Saturday, April 30, 2011

Carrie Underwood - Change

Making Change

I'm all about change this weekend.
Changing everything.
I know change begins from within. I get that.
We need to be the change we wish to see in the Universe. It is my mantra.
We need to be more like Ghandi.
And like the revised Serenity Prayer I posted on my Facebook wall, I know the change begins within.
Once you you look at yourself, face to face, no b.s....
you see all the power you have is self-contained within your body, mind and spirit.
One little change in your world,
rocks the whole world.
An example.... I found and interviewed a witness who I was forewarned about yesterday.
He was allegedly very angry, very irrational at times, and hates any kind of authority.
Particularly anyone associated with the justice system which he feels has screwed him. (S'cuse my French... Blogger's privilege).
Needless to say, the warnings had me on edge.
They also gave me notice.
I needed to change.
To become someone he didn't expect.
Someone who he believes cared, would listen, wouldn't interrupt, would just allow him to vent while I took notes. I would not judge.  I would treat him with respect and dignity.

He had a gun in his hand when I knocked on his door.
I didn't see it at first, just heard his voice.
The gun I anticipated because I went to his door by by-passing the security entrance.
I  got into the building when I found a charming older man who was leaving to let me in  the locked door with a sweet story I made up about seeing my uncle.
I took the elevator up several flights in the  high security building then just knocked at my subject's door.
"Who are you?" he shouted from behind the door.
"Susan" I said, "we haven't met."
I saw his eye peering through the peep hole.
"How'd you get in this building?" he said through the closed door.
"I talked a guy into letting me in," I said.
When he finally opened he door a crack, the chain still hooked,  I saw the gun. It was lowered.
He saw me look at it.
I said "Whoa, I'm just here to talk and I am on your side. Wouldya' mind putting that gun away? I'm unarmed"
He opened the door, grumbled "come in" and walked into another room and walked out gunless.
I showed him my ID, my state license.
And by the end of the interview, not only did I get every bit of info  I needed out of him in my notes,
I got a signed statement
And.... he asked if I was married. lol.
All because I changed.
Instead of taking a strong, defensive posture, I chilled.
Now if he was a complete lunatic, I probably would be dead by now and not writing this.
Instead, I just received a call from him telling me to tell the attorneys to call him anytime they wish.
He also gave me more info pivotal to our case.

Thing is, I hadn't intended to blog this weekend.
I have way to much investigating to do in the  48 hours.
So I am racing through this post and I'm sure you will find typos everywhere. 
However, I thought the point might be helpful to someone who finds their way to this blog.
No, you can not change others by telling them how to act.
Yes, you can change others by changing the way you act towards them.
It's not just the talk, but walking the talk.
That's what changes the world.
And that's why I am posting the song that follows this here.

I struggled putting Carrie Underwood and John Lennon on the same page.
It required a change in my thinking to do.
And it is done.
When I return to the blog, I will be able to see how many people read it, from where.
I will know whether my decision to post today... after deciding not to post today last night, was wise.
Either way life is risk.
Some risks are worth taking.
And all risks involve change.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My favorite Version: John Lennon "Stand by Me"

Stand by Them

Sometimes, all some people want is for someone to just stand by them.
Nothing more or less than that.
Just "stand by me."
It's not to much to ask in this often crazy and cruel unpredictable world.... is it?

I go into a stranger's house, I'm doing an investigation and more often than not, someone else is there.
A friend, a parent or two, grandparent, child, a  beau, sibling, aunt , uncle, cousin, neighbor from downstairs. The guy next door.
I expect other people present when I am interviewing someone.
I am not the police, after all.
I am a Private Investigator.
An anomaly, a curiosity, an unknown.
And I deal with  the public -- being a lot of injured people who are suspicious of a P.I. in their home.
I work on behalf of their attorneys.
I investigate their cases.
At the same time, as an independent contractor licensed by the state, I look out for the injured.
So it always helps to have a second set of ears in the room when you start talking about a case.
That's why the song "Stand By me" means so much to me.
I am always pleased when injured people have someone to stand by them.

I know it's hard...
really hard...
to stand by someone you love when you think they are losing it.
Or you know for a fact they have lost it.
Yet stand by them you must.
It is the only way we can all stand strong against the forces of nature and life that sometimes sweep us of our feet and knock our breath away.

