Jessica McClure

Jessica McClure
Jessica McClure Morales
Born Jessica McClure
March 26, 1986 (1986-03-26) (age 25)

Jessica McClure Morales (born March 26, 1986) became famous at the age of 18 months after falling into a well in the backyard of 3309 Tanner Dr. Midland, Texas, on October 14, 1987. Between that day and October 16, rescuers worked for 58 hours to free "Baby Jessica" from the eight-inch-wide well casing 22 feet (6.7 metres) below the ground. The story gained worldwide attention (leading to some criticism as a media circus), and later became the subject of a 1989 ABC TV movie. As presented in the movie, a vital part of the rescue was the use of the then relatively new technology of waterjet cutting.


Media impact

CNN, then a fledgling cable news outlet, was on the scene with around-the-clock coverage of the rescue effort and it was in part due to this coverage that they were able to begin carving a niche out for themselves in the global media market.[citation needed] This massive media saturation of the ordeal prompted then-President Ronald Reagan to state that "everybody in America became godmothers and godfathers of Jessica while this was going on."

From the beginning, and throughout the incident, the switchboard for a local media outlet, KMID-TV, was flooded with telephone calls from news organizations and private individuals around the world, seeking the latest information on rescue efforts - and in some cases, sharing their own insight into this and similar incidents.

Ron Short, a muscular roofing contractor who was born without collarbones because of cleidocranial dysostosis and so could collapse his shoulders to work in cramped corners, arrived at the site and offered to go down the shaft; they accepted his offer, but did not use it.[1][2]

The photograph of her being rescued fetched the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography to Scott Shaw of the Odessa American.[3]

D. Lance Lunsford wrote The Rainbow's Shadow: True Stories of Baby Jessica's Rescue & the Tragedies That Followed, which was published in 2006.[4]

ABC made a TV movie of the story in 1989, Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure, starring Patty Duke and Beau Bridges.[5] The film featured, as extras, many participants in the actual rescue and its coverage.

In 1990, director Bharathan made an Indian film in the Malayalam language titled Malootty about the rescue of Jessica McClure, starring Shamili, Jayaram and Urvashi.

On May 30, 2007, USA Today ranked McClure #22 on its list of "25 lives of indelible impact."[6]

An episode of The Simpsons, "Radio Bart," parodied the media attention given to McClure.

The footage of McClure being rescued is shown in Michael Jackson's music video "Man in the Mirror" and in the movie V for Vendetta.[citation needed]

After the incident

Following her rescue on October 16, 1987, surgeons had to amputate a toe due to gangrene from loss of circulation while in the well. She also has a scar on her forehead where her head rubbed against the well casing. She has had 15 surgeries over the years, and has no first-hand memory of the event.[7] McClure graduated from Greenwood High School, in a small community near Midland, in May 2004.

On January 28, 2006, McClure married Daniel Morales at a Church of Christ in a small rural community outside of Midland. The couple met at a day-care center where his sister worked with McClure.[8] The couple have a son named Simon and a daughter named Sheyenne.

On March 26, 2011, when Morales turned 25, she received a trust fund of donations worth up to $800,000. Her father said she had discussed setting up a trust fund for the college education of her two children. The trust fund had earlier helped in the purchase of her present home, which is less than 2 miles from the site of the 1987 incident.[7]

Paramedic Robert O'Donnell and Midland Police Officer Andy Glasscock played crucial roles in McClure's rescue. O'Donnell suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and committed suicide in 1995. In 2004, Glasscock was arrested and charged with sexually exploiting a minor. He was convicted and currently serving a 20-year prison sentence. [9]

See also


  1. ^ "Jessica Makes It to Safety-After 58 1/2 Hours". 1987-10-17. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  2. ^ "Cleidocranial Dysplasia-An Enigma Among Anomalies". Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  3. ^ "Awards". Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  4. ^ "The Rainbow's Shadow: True Stories of Baby Jessica's Rescue & the Tragedies That Followed". 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  5. ^ TV Movie IMDb link
  6. ^ Koch, Wendy (2007-05-29). "Lives of indelible impact". Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  7. ^ a b [1] Blaney, Betsy "Baby Jessica turns 25, gains access to trust fund." Xfinity News, from Associated Press, March 25, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  8. ^ Celizic, Mike (2007-11-06). "Baby Jessica 20 years later". MSNBC. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  9. ^

External links

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