Mom sent me one of those FW:FW:FW:FW-type emails over the weekend, this one about safety tips for women. Now, I know the intentions behind these things are generally good, and it won't harm anyone to brush up on pre-basic safety skills (e.g., Be AWARE when walking back to your car in the middle of the night in a dark, empty parking lot).
But still, does no one realize by now that the 'Woman finds flat tire on her car, man offers to help fix it then requests ride to his car on other side of mall, turns out to have been plotting to rape and kill her' story did not, in fact, just happen to your friend Betty's daughter's friend at the mall last week? It's been making the rounds for years, and while I couldn't find a listing for it on snopes.com, it still smacks to me of urban legend.
Here's a direct quote from the list of tips:
(b.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the
passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling
them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their
While I will not claim to have tapped into the workings of serial killers' minds, I will venture to guess that most serial killers don't go hunting down their victims by sitting in vans in mall parking lots.
Just in case I'm wrong about, though, I'll exercise extreme caution the next time I park my car anywhere but my own garage, will learn to enter and exit through the passenger side door, and will work on BEING AWARE. Because, as the message informed me, YOU NEVER KNOW!!!