Geraldine Largay remains found

Posted by: Zuuk

Geraldine Largay remains found - 11/06/15 11:01 AM

Bangor Daily News

I found this article while on another forum, and I didn't see anything on these forums here so I thought I'd post about it. It's nice that the mystery of her disappearance is now over, and the family can finally have some sense of closure.

Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Geraldine Largay remains found - 05/26/16 02:47 PM

The follow-up information is frankly, disquieting. She lived twenty-six days after becoming lost. Having never traveled in Maine I can't know what the terrain and forest are like, but would hope an experienced backcountry person could become "unlost" or at least better enhance her chances of rescue. So very sad.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Geraldine Largay remains found - 05/27/16 11:15 PM

A real horror story. Lots of detail is coming out on the WhiteBlaze forum today. While there is probably plenty of blame to go around, it's more important to learn lessons from this. All hikers need to practice navigation skills--you can usually find classes available in studying map and compass. Also, while you should stay put for a better chance of being found when you're lost, you need to stay put in an open area where you're more apt to be spotted.

As a preventive measure, those who know they are weak in navigation skills definitely need to take classes and not hike alone. She had a SPOT but left it behind in a motel along the way. Her partner had to drop out due to a family emergency. It's almost like a "perfect storm."

The info in her journal came out due to a Freedom of Information suit filed by a Boston newspaper. The Maine SAR felt that the information in the journal was private and should be only for the family, since there was no criminal case involved. I can see why, and really feel for her family with this nightmare publicity being spread all over the country.

If the knowledge derived from her journal and from the SAR inventories helps prevent such a tragedy in the future, maybe it will offset the pain to her family.
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Geraldine Largay remains found - 06/05/16 11:05 AM

I personally think the authorities should not release personal writings of a dying woman. There was no foul play and the contents of the journal is nobody else's business. This certainly convinces me to only write a few brief good-bye's to my loved ones if I ever were in such a situation.

I get really tired of the blame that is always placed on the victim as if none of us would ever make such "mistakes". We all make lots of outdoor mistakes and fortunately, most do not result in death. As far as "lessons learned", I think a dead person's dignity and privacy are more important.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Geraldine Largay remains found - 06/05/16 12:39 PM

I very much agree, but because of the involvement of law enforcement (SAR), unfortunately the papers found with Mrs Largay became part of the official record. The courts generally treat FOI requests as overriding any idea of privacy.

W_D, I think your solution is the best--assume that anything you leave behind will be made public!

On Whiteblaze the posters seem divided on blaming poor Mrs. Largay and the equally unfortunate SAR folks, who undoubtedly have been blaming themselves for not going a few hundred yards further. Her husband is undoubtedly blaming himself for not going back and picking up the left-behind SPOT, assuming he knew about it.

As I mentioned, as long as the information has already been dragged into the public press, there are lessons we can learn from it, the only possible justification for this "blame game."
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Geraldine Largay remains found - 06/15/16 12:32 AM

I agree Nancy. I read the family wanted to keep her journal private and I really cannot imagine doing otherwise.

The photo I saw of her, she was a strong woman. I couldn't help but admire her.
Posted by: EMT Dave

Re: Geraldine Largay remains found - 12/30/16 09:37 PM

I am reminded of a horror some years back. A young, college age man died within a couple hundred yards of the Rutland access to the LT. It was in March and he was found with only one shoe on. He died of hypothermia almost within yards of his parents waiting for him.
I have often thought that he went out either unprepared/unskilled or stupid light. It is easy to be seduced by the UL literature.
That this woman was missing so long before her death is telling. She must have known something of what to do to stay alive during that time. Doubtless she rationed her food and at the end probably died of malnutrition.
Maine is a rough place to be badly lost. It is more of a tragedy that she was so close to the AT. Could she have not stay put and built a fire?