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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Is the Midwest Going Crazy?


Two events took place this past week that I'm sorely surprised and even disappointed in for all of us. It's bad enough things like these even happen, let alone in the US but what's made matters worst of all are that they also happened here in the Midwest, and extremely close to the Kansas City area. Here's the first:

Missouri man arrested after telling woman he wanted to show her where he hung her grandpa


This took place, horribly enough, up in Maryville, Missouri:


Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice on Wednesday announced that he has filed a felony assault charge against Tommy Dean Gaa, 65, Maryville, in connection with an alleged hate crime.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Maryville Public Safety Officer Adam James, Gaa was taken into custody after ordering breakfast at a local business on Sunday, Jan. 25, where he was waited on by an African-American employee.
The employee, according to James’ statement, asked Gaa if he wanted white or wheat toast, and Gaa allegedly responded by saying, “I’m prejudiced. I’ll take white.”
Moments later, Gaa is said to have approached the employee, allegedly grabbing her arm in a manner that caused bruising and asking her if she “liked to party.”
According to the probable cause statement, Gaa then allegedly said, “I have a place I would like to take you where I hung your grandpa.”
Is that not incredible?
Then, there was this,  our of Topeka:
Jayden suffered third-degree burns to her head and first and second-degree burns to her hands. (Credit: WIBW)



A brother and sister were simply playing in their backyard when, all of the sudden, the boy rushed inside, telling his uncle that his sister’s head was on fire.

The children’s uncle George said it was the worst thing he’s ever seen. He ran to the backyard and found his niece Jayden on fire.

The six-year-old’s hair was fully engulfed in flames and she was slapping her head trying to put them out, her uncle recounted. George used cold rags to treat the wounds and called 911.

Officers arrived less than a minute later and found Jayden had suffered non-life-threatening burns, according to the Topeka Police Dept. She was first taken to a nearby hospital for immediate treatment before going to a burn center in Kansas City.

George said she suffered third-degree burns to her head and first and second-degree burns to her hands.

“She was so terrified and scared about what had happened.”

The six-year-old’s hair was fully engulfed in flames and she was slapping her head trying to put them out, her uncle recounted. George used cold rags to treat the wounds and called 911.

Officers arrived less than a minute later and found Jayden had suffered non-life-threatening burns, according to the Topeka Police Dept. She was first taken to a nearby hospital for immediate treatment before going to a burn center in Kansas City.

George said she suffered third-degree burns to her head and first and second-degree burns to her hands.

“She was so terrified and scared about what had happened.”

Jayden’s brother, five-year-old Christopher, said a man they didn’t know came up to the fence and threatened to light his sister’s hair on fire.

“He scooted closer to us and he grabbed a cigarette out of his pocket and he lit it by my sister’s hair, and then her hair caught on fire,” Christopher said.

After that, Christopher said the man ran away.

What kind of sick person could or would do such a thing?

And what's going on? I mean, sure, there are plenty of ugly racist things that take place, say, in larger cities in the Midwest like Chicago and Kansas City and God knows, St. Louis but these are small towns and these heinous, ugly and very personal things are taking place with these people.

I thought we're better than this.

Is it a fluke of 2 ugly events or is this some sick trend of the future?

Here's hoping it's the former and not the latter.

A friend, local photographer Roy Inman, posited a few possible options:

"More population, hence more deviant behavior in total numbers; social media gets the word out faster and with greater coverage. And in a nod to the Malthusian Doctrine and studies on rats, several writers suggest that we are seeing the crowding factor at work. Studies done in bygone days showed that when rats were packed in tighter and tighter in a confined space, at some point some of the rats went berserk and started attacking other rats for no apparent reason and some even knawed off their legs out of frustration. One writer thought that technology was part to blame. It is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with changes and that religious fundamentalism, for example, is a backlash reaction."

I'm hoping for freak aberrations myself.


2 comments:

Sevesteen said...

It's an aberration, otherwise it wouldn't be news. The world is getting better while the news makes us think it is getting worse. I'm reading Better Angels of Our Nature, a book on how and why violence is and has been declining overall, despite the media reporting to the contrary. There will always be room for improvement, but the long term trend is in the right direction.

Mo Rage said...



Sounds heartening.