Murder In The Neighborhood

Nine years ago, on a Thursday, an 8 year old neighborhood boy went missing. Around midnight there were police dogs searching my yard. Everyone was on edge. The next day his body was found. It didn’t take very long for the authorities to catch the culprit, a 16 year old neighbor boy. No one in my neighborhood was surprised, not deep down, not really. The real surprise for me was that it was the 16 year old, rather than his 12 year old brother. Sound odd? Everything about the situation was odd. No one with any sense let their kids run around unwatched on our street.

Days before the murder, I took away my 12 year old son’s wander privileges, not because he’d done anything wrong, but because it wasn’t safe. He had been playing basketball alone in the park when 16 year old Ryan buddied up to him and walked him home. I felt horribly sorry for those Alexander kids, their mother was batshit crazy and their homelife was clearly bizarre. Not long before all this I caught their mother hiding in our bushes watching us eat dinner through our dining room window. She walked around the neighborhood talking to the guinea pig on her shoulder, narrating what everyone was doing. The younger brother assaulted our heavily pregnant neighbor woman, pushed her down and put his hand up her skirt. Then he went right back to his daily play of riding his kiddie car around on the sidewalks, making an ambulance sound, “weeeee-oooooo, weeeeee-ooooo,” trying to get the little kids to play with him.

What was the sky like that day? Nothing obviously big. The most salient aspect was retrograde Pluto on the south node opposite Saturn. Pluto was otherwise unaspected. Jupiter opposed Chiron; I suppose that was relevant. What was going on astrologically for my son that week? Pluto trined his Aries Mars and sextiled his Moon, which was trined by Saturn. His own energy, independent, not an easy target, and his mother’s rules took him out of danger’s path. Jupiter conjuncted his Sun. He was lucky.

Earlier that day the 8 year old and his younger twin brothers were terrorizing my house, knocking on the front door then running around the house and knocking on the back door. We had an underground garage then and I caught them jumping from the ten foot concrete retaining wall. I told them they mustn’t do that as they could get hurt and I banned them from my yard for the day. I didn’t even know they lived directly across the street from me as I’d never seen a parent or where they came from. I assumed they lived further away. I told them to go home, but had no idea where home was.

I’ve got no judgement about what was, or what should have happened. I’ve got no idea if things could have gone differently. All I know is I did the best I could at the time and that’s all we can do.

Ever had a tragedy occur that touches your life? Did you second-guess yourself?

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Murder In The Neighborhood — 22 Comments

  1. satori, I remember this which means we’ve been friends for 9 years. 🙂

    Sorry to be off-topic but I wanted to say I’m glad about this!

  2. yup, I remember wanting to bolt and you advised I stick around and work it out so the energy didn’t follow me into another situation. it was GREAT advice. we did build a fence, though, and moved the next year.

  3. Yes. At my 10 year class reunion a woman I had known since I was 5 years old made fun of my job at the time. So I just blew her off for the rest of the evening if that’s how she wanted to act.

    She was killed a few days later. I cried, but what are you going to do? She wanted to poke my weak spot, and I didn’t want to put up with her crap. We both made choices that night and that’s that.

  4. “Days before the murder, I took away my 12 year old son’s wander privileges, not because he’d done anything wrong, but because it wasn’t safe.”

    Wow. Your Pisces instincts were tuned in. Your son is lucky to have been “restricted” so to speak…

    I was at a hair show with my son when he was about eight. He was a hair model for a flat-top. After the cut, he had butch wax on his hands and I noticed him fidgeting about it. I was sitting across the room from him and a young, attractive, obviously gay man was sitting next to him. I was watching as the young man asked my son if he wanted to go to the bathroom with him. I was moving toward them before they even got out the door. By the time they’d walked to the bathroom, I was right there. I had a horrible feeling, didn’t know why and just acted on it. I told the young man that he was not to take my son into the men’s restroom alone. His face turned bright red and he started to argue with me! This was my son! I told him I would follow them in if he went in with my son and I would stay in that bathroom with my son the whole time. He started to argue and I took my son’s hand and walked with him into that restroom, waited until he was done and then we left the show. The young man who argued with me was gone when I got back in the main room, btw…

  5. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Just paying attention to the intuition pays off in spades sometimes! Both of our sons might have had a very bad experience of one kind or another if we’d been distracted…

  6. My mother was almost molested by a neighbour boy, when she was five (he wanted her to remove her underwear, after he’d isolated her, and she refused). Another time, coming home from work when she was in her late teens, someone grabbed her and tried to drag her down the alley. I can’t remember how she got away.

