When you've been around for a while, you come to learn that the truth is always stranger than fiction. And that's certainly the case with this bizarre gem of history that involves a woman from Lubbock, Texas who travelled to the nearby city of Amarillo, Texas to find out how easily she could steal a newborn baby from a hospital.

Ready? Let's go.

A Shocking Crime in Lubbock

On March 9, 2007, a 21-year-old woman named Rayshaun Parson travelled from her hometown of Clovis, New Mexico to Lubbock, Texas and visited the maternity wards at two hospitals. Security footage showed her traversing the hallways of University Medical Center and Covenant Lakeside Hospital, intently studying the newborn babies.


The next day, Parson walked into Covenant Lakeside Hospital wearing a large coat and shoulder bag. Posing as a hospital worker, she surreptitiously slipped through the hallways until she reached the maternity ward. She was then able to kidnap a newborn baby girl by concealing the infant with her oversized coat as she fled.

That's Not The Kidnapping This Story Is About

Within 24 hours, Parson and the newbon were located in Clovis. The baby girl was healthy and unharmed. Parson was taken into custody and ultimately sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

But this doesn't stop with Parson.

You see, when something as shocking as a newborn baby stolen from the safeguards of a hospital hits the news, it brings about a plethora of questions. One of these questions is, obviously, how safe are the hospitals, really?

That's where it gets wild.

Kidnap-Proof? The Great Hospital Experiment

An investigative reporter with a media outlet in Lubbock took a particular interest in the story of Parson and the resultant question of hospital safety. She decided that in order to truly see what measures maternity wards take to ensure the safety of their most precious patients, she would need to recreate the same scenario as in Parson's successful abduction.

Like Parsons, the reporter and her small team travelled two hours north to Amarillo, Texas. And just like Parsons did at her arrival at the hospital, the reporter carried a large bag inside with her and headed to the maternity ward of Northwest Texas Hospital.

The reporter was observed loitering in the hallways of the ward with the large bag and asking staff questions about child abduction and hospital safety. Hospital workers immediately alerted security and approached the reporter and asked her to leave.

It Gets Worse

After her escorted exit from Northwest, the reporter (like Parson) crossed the street and entered Baptist St. Anthony Hospital and again headed to the maternity ward. Once there, she began exhibiting the same behavior as she did at Northwest, drawing the suspicion of hospital workers.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Unbeknownst to the reporter, staff at Northwest had observed her crossing the street to BSA and placed a call to their neighbor. Hospital staff had known to be wary of the strange woman before she ever entered the maternity ward. Once she arrived, police were called and the reporter was arrested and booked into Potter County Detention Center on two counts of  attempted aggravated kidnaping.

One could surmise that at that moment, the reporter got her answer: hospitals in Amarillo were much safer than in Lubbock.

The Resolution And Lingering Question

While the investigation took an unbelievable left turn with her arrest, there is a happy ending to this tale. The hospital in Lubbock, along with the employers of the reporter, came to her defense and vouched for the journalistic intent of the reporter's actions. Eventually, the charges were dropped by prosecutors in exchange for an apology from the media outlet and the reporter herself.

And really, the publicized statement was quite thoughtful and gave valuable insight to the situation.

There's much to debate about the wild escapade. Some will argue it was foolhardy and ill-begotten from the get go, but others believe it was an important effort by a respected media person.

But whatever your take is, you absolutely can't deny that it was a bold move that surely made for quite the story when all was said and done.

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