When I listened to the “American Radical” podcast for the first time, I had a hard time keeping track of the people and events so I decided to take detailed notes. Then I realized that the podcast episodes added up to almost three hours. I was pretty sure that only a relatively small number of people would be willing to listen to the whole thing and then listen again to get things straight. But I believe that the story is important for people to know. So I went through it several times over again and put it back together again in a different order. Most, but not all, of the factual details are in the shows. And finally, I added some comments and interpretive points.
A Death in Washington
On January 6, 2021, there were two battle scenes at the US Capitol—the eastern side easily penetrated and floors of Congress occupied. On the western front, later arrivals from the previous Trump rally encountered serious opposition from the various police forces and their advance into the building was slow. Nonetheless, Philip Anderson, a Trump supporter and self-described “free speech activist”, watched as the battle unfolded and said, “It is the coolest thing ever! Everyone was saying, ‘This is the best day of my life.’”
The police pressed their attack but the crowd only became more enraged and emboldened. According to Anderson, people “were not thinking straight” and their attitude became “Screw it!” The cops retreated into the building. A commander gave an order that the building should be defended by any means necessary. The cops began firing gas cannisters. The crowd, including Anderson, couldn’t breathe and people fell down on top of each other. Soon afterwards, he found himself lying on the ground under a pile of people and next to a dying woman. Anderson briefly held her hand but then she was gone. He began screaming for help which came in time to save his life.
As the battle continued with some protesters using hockey sticks to knock off police gas masks, a video of the scene caught a man kneeling over the still body of a woman and crying out for help. “Rosanne, Rosanne, Rosanne!” Rosanne was the 34- year-old Rosanne Boyland from Kennesaw, Georgia, a small city about twenty-five miles from downtown Atlanta.
Rosanne’s death devastated and bewildered her family. A few days after the Capitol events, her brother-in-law, Justin Cave, contacted a high school friend, Ayman Mohyeldin, who is now an anchor for the MSNBC network to ask if he might be willing to come to Georgia to hear Rosanne’s story–especially about how Rosanne had been “radicalized” over a very short period of time. Justin and Ayman had played soccer together but they hadn’t been in touch for almost twenty years. Nonetheless, Mohyeldin agreed to go to Kennesaw to meet with Justin and his wife, Lonna. What they told him eventually led him to do a five-part podcast, titled “American Radical”, that originally aired in December of 2021 and is now available on the MSNBC web page.
The podcast provides a well-told family drama, an investigative report and, most of all, a revealing story that suggests that much of what we think we know about who went to Washington a year ago and why they went is far too superficial to be of much use in understanding what a lot of people are up to. The family members appear to be serious and level-headed. They’re also desperate to discover the truth about Rosanne’s death. They seem to have few illusions about Rosanne’s mistaken decisions but they also insist that the story is not a simple one.
Lonna described Rosanne as her father Brett’s best friend, who was stubborn but also good-natured and loving, especially loving to Lonna’s two daughters. Years earlier, Rosanne had had a serious addiction problem and had eventually been found guilty of felony possession and had received a sentence of ten years on probation. For seven years, though, she had been clean. Her life had definitely not been a bed of roses but she seemed to be holding on.
Until July of 2020, Rosanne had never displayed much interest in politics and had never voted but, to the extent that she had revealed any political views, she was inclined to join in with those who delighted in ridiculing various aspects of the Trump spectacle, especially by posting humiliating references to the president on the family’s Instagram page. But, out of nowhere it seemed, she had become an insistent watcher of Fox News. Family members had tried to talk her out of going to Washington. But they were afraid to push too hard because of fears that they might push her away and she would relapse. She promised that she would be careful. Her father texted Rosanne and Justin Winchell (a man with the same first name as her brother-in-law), her travel companion, while they were driving. He watched the January 6th events on TV and exchanged texts with them about what was going on—which was mostly OK until it wasn’t. Around noon, he got a text from Justin that beamed: “We’re with the patriots!” As more “crazy stuff” (his words) happened, Brett sent texts encouraging them to leave and go do some tourist stuff. He became increasingly worried when they no longer responded to his texts and asked that Justin call him. Justin finally did–to say that Rosanne had been hurt in a pile of people and had lost consciousness. People were doing CPR.
