06 October 2012

Dirty, dirty bastard

Last Sunday, two people I knew and cared about were murdered.



Their home was robbed, they were shot and killed and then the house was set on fire.

The St. Pete Police did an incredible job of tracking down the animal who did this and by last Thursday had made an arrest.

This is the piece of shit who killed my friends.

He'd escaped from a work release program Sunday morning and stole a gun. Then, he went looking for an open front door. He found one on Fourth Avenue North.

I cannot imagine the hell he put those guys through, I just can't. They must have been in absolute terror as a stranger wielded a gun over their heads. That their bodies were recovered in different parts of the house says that they couldn't even comfort each other when they knew their lives were about to end. They went out in the worst way I can imagine and it was all over a couple of household items and a pick up truck. A pick up truck Norris drove off in and torched on Monday in Tampa. That piece of crap snuffed out two lives prematurely and he tried to undo everything those guys did and represented.

They were kind and generous and funny and talented and deeply, deeply loved. They were good men who deserved so much better than this.

This hurts. Bad.

Crime statistics are one thing but when people you know get murdered there's a whole new dimension to them. This hits so close to home I can barely stand it.

The bastard who did this was in a work-release program after having been in prison since 2004. He escaped from a work-release program that holds the record for the most escapes in the state. That number would be 27.

The facility where he lived was an example of the current move to privatized prison systems. I used to work for a program that moved people from prison to regular life and I understand the need to transition convicts  better than most. The facility where he lived had a healthy contract with Pinellas County yet they have no procedures in place to alert the police immediately when one of their residents goes missing.

Had they tracked this piece of shit my friends might still be alive.

He was a career criminal who had no business being in a release program to begin with. Thank God he's in custody because if I ever ran into him I'd rip him from limb to limb. I guess that's why we have a justice system.

This whole situation just stinks. I'm as enraged as I am saddened and I just don't know what to do with my emotions. This is  tough one.

32 comments:

  1. that's awful, paul. no words...

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  2. Thanks Christian, what a waste of life this whole thing's been. I've lost friends before but losing friends to a crime this violent is a whole other thing.

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  3. Praying for you and the victims and their families!
    Karen

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  4. There are no words I can think of to bring you condolence. I am so sorry. What a tragedy and an outrage.

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  5. I am so terribly sorry. I have been in your shoes and they are lousy. Pointless tragedy...

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  6. Paul -- I'm so sorry. What a horrible, senseless, devastating loss.

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  7. My condolences to you, their family & everyone else affected - as many have said is that there isn't much that anyone can say to ease this loss or even make sense of it.

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  8. Paul, I am so, so sorry. I can't imagine what you, their other friends and their families are going through right now.

    When I finished reading this, I was speechless. I hope with all of my heart that they didn't suffer too much. I also hope that you live in a death penalty state (sorry, I'm Canadian, so I don't know which states have the death penalty). This piece of excrement has no redeeming features and doesn't deserve to have any more money spent on trying to "fix" him.

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  9. Thanks everyone. And yes, I live in a death penalty state. I've been a lifelong opponent of the death penalty but this has changed things. I want this guy to fry. The death penalty is about vengeance rather than justice and right now I want some vengeance.

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  10. I am so sorry to hear of your loss and the terrible loss to this world of your friends. It seems more and more there is no accountability for people who have committed crimes and also for those who are supposed to be keeping us safe from them. Tragic & senseless. Maybe lobotomies should come back in vogue for violent criminals.

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  11. Thanks Cyra. That piece of crap, who had a rap sheet that included 60 previous arrests, did a level of damage it's hard to describe. The violence and cruelty he subjected those guys to is hard to fathom. He yanked two people from the world whom the world needed. They were kind and generous and they loved as much as they were loved. The guy who did this upset the balance of a neighborhood and made all of us feel less safe in a place we call home. I'm still trying to accept this but it's tough.

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    1. I can feel how deeply you are hurt. As a man of kind and gentle words, your anger and despair at the senselessness of it all breaks my heart. Hugs to you.

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  12. I'm so sorry Paul. So so sorry xxx

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  13. When crime moves from a statistic to someone you know, it changes things... it changes you. I'm sorry. My state is also rapidly privatizing prisons at a very alarming rate. This sort of thing should make them think twice, but it won't.....

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  14. This has been a nightmare for all involved. Not only have I been changed, my community has been changed.

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  15. I am very, very sorry to hear this Paul. It is sad to hear any time but always harder to stomach when you know the people directly and respect them. It shouldn't matter, but it does. I hope that the prison systems get revamped with better security. In the meantime, I will pray for healing for the community and for your heavy heart.

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  16. Thank you Amy; we need all the prayers we can get.

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  17. I'm sorry Paul...this is really, really sad. I'm glad you shared with us.

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  18. Thanks Stacy. I am a blogger at heart; I had to write that post in order for me to start getting through this. I feel like I should apologize for my profanity but I am just so angry over this that I felt it was needed.

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear that Paul. I can't imagine dealing with this type of tragedy, much less when it's a situation caused by something that should never have happened in the first place. Why thoughts go out to you, my friend. Take care of yourself. <3

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  20. SoCal Homeowner11 October, 2012 03:39

    This is just horrifying and I am so so sorry. I don't know what else to say other than that.

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  21. What an animal!!! It's good that you wrote about it, this way you will let your emotions out.

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  22. Lord... I am very sorry to read about your friends, Paul. Some years back California passed a three-strikes law that basically says those who commit three crimes are to be locked away forevermore. There has been a lot of controversy about it over the years, but I have always favored it. Personally, I don't care if the third strike consists of no more than spitting on the sidewalk. When people prove they no longer belong in civilized society, they should be locked away. In our case the law was passed because of a 13-year-old girl being abducted from her own home and murdered by some piece of garbage who had already been convicted of several crimes. Of course, now people want to complain about the cost of keeping those people in jail. But you have just shown us what is sometimes the cost of setting them free. They visit their crimes on more innocent people.

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  23. Paul, I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy. My sincerest condolences to their families, acquaintances and friends as yourself.

    For what its worth, I feel in cases of such horrendous acts of violence, when proven 'beyond a reasonable doubt'; punishment of the offender should fit the crime. In other words, if not for any other reason than the survival of a society that has a responsibility to protect the innocent; no incarceration and/or rehabilitation should be granted. Unfortunately here in Canada we currently do not have the death penalty but IMO because of the increase of such crimes, it is only a matter of time it will be reinstated due to public outcry.

    In closing, you have every right to be emotional and express your distaste for this fiend. May you find comfort in the weeks and months to come knowing he is in in the hands of the law and that justice will be served. -Brenda-

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    1. Brenda, this is a tough one and it's hard to distinguish my need for vengeance versus our community's need for justice. I want to kill this guy with my bare hands and I know that the reason we have a justice system is to keep the kind of vigilantism I have in mind in check. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words. I hate to come across as needy or weak, but this is a real tough one.

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  24. I'm so sorry for your loss. The justice system is not perfect and I've uttered the words "there's no justice in this world" a few times myself but I hope you find some comfort/satisfaction that the guy is detained. That is so much better than not knowing. Hang in there.

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  25. I know the feeling :( The same thing happened to me. Those murderers are heartless. The best and kindest people are being killed and are being a victim of their being heartless :(

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  26. My heart breaks for you and others who have suffered such terrible loss. Praying that you find comfort and solice...Barbara (agedtechie)

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