merton quote

Thomas Merton

What do we really know about people? What lurks behind our public persona? With social media, many people’s lives seem like open books. What you see is what you get. We know about people’s opinions (see Indexcardcure.com) and places they’ve visited. But are we really forthcoming, when much of the content is self-generated and curated to present a certain image? Mostly, others see the parts of us we want them to see.

A neighbor was stabbed in April. Bonnie’s body was discovered when a concerned citizen spotted and reported her 3 and 5 year old children in the yard unsupervised. Police swarmed and collected evidence from the victim’s and estranged husband’s houses; including as recently as September. Last week after a six and a half month investigation, a grand jury indicted the husband, Dave, on one count of first-degree murder and a count of burglary while armed with the intent to commit a felony.

When we first moved to the neighborhood and were embarking on home renovations, I met Dave; a builder in the process of upgrading his home. I watched the changes in their house’s appearance with interest and had Dave give an estimate for work on our house; although we eventually chose another contractor. During a porch party at his house, I got a tour of the work in progress. Over the next few years, apparently the marriage frayed, with accusations of violence and issuance of protective orders. At some point, the contractor truck was parked at another house in the neighborhood.

In homicide cases involving women, an intimate partner is often found to be the killer. So from the beginning, Dave was a prime suspect, even though apparently DNA collected did not match. It seems likely if the husband were the killer, there would also be a charge of child endangerment. The young children were reported to have been left alone in the house, discovered their mother’s body then wandered outside. Dave, the father and now the accused, tried to get custody of the children after Bonnie’s death.

Over the months since the killing, there has been plenty of speculation among neighbors about the crime and the suspect, and whether the killing was targeted or random. Certainly there were feelings of unease with an unsolved murder so close. And while a court of law upholds “Innocent until proven guilty” the court of public opinion adheres to a different standard.

When Dave attended our block party in early October, I expressed my condolences. One of my neighbors was shocked: both that he had the chutzpah to attend and that I would speak to him. Maybe I’ve read too many “Gone Girl” -type thrillers, but if the husband didn’t commit the crime, he was multiply bereaved. He was feared and ostracized; his wife dead and denied custody of his children. But since the indictment, I’ve been second guessing myself. If, as Jane put it in Stories of Synchronicity, “Our intuition really is our 6th sense,” should I have sensed something about the man who is now accused of first degree murder?

mug shotIt is reported that Dave maintains his innocence, but is incarcerated, at least until a bail hearing this week. While we won’t ever know the whole story, I’m trying to connect the dots. I would say trying to make sense of this crime; although how can a person make sense of a situation like this. One thing is clear: there is plenty of sadness go around.

© Joan S Grey, 3 Nov 2015

One thought on “Judgment

  1. Pingback: Oblivious | IndexCardCure™

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