Lonna had been at work where her boss had Fox News on non-stop. She thought that Trump’s speech (“We’ll never give up! We’ll never concede!”) was hyping people up and stressed her out. She became exasperated: “What the fuck!” After the report of a woman having died aired, her worries mounted and she left work early. When her husband got home, she was panicked and sobbed that she couldn’t shake the feeling that her sister was dead. His reassurances didn’t change her mind. After Rosanne’s parents heard reports of a dead woman outside the Capitol, Brett tried reaching Justin but got nowhere. Her mother Cheryl called every hospital and fire/police department in the DC area that she was able to locate to inquire if anyone had seen her daughter. She came up empty until late that night when a police officer called back to ask if her daughter had a tatoo. She knew right away there was bad news coming. When she confirmed that Rosanne was tattooed, the cop told her, “I believe we have your daughter.” At around midnight, Cheryl called Lonna. When the phone rang, Lonna too knew that things were bad. As she told Mohyeldin, “When your parents call after ten or eleven, it’s not good.” Still later, Brett texted Justin Winchell to let him know that Rosanne had been pronounced dead as a “Jane Doe” in a DC hospital.
“Nobody really gives a shit about her”
The next morning, after Rosanne’s death was made public, the parents’ house was surrounded by reporters and TV cameras. They put up a “No Trespassing” sign and disconnected the house phones. Feeling under siege, though, the family eventually decided to issue a statement prepared by Justin. It was short and subdued. Justin delivered it. But, after he read the statement, he added on something very different: “It’s my personal belief that the president’s words incited a riot. They should invoke the 25th Amendment.” His comment attracted a lot of media attention and lots of anger, especially from those in town who saw his accusation against Trump as a betrayal. Soon, the outrage was followed by attacks against his parents’ cars and home. Hostile messages also flooded in from Trump loyalists and Trump opponents. Some of Justin’s friends and family members denounced him and long-term friendships ended. Lonna had a lot to say about the various attackers: “Nobody really gives a shit about her (Rosanne) as a person. … It’s a shitty way for a person to go and be remembered. … She was the nicest person I knew.”
This all took Justin by surprise. He, like his now dead sister-in-law, had never been much into politics. Lonna said that he had “quite the conservative family” and it was simply taken for granted by his family and friends that Justin shared their views and he didn’t think very much about it. She sympathetically described him as “living in a bubble.” After the bubble burst, he didn’t go out for a month. He cried a lot. He described himself as having paranoia. One day, when a package was dropped off at the door, he was convinced that it was a bomb. It was an order from Amazon.
The family couldn’t really stop thinking about how Rosanne had wound up marching in an angry crowd of thousands in Washington. According to her parents, she had a “severe case of hating being with people.” She had a hard time even going to Walmart. How did she get to be marching in an angry crowd of thousands? When they asked her why she was going to DC, she answered: “My president has asked me to support him. I have done so many stupid things in my life. I want to do something that I really believe in.” But they remained stunned that she had been willing and able to overcome such a long-standing pattern of behavior.
The family was also preoccupied with who was responsible for her death. Justin said, “Trump.” Blair, the youngest sister said, “Q-Anon.” Lonna was interested in finding out more about the other Justin—the Winchell one. Brett and Cheryl knew about him but had never met him; Lonna and her husband had never even heard his name before her sister died. Lonna thought a lot about the significance of what had happened at Christmas–just two weeks before the assault on the Capitol. The family celebration had been at her house and while they were waiting for Rosanne to arrive, she was expecting that Rosanne would burst through the door with glee. Instead, Rosanne seemed curiously absent. She didn’t speak to anyone, not even Lonna’s daughters. She sat on the couch and stared at her phone, apparently sending and receiving text messages. She left all her presents behind. Lonna was pretty sure that Rosanne had been absorbed in planning her trip to Washington. She wanted to know who her sister had been texting with and that’s why she was thinking about Justin Winchell. Had he convinced Rosanne to go that last mile to the Capitol steps—even after “things got crazy?” Lonna also wanted to know if Justin had been prepared to die on January 6th.
Justin Winchell’s Story
During January, Justin had texted Rosanne’s father several times and called once to say that he was available if Brett wanted to get together. Brett responded that he wasn’t quite ready for that. By the end of February, Brett felt he was ready and tried to reach Justin on the two numbers he had. There were no responses. Efforts to find him through Rosanne’s friends came up empty.
