to always stay in a group even in “safe” Madison.  These past few years crime has, at the very least, been more visible in the Madison area, with a murder even occuring on state street.  There are safety in numbers, so always stick with your friends, even if you believe yourself to be safe.  Remember, solo males were the targets of that strong-arm robbery ring a year ago.  The next thing to take away from this story is the role drinking plays in this and other types of stories.  Whether or not this was a crime or a simple accident, alcohol acts as a multiplier of the chance that such events can happen.  Am I saying that drinking is the root of all evil?  Absolutely not!!  But, if the choice is made to drink to a point where faculties are diminished, make sure to counter the effects alcohol has on a situation by doing things such as staying in a group, using the bus or a taxi, and other measures.  Next up, as always they always are in these situations, is the media.  There has long been accusations that there is a “pretty white girl” bias in the media regarding disappearances and other violent crimes.  Going back to Audrey Seiler’s case, the media was saturated with stories and updates regarding every minute detail.  This time around I think the media has learned their lesson in two ways.  First, they have scaled back slightly on the amount of coverage.  Secondly, they have done a bit of digging.  Both of these are good signs as it relates to media coverage of these events.  The media digging has led to the last part of this story, the sometimes-hidden background details of some of these cases.  As was learned too late in the case of Audrey Seiler, there is sometimes hidden information that can shed situations such as these in a whole new light.  On top of what was recently uncovered about Nolan’s mental state, there is also a telephone conversation between Nolan and her sister that is still a mystery because her sister refuses to divulge the nature of the conversation.  Now, why if you want to find your sister, would you hide such information?  There is also the somewhat-interesting issue of a reward.  A reward has apparently been issued, but the amount and source has been kept a secret.  Is this normal?  Why keep the amount secret?  There are some strange turns popping up in this story that are making some in Madison look a bit deeper at this case.  All that being said, everyone still hopes Nolan is found alive and well.



  1. I’m not sure if the media really has scaled back (Nancy Grace was so desperate for someone with new information she called us: – I think the police are taking a different approach. It isn’t that her sister is refusing to divulge, the police have asked her not to for whatever reason.

  2. I guess I can’t say I’m too surprised to hear that about Nancy Grace. When I referred to the media toning down coverage, I guess I was focusing on the local sources. I really had no idea there was any sort of real interest in this story nationally. The national media will always grasp on to stories like this and tap them for all the worth they can get out of them. Nothing is probably ever going to change that because, even in the case of Seiler where the story takes a dramatic turn, there still is a story to play out on the national stage.
    As far as the police go, they appear to be making some strange moves. They have really changed tactics in this case. It could be a response to Audrey or they could know something we don’t and are just waiting until the right time to spring it.

  3. I’m mostly concerned that the police are playing it too safe in order to keep the media glare out of Madison and as a result a handful of people are getting upset with April for not divulging more info.

    By the way, Milwaukee’s Channel 4 has more info on the reward:
    “The money comes in the form of two $5,000 reward funds…The reward has several conditions. It will go to anyone who provides “information resulting in the safe return of Kelly Nolan or the arrest and conviction of a perpetrator involved in a violent crime or homicide,” said Kelly’s mother, Mary Jane Nolan.”

  4. “Seileritis” aside, the police do need to be careful because there is currently no sign of any foul play as of yet. It is a bit strange that they have not asked about, nor provided any information about, the phone call. It does put a fog around the investigation. This is really an instance of the police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They are trying to walk a tightrope line and I’m willing to give them just a bit longer to do so before I start to wonder.

    As far as the reward, I guess that clears it up a bit. I’m by no means well versed in reward wording, but it seems a bit odd to have direct conditions such as that. Generally I was under the impression that they were more or less “unwritten”, but I could be way off on that.

  5. […] that I was incorrect about some of my assumptions regarding the Kelly Nolan case in my previous post.  I was a freshman just starting here at UW-Madison during the Audrey Seiler situation, so my […]

  6. […] to see a retraction Jump to Comments Opey wrote a pretty silly rant about the Kelly Nolan case, questioning Kelly’s sister and her *shocking* desire to keep some information private during […]

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