Our area is earning its reputation one murder at a time...
Back in November, you might recall, Richmond was ranked as the fifth most dangerous city in the country. There was much pondering at the time, a little scoffing and some rationalizing too -- our statistics are compiled differently from most, including crime from only within the city proper, and so the per capita rates are undiluted by the statistics of the surrounding counties.
It is starting to feel like that damn study is right. We are killing each other right and left. The latest -- another family of four, brutally attacked in their own home, but this time in Henrico. And this time, two survived, but gone are father and daughter Herbert Sharpe Jr., 51, and Angel Jackson, 26. The alleged killer is a relative, unlike the random attack on the Harvey family on New Year's Day. But -- and pardon my bluntness, friends -- dead is dead. Murdered is murdered.
In an earlier version of this post I inadvertantly identified this as a Richmond crime and took a shot at Doug Wilder, asking if he would attend a memorial service for this family. A misdirected arrow to be sure, but my frustration remains with our mayor's outrage over the Maymont bears when we hear barely a peep about human beings dropping like flies.
As a kind of aside, it may seem strange to commend a reporter on his writing of such a story but I think it's appropriate here. Times-Dispatch reporter Julian Walker got more than the standard "He was a great guy" quotes in his story. This is what comes from patient listening. He offers us sweet details about these victims that makes them more than victims, and therefore their loss harder to bear. Herbert Sharpe, he writes, "had an easy smile and was an awkward dancer." His daughter studied dance and fashion and to the "bewilderment" of her family, loved the Dave Matthews Band.
Meanwhile, buried in the lower left-hand corner of page B4 is a three-paragraph blurb about another body being found in an abandoned home in Richmond's South Side -- a teenager found "with obvious signs of trauma."
And the beat goes on.