The last reporter who spoke with Justin Winchell was Zac Summers, a reporter from an Atlanta CBS affiliate. He had been assigned to dig up what he could about Rosanne. He contacted all her Facebook friends; only one responded. She had been a childhood friend and hadn’t known about Rosanne’s death until Zac contacted her. He asked if she knew anyone who might know more. Before she said yes, she contacted Rosanne’s parents who gave her a green light. She called Summers back in ten minutes and gave him the contact info for Justin Winchell. Summers arranged a zoom call with him while he was still in DC. Justin said he had known Rosanne for two years. They had become close friends—they shared tastes in music and were both interested in “the events of the day” and both followed “alternative media.”
According to Winchell, the rally at the Capitol was “really positive, not angry.” Some people were singing the national anthem. He had heard that some people were trying to get in. They might have been radical Trump supporters. But they were not the real problem. There were instigators in the crowd. People were pushing cops; cops pushed back; people pushed people. The instigators created a panic; they lit the fuse. Unexplainably, he and Rosanne wound up just outside the building—joining right in with some of “the crazy stuff”. They wound up at the bottom of a pile of people. Rosanne was blue in the face. According to Justin, “other “patriots” helped” in trying to resuscitate her.
Justin was pretty insistent about what had happened and who was responsible. The cops denied responsibility for Rosanne’s death but Justin claimed that cops hit her even when it was clear that she was dead or near-dead. “Human life doesn’t mean anything.” … “We didn’t come for this. … I lost a dear friend.” His arguments were straightforward: Trump had no responsibility; peaceful people were victims; the guy in the furry hat was an antifa supporter; the violence had been incited by left-wing infiltrators.
Summers suggested that people listening to the interview would think that he was delusional. Winchell answered: “You don’t think that they have the ability to put people in it?” Then, at the very end of the interview, Winchell unexpectedly said that he thought that Rosanne’s death was “what she thought this was all about.” It’s not clear what Winchell meant but he seemed to be implying that Rosanne knew what the elites were prepared to do and that she was prepared to die to prove that she was right. Summers was incredulous and he subsequently came to wonder if Winchell had been sober during the interview. A short time later, Justin Winchell was nowhere to be found.
Down the Rabbit Hole?
Rosanne had maintained her sobriety by consistent attendance at AA meetings. Even though she never had a problem with alcohol, she hated going to NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings because people there kept talking about how “messed up” they had gotten on drugs and she thought it would “trigger’ her back into using. On the other hand, she didn’t mind hearing about people “getting wasted”. She religiously went to AA meetings at an addiction recovery center in Atlanta called the Triangle. That’s where she met Justin Winchell.
Rosanne had loved Triangle. She attended three midnight meetings a week and hung outside the center with other participants for hours before and after the meetings. Her parents had never been to Triangle but Rosanne had brought Kim, a friend from the center, home. At one point Kim had been thinking of going to Washington with Rosanne and Justin but decided against it because she didn’t like hearing him talk. Rosanne’s parents and especially Lonna began wondering about the possibility that Q-Anon believers at Triangle had been targeting AA and NA participants for indoctrination about Trump. Perhaps it was a recruitment strategy. Lonna speculated about it. What better source for a cult seeking recruits than people in recovery meetings who were seeking “companionship in purpose”? The MSNBC crew followed up with questions to Triangle but never received a response.
There was one other puzzle piece that suggested Q-Anon was part of the explanation that the family had been looking for. On a hot summer day, in July of 2020, Lonna brought her daughters to her parents’ pool because they were driving her crazy at home. Rosanne was already there and seemed “normal, regular.” Rosanne was hanging out by the pool, mostly listening to classic rock. While they were sitting on the side of the pool, Rosanne asked Lonna if she had ever heard about the Wayfair Company, an online merchant, selling expensive furniture with children inside. While Lonna had not, somewhat amazingly, she said she’d look into it. She didn’t think too much about it and her reaction explained why, at the beginning, her family didn’t make too much of what Rosanne was talking about. After all, her family was kind of inclined to conspiracy stuff, like Bigfoot. On a road trip, her parents had gone to the infamous Roswell site. After she got home, Lonna spent some time looking up the Wayfair stuff and decided it was way too far-fetched to be true. Meanwhile, at her parent’s home, Rosanne stayed up all night watching YouTube videos, each one leading automatically to the next, and searching the Internet—all making the case for ever more elaborate conspiracy stories. Mohyledin commented: “Fourteen hours, that’s all it took.” He might be right but there’s also good reason to believe that Rosanne’s conversion had started earlier.
