Danville Express

Perspective - February 9, 2007

Two murders too many

Danville has been the scene of two murders in the last year. Such tragedies make us pause and wonder how they could have happened here and if we could have helped.

The victims were close relatives to the murderers so the crimes don't mean Danville is becoming a dangerous place to live. Both involved young men killing those closest to them - one youth beat his mother to death with a baseball bat, and the other young man stabbed his brother.

In a place that has so much to offer, how did two young men get to such a state that they would brutally murder those closest to them? They both had histories of mental problems but these actions go way beyond "problems" into a realm that is hard to fathom. Obviously no one knew they were about to cross over the line into the most antisocial of all acts.

These cases show that our home is not immune from tragedy, no matter how much we try to craft a good community by becoming involved with others. So many people volunteer in worthwhile projects to improve others' lives. Our churches rallied to help with housing for people in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Our Sentinels of Freedom program invites wounded veterans to move here and helps them find jobs and make homes. We have sports programs and Scout troops, school activities and so much more. But somehow these two young men fell through the cracks.

We must take away any stigma that might prevent disturbed individuals or families from seeking help so the anger can be treated before it reaches the breaking point. We mourn not only those two whose lives were lost, but also those who committed the crimes. We don't know the motives or what drove the two young men over the edge. We can only be sorrowful that somehow it was able to happen here.

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