January 22, 2005
Knowing your neighbours
The week I moved into my home in 1999, there was a tragic and scary incident in the park behind my house. A woman was beaten so badly by her husband, she became comatose and was hospitalized for an extended period. What bothered me at the time was the man beat her with a baseball bat, while she screamed and no one tried to help. They called 9-1-1, sure...but no one stopped him.

I thought, what kind of neighbourhood am I moving into? This would probably be categorized as upper middle-class. Houses run in the $500K range. It's close to amenities, parks and the water. But I could not keep thinking about that poor woman. Frankly, I often wondered about what ever happened to her. I never really spent a lot of time until today trying to figure out where she actually lived, but thought of her often. Did she come through it ok? Did she leave him? Do I pass her on the street and don't know it?

A couple days ago, I mentioned here that there were police cars acrosss the street. I assumed it was to do with the rainstorm. There was a city truck nearby with sand in the back, so I just figured there must be some sort of localized flooding somewhere out of my view.

The same day, in another part of my city, a man was murdered. Two days short of his retirement, a mental health therapist was brutally attacked and stabbed to death while leaving work. Before he passed away, the man was able to identify the assailant as one of his former patients. Again, murder doesn't hit my town. It's rare. It's a pretty safe place over all.

I didn't put two and two together until I saw the news last night. They showed the man who was arrested for the murder and he looked extremely familiar. Then it hit me. That's why the police cars were across the street. That's where the dude lived!

So I did a little google search on him and sure enough, it's the same guy who did the deed on his wife in 1999. Oddly, the same search also brought up other convictions of firearms related issues and illegal importation of steroids.

Hmmm...steroids? An odd thought crossed my mind. Last June, I was driving a friend to work for a late night shift. We stopped at a store to grab some snacks. It was about 11pm. I waited in the car while Dan ran in. Beside the convenience store, there was one of those weight-lifting based health food store. It was closed, obviously, but there were these two dudes out front that just creeped me out. As I sat in the car, watching them, they seemed wired. Almost like they were jonesing for a fix, and couldn't get it. I was relieved when Dan came back to the car, kinda laughed about the 'roid monkeys and we drove off.

Turns out the store was owned by this scary guy from across the street. It's where he was finally arrested for the murder of the health care worker. So, sounds like this guy is just an entire prince all around.

Kinda makes you stop and think. Who are your neighbours? Do you know?

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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Turning thirty and a half
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