Just know this:
When you stand by someone,  you may have to move aside your value judgments for a while.
You may have to step away from criticism.
And  you will have to bite your tongue. Literally.
Everyone's life is equally important.
No one's life is any greater than your own just because they have more money or things or people or prestige in it.
What matter, what really matters, is that you stand by someone... if only just once... to know how good it can feel.
The John Lennon version above is my favorite.
For so many reasons.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Charlie Sheen Parody - Bi-Winning (Official Song)

The light at the end of Charlie's tunnel is a train.

I will not hide this side of my personality.
I am a bit of a voyeur.
I think all P.I.'s are... or we'd be in another line of work.
I'm one of those people who slows down... who "rubbernecks"... at the scene of an accident.
If I hear a gunshot, or sound in the middle of the night, or I see a fight, or a drug deal going down, I observe.
I will listen at doors when people argue beyond any expectation of privacy.
I love to tune into loud conversations of others when I am alone at a coffee shop.
Yet even though I am an Investigator, I am primarily a watcher.
When I can help, I pitch in.When I can not, I  step away and observe.

So lately the train wreck I have been enjoying watching is Charlie Sheen.
I know many blog readers are sick of this story by now.
I can't get enough it. And I'm not sure why.
It just says so much on so many levels...
about fame, fortune,  chemical dependency, addiction, stardom, ego, narcissism, mental illness, delusion, media, self-destruction, money, mayhem, mania and madness.
So when my youngest daughter called me on the drive home tonight...
and told me to tune into a radio station because they were going to somehow get hold of the remaining Charlie Sheen tickets, unsold for his visit to Seattle, and have a public burning and it was a real hoot....
I was fascinated and mentioned what a great blog subject this would make.
After all, I am tired tonight and I couldn't tell an iota of the story the You Tube above this blog post  could.

Now you have probably have seen bits and pieces of this interview before.
This is the full uncut version.
It was just uploaded to YouTube early this month.
The most recently uploaded  uncensored, uncut version.
It'll take seven minutes out of your day...
and what you could learn could be more than you'd see in a year in psych classes.
The unraveling of a human being.
Just turn off your tv, turn this thing on, and bear witnesses to madness.
It really is a rare thing to see in such raw form.
Can't help but make you feel a little better about yourself, eh?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monster Fighters

I hope I am not starting a trend for myself here... however I woke up with yet another quote in my head.

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche has been a big influence on my life for a whole lot of reasons I will spare you now.
Though the dude lived long before any of us.I imagine Nietzsche to be wildly brilliant with tremendous mood swings.
No doubt, very dark at times. No doubt, very daring.
In my mind's eye, I  can see him brooding. I can see him writing.
I can see him observing. 
His insight.... so many moons ago... into the human psyche and what drives us...
has driven me to live what some might describe a very Nietzsche-esque existence.
Though I must confess,  I am not so much a follower.... as a student of Nietzsche.
And last night,  as I was watched my close friend Roger, a fellow P.I. (and Investigation icon) in this area... teach the surveillance part of my class at the University last night,  I imagined him to be Nietzsche.
Even though my friend looks more like Steven Segal and I imagine Nietzsche like a dark bearded version of Mr Rogers...
I could see the similarities in the path Roger has chosen for his life.
Very similar to a life of meaning that would do Nietzsche proud.

As I looked around the classroom last night and watched nearly 30 soon to be P.I's  listening to Roger, studied my students studying the piles of equipment covering the floors, tables, a camera stuck to the wall.... 
I watched them absorb what surveillance is really like... 
and wondered how many will choose surveillance as path of investigation.
Or sub-contract it out, as so many P.I.'s do,
10 hours, hot vehicle... no movement, music, fun and games.
"Gets to be about 120 degrees inside" Roger said to the students. 
"And you can be sure the minute you turn your head, for maybe five seconds, that's when your subject is gone."

"Do you have an air conditioner?" someone asked.
"Yep!" Roger replied, reaching forward to the pile of stuff he and several students hauled from his vehicle to our classroom.
"This little baby right here" he said as he lifted up a small white box and showed it to the students... "Takes ice, or you can even plug it into your car here. And then it brings the temperature down to 110 degrees."

Roger talked about crawling through the mud along the side of the road.
Where to sit, where to position equipment and what lights to cover on your camera.
What is legal and not legal to do. 
He showed the students how many different props and clothes he carries with him. 
His hats, construction vests, camo and rich man gear.
He poured water on his head, rubbed his straight hair to a curly look with his fingers and pulled off his shirt to reveal another, darker shirt underneath.
"See how quickly I become someone else" he said.
I watched the students watching how quickly he changed his looks.

