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A Matter of Priorities

Posted by Rick · April 26th, 2004 · 2 Comments

The police have reopened a case originally — and probably wrongly — deemed a suicide in 1946.

If this was a murder, rather than a suicide, it occurred 58 years ago.

Someone sent them a three-page, single-spaced letter, signed “M. Smith,” saying that she had flirted with Harold Vest and her boyfriend went into a jealous rage.

Now, I’m very sorry for the family of the man who was killed. But in an age when rapes are going uninvestigated due to an inability to afford paying for the investigations, does it make sense to expend resources on 58-year-old murders?

The letter purporting to contain information about the murder was received after the victim’s son put an ad in the newspaper offering $10,000 for information on the murder. The letter writer claimed that her then-boyfriend killed the cabinetmaker because she had flirted with him. This cabinet-maker was old enough to 1) have a son and 2) own a cabinet-making shop. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that he was a particularly amazing person, such that he owned a cabinet-making shop at the age of 18. It’s reasonable to assume that his attacker, or attackers, was approximately the same age. Let’s pretend they were between the ages of 16 and 20. This means that, at best, these murderers would be between the ages of 74 and 78 years old. Assuming the letter is legitimate and not merely written by some freak or someone after the money, what is the likelihood that any of the potential murderers are still alive?

There are better uses for taxes and busy police departments than the investigation of murders that occurred almost 60 years ago. I feel for the family of the man who died, but in a world where we constantly decry the expense of our legal system and have difficulty funding investigations of current crimes, this is nothing short of irresponsible.

Categories: Law and Legal Issues


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Linda // Sep 8, 2004 at 8:19 pm

    What the HELL is wrong with you?
    Do you have a Mother? A Dad?
    Gotta Heart? Big Guy?
    I am utterly repulsed by your insensitivity.
    How DARE you presume that one criminal court case is more important than the other.
    You talk of age. Well – You are older than dirt; you big loon. Do I have privy to police protection if the both of us is harmed, because asshole is older than me?
    Bad, Bad move buddy!
    Do you often make a jackass of yourself via the internet???? Or, do you just play a jackass in real life?
    Your callous heart should be damned.
    Find a hobby. Get a girlfriend or a boyfriend!
    Find something more important to do than hurt people who have already suffered. What? Are you like….a bastard child and blame God???
    I will not be shocked to find that you are a loser no-good idiot that shoots off at the mouth, and if you HAVE…..a job, I bet you haven’t had it long? Huh? Old Man?
    Get a fucking life. And, Lose the weight….
    Copy forwarded to attorneys for Mr & Mrs Vest.

  • 2 Rick // Sep 8, 2004 at 10:44 pm

    Insensitivity? I think insensitivity is when some young woman is raped, but the police don’t have the resources to investigate the crime because they’ve assigned their people to solve murders that happened 60 years ago, so the rapist goes uncaught.

    I think insensitivity is when a child is molested, but the molester goes uncaught because the police don’t have the resources to investigate it because they’ve assigned their people to solve murders that happened 60 years ago.

    I think insensitivity is when a murder that occurred last week goes cold because the police don’t have the resources to investigate it because they’ve assigned their people to solve murders that happened 60 years ago.

    And besides the insensitivity of someone who thinks this should happen while we investigate who murdered the third wife of the King of ancient Macedonia, of course, there’s the insensitivity of the kind of person who could write what you wrote about someone they don’t know, never met and likely never will meet.


    On the other hand, at 46, I’m older than dirt, so what would I know? (Are you sure there’s no dirt around older than 46?)

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