A Solution To Violent Crime-Parental Guidance Suggested

I would be remiss if not a full blown hypocrite if I did not address the acts of depravity committed daily here in my own city. The word depravity means moral corruption or wickedness. What act of moral corruption or wickedness is there greater than that of a parent disregarding his responsibilities to a child? The senseless violence that has permeated Chicago neighborhoods as well as neighborhoods around the country can be traced directly back to the lack of not only a positive male role model within the home and in the community, but the lack of a family unit at all.

As an advocate for prison reform I have and will continue to point out injustices throughout our legal system, however as a man first and foremost I will call it how I see it. For the most part, perpetrators of inner city violent crime are not forty something males. Old men aren’t riding around with their buddies gunning up public parks. Young adults and teenagers, (more specifically young males) are the trigger pullers, but the accomplices are the men & women that brought them into being. How, one may ask? There are great responsibilities in becoming a parent. Parents play a direct role in whatever their children become; positive or negative. When parents are not actively participating in the development of their children; someone or something else will. Whether its music videos, video games, neighborhood drug dealers or other children, the void will be filled.

As with most crime, inner-city violence is committed in areas that the perpetrator is familiar with. The serial killer plots his attack against members of his own community, not only because he is easily camouflaged but also because of his ability to remain close to that which he despises. The same applies to inner city violence. A young man grows to loathe his current socio-economic situation. Without positive familial reinforcement, he seeks that what is lacked in the home from the streets. In the streets the young man acquires a warped sense of morality, justice and values from other like-minded youths.

Several parents have abandoned proven effective traditional methods of raising children and embraced time outs or becoming our child’s friend. Other parents have given up “parenting”, all together allowing children to simply “grow up” forcing them to deal with the harsh realities of life on their own. Many parents have turned away from their own morally sound upbringing to indulge in lifestyles that accentuate the pleasures of “immediate gratification,” thereby destroying the likelihood of establishing a respectful parent-child relationship. These factors, combined with the massive numbers of fathers that are currently incarcerated, create a climate ripe for the senseless violence that we see, read & hear about today.

The socio-economic stresses attached to inner city life can be challenging but not insurmountable. The challenges are increased when a child has to face the world without the vital tools for success that only caring parents can provide. Needing support to handle day to day struggles, the child turns to his peers for assistance. Misguided youth become misguided young adults who are ready, willing and able to misguide their peers as well as other youths in the community. Parents have allowed themselves to be replaced by these peers, as well as, by various forms for entertainment such as video games, television and music lyrics. Through constant exposure to these forms of media that emphasize misogyny, violence and indifference toward life and without responsible parents to enforce the value of true morality and work ethics, the child forms a warped, “code of ethics.”

The lack of parental guidance denies a child of the ability to deal with day to day obstacles in a rational manner. The ability to use logic instead of emotions to solve problems is a skill that falls within a parent’s scope of duties. Without the capability to apply logic to a difficult situation and arrive at a reasonable conclusion, the emotionally charged child engages in a violent confrontation often ending in tragedy for an innocent victim.

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Emotionally Charged Youth May Mean Tragedy for Innocent Victims

Without self-respect, success of any type is unattainable.  A child that does not respect himself cannot and will not respect parents or authority figures. If the child continues on this self-destructive path of disrespectful behavior, negative contact with law enforcement is inevitable. It is these young people; lacking the respect for self and others and possessing a false sense of entitlement, that commit the majority of community based violent crime. Self-respect, or the child’s lack of it, falls squarely upon the shoulders of the parents. Self-respect creates strong moral character; strong moral character prevents many incidents of senseless violent crime from ever being committed.

Community based violence is the result of many components; I would dare to say that most, if not all, can be traced back to ineffective parenting.  It would interest me to see just how many of the perpetrators actually come from homes where both parents had an active role in their childhood development. Parents must regain the power that they have given to the streets, the TV and the radio by becoming parents again. The only way to end the violence that infect our communities is for parents to not just talk but to show children through their actions that true success must be attained through education and work. Morality & integrity cannot be found in the street and are not the responsibility of teachers and schools but must be addressed in the home. Respect of self and of others cannot be found in books but must be conveyed from the hearts & minds of parents to their children. To solve the problem of violence in our neighborhoods, parents must raise their children instead of allowing them to simply grow up, therefore, in an effort to save our communities; parental guidance is suggested.

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Serial Murder Revisit Roseland Community

 

The Roseland community in Chicago has had more than their share of serial murder over the years. The new millennium brought to light the serial murderer Geoffrey T. Griffin.  From July of 1998 to July 2000, Griffin used the neighborhoods of the Roseland area of Chicago as his personal killing fields. In a modus operandi familiar among African American serial killers, Geoffrey Griffin would lure area streetwalkers to abandoned buildings in lieu of receiving drugs or cash. Once inside, Griffin would rape then murder his victims. Arrested on June 17, 2000, he was subsequently charged with eight murders and 1 aggravated criminal sexual assaultMany of his charges stem from bodies found long after his arrest.

