I said it before, and I will say it again, dating should include criminal background checks. Surely it will take some of the euphoria out of “falling in love”, but it may save a life in the end. You cannot look at a person and tell anything about them, except for the external; a slob; dirty; neat; good taste in clothing; clean/well groomed; skinny; tall; overweight, etc. I didn’t include male and female in the list, for even in that case one can be fooled.
Take a look at this picture.
Ryan Jenkins looks like your average “Knight in Shining Armor.” On the surface, he seems to be a dream, and someone that most women would erroneously label as -“Mr. Right.” Ryan was a contestant on VH1’s reality TV show, “Megan Wants a Millionaire.” He is rich, comes from a wealthy family, and a few of his material possessions include a boat and a white Mercedes Benz. This picture projects the illusion that a woman would feel “lucky” to have him in her life. His wife-Jasmine Fiore may have previously felt this way about Ryan, and now she is dead.
Does this picture of Ryan resemble a man that would batter a woman? Have a history of domestic violence? Kill a woman? Strangle to death? How about this-remove the teeth and fingers from his victim’s body so she could not be identified? And worst yet, stuff her naked body in a suitcase, and dump her like yesterday’s trash-a human being. Authorities are diligently seeking the whereabouts of Ryan Jenkins, for he is the prime suspect in the murder of his wife. An arrest warrant has been issued, along with a “$10 million bail.” Ryan is considered “armed and dangerous,” and presumes that his money can hide him indefinitely.
Take another look at his picture. Does he look like a man that you would need protection from? You can’t tell can you? His background check slipped through the cracks-someone dropped the ball, and now a woman is dead. The sad part is, even without a conviction for a crime, and the absence of a public arrest record, you still cannot judge a book by its cover. As human beings, we tend to rely on our senses for direction concerning the character of others. Perhaps there was a time when we could vouch for a person’s character, and they would not disappoint us. In these present times, we need to do more to protect ourselves, and stop being overly trusting.
This is not to say that we should live in fear of other human beings. However, there are many that we should literally run from-as far and as fast as we can. Jeremiah 9:4 says it best:
“Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, And do not trust any brother; Because every brother deals craftily, And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.”
It is time for us to “be on guard.” We are living in a very wicked era-residents of a fallen-sin cursed world. When it comes to welcoming strangers into our private lives, we need to be “on guard,” and do our homework. Criminal background checks are mostly-free when conducted online, and on the Sheriff’s Department web site in your state. Here is an example:
This link will take you to the “Online Judicial System” for Dekalb County, Ga. Click on the “ENTER” button, and make your selection. For individuals, just click on “INDIVIDUAL USER.” You will come to a page where you can type in a name, and search under the following:
Criminal record search
Jail/ID Name search
If you possess the birth date of an individual, great! The birth date will weed out all the other persons with the same name, and go right to the source. Here is another link:
Florida Department of Law Enforcement-Criminal History Information
NOTE: The fee for this service is $24 EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2008 PURSUANT TO FLORIDA LAW
“FALLING IN LOVE” – IS A CHOICE
It has been said of love, that it is “the greatest gift of all.” Human beings, even animals crave love for that is how our Creator fashioned us. Most of all, to love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds is paramount. Even with all of the craziness in this world, I still believe in love, and have a lot of love in my heart. But now, I believe that people, especially women-should “get smart” about dating and trusting. And whatever your personal criteria for mate selection, I truly hope that you will add a background check to the list.
Since “falling in love” is a choice, we can learn to interact with others while finding out what we need to know to be safe-especially if we have children. But a word of caution, once you are intimately involved, all sense of reality goes out the window. Sex is very powerful, and binds two people “as one.” Intimacy can and will cloud your judgment. Postpone that trip to the altar until you know whom you are joining your life with-it can save your life. A background check cannot reveal the contents of a person’s heart. But you will gain some very valuable character information. Although a speeding ticket may not be an indication of a “bad boy,” a battery charge is definitely a huge RED FLAG!
And yes, people can by the Grace of God change ungodly behaviors. However, it is a well-established fact that not too many abusers change. The reasons may vary, but the number one reason is-abusers don’t believe they have a problem in the first place. So do we change dating strategies, or keep doing the same thing, and getting the same results? To read more about this terrible tragedy, please click on the following links:
(Post on my old blog about background checks)
“This assumes that a person has been truthful about providing a correct, searchable name and birth date. So to investigators, turning up nothing at all sounds more warning bells. Almost everyone leaves some sort of paper — or electronic — trail.”
“He wasn’t charged with murder, but after we found the divorce records and spoke with family members, it became clear that this woman hadn’t just ‘disappeared’ like he was telling everyone,” Montgomery said. “That father got on a plane, met his daughter here and told her all the things we had found. She flew off with him and left that guy immediately.”
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Update on this post
“Millionaire Murder Suspect Ryan Jenkins Found Dead”
- One year later, no easy answers in life-and-death story of Ryan Jenkins, Jasmine Fiore (calgaryherald.com)
- What is Checked in a Background Check for Employment? (brighthub.com)
- Do background checks corroborate other background checks? (ask.metafilter.com)
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