Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If It Was Your Family - Would You Bury Two Murdered Siblings With The Sibling That Murdered Them?

I will not relate this tragic story in words here, it's too gruesome and tragic. Please read about this story here. I understand that in time of serious grieving and unimaginable pain, folks make decisions that don't always make sense. I respect this family's decision, but if it was my family I would have never been able to agree with the idea of burying them all together.

I could never imagine visiting that grave site with all three names on the headstone. How can you not be reminded every time of the devastating tragedy that occurred? If it's a question of money, I believe that public would assist this family with burial expenses quite willingly.

Otherwise, this is simply an extraordinary expression of forgiveness and understanding by this young man's family. I really can't imagine I would have ever been able to muster up that must courage to be that forgiving. God bless them and those lost little girls. May they have all the help and love they need to rebuild their family and their lives.


Christopher Chambers March 31, 2009 at 12:17 PM  

Blood is thicker than murder. I'd even consider if it was my son, or I was a surviving sibling. As a fmaily member and a s a Christian.

Otherwise (and me being cynical)they sound like foreigners with a strong religious background. Very insular stuff. I bet the family psycho analysis would have revealed interesting trends.

CG March 31, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

I can understand.Those parents lost three children. Two to murder and one to madness or evil before he was killed. When they gave birth to their son, I'm sure this is not the future that they imagined. That family will be grieving for all that is lost when parents bury their babies.Besides, what is the point in separating them now when the unthinkable has already happened. It would probably be too emotionally draining and expensive to have two services.My heart aches for this family and the surviving daughter who witnessed the vicious murders.

RiPPa March 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

I would. Like it or not but they would be my kids in spite of what happened. I just think it's different being my own. This is an unusual thing to have to do, but it can be done and I can do it.

I just would like to know what was this kid's mental mindstate when he did this. Did he just snap?

RainaHavock March 31, 2009 at 12:39 PM  

I don't think I could have done it. It's so sad.

Anovelista March 31, 2009 at 2:08 PM  

With all due respect to the family that has suffered this horrific tragedy, it sounds like the final act of burying this brutal murderer with his sisters is a final act of denial on the part of the parents.

Considering all of the assault and battery charges against him (including one involving yet another sister) - why did his family still have him around? How many assaults were NOT reported to avoid involving the police? Why did he still have access to his sisters, especially the 5-year-old since he had already shown that he could be violent with them?

It sounds like he was coddled for a long time despite his violent record and now those poor girls had to pay the ultimate price because their own family wouldn't keep him at a distance.

roslynholcomb March 31, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

I would imagine that I would be in such a state of shock that simply putting one foot in front of another would be more than I could do. I can't question a parent's action in this. It's too horrific to even contemplate.

Jewelry Rockstar March 31, 2009 at 9:31 PM  

Even when a family member murders and dies on top of that it is a tragedy. I think the family should treat it as a tragedy and honor the boys life on this earth as well as the girls. He was a young person who obviously lost it somehow. Treating him less than human by separating him from his sisters is not going to undo what's been done. I guess you'd have to be a parent to understand. Are you a parent?

When a child is lost to violent tendencies, it's hurts just as much as losing a child to violence.

Conservative Black Woman March 31, 2009 at 10:34 PM  

Wow, I can't imagine losing one child let alone 3 at one time. What a tragedy. I would definitely bury them all together. Nothing could stop me from loving my child not even murder (at least I don't think it would).

I'm thinking that the parents although heartbroken have forgiven their son. They must have known he was a tormented soul.

Foxycleopatra April 1, 2009 at 2:31 AM  

I agree with anovelista.

@ jewelry rockstar,

I really can't say for sure what I would do but how exactly is separating him from his sisters making him less human?

Jessica April 1, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

Violence has long been a problem among young black men. Filmmaker Maggie Hadleigh-West, best known for her 1998 feature length documentary about sexual harassment called War Zone, addresses this issue in her upcoming documentary Player Hating: A Love Story. Her aim is to spread awareness of life among young black men in the projects, and hopefully, to help end violence.
check out a teaser of the film on youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obW8N6qHas4

or check out the website for the film: http://yomaggie.com/films1.html

I don't want this to seem like a spammed post, but the topic and the news story seemed relevant to this very important film.
Thank you.

Miriam April 1, 2009 at 9:23 PM  

nobody will say it, but I bet the parents have a serious problem. I am really scared for the remaining sibling.

cinco April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM  

The family is messed up. This murderer should have been buried seperate from the others even though cemetaries are for the living. With all his issues, this family was selfish having the 5 year old to begin with. Their family was fucked up. I don't understand continuing to repopulate the earth when your hands are full. Can't comprehend. These people are idiots. And how the grandmother in the basement washing clothes heard nothing...is beyond me. Then again she may have been killed also. These family members who deny that he had any real problems are assholes...everyone knows the people in their family that are a little 'off'; or that are criminals; or gay; or drug addicts. There's no reason why he should have been allowed to live in their home after prison and his record.

Attorneymom April 4, 2009 at 1:01 AM  

My prayers go out to this family. It has taken me a week to blog about this incomprehensible tragedy. I can't imagine losing all three of my children in such heinous manner.

As far as burying their killer child with his victims, all I can say is that love will always be stronger than hate.

msladydeborah April 4, 2009 at 1:03 AM  

Professor Tracey,

I would bury my children together.
Even under these heartbreaking conditions-they would be side by side.

I'm the mother of three sons. If one killed the other two and was killed afterwards, they would be together. Because I know that one moment would not erase my unconditional love as their mother.

I also believe that if this family is going to heal over this heartbreaking tragedy, at some point in time they will have to apply forgiveness to their wounds.

Not only will they have to forgive him, they will have to apply that to their on personal actions as well. I suspect in their hindsight moments, the evidence of his dissent into mental hell was obvious and they did not see it for what it was.

I hope that they receive the help that they honestly need from the faith based and mental health sectors of their community.

TD1016 April 5, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

For me, I would bury them together. It's sad and unfortunate circumstance though. For me burying the other child someplace else would be like holding on to a bitterness that you just can't hold on to forever or it's going to ruin you.

In a time of tragedy, IMO, it's really not fair to question ones motives or to say how f-ed up a family is, etc. Fact is no family is perfect and they all have issues and truthfully no one knows for sure if and when we may have that family member that may snap. No one can also judge until they have been in the situations themselves because you don't know what you'd do. Never say never.

Again, tragic and senseless and I'll say it again...Mental Health is a serious issue and needs to be dealt with instead of hidden.

Professor Tracey April 5, 2009 at 12:58 PM  

Everyone -

I appreciate everyone's comments on this difficult subject, but I do wish a couple of things we would learn about discussion -

One, no one is judging the family, I asked a question - "If it was your family....." I believe that we need to have these discussions because the black community struggles with being open about these things.

Two, and I hate the question - Are you a parent as if that is some kind of stopper for discussion. When one considers how many bad parents there are in the world, being a parent doesn't give you some special status. We all have blood relatives, people we love and we can all relate to this tragic story.

And lastly, clearly as many of you have raised, there was something going on with this young man. I want black folks to be able to talk about mental illness and get the help they need. That's why it's important that we talk about difficult things.

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