On September 22, 2005, Judge Fred Suria convicted Griffin of killing Angela Jones after watching a videotape in which he described how he squeezed Jones’ throat during sex after the two smoked crack cocaine.  Judge Suria acquitted him of killing Beverly Burns even though the man’s shirt and jacket were spattered with her blood. The judge said that he was troubled by the lack of evidence at the crime scene against Griffin and by the fact that there was no blood of the victim at the scene. Griffin was sentenced to 100 years in prison on November 06, 2005. Trials for the other murders are forthcoming.

In 2010, serial murder returned to Roseland. Michael Johnson, a 24 year old Roseland resident was arrested on May 22, 2010 and charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of criminal sexual assault.  Johnson’s DNA was taken and said to have matched at least four unsolved murders in the area. Currently held in Cook County Department of Corrections on no bond, Johnson now 27 is being investigated for additional murders in the Roseland community.

The premise and purpose of writing and publishing, “The Darker Side of Evil,” was to enlighten society of the existence of Black serial killers as well as to advise African-American communities of these predator’s abilities to hide and operate in plain sight.  As usual the victims of these crimes were women. More specifically, women labeled nightwalkers or prostitutes that take to life on the streets by virtue of drug addiction.  Drug addicts and prostitutes are viewed by some as people whose behavior brought their fate upon themselves.  In my book, I pointed that society views these people as “throwaways,” people that society has basically given up on and truthfully wish would fall from the face of the earth anyway.

WE MUST CHANGE THE WAY WE VIEW EACH OTHER. The only time society seems to feel any level of empathy is when a problem affects us directly. We as a civilized society must change our judgmental views of each other and begin to care for something outside of ourselves. The devil cannot exist and operate if we keep an eye out for the well-being of the people around us. He thrives on our selfishness and inability to concern with the issues of the people we see and interact with daily. As long as we continue to do what we’ve always done, we will continue to get what we’ve always gotten.

Chicago’s Uncommon Serial Killers

Sometimes Killers Don’t Fit Profiles

When said out loud or read in text, the term serial killer places several images in the minds of most. Old A.P. photos of John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy instantly materialize in our heads. Maybe headlines of past news articles detailing the exploits of the “Green River Killer”, come to mind. Even scenes of box office smashes such as “Psycho”, rush into our conscious thinking. We’ve learned from law enforcement that serial killers are normally classified as lower to middle class white males in their late 20’s to early 30’s.

In 2004, Chicago was the killing field for two serial killers that would have given the “Criminal Minds” crew the flux. Two African-American, female cousins labeled, “The Killing Cousins” or “The Southside Slayers”, etched their names in history.

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Peoples

Often we hear of prostitutes being the victims of heinous murders. In the spring and summer of 2004, Caroline Peoples & Angel Wright-Ford used the pretense of sexual gratification to lure at least 3 men and 1 woman to their untimely demise. On May 23, 2004 Jose Marquez, being promised sexual acts for money, was shot in his head in his apartment. Wright-Ford had previously been a caregiver to this partially disabled man.

The two struck again on June 1, 2004. Kenneth Redick thought it was his lucky night as he accompanied two women to his Southside apartment. The three discussed the “events”, of the evening and soon disrobed. Seconds later, Redick laid dead, the victim of a gunshot to the head.

On June 18, 2004 the two cousins (whose bloodlust was only surpassed by their greed), were out cruising “looking for someone to rob”. Their paths crossed with Kevin Armstrong outside a Southside currency exchange. As their van pulled up, Mr. Armstrong was stashing his money in his sock, (a common Southside Chicago practice). Wright-Ford encouraged him to climb into the van with the lure of oral sex, Peoples waiting quietly in the back. Moments later Kevin Armstrong was their next victim, dumped in a bowling alley parking lot with a gunshot to the head.

The fourth known victim was Ayesha Epps, a former friend of Peoples. The two offered Ms. Epps a ride to White Castle. When they arrived at the restaurant, Epps went inside to order, as the two cousins quietly plotted her end. Upon her return to the vehicle, Peoples shot Epps one time in the face. Gurgling blood and jerky frantically, Wright-Ford impatiently took the gun and shot Ms. Epps in the head.

Charged with the four murders, Peoples and Wright-Ford arrogantly gave videotaped confessions leading Chicago Police to believe in the possibility of more victims though no evidence to that fact was found. After a lengthy trial, spanning over five years, the killing cousins were sentenced to life and are currently in the Illinois Department of Corrections.