He talked about tinted windows and how to handle police and curious neighbors.
It was packed into three hours that flew by so fast I am still there, in that classroom now.
My last glimpse on exiting, was several students helping Roger  pack and load his gear and carry it back to his car. 
I felt  so badly having to run to.... and through.... that parking garage, leaving them behind....
however, there was but one ferry I could catch and hope to make it home before midnight.

I have to hit the road again shortly.
It just doesn't stop.
Until the work stops.
Then you just want it all to start again.
Such is the life of the self-employed P.I..

So today, is going to be one of those very Nietzche-esque days for me.
While I have one fairly tragic accident to investigate, I also have to look for... or into...  the eyes of few monsters. 
One must be found, one must be watched, one exposed and another hopefully arrested.... and we must do all that without becoming monsters ourselves.

We licensed P.I.'s,... the ones who take our jobs seriously...
we follow the letter of the law to a T. And we dot our I's.
The key is knowing the laws.... local, state and Federal.
And knowing you don't have to become the monster, to contain the monster.
Yet you do have to think like him (or her) to sneak up on him and catch him before he catches little Hansel or Gretel in his trap.

This post is for you...
you, who somehow found your way to this little blog....
and for Roger. 
It's my way of saying thank you Roger, for teaching my students last night what a true P.I is.
We are not TV shows or movies.
We are not graphic novels and mystery books.
We are real, compassionate, odd, bright, talented, multi-layered, multi-tasking, multi-fasceted professionals with amazing insight into the human psyche. 
We can help save your life, business, or  help bring someone bad down.
If if you are deluding yourself, we're likely to be the first to call you on it.
Which is why many of us prefer to keep a low profile, to keep our adversaries at bay.
We can be funny, elusive, invisible, or right in your face confrontational.
You might love us, you might hate us.
We are however, all about the truth.
We must be  flexible, adaptable, inventive, philosophical and ingenious.
Most of all... we must be like Roger. 
We  must walk the talk.
Do our jobs.
And carry on.

Whatever you do today.... may you make it through this day feeling better than when you started it.
That happens when you break out of your comfort zone and look into the eyes of monsters outside yourself. Or the monsters within.
Don't just push the envelope, eliminate the envelope. 
See no barriers there.
Be daring, be bold, attempt what you believe to be the impossible. 
Today... do Neitzsche... and Roger...  and me.... proud.
You'll feel about yourself just for doing something.... courageous.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

" Ladies Love Outlaws"- Willie Nelson

Love: "The Ultimate Outlaw"

This is my man's favorite quote.
It's by Tom Robbins.
I remember he read it to me on one of our first dates, then gave me the book with the quote marked:

 “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.” - Tom Robbins 

I had to read it a couple of times to get it.  I got it. And how true it is 11 years later.

I put the quote on my Facebook wall this morning for about a minute, then changed my mind and took it down. It had to be addressed further here.

Because the way I see it, and this is my own on-the-fly statistical guess:
Half this planet is single, half has a partner.
The ones who are single, may or may not want a partner.
The ones who have a partner, may or may not want to be single: being free, with no one to answer to.
And I want to offend no one by implying that going through life with a partner is any better than going it solo.

While I am loathe to add a second quote to this blog post by an author unknown, it is necessary to make my point before I hit the road for a very busy day.

"Love is a fire. Whether it will warm your heart or burn your house down, you can never tell."

Evidently, today this blogger has love on the brain at the moment.
Familial love. Love for kids, siblings, friends. Love for my man.
Love for my canines tough little Bubba and  his big bro  Zen. 
And love for my fellow investigators and students who have become allies.
We watch each others back, guide each other through storms.

And yet... beyond that, I think about love on a more professional level, because love gone bad is someone done wrong, and that is good for the justice business.
In fact,  the criminal justice system's wheels run well-fueled by the blood-red grease of love gone bad under its tracks.

I am working a few cases this week that involve love gone bad... big-time.
One ended in murder
I also got a new one yesterday, a criminal case that involves the love of drugs and the envy/desire of others men's things.
If some people can't buy what they want, they steal or destroy it.

I don't mean to sound presumptuous, however, I think I am an expert on love and all things associated with  it.
Not only are domestic cases the bread and butter of private investigation,
I have had two marriages.
The first was necessary to produce the two girls I so love.
The second was necessary so I could learn to love myself. This one leaves me feeling blessed, strong and on course, steady ahead.

