Sunday, January 15, 2012

Serial Killer and Hate Crimes

Orange County Captures Alleged Killer

Orange County and the city of Anaheim California are dealing with a serial killer targeting homeless people.  Today, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the suspect in these murders of four homeless people is an Iraq War veteran.  The Orange County Register has done a great job in covering this story, and they report today that the Police Chief is confident that they have captured the man responsible for these deaths.  The national news has centered on a serial killer targeting homeless people, but these individuals were members of our society and were brothers, Dads, and co-workers of the other residents of this Southern California community. James McGillivray was killed Dec. 20, Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was killed in Anaheim on December 22, and then on Christmas eve Paulus Cornelius Smit, 57, was found dead near a library.  The last victim was only identified as John at this point.

The Register also covered the release of the National Coalition for the Homeless' hate crimes report which was released last week.  Advocates from Orange County have been regularly talking to the staff at the National Coalition and law enforcement has been in contact as they investigated this killer.  The report received a great deal of coverage throughout the United States as a result of the serial killer.  Most of the data in the report is from 2010, but it is still shocking to have all these vicious crimes laid out in one report.  Ohio once again was in the top tier of states with reported hate crimes with six incidents in 2010.  We have mentioned most of the incidents in the past on this blog, but there was one that we missed that happened in Youngstown Ohio:
YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO–November 4, 2010
Fifty-eight-year-old homeless man, Tommy was beaten and stoned by a group of young boys ages nine, thirteen, and sixteen. Tommy was well known in the neighborhood and could not defend himself due to his mental illness. The injured man was found by the police sitting on the ground and was taken to a hospital to be cared for. The group of boys is expected to be charged in juvenile court. Their parents will also be held responsible in accordance with the  “Parent Responsibility Act” for the delinquency of their children.
Florida was once again by far the most dangerous place in the country for those living outside followed by California and Texas.   Maybe all this attention on the issue will encourage elected officials to do more to protect the vulnerable and will encourage those living outside to accept help and come inside.  Also, considering the leading suspect in these murders is an Iraq War veteran, it is obvious we need to do more to reach out to those struggling with mental illness as they are discharged from a war zone.

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