Lonna woke up to a text message from Rosanne about “crazy shit that I’ve rabbit-holed myself into.” Lonna, looking back, said: “I should have known. This whole thing is fucked up. I could have known. Why did none of us know this? These were all warning signs that she was getting involved in … Q-Anon.” Q-Anon was and is a very seductive world—it is a world which begins with an acknowledgement of very real and serious problems and gives adherents a way of making sense of what’s going on. But it’s complicated because “everything means something else.”
The Wayfair conspiracy had apparently served as an entry way into Q-Anon for many people. And Lonna was an enthusiastic recruit. She began telling her friends about a movie, “Out of the Shadows”, that revealed the existence of a widespread pedophilia ring among Hollywood personalities. The filmmaker, who was a Hollywood stuntman, advised the film’s viewers that “what we believe comes from the stories we hear” and, of course, the master storytellers are those who control Hollywood.
I don’t have the space, in this already long article, to detail some of the goriest conspiracy tales that were circulating or the ways in which the public faces of those tales (primarily hashtags) began mutating to avoid easy detection by social media monitors—from “Pizzagate” to “Q-Anon” to “Save the Children.” But Rosanne became increasingly consumed by a conviction that there was a massive secret child trafficking scheme organized by rich and powerful people. It had to be stopped. According to Lonna, a concern for children was nothing new for Rosanne. When her friends were having hard times, she often helped out with their kids. She had wanted to have a child herself, but a case of cervical cancer eliminated that possibility. So, an appeal to save the children fit right in with her personality.
Then came the COVID pandemic. Rosanne didn’t have a job and she wasn’t able to go to AA meetings in person. Many of her friends got sick and died; some relapsed and some committed suicide. Rosanne managed to stay sober but she was stuck at home, bickering with her mother. She had nothing but time on her hands.
And then came Trump. As was often the case with all sorts of things, Trump danced around the Q-Anon phenomenon. At a town hall, he was asked if he condemned Q-Anon. He answered that he didn’t know much about it. When the reporter challenged him and said that he knew enough, he repeated that he didn’t really know much. But he said: “What I do hear is that they are very strong against pedophilia and I agree with that.” In Q-Anon circles, this led to a deeply held belief that Trump had a secret plan to undo the Hollywood/Democratic Party’s child trafficking conspiracy. But first he had to be re-elected. Q-Anon adherents embraced the necessity of re-electing him–so the children could be saved.
Rosanne quickly joined in the support for Trump and began sending numerous messages to her family about the campaign. Blair, the family liberal, finally wrote to her: “Quit sending me all this shit.” Blair told Lonna that she was really worried about what was going on. Lonna’s initial response was to say that Rosanne was just being passionate and it was good that she was passionate about something. Eventually, though, Lonna decided to talk to Rosanne about Blair’s concerns. Rosanne refused to listen, walked out of the room and slammed the door. When Lonna tried to talk to her through the door, Rosanne said, “Fuck you!” and called her the “c-word”. When she got to her car, Lonna started crying. This was only the second time in their lives that Rosanne had called her the “c-word”. The other time was in 2010 and that was because Rosanne was high. Lonna began thinking that Rosanne had exchanged one addiction for another.
As the election approached, Rosanne applied for the restoration of her right to vote after her probation expired. She took care of all the paperwork and was really happy about being able to vote. When the election results came in, she was distraught. She was of course not alone and Georgia quickly became the center of the national Trump campaign’s efforts to reverse the election results by alleging massive fraud. Put simply, that’s why Rosanne went to Washington.
A Debated Cause of Death
In early April, Lonna received a phone call from the DC Medical Examiner’s Office that confirmed their finding that the cause of Rosanne’s death was “acute amphetamine intoxication” (an overdose) and not any of the events that had transpired outside the Capitol. The autopsy report did not mention that Rosanne had been using Adderall for ten years. Adderall is a prescribed drug for ADHD; it’s in the same family as methamphetamine. The implication that Rosanne had died from an overdose added another layer of grief to the family’s pain. Cheryl, Rosanne’s mother, pleaded with the medical examiner to say that the drug had been a prescription. The examiner’s office wouldn’t budge.
