A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Triple Murder

Walking home from physical therapy today, I noticed a disturbing sight. At the intersection of Pearl and Spring streets, near my house, several police cars were pulled up. Yellow caution tape and sawhorses formed a barricade across the road. Walking the dog shortly afterward, I learned the cause of the disturbance.

In a fifth-floor apartment, the bodies of a woman and her two children had been found. They had apparently been there for several days. Friends and neighbors had wondered about the family's absence from church and from the bus stop; calls to the woman were unanswered. A downstairs tenant was noticing a peculiar smell. Police investigated and found the corpses.

The entire area has been roped off all day. The bodies have not been moved. Relatives and friends of the victims are gathered on the sidewalk nearby, weeping.

The apartment on the end, farthest from the corner, is where all this occurred. Just past the apartment block you can see a small vacant house. The long, low building after that is Springfield police headquarters.

Ironic, isn't it? Police are great, but they can't stop crime from being committed even under their noses. If someone wants to do harm, and doesn't care about the consequences, there's almost nothing he can't pull off. The only thing that prevents crime is sense of obligation to one's community. That can't be enforced.