Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stamford's First Murder of 2008

Stamford, I'm sick of talking about your murders.

I read this morning that a man was found lying on Vine St. with a head wound. That’s right by Dunkin Donuts on High Ridge. At 6:45 pm on Jan 3., residents heard a loud bang and then found the man, who later died. There were no stab or gunshot wounds, so police thought it might have been a hit and run. Awful, but not murder.

Before bedtime, I checked my google reader and read in the Stamford Times that it was a gunshot wound. My stomach sank. I felt queasy at the thought of a murder victim lying in the road that I take home from Saturday morning coffee. Not again, Stamford.

And then, to add insult (and confusion) to injury, I read this Advocate headline:
" Gunshot wound found in head of dead Stamford man"… WHAT?
I read it again. Wound found in head. OK, it makes sense. A WOUND was found in the HEAD of a DEAD man. But something is awkward about that. You don’t FIND a wound in someone’s HEAD. You SEE it. Especially if there’s blood.

I called my sister over. “WHAT?” she said disbelievingly. Even a math major can see something wrong with that headline. Found wound head dead?
“It rhymes!” I said. It sounds like first grade spelling class. But to make it even more awkward, the last two words rhyme and the first two look like they should rhyme, but they don't.

In a way, this headline is almost disrespectful. Maybe I'm being picky. But I shouldn't have to look at this headline and laugh, should I? Advocate, you're awesome… but this headline is unacceptable!!!

I don’t mean to be flip and only focus on misguided words. This man got shot and dumped. I feel so bad. He was alive when police got to him. And four hours after they found the man, they found his car burning on a street in Norwalk. Norwalk! I’ve had enough of you as well! Your Christmas Eve murder was so sad and depressing.

Stamford residents, I don’t mean to scare you, but we need to keep our eyes open. There are no good and bad parts of this town. Weird stuff happens everywhere.
On one side, Dunkin Donuts and the Turn of River library. Next door: murder victim.
One side: my NYSC and Tip Top Nails. Across the street: Murder.
One side; Me getting gas at the Shell. 100 yards away: Woman murdered in hotel stairwell.
I wasn’t blogging at the time of the Cove murder, so I don’t know much about that.

I’m trying to find a message here. Stamford’s a real place with real problems. Unlike the zip codes to its left and right*, Stamford is economically and ethnically diverse. People have a lot going on besides making 130,000 (or 168,000) dollars a year (respective median household income of neighboring zips)**. I feel lucky to live in a place where there’s a lot going on. But that means, we have some things to deal with, and that’s why we need to talk, and that’s why I started this blog. I need to learn about the people I live near, and I’m doing that.

One last thing about the headline. “Wound found in head of DEAD man.” Isn’t that a bit gauche? Just because there was a popular movie with “DEAD MAN” in the title doesn’t mean we should all throw those words around. I understand that news is news, but maybe “victim” or even “murder victim” would fit in the headline space. Concise doesn’t have to mean callous.

*Nothing against you, Greenwich and Darien; I like you, I like your residents, I like your restaurants, and you have your own interesting issues. In fact, I like both of you very much, and one day, maybe I’ll have time to analyze you.

** Info according to Stamford’s median household income is around $66,000.

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