Thursday, February 5, 2009

Toughest part

I’ve often told people that one of the most difficult things about my job is not what I must see or do, rather what I must know. Frankly, there’s just a lot of stuff I wish I didn’t have to know. You learn about the personal peccadilloes of people you’d like to trust, the dirty secrets and the untoward conduct. You learn of the evil that lurks in humanity, the horrific and terrifying acts that human beings are capable of inflicting on others. You learn of the tragic suffering of innocents. It can be a distressing load.

I suppose we’re not alone in shouldering burdensome knowledge. I can imagine what a first grade teacher hears, and what an emergency department nurse or doctor knows. It takes a good support system and some considerable emotional resilience to carry the load without being spiritually crushed. A good sense of humor helps, too.

May dad made his living selling corrugated boxes. When we moved to Lincoln in the late 1960’s, he took me along one day to call on one of his best customers, Prairie Maid Meats. The company has been out of business for a long time, but in the late 1960’s, the plant at 4th & F Streets was producing a full line of sausages and cold cuts. I got the deluxe tour. I’ve never been able to look at a hot dog in quite the same way. Some things you’d rather not know.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Imagine what it must have been like to dig up this guy's basement. Here's one. Here's another one, and another, and another, and another...

It's too bad that man's neighbors and friends didn't have an easy way to run his name for court records, like we have here in Lancaster County. I'm not sure that many Lincolnites appreciate that. There's a bigger city 50 miles up I-80 from us, supposedly better than we are in almost every way, yet their citizens still don't have an easy way to check for local criminal histories on potential suitors, new neighbors, job applicants, etc. If they didn't do anything hefty enough to make it here (a recent street robbery suspect), then it's hard to find out about it, unless they want to take off work and go over to the Douglas County courthouse and dig.

Anonymous said...

By the way, do you suspect that this home invasion robbery was drug-related, like almost every other HIR? I'm just playing a hunch here.

Tom Casady said...

10:26-

Pretty spiffy hyperlinks! Well, regarding the HIR: methinks your detector's calibration is tuned quite well.

Buck said...

It must have been really tough comparing Ricky Turco, a general screw-up...to Joshua Beasley, a seemingly good person who made one tremendous mistake.

Tom Casady said...

Buck,

The news media has been having a difficult time conceptualizing how the police could conclude that the death was accidental, but the event might nonetheless meet the elements of a crime. The most common circumstance where this occurs is in fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes, but we've had a few other firearms-related cases I recall, too.

Anonymous said...

Most members of the news media (with a few exceptions) usually hve a hard time conceptualizing anything at all beyond the tenth-grade level, and that goes double for the local fishwrap. Maybe if they'd pore over the Nebraska Criminal Code, instead of expecting LE Agencies to boil it down into small words and spoon-feed it to them like strained peas, they'd have more luck. Oh, well, no one ever said that Journalism was a brain-bender of a major, did they ("I won't have to take any math classes for that major, will I?".

Buck said...

I, too, can see how the event might meet the elements of a crime, given the additional information that has come out of the story.

From what I read, the guy pointed a gun at his wife and pulled the trigger, thinking the gun was unloaded. I feel for the guy, and I really do believe this was an accident...but I will NEVER pull the trigger of any gun pointed at anyone I love. Fundamental gun safety rule...treat EVERY gun as if it is loaded. Why anybody would point a gun at a loved one is beyond me...guns aren't toys, they shouldn't be treated as such.

My only issue is the comparison between Beasley and Turco as people...not between their actions. But I suppose there aren't many comparisons available where the public was as aware of the case as it was with Turco.

JIM J said...

I once was with a fellow who pointed a 22 at my temple. He pulled the trigger. I told him it is not a good idea to pull the trigger while pointing a gun at someone. He said, just joking. I took the pistol and opened the chamber.
It was loaded. The bullet had misfired. he said he had no idea it was loaded. I personally think he was intending to kill me and claim an accident. Drinking and guns do not mix. I think it should be against the law for any gun owner to drink.

Anonymous said...

In that case, Jim J, all sworn LEOs would have to be teetotalers, unless they were required to leave their duty sidearms at the station. It already is illegal in Nebraska for any CHP holder to carry after consuming any alcohol, and that applies while there is any measurable residual alcohol in their body. If I'm not mistaken, even the Chief bends an elbow once in a while, off duty and not to excess, and not before driving.

Speaking of the police, it's also against an LPD general order for any LPD officer to be armed off-duty if they've consumed any alcohol.

You know, Jim, you're on to something though. Since drunk drivers cause vastly more death and injury than any other sort of drunk, perhaps all vehicle owners should be prohibited from drinking, even when they're not driving. I'll warn you, though, that this state takes in quite a bit of money in alcohol revenue that the Unicameral can spend, spend, spend, so it'd be like pulling teeth to get that one through the legislature.

Drunk people with knives do a lot of mayhem, so knife owners could also be barred from drinking, and that even includes kitchen knives.

It's going to cost every drinker more to buy those better cuts of meat that can be cut with a fork though.

Nick said...

I too feel for Mr. Beasley but too say he has suffered enough already is wrong he must be held accountable for his actions he pointed a fire arm at another person it's against the law. I only hope this prevents a future fatality.

Anonymous said...

The differences between Turco and Beasley will come out in the sentencing phase. I don't recall what Turco got but I'm sure Beasley will get minimal jail time if any at all and probably 5-10yrs probation.
First time offenders usually get mercy from courts. Uh wait, even multiple offenders get mercy from the courts but once you become a "Turco" offender....uh you still get mercy from the courts. What a joke our court system is.

Anonymous said...

A9-011488 hasn't made the news yet. That area doesn't have many incidents of that (or any other) type. Do you suspect it was someone known to the victim, like a relative or a neighbor that might have a key?

Tom Casady said...

9:17-

Yes, in this type of crime, you're normally looking for the small number of people who are aware of the location of the valuables, and the vulnerability of the victim to a sneaky theft.

Phillyun said...

I believe Jim J was simply trying to say that gun owners should not drink and then handle guns. Jim?!!
We are not alone in the experience of having a gun pointed at us. Get over it. Why on Earth would you just sit there while he did that? Blindsided?

I've encountered several owners who have shown me their gun and informed me as they handed it to me that it wasn't loaded. After checking and unloading them, I hand them back the ammunition and say, NOW its unloaded. Most have realized the magnitude of their error but in all cases, education is key. This "common sense" stuff just isn't as common as some would like.

Anonymous said...

The very small pool of likely suspects would seem to make this sort of criminal extra-stupid. If a burglar who is unknown to the victim breaks in, but leaves no biometric evidence and isn't caught getting rid of identifiable loot, and there is no video surveillance...well, that's why residential burglaries have a very low clearance rate, isn't it?

I have a hunch that LPD is well on the way to solving this one, however. It's like the theft of cryptographic key cards; there just aren't that many possible suspects that can breach controlled access without breaking something.

Buck said...

I hear ya, Phillyun. Whenever presenting my firearms to anyone, I check them right in front of the person so they can see that I'm handing them an unloaded weapon. If they want to verify that again after I hand it to them, I have no problem with that.