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.