Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken Soup with the University of Maryland

There's just no end to behavior that terrorists can reference in order to sleep at night.

On April 30, 2005 an as yet unidentified partygoer at an off campus house on Princeton Avenue, College Park, Maryland decided it would be a good idea to memorialize the 6th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre by bullying and humiliating 19 year old student Daniel Murray. For reasons of statistical probability, I'm going to assume the bully was an athlete. Murray (the victim) returned later that night and torched the place, leading to the death of student Michael Scrocca.

The case went unsolved for the better part of a year. The break came in the form of an anonymous tip. Why this person waited a year to contact the police has not been reported, but I can speculate:

I first learned of this case from an episode of Investigation Discovery titled "Where there's smoke." Investigators expressed surprise by the number of 18 and 19 year old partygoers, none of whom were suspects who wouldn't speak to them without an attorney present. Some might assume that this behavior was just a sign of the times. I have a different theory.

Amongst the partygoers was a notorious bully, possibly a dangerous sociopath like George Huguely. His bullying of Daniel Murray was either witnessed directly or known of by almost everyone there. Potential witnesses, particularly those who lawyered up were painfully aware of the danger involved in acting as a witness against the bully. If the bully was indeed a student athlete, the university would have moved mountains to protect him against the slanderous insinuations of those who witnessed his criminal behavior. Many of these witnesses knew or suspected that the fire was started by the bully's victim but also knew that identifying him would involve testifying to the behavior of the bully. That can be unhealthy. It took a full year for one of them to make an anonymous call to police.

The pattern is becoming painfully familiar:

A bully with a long history of cruelty and violence is shamelessly allowed to avoid punishment by a society that makes an awful lot of "we love our children" noise during campaign season.

One of the bully's victims has been the subject of so much community approved cruelty that he no longer values other people's lives.

When the victim is arrested for retaliating, everyone conveniently overlooks the chain of events leading up to his decision to retaliate. In fact, he wasn't retaliating at all. He's just a nut who dreamed it all up on his own. (The Columbine Effect) Then the victim of bullying is sentenced (Murray was sentenced to 37 1/2 years in prison.) and everyone washes their hands.

No effort is made to prevent another similar tragedy from occuring because the overwhelming weight of a bully loving culture ridicules anyone who attempts it.

One young man will spend the majority of his life in prison.
Another young man died in the fire.
A third young man was badly burned during his escape.
The bully gets away without enduring a hint of public criticism.
In the words of the South Hadley Bullies, "Mission Accomplished."

This is a common pattern that all terrorists, foreign or domestic can study in order to assuage any feelings of guilt they may otherwise be encumbered with.


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    1. Murray was 19 in 2005. That would make him 30 in 2016. Can you confirm where both of you attended middle and high school?