    My mother watched us like a hawk, and I was always telling my sister if mum wouldn’t like something – trying to stop her from doing it (when mum was at work and the sitters hadn’t shown up until the last minute, to make it look as though they’d been there all along). I had a curb crawler, when I was fourteen, someone old enough to be my father (or older than him). I was almost killed when I was five, by my mother’s boyfriend, but with the bad things happening in that way, it’s tended to always be an *almost* for me and my sister, or our friends (except for two, who were molested by their father, when they went to live with him, after their mother was arrested :/ ).

  7. I didn’t respond to my instincts, and my child is still working through it.

    Never, ever again will I make that choice. If the spidey-sense is tingling, I will act on it. That’s it.

  8. I’m glad both of your boys are okay. My mother decided she wouldn’t date a young man again, when I walked into the room, he got me onto his knee, and said something about me being a pretty one, and how he couldn’t wait for me to grow up. She didn’t want him near either one of us girls, after that.

  9. I’m sorry, Kris. not all missed moments have such dire consequences. that doesn’t make it your fault. I think we all do the best we can with what we have/know at the moment. there’s no more than that you can do.

  10. Oh Kris… I’m sorry… I’m sorry for your child’s pain… It’s not something you can predict. I’m sure you do and you did your best to protect your children- always. Please try not to blame yourself… (Kris)

    See, the thing is, I could have been over-reacting. I don’t think I was, but I’ll never know b/c I intervened. The young man certainly acted offended, but if he didn’t have ulterior motives, why did he act so weird, turn red and argue with me? I just had a really bad feeling that he was going to do something to my son…

    Healing vibes to all of you…

  11. Oh, I didn’t see Kris’ comment before I posted again. 🙁 I was just thinking that I’m not sure I’ll ever have children, because I might be afraid to let them go anywhere. It must be so hard to know what to do at times. 🙁 ♥

  12. (((krisinluck))))

    I think it’s all a learning process. So many times I’ve ignored that “little voice” and regretted it. With disastrous results. I hope I’m getting better at listening!

  13. I lived in a foreign 3rd world country when I was a child (only for a year). It was especially difficult because I am blonde and blue-eyed and have always stuck out like a sore thumb.

    I was approached many times by boys AND men and VERY quickly learned to turn on a dime. I may have looked sweet and innocent but I could turn into the devil and scream very loud, which I had to a time or two. I do not trust anyone easily these days, but fortunately, I did not have to live through a horrible experience to learn not to.

    I am now one of the first people to leave an uncomfortable situation just because something feels “off.”

    I am so sorry that anyone has had to live through any of that pain (satori), (re&w), (krisinluck).

  14. (((Satori))) I’m glad you are amother so sensitive and alert about her child. Its hard keeping them safe AND giving them wings!

  15. I am glad your son was safe, Satori, but I think the ireparable, long term damage was done.
    Children should not be forced to stay in the house in order to be safe and parents should not have to restrict their kids from doing kids stuff for fear of them being killed, raped or God knows what else. It is a life of fear and it is everywhere. When I was growing up, there were so many kids playing, laughing, arguing on my street. Now it’s nothing there, it’s so horribly quiet. Nowadays, people take their kids to fancy, expensive schools where they learn 10 foreign languages and they only play basketball if they want to go pros. I can’t say I blame them, better an overstressed kid than a dead one.
    But what about those brothers? I imagine everyone saw how they lived and who their mother was, did anyone call child protection, social services? I imagine not, everyone is busy in securing their own survival. Maybe survival in a world of terror is not so important after all.(talking to myself right now)

  16. none of my kids, or any of the others that I was aware of, were forced to stay in the house. we were just very aware of the need to supervise and keep an eye out, before and after the murder. we were a very close-knit neighborhood. social services was very aware of the situation. when the 12 year old in question was bullied on the bus my son stood up for him. we went to the middle school the very next day and spoke to the DARE officer and the counselor.

    some things are just beyond all control.

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