Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eat, Drink, and be Murdered.

Devin Cassidy didn't have a clue that she would'nt wake to the sun coming through her window, maybe a little hung over from a night spent in the Westport area. Like so many people who come to this city from the relatively insulated safety of the suburbs. They come to shop, party, work, or any number of reasons. People believe it cant or wont happen to them, the nightly news announcing the latest body count, just some talking head , the finality of being killed , the reality that its often random and senseless, it doesn't really sink in. I imagine most murder victims are like a lot of cancer victims, they know it happens, but it wont happen to them. Then comes the diagnosis, you have a lump, or a spot on an x ray, the doctor gives you the news and a sharp intake of breath, is followed by a stunned silence. I think the same reaction takes place right before a victim is killed. A crystalline moment, time stands still, a sharp intake of breath, the realization that you are going to cease to exist, then there is nothing.

Devin was killed a few blocks from my place. Which doesn't make her murder unique, there have been 40 or 50 homicides this year within 5 minutes of my apartment. She was from Leawood, again that's nothing new, people from the suburbs often meet their end here in the city. She was far too young to die, again most homicide victims in this city are as young or much younger. Her killers were in their teens, the news reported they needed gas money. She died on a side street, just yards from one of Kansas city's busiest roads, as did many of the other 90 plus homicide victims this year. She was white, which isn't usually the case, so her murder was unique in that regard. There was at least one other woman killed in Kansas City this weekend, sitting on her own front porch, but that wont garner as much press. Both victims, all victims deserve better.


We beckon them to come play here, spend here, we put up bright lights over the holidays, we build entertainment districts, all in hopes of attracting people to come here. And when they come, we embrace them, pander to them, and entice them. When they come, we treat them as one of our own. We fail to protect our own, we chew them up and spit them out on a daily basis, we eat our young, or they consume us. Visitors can expect the same treatment. We can give you a million reasons why you should come here, or why you should live here. What we wont be bothered with is insuring your safety, doesn't matter who you are.

So I drove the 3 or 4 blocks to the spot where Devin was killed. News cameras had panned in on it earlier this morning, so I knew the exact spot. There really isn't much evidence that something violent and final occurred. Broken auto glass is swept up along the curb, and that's it, there is nothing out of the ordinary. people walk up and down Broadway, oblivious to their surroundings. They walk right by the pile of glass on 42nd, completly unaware. Probably much the same way Devin was the night she died. Eventually the city will clean up the glass, or the rain will wash it away, and unless some friend or family members erect a small roadside memorial, all evidence will be erased. The good news in all of this, two suspects, younger than their victim, were caught shortly after. The bad news, theres plenty more just like them.

12 comments:

  1. Someone asked on my blog if I really feel threatened getting lunches on Independence Ave. While I am kinda tongue-in-cheek about it, it's always in the back of my mind. Crime stats are not imaginary and pretending that it's safe is just silly.

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  2. devin grew up in leawood, but she was a midtown girl.
    an amazing wonderful fun and beautiful midtown girl who will be missed by many, but never forgotten.

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  3. Thanks for the correction terra, the news wrongly reported she was living in Leawood. sorry for your loss.

    MV keep looking out, wish more people would do the same.

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  4. I'm sittin here with tears in my eyes and not quite sure why. I don't think I've ever read a more personal account of a senseless death. But it was more than that. You described the death of a city, a place I'm afraid to go to, a place that people are living where murder is becoming so commonplace that it's barely newsworthy. Who was that woman sitting on the porch? Was she an old lady just enjoying the cool night air or was she gunned down cause her brother was a gang member? And Devin, as you said, never expected that night would be her last, her whole life in front of her.

    This post should be on the front page of the Kansas City Star. At the least, I hope somebody from the Council reads this blog.

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  5. I grew up with Devin . She was a very bright, sincere, beautiful, intellegient, and outgoing person . She will be missed by many who new her . We love you Devin, rest in peace . We will never forget you .

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  6. You couldn't have wrote this any better. I knew Devin growing up and I was absolutely shocked to hear this last night. She was a beautiful young woman who will be missed terribly. These crimes need to be stopped, let alone be brought to more peoples attention. I feel just as you said that events like this are just swept away. Just another night in Westport, right? They can't go on like this anymore. She didn't deserve this. RIP Devin.

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  7. Devin was very much a midtown girl, every time we hung out it was usually in midtown, we liked to go to the same places, she was a good friend, and a bright girl, I'm gonna miss the hell out of her

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  8. I moved away from KC 3 years ago. Last time I saw Devin was in December when I came back for a visit. I ran into her at Dave's Stagecoach.

    We celebrated that night when I told her I was getting married. She was one of my first friends to know.

    Living in midtown, you know that murders happen... but I brushed it off. It happens to other people, not my own friends. We live in the neighborhood and know how to act.

    Devin was a good friend to a lot of people. It is hard to think that I will no longer see her when I return.

    I'm glad I came across this. The news reports were so sterile and dehumanizing of the event.

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  9. Devin had only moved back to Leawood within the last couple of months. Before that, she had lived and worked in Midtown for a number of years. She was a wonderfully intelligent person who could always bring a smile to the faces of the people around her. She was probably the least cynical person I've ever met, and she could bring out the up-shot in any situation. She’ll be sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

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  10. No matter what you or anyone else says there are Blacks like me that grew up in the inner city that do not condone the violence that goes on in this city. I live near 59th & Paseo and I hear the automatic weapon fire at times and I worry about stray gunfire. I drive to my job in Shawnee every night at 9pm when all of the crazies seem to be out running the streets. I would like to know what these BOYS were doing in Westport in the first place and with the amount pf police officers in the area how they were not detected.

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  11. Very sorry to hear about Devin. I just happened upon your blog due to a google search. It seems that there has been a rash of unexplained deaths of microbiologists around the world the last few years. Try googling it. For example, Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, bio-chemical students,, brutally stabbed to death in London. Here's another example: http://xsorbit27.com/users5/unifiedveteranscoalition/index.php?PHPSESSID=d17b542255cd03dd6baa981dee5bee58&topic=4085.0

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  12. Where exactly did it go down? This is purely a personal issue, i don't judge neighborhoods or anything but i will be the first to construct a roadside memorial. If not, i will find a roadside memorial and bawl my eyes out. thanks!

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