by Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
"Help me, dad." Kate Steinle
Recently, in San Francisco, 32 year-old Kate Steinle was murdered while on a late afternoon early evening walk along a pier with her father.
One moment she was alive. An instant later she desperately asked her father for help.
He could do little.
First responders could do little more.
Kate died two hours later from a gunshot wound - at the hands of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez (an illegal) who had no business in the United States (he'd been deported a handful of times).
How did he get back into the United States?
How did he get a firearm?
Last evening I watched Bill O'Reilly interview Kate's parents.
Their admirable calm and restraint did not mask their awful pain and bottomless grief.
Their beautiful daughter Kate's death senseless.
The mind-numbing madness of it all I do not have to imagine.
Come November three years ago my step mother-in-law was murdered.
Suzy, a defenseless tiny bit of a woman (closer to 82 than 32) of humble means, was in her small community northwest New Jersey home when her throat was slit. It's difficult to imagine a more intimate, violent death.
With compelling physical evidence against, 18 year-old Victor Razumov was arrested, charged, and imprisoned shortly after the murder.
We have quietly been tracking justice by means of New Jersey newspapers and occasional updates from the case lead detective (who happens to be a Marine).
Out of the blue in late April I received an email from a New Jersey The Star-Ledger reporter asking about the case, offering condolences, and wanting perspective as to the tragedy on the family.
After speaking with my wife, I offered a short reply that included the following...
"Of course Suzy's murder has been difficult on her family. That the accused has yet to stand trial only adds to our angst and delays whatever closure possible. The wheels of justice seem terribly slow when the victim is kin. But we keep the faith."
We wondered why the query.
And a few weeks ago we found out why.
Victor Razumov, in state custody, gouged his eyes out (separate incidents) causing permanent blindness.
And now the state of New Jersey is being challenged for failure to protect Victor Razumov - from Victor Razumov.
No, not kidding.
We have since learned this will further delay due process for Suzy's murder. She was a good, giving woman (who cared for my father-in-law in his last weeks and days of liver cancer with remarkable care and compassion). She deserves better. Any responsible citizen deserves better. And so do their families.
And, by the way, though not my intent I found out my brief comment back to the reporter made his newspaper article. That's okay.
I do not awaken every morning thinking about Suzy and her violent murder. The impact of her death goes much deeper (beyond words) and lingers. But I do think about Suzy often and especially when seeing news of a senseless murder. Kate Steinle's murder case in point.
Like Kate Steinle, Suzy was suddenly cheated out of living her life to its natural end; however long that may have been.
Kate's murderer is an illegal.
I do not know if Suzy's murderer is an illegal.
What difference does it make? None as far as I am concerned.
In both cases one day there may be answers. But answers will not resurrect the innocent dead. And answers will barely, if at all, give peace of mind to the distraught living. Can there ever be true closure?
The parents of Kate Steinle have yet to hear from President Obama. Surprise.
Our family never did hear from the president (or anyone else of elected note for that matter). Surprise.
When speaking of Suzy's murder and other matters (of national concern) that anger me, with more frequency I am asked if I've considered running for office?
I'd not be content with representative or senator duties responsible for a little something.
I prefer to be overwhelmed - where best work is done.
So, the presidency it'd have to be.
And know I'd surround myself with the best. There'd be a core requirement, no exceptions, for Cabinet principals - Marine.
The administration mission statement simple - In coordinated attack, solve America's problems. Believe me, it'd get done.
My presidency is unlikely, but get ready, anyway, Rob; Dave; Tom; Mike; Chris; et al. for one thing I've learned in life is you just never know. I may call.
Keep the faith!
Such irony that justice is (supposed to be) blind and Victor Razumov chose to blind himself. I will let you know what becomes of him.
1. If you want to engage, to help: Kate Steinle's Legacy & Family Fund: www.gofundme.com/y2aneaw
2. New York Legislators et al. are drafting Kate's Law - that would make mandatory the imprisonment (five years) of illegal felons returning after being deported. It's but a start not a comprehensive solution.