Yet more of my friends than not are single.
And some of the single ones are happier than the married ones.
Investigators will tell you, the things that first attract you to a person in the beginning....
are the the things that will most repel you later on.
In other words... what draws you to a person in the beginning....
could ultimately be a trigger to disagreements...
or worse... fights, violence,  separation, divorce, murder.

That's why I am of the personal and professional opinion...
it is crucial no couple seal the bond, sign that marriage certificate, co-mingle the finances, create babies until they've endured a few good fights.
Duking it out is the true test of a relationship.
It's when people fight, you know what the dark side of your opponent looks like.
Through disagreement, you learn if you can hold your ground. Or have it pulled out beneath you.
You learn if you can resolve conflict, learn from it and carry on.
And you know whether it is safe for you to stick around.

In my opinion, fights can be many things.
They can be powerful cement that bond a relationship for life...
They can be more explosive, like dynamite...
Or more subtle, like slow-acting poison.

Of course, I will be the first to admit, I walk on the dark side.
I don't live there.... I dwell in the light.
However, I work in the dark.
I hang in the shadow lands.
It's how we P.I.'s roll.

What I see behind and beyond closed doors...
what I read in case files...
what I hear from victims and criminals...
has given me enough to confidence to say I know a thing or two about life, love and death.

So today, let me tell you this.
In these very difficult economic times, please be ever vigilant.
People are stealing money from people they allegedly love, right and left.
Beyond that, people are using and abusing each other, climbing over each other like drowning people, one hoping to stay afloat at the expense of the other.
These are indeed very dangerous economic times.
I write this not to be a bummer...
more to be one of those "Reduce Speed" "Sharp Curve Ahead" signs.
Or better said, "No Shoulder. Dangerous Drop"

A P.I.'s job is not that of the police, which is to protect and serve all.
P.I.'s are here for a number of reasons.
We do protect, we do serve... selectively.
We also do a lot of damage control.
We recoup economic losses.
We work with people who help the injured to heal.
We uncover beasts hidden in children's closets.
We expose wolves in sheep's clothing.

So when you love someone new... move slowly.
Be ever vigilant.
And have NO expectations of that other person "fulfilling" you. That is a myth.
Everyone brings blessings and burdens to a new friendship or relationship.
In my opinion, its best to check out the burdens before you let allow what you perceive as a blessing in your life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

RE: Epic Easter Rap Battle ( See Below)

This is a blog drive-by to wish all here a Happy Easter, Passover, whatever holiday floats your boat.
Those who know me know.... know I have a warped sense of humor.
I might venture to say most P.I.'s do.
We see so much aberrant behavior and so much darkness on a daily basis, it's hard not to look for humor in things.
Particularly the commercialism of certain holidays.
The epic rap battle that follows has offensive language in it, though I doubt there's anything in it you haven't heard before.
Regardless, if you find sexual innuendo offensive...if  you are homophobic... or bunnyphobic... do not push "play." 

Meantime, despite the holiday, this P.I. has cases to write up for clients in hospital beds.
Cases I must address on behalf of clients under cold dark ground, with no promise of resurrection... just a family's hope for justice.
Yesterday, for instance,  I received a call from a mother, a client of mine, who believes her 26 yr old daughter was murdered by her boyfriend. The police believe it was suicide. I will be the one who will decide if there is enough reasonable doubt  and viable evidence here to ask the police to reopen the case.
So the dead woman's mother, my client,  received the entire police file yesterday in the mail, including police report, crime scene and autopsy photos of her daughter. She wanted me to meet her at a local market where she was going Easter shopping and hand the unopened manila envelope to me because it was too upsetting for her to have.
She said she could not have it in her home on Easter, the first without her daughter.
She wanted me to be the one who opens it up, studies the pictures, assesses cause of death.
And then tell her what I have seen.
The envelope sits in a pile beside me  now.... waiting its turn.
First, there are cases that must be written up, the ones I must deliver to the attorneys by 8:30 am tomorrow.
The sooner I get these cases to attorneys... the sooner the attorneys who work for the injured can contact the insurance companies, which open at 9:00... to get those insurance companies to release the fund to the facilities and staff who treat the injured.
Meantime, I exit with the hope you enjoy this epic rap battle.
If not, better to ask forgiveness than permission...right?

