THE TALON

Shocking Death of USC Senior

The heart-breaking discovery of Samantha Josephson

Friday, March 29th, was just another typically night in Columbia, South Carolina for Samantha Josephson. After partying and enjoying herself at a local bar, the USC senior responsibly ended her night by ordering an Uber to take her home. Minutes later, a sleek black Chevy Impala arrived and parked outside of Five Points, allowing an inebriated Samantha to slip into the passenger seat.

The next morning, her body was discovered in a field located 65 miles away.

Following the appalling discovery, a full investigation was launched in pursuance of the culprit. Nathaniel David Rowland, the 24 year old man responsible for this heinous crime, was swiftly detained and now faces charges for the kidnapping and murder of Samantha Josephson.

On the following Sunday night, a tearful vigil was orchestrated and over five hundred people gathered together to celebrate the life of the departed college senior. At the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center, Samantha’s close friends and family spoke in honor of her memory, regaling on heartfelt anecdotes and recollections of her friendly and hardworking attitude. She had her sights set on law school at Drexel University after graduating from University of South Carolina.

I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life. Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten.”

— Seymour Josephson, Father

The story of Samantha Josephson had a national impact. For days after the incident, her death became a common topic at the dinner table. Walking through the aisles of the grocery store, shoppers on the phone mentioned “that girl from USC” as they examined the boxes of rice on the shelves. Suddenly, transportation safety became a priority; traveling in groups, confirming license plate numbers, and identifying Uber/Lyft drivers were emphasized ad nauseam, and rightfully so.

As Uber and other transportation services continue to expand and aggregate popularity within developed countries, more and more individuals are finding ways to exploit unsuspecting civilians. With intoxicated people comprising a large percentage of Uber users, rider safety is especially important. Checking license plates and asking drivers to confirm names should become an imperative part of riding in the vehicles of strangers.

While the shocking tragedy of Samantha Josephson has successfully catalyzed a stressed importance in rider safety, it should not have been required in order for other Americans to take more caution. As bouquets of flowers decorate the fountain adjacent to the Five Points bar, we not only honor the young life of Samantha, but also the importance of safety.

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