Monday, June 30, 2008

Out of the Doorway

I haven't even had a chance to really react to the apparent capture of one murder suspect, and there's already another new body to take the last one's place. This is nuts.

I have to go help a buddy move, so I must be brief this evening. But the top three things on my radar screen remain Joel Marino's alleged killer, finding ANY answers at all about Kelcey Fike's murder in Nebraska and, now, the Marcus Hamilton murder. And like any reporter worth his or her weight in gasoline, I've got plenty of questions about each.

Firstly, if we had to have another murder in Madison, I'm glad it wasn't another "stranger homicide." Call me insensitive, but I'm not the only one who breathed a sigh of relief when police said Hamilton's murderers were there simply to get him. Be it gambling debts, be it a personal grudge, be it a gangland hit, those two thugs were killers on a mission. It still rankles me to see this sort of thing turn up in my town, obviously, but this isn't the sort of random violence that could be waiting in some back alley for my little sister.

I hope police get it sorted out quickly, and I hope the thugs get put away forever. But if the cops don't catch these two guys, at least we know they're not out there waiting to strike again. They're long gone, and probably won't set foot in Wisconsin ever again.

With regards to Adam Peterson, who is now being held here in Madison at the Dane County jail, District Attorney Brian Blanchard has me absolutely baffled. They have their suspect in custody. They've managed to extradite him to Madison. They've got DNA evidence tying him to the murder weapon. Rumor has it they even have a confession out of him. So why the secrecy?

The State Journal (link above) says Blanchard has ordered the Minnesota search warrant that allowed police to obtain Peterson's DNA sample to be sealed. It strains logic, because by the time Peterson makes his initial appearance in court sometime this week, they will have had to update the criminal complaint and most likely release that information that way. They have to. The criminal complaint as it stands right now is incredibly weak; or as a certain Madison newspaper reporter leaned over and said to me at the press conference Friday, "A defense attorney with half a brain could drive a truck through this thing."

One almost begins to wonder if Blanchard doesn't just have a flare for the dramatic. I've begun to suspect he has designs on marching into court this week to trumpet fanfare and pulling his case out of a top hat with a flourish of his cape. Anything less, any leaked bit of information, would really ruin that final effect, you know?

Whatever. More details HAVE TO come out when the Peterson case hits court. It's the way it works. I can live with that. What's really irking me is that TWO WEEKS have gone by since police found my old high school acquaintance Kelcey Fike dead in a burned out trailer. Since then, they've said it's a murder. They haven't said peep beyond that, that I can tell in the vastness of the internet. In fact, as of tonight, if you google her name, MY POST from a week and a half ago is the first hit that pops up.

That should tell you something right there if the half-crazed incoherent ravings of an overstressed radio anchor draw more hits and links than any of the reports coming from media outlets to the West. The Kearney Police haven't told the papers or the broadcasters out there anything, so they've got nothing to work with. I presume most of the media outlets have just written the story off. Trust me, it takes a lot of effort to build a decent story when the authorities won't cooperate.

It's a sin I've been guilty of myself...hell, I'm guilty of it right now, but I have a full time job in a market hundreds of miles from the crime scene to blame for that. Of course, I would lay good money the media outlets in that neck of the woods are understaffed and over-worked, like they are everywhere.

In my last post on the subject, I said I wouldn't be able to work on this story because of my personal connection to it. I take that back. The more I have to sit idly back while the information lockdown continues, the more I wish I was out there digging on it. I want to do it for her friends and family, so they can have some damn closure...not an end to the nightmare, but at least the segueway to the next part.

An annonymous commenter on my previous entry about Kelcey said it better than I can. They wrote: "Sometimes the police are far too closed lipped about facts that could help families to heal--especially when the departments in many cases never solve the crime anyway. Perhaps it is healing that we need in this society, healing and more love. But without any sort of closure all the secrets breed is hate and anger."

Kearney Police have scheduled a press conference tomorrow, bright and early. It sounds like Kelcey's parents will be there, as well. I hope to God the police have something to say that helps them... and her brother John... and my friend Sarah, who grew up next door to her... and every other person who knew her in Monroe.

I've had enough of hate and anger.

And in case you were wondering, I have other interests that don't involve things as black and morbid as ongoing murder investigations. For instance, tomorrow, there's a new Alkaline Trio album coming out that I hope to review on this blog...

...okay, bad example of how I can be not black and morbid... But in spite of it all, I'm still excited about the new album.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for quoting my last comment on this topic, I have put a lot of thought into violence in our society as of late. You should read the book "Strange Piece of Paradise"...a true (and wonderfully written) story that helped me to learn more about the topic.

As a resident of Madison I was strangely relieved in much the same way you were that the most recent murder wasn't random. Any more fear about random murders and I don't know if I would even leave my front steps if dusk was drawing near.

I have so much more to say, but I will leave it with that for now.