A few days ago, I posted about a young man from Brooklyn, Rashawn Brazell, 19, who disappeared and whose body parts started showing up in trash bags. NYPD had noticed that the "cut job" seemed professional, implying that whoever was responsible for the murder had some sort of medical training.
I checked Google News recently to see where we were in this matter, and I was shocked to learn that there had been virtually no new mentions of it in the mainstream media. Since about February 26th, there have been a few mentions of it on the web sites of a couple of organizations, but only one mention in the press, an article in the New York Press on March 2. The article made fun of the circumstances of the young man's death, relating them to the old B-movie cult horror thriller C.H.U.D., but it also made mention of one new piece of information. The NYPD's theory now is that the "cutter" might have employed some "high precision cutting instruments" of a sort used by the Transit Authority, thereby making their perp not a doctor but maybe a transit worker. In fact, the young man's remains have been found in various Transit Authority related venues.
I'm astonished that this isn't being covered. Especially by the tabloids here in New York. This has all the "makings", you know. Sex, murder, grisly remains. But I suppose the only really relevant information here is that the victim was a young, black, gay man who, the theory goes, was on his way to a "homosexual tryst".
Oh. Nobody said anything about that. ("Rewrite! Spike the story!")
At the end of my earlier post, I wrote the following:
I'm always amazed when real-life events are ripped from the headlines of crime fiction. I can never escape this vague feeling that "the work is so derivative". What are things coming to when you can't even rely on fiends to come up with something original?
Well, I guess we can hope that whatever script this monster is working from is a particularly cornball and predictable one. With any luck, a crack team of NYPD detectives will track this guy down pronto, just like on T.V. I mean, we should at least be able to rely on that, right? That real life should resolve itself before the credits roll, just like on T.V.? I'm willing to go with that. I don't mind a little predictability here.
Well, it turns out we got some predictability, all right, but not of the sort I was talking about. This terrible story is not being covered. Gee, I wonder why.
While reading up on all of this, I came across references to an FBI report, "Hate Crime Statistics, 2003". According to that report, there were 9,100 reported victims of bias crimes in 2003. All but four of those incidents involved a "single-bias" (that is, bias based solely on race, or religion, or sexual orientation, and so forth). Leaving out those four "mixed bias" cases, 51.4 percent of the remaining almost 9,100 crimes were caused by racial bigotry, 17.9 percent were caused by religious intolerance, and 16.6 percent were because of sexual-orientation bias (remaining types omitted). There were 14 bias-motivated murders. 6 of them were committed as a result of bias against the victim's sexual-orientation. 5 were the result of racial bigotry.
I dunno, maybe the numbers are too small to draw any meaningful conclusions, but it strikes me as odd that while about one-sixth of the bias crimes are related to the sexual-orientation of the victim, almost one-half of the bias-related murders involve the victim's sexual-orientation.
There be some pissed-off homophobes out there, apparently. Mad enough to kill, and at least one of them is angry enough to want to cut up his victim and stuff him into garbage bags. I guess you don't have to be Freud to figure that one out.
Dude. So you want to have sex with men. So what? You don't have to kill people over it. It's not that big a deal.