The police detective who had informed Rosanne’s mother about her death had also called Lonna in early January. He claimed that Rosanne had died of a fentanyl overdose and there was no need to investigate the event further. But Lonna was convinced that they had jumped to a conclusion—based on what they knew about Rosanne’s drug history. She scoured the autopsy report and learned the meaning of all its technical terms and found lots of inconsistencies. She knew that Rosanne would still be alive if she had taken her meds and had not wound up on the bottom of a pile of people. But there was nothing in the report about that. The meds in her system might have played a part but that was not the whole story. She said, “I am not letting my sister go down like that.”
The MSNBC crew contacted two experts to obtain their views of the autopsy report. It was a split decision. They agreed that the report was thorough but disagreed on the cause of death. One endorsed the Medical Examiner’s conclusion that it was “amphetamine intoxication.” She thought that the level of amphetamines in Rosanne’s body was lethal and that it, in combination with Rosanne’s high blood pressure in an admittedly stressful situation, triggered irregular heart activity and caused her death. There was no evidence of substantial trauma—the doctor pointed out that you can’t get injuries after you’ve died. When Rosanne was trampled underneath the crowd, she was likely already dead. The other thought, on the other hand, that the level of amphetamines was quite low and that the cause of death was asphyxiation (lack of oxygen) from trampling. Interestingly, no mention was made of the various gases that had filled the air. When pressed about the difference of opinion, one of them said that some autopsies are cut and dried while others are topics of heated debate among forensic specialists. She acknowledged that: “Figuring out how someone died is almost impossible!” It seems like that may very well be true for causes beyond the physiological. Lonna’s view was that she wished that the report had just concluded that the cause of death was “undetermined rather than this bullshit.”
In September, the Department of Justice released new videos from January 6th, including some with Rosanne. In one, there was footage of Rosanne’s body on the ground, with some men standing around shouting to the cops, “You killed her!” It seemed that she might have been still alive, barely. Some of the protesters tried to do CPR. The cops just stood there. Eventually, one cop picked up one of Rosanne’s legs and dragged her into the building.
Lonna kept looking for more witnesses. She even had a white board like the ones on TV detective shows. She imagined that she was like “Magnum, PI.” But she insisted: “I shouldn’t have to be doing these things.” She contacted Sedition Hunters. In their own words, Sedition Hunters is “a global community of open-source intelligence investigators (OSINT) working together to assist the U.S. FBI and Washington D.C. Capitol Police in finding people who allegedly committed crimes in the January 6 capitol riots.” They gave her lots of videos to look at. Talk about strange bedfellows!
Lonna was not the only one continuing to look at what had happened to Rosanne. Philip Anderson, the man who had briefly held Rosanne’s hand on the 6th, agreed that the cops had killed her. Although it’s not evident that this applies to what happened to Rosanne, he claimed that the cops attacked people who were trying to leave. All things considered, separate and apart from Rosanne’s case, that makes a good deal of sense. The cops had been hurt and humiliated during the assault and, if they were given a chance to exact revenge, it’s likely that they would have done so.
Some other sources also reported that cops had beaten Rosanne and at least one video provided some evidence to support the reports. There was enough chatter about it that the DC police issued a statement saying that the complaints had been investigated and determined to be “unfounded.” Meanwhile, a CNN report showed three police officers inside the Capitol giving Rosanne CPR. I’m inclined to think that each report has its own measure of truth. A lot of crazy stuff was going on and it’s easy enough to imagine that victims and perpetrators kept on exchanging roles in an intense drama. One way or the other, with or without intent or negligence, Rosanne was dead.
Her family’s conviction that she had stayed clean from drugs was challenged by Sara, one of Rosanne’s oldest friends. They had gone to high school together where they both started using drugs. For Sara, Trump was the “epitome of evil” and when Rosanne started getting into him, she was really upset. At the same time, she started thinking that “something was off” with Rosanne. When they were together, Rosanne couldn’t stop fidgeting and moving her body in very odd, unusual ways. Sara suspected that Rosanne was injecting something but never asked her about it. Sara was convinced that Rosanne had been able to be in the DC crowd because she was stoned. Sara provides one more bit of evidence about her belief that Rosanne had been struggling. In the AA world, if you relapse, you have to start the 12 Steps all over again. In June of 2020, Rosanne had written her: “I just finished my first step again.”
Another friend, Sydney, had heard that Rosanne had died before she had even heard that she was in Washington. They had played volleyball together but fell out with each other over Rosanne’s drug use. When Rosanne stopped using, they reconnected. But Q-Anon broke it up. So much so that when Rosanne called her on December 29th, Sydney didn’t answer. She did text a thank you message. She wishes she had answered the phone. Sydney didn’t like the media reports about her friend. They didn’t know the Rosanne she knew. They didn’t pay enough attention to how sudden it had all been. Rosanne had not been herself; she was not well. Once again, some people didn’t seem to give a shit about the real Rosanne.
