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Blue Heron in flight

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bloodletting

Many people in Southern California have been shocked and horrified by the disappearance and murder of the beautiful young girl, Chelsea King. How could you not be affected by such a brutal and senseless tragedy?

We caught some television coverage of her alleged killer's arraignment last night while we were having dinner at the sushi bar as well as video of a gang of neighbors storming his mother's house in Rancho Bernardo, screaming and demanding that the family leave the area.

My first thought was that it was like something out of Frankenstein when the villagers lit torches and tried to storm the castle. The one young male family member was being set upon by the neighbors like a pack of wild dogs. He looked bewildered and traumatized. Can we really blame the sins of John Albert Gardner III on his family? Do we know enough about the rearing of this man to demand blood vengeance from them? I do not presuppose to know the family dynamics of the Gardner's but there have always been "bad seeds" that have come out of seemingly normal families and circumstances.

My second thought was that thank god, the perpetrator was not an african american or latino. The fires of xenophobia and racism are already so strong here, it could reach a tipping point. The backlash would even be more horrific. All of the recent high profile rapists/ kidnappers, be it Garrido, the kidnapper of Jaycee Dugard, Brian Mitchell, the man in the Elizabeth Smart case, John Albert Gardner, all have happened to have been white. I actually heard a person of color remark the other day that there would be nowhere near the attention if the victim had been a member of an ethnic group other than white. Unfortunately, that may in fact be true.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

he was staying in their RB house as recently as January, according to today's NCTimes, in violation of his parole from the earlier conviction; talk about enablers, no wonder the neighbors are pissed.

Blue Heron said...

I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

well, i need to correct myself; turns out Gardner pretty much complied with all the laws pertaining to RSO's; he was registered as an RSO in RB for most of '08 and '09, (in fact the Escondido cops questioned him last year re the disappearance of Amber Dubois) then "moved" to the Lake Elsinore area early this year, where he re-registered, although he apparently continued to spend most of his time in the RB area; so technically he complied with the terms of his parole, although why the law would allow him to live in the same neighborhood where he committed his 2000 crime, the one that sent him to jail for 5 years, is beyond me.

Blue Heron said...

Gee, I was just about to find my pitchfork and join the avenging mob. Lord of the flies, redux. I was focussing on the one kid in the family who was getting screamed at in the video. I remember being at YMCA camp in Cloudcroft, New Mexico in 1964, surrounded by about 200 or 300 campers, all screaming at me that I had killed jesus. I swear I never touched the guy.

Anonymous said...

what is it about our society and our culture that would ever make a person even want to commit such a heinous and sick crime? convicting and perhaps executing Gardner will do nothing to change that...