Big cities get more simple and flattering nicknames like The Big Apple, The Motor City, or the City By The Bay. Small towns in America often get hit with less complimentary nicknames, often associated with some level of indecency, justified or otherwise.
If you’ve been to upstate New York you know well the label of Oriskany Falls, a teeny tiny town in Oneida County, as the incest capital of America. Now whether that came about from original arrests for the intra-family sex crimes or is merely the result of repeated urban legend stemming from nearby Colgate University students through the years, nobody really knows. In a town of perhaps seven hundred people, it wouldn’t take but one or two incest cases to garner such a nickname. It can’t help tourism. Well, not the kind of tourism you’d seek out.
In contrast to merely speculative derogatory monikers for small towns, Opp, Alabama, the small city near the Florida border that boasts no more than seven thousand residents, seems to have an inordinate number of female sex criminals. Largely women who have been arrested for sex with minors. In 2015 alone, the tiny burgh had five female residents arrested for sexual assault. That includes school teacher Ashley Nelson Hall, the poster girl for Southern blond belles, who also happened to hop into the sack with two of her male high school students.
Perhaps more alarming is the case of Tiffany Blair of Opp, Alabama. Blair was sentenced last year to ten years in prison for having sexual relations with her son’s fifteen year old friend. You know, some moms makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the boys. Others, like Tiffany Blair, just the jelly. It’s a long way to go to make your kids’ friends like you. Blair served one of the ten years and was released on a very criminal friendly rule to un-crowed the prisons of people unlikely to be a future menace to society. However, Blair failed to register as a sex offender following her probationary release and has been re-arrested.
What’s to be learned from all this prurient behavior in Opp, Alabama? First, if you happen to be a teenage boy in Opp and you notice one of the local neighbor ladies winking at you, you’re probably not imagining things. Second, while women do not commit sexual crimes in any numbers close to men, because nobody ever suspects the pretty school teacher or the kindly married lady on the block, it’s perhaps more insidious. How many parents warn their boys about these kinds of stranger dangers on the way out the door in the morning? Short answer: none.
Have no fear. Casey Anthony will remain on the case. Partly for salacious reasons. Well, ninety-percent. With the remainder our part in justice. This isn’t about winning awards.