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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

September 30, 2014

Is Crime Evolving?

Harry M. Covert

Since “child-dom,” my word for the moment, I’ve been a note-taker. You never know when scribblings may come in handy, particularly in the writing business. A word here and there will joggle the mind and lead to all kinds of sentences, paragraphs and essays.


I believe The Great Tragedy is well under way, not only around the world, but amid the tranquil towns and cities of America the beautiful. Always events in backward places of the globe seem to trickle down, infecting and scaring everybody.


For example, the word beheading erupted in Oklahoma and quite naturally news mavens everywhere keep reporting the distasteful expression. Startling too that such an incident would occur in what is called the most powerful nation on earth. Really now?


So, what am I driving at here? We have all sorts of positive things underway and in almost every quarter. I’ve never figured out that “hate crimes” outrank murder – first, second or third degree. “Hate crimes” seem to be considered worse that downright felonious assaults, whether by professional athletes or by “regular” husbands and wives, et cetera, et cetera and et cetera.


My preference has always been to write stories that include humor, fun endings and good news. Merely because stories occur about those in public life, we can still laugh, guffaw and enjoy a bit of cynicism and satirical comments. But, “it ain’t funny” when the meanest in the Middle East seeps into our free society.


A university student disappears, the third in recent years. Three Alexandrians are murdered in related cases. In Maryland a mother is arrested in the disappearance of her two children. The children haven’t been found. Mama’s jailed undergoing psychological testing.


These are just a few in public attentions recently.


We can say these didn’t happen in Frederick. So what? That would be arrogant, of course.


Lots of times each of these incidents result from mental illness. Sometimes, and mostly, they are from revenge, meanness and occasionally from drug use.


Two life-long friends I know were out carousing, “shooting up” as they say, but did make their scheduled probation office visit. Well, they made it to the front door before one stomped his buddy to death. Blame it on the drugs? Yes, he received a 23-year prison sentence.


Another druggie out on bond was running from federal charges on possession of a .22-caliber handgun. He didn’t care that his mother risked her home on his $50,000 bond. When finally nabbed, he didn’t want to go quietly until the bounty hunter threatened to shoot him in the “privates.” Amazingly and immediately he was converted to peace.


This instance is remindful of the defendants who won’t talk to investigators for their part in triple murders and disappearances. The same holds true for the guy in Oklahoma who killed a colleague last week. He had been fired, but the lady had nothing to do with it.


All these crimes are remindful of a “Sopranos” television episode. One in particular involved him and his cronies attempting to solve a New Jersey problem. They beat him, slapped him around to no avail. Obviously this was television and a fictional story. But, when Tony suggested a bolt cutter, also a below-the-belt action, the matter was solved.


In today’s real life such drastic action is not allowed. Of course, it should not be and would not.


Today’s journalism has taken on the tabloid newspapers usually reserved at the checkout counters in grocery stores. But, murders, assaults and other crimes are all crimes, hateful or not.


Fortunately such degrees of crime have so far avoided Frederick. There are still shootings and discriminate acts to keep law enforcement on their toes.


Maybe the time is creeping in when the public can be protected with various forms of bolt cutters, especially if any more beheadings occur on this soil.


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