In 2012, three men were killed on the street close to our law office. The homicides were heavily covered by the local media, and some of the stories even included photographs and video of blood stains on a bus and on the pavement where one of the men died.
In the interest of full disclosure, our law firm later represented one of the victims in a wrongful death suit against the bar where the assault originated. I drive by the bar almost every work day and often walk the sidewalk within a few feet of the crime scenes. Yes, there were two separate crime scenes because the assailant killed two men at a local drinking establishment before a mob chased the assailant across the street and beat or stabbed him to death. And as I walk past, I almost always think of what happened that evening — three lives lost and families destroyed.
There is no sign, no marker, no mention at all at the place where these people died. No flowers, no makeshift memorial, no ribbon. I wonder whether we have become so callous about violent death that we consciously choose to forget. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism to maintain our sanity in a world that is increasingly violent and terrifying. I don’t know the answer. I’m just making an observation. But perhaps in each individual inquiry lies some nugget of honesty that might just help us to prevent some of these violent crimes.