As part of an effort to re-write the story of the January 6th events, various right-wing forces had moved away from allegations that the events had been orchestrated by antifa and had, instead, embraced the argument that a crowd of well-meaning people had been simply defending themselves against attacks. A right-wing Trump-supporting media outlet, the Gateway Pundit, had taken up the cause of Rosanne’s death. One of its correspondents, Cara Castronuova, told Steve Bannon that there was a “90% chance that Rosanne had been killed by cops.” She had previously interviewed Lonna and seemed to gain her approval for what Gateway was up to. The MSNBC folks suggested that the Gateway Pundit people lived and breathed in the land of “grainy footage”—where you can kind of see what you want to see- and urged skepticism. It reminds me of the use made of footage from the JFK assassination. The cause was also taken up by what has been dubbed the “Q-Anon Caucus” in Congress; the most well-known of whom are Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar. For them, allegations of conspiracies have become a political ticket to celebrity and re-election.
A Death Blood in America?
While Q-Anon remains either barely understood or profoundly misunderstood, its enduring significance cannot be underestimated. Apparently, more and more of the Q-Anon adherents are adopting other forms but they are holding on to the deep personal connections they developed during the conspiracy’s hey-day. It’s not here but it’s not gone. That kind of development has happened before. In the late 19th Century, a significant public anti-Semitism party was organized in Germany that resulted in its representatives being elected to the Reichstag. Its popularity didn’t last that long and it became common sense that it has just been a momentary flight of fantasy. By the beginning of the 20th Century, there was little in the way of an organized anti-Semitic movement. But alas, the hopes for what that meant were short-lived. Within a few decades, the nazi party had used anti-Semitism as the driving force in its campaign for power and eventual total assault against Jews in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. What had been overlooked was that there was no longer a need for an “anti-Semitic party” for anti-Semitism had become part of the lifeblood, or perhaps better “death blood” of the German nation. We should take very seriously a similar possibility at this moment. Has Q-Anon become a death blood in America? Although it’s beyond the scope of what I’m writing about now, the power of the anti-vaccination movement, for example, should make us stop, think, worry and act.
One last moment in this story. An MSNBC producer was dispatched to Atlanta in an effort to find Justin Winchell. With a slim lead, she went to a gay strip club called “Swinging Richards”. After not getting anywhere in her first visit, she went back and spoke to one of the owners. When asked about Justin Winchell, the owner said that he worked there but not that often. He went on to talk more about Winchell—he was kind of reclusive; he had travelled a lot; he was creative, maybe a writer; he was a political novice; he was really liberal (huh?). Maybe the family had gotten it backwards; maybe Rosanne had “radicalized” Justin.
As the podcast drew to a close, Mohyeldin returned to Lonna and Justin’s house. There was a new tension in the room. Rosanne’s parents were supposed to be there but they cancelled. It seemed like the family wasn’t all that happy with some of the questions the news crew had been asking. Truth be known, they were conflicted. For example, the Gateway interview that Lonna hadn’t liked had still raised $30,000 for the family’s legal bills. They honestly didn’t know how to make sense of what had happened. As Justin said: “Rosanne was not a terrorist but January 6th was terrorism. Rosanne wasn’t into white supremacy or terrorism. She was into Harry Potter.” So, it comes down to WTF! Everyone in the family now says that if they had known, they would have done more to stop Rosanne. But they have no idea about what they could have done.
It’s what we might call an existential question—what would you do if you knew. We all know quite a lot, more about many other things than we know about Rosanne. But what we know about Rosanne should make a difference. What will we do? Do we have any ideas?
Postscript: “Radicalized” was the word that the family used to describe what had happened to Rosanne and the news anchor easily adopted it, apparently without any second thoughts—perhaps because of the ways the term had typically been used in his years covering various “terrorist” movements overseas. But the actual content of the word’s meaning went unexamined. My guess is that it was intended to mean that Rosanne had adopted a variety of unreasonable, or even quite crazy, views and was willing to risk her well-being, if not her life, on behalf of her beliefs. Radical or not, it was perfectly understandable for the family to want to know what had happened to her. However, it might help us better understand what happened if we hold on to some reservations about using the word in this way.