Genghis Khan vs Easter Bunny: Epic Rap Battle

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inside A Serial Killer's Home

Christine Pelisk broke and wrote this story. It gives you an inside look at the home of Serial Killer.... s'cuse me... ALLEGED.... serial killer, Lonnie Franklin Jr's home. 
And what would a serial killer be without a nickname. 
This one's the "Grim Sleeper." Clever in a perverse sort of way. 
I have a close friend, a defense investigator, who has represented many serial killers.
Many of whom I could name here and you would know.
I asked her once, "What The Green River Killer like, in person?"
Her reply, "You talk to one serial killer, you talked to 'em all."
Left me, momentarily, speechless.
Here's the link from the Daily Beast.
Inside Grim Sleeper's Home

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rub-A-Dub-Dub: Snorting Salts from the Tub

I've written about this subject before. Many blogs ago.
However, the subject came back to mind today as some one told me about concern for her son who was in the hospital for snorting bath salts.
Yes... bath salts.
The powdery,  salt-like stuff you sprinkle in your bath tub, under the faucet, as the water fills.
The way it's suppose to work, you sink into your salted bath tub and all the stress is sucked out of you.
I suppose, in the tub, some soakers call bath salts bliss.
Bath Salt Snorters also call bath salt "bliss" because of the buzz.
Another street name for bath salts is "ivory wave."
You can buy it in its own little tin, it's perfectly legal and and perfectly destructive.
I've been told its a meth-like high that last for days.
And like meth, its effects are physically and psychologically devastating.

Never ceases to amaze me what people will do to get high.... when in fact, high is such an illusion/delusion.
It's better to roll with the punches, go with the flow, feel the pain, experience the gain and get through life with your head clear.

Because it's hard enough to survive this crazy life with a fully operative brain.
You're at a real disadvantage when you move through this altered world in an altered state. 
I get that people are in psychological, physical, emotional pain.
I get that drugs legitimately  help some, actually so many -- both legal and illegal.
What I don't get are some of the drugs of choice people choose.

However, narrowing the focus a bit...
Bath Salts?
Are you kidding me?
They are psychoactive chemicals, they alter brain chemistry and no one knows why or how.
They are addictive, dangerous, yet legally accessible to minors and currently as trendy as Ecstacy was in its hey-day.

We ony get one shot at this existence called life.
Adding bath salts to your nasal cavity and brain doesn't help matters.
Mostly this is running rampant among kids,
However an older generation is moving in as well.
Besides the You Tube below, here's a link to article about bath salts if you'd like to investigate this one further.
Meantime, might be a good idea to leave baths salts out of guest baskets.

Bath salt used to get high

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crystal Mangum in Lockdown For Murder.

Crystal Mangum.
If the name sounds familiar you, it may merely be because it's got that alcoholic, or gun-slinging ring to it.
Or maybe you remember her as the woman who tried to kill the careers of some young Lacrosse players at Duke University by accusing them of rape.
Her false allegations... and the actions of an overzealous prosecutor feeding on a media frenzy.... caused a world of hurt for the innocent young men, their families, the University.
The accused were acquitted.
The prosecutor's career took a nose dive.
And now it appears Ms. Crystal Mangum has been completely flipped her cork.
She's been accused of murdering her boyfriend Reginald Daye.
What drove this girl to such destructive acts is beyond my ability to comprehend at the moment.
I have plenty of theories though.
They run the gamut to childhood neglect and a desperate need for media attention; to mental illness and an inability to survive on her own... all punctuated by a festering anger that grew into acts of mayhem, madness and murder.
All under the glare of the media spotlight.
At this point the how's are obvious.
It's the why's that always fascinate me.
Here's a link to the story, "Crystal Mangum Indicted for Boyfriend's Murder"  by
You draw your own conclusions.
The jury is still out on mine.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ride The "Wind Of Change" - Scorpions

Today The Wind Shifts

I feel a change in the wind. I suspect you feel it too.
Before  I head out on the evening's rounds, may I say... "Go with it."
Being: Go with the "Wind of Change"
Flow with it.
Become the person you wish to be.
Be the change you wish to see in this crazy universe of ours.

Let your weaknesses guide you to your strengths...
Let the Wind Of Change carry you to a different you, a new you.... a  kinder, gentler, more positive you who finds a way past the walls others have either built around you. Or you have built around others.

When people are frustrated, angry, upset...
they tend to throw bricks.
The wise man is the one who "takes the bricks thrown at him by others and builds foundations beneath them"
The impossible is only possible... provided you believe its posssible.

Sadly, I think some choose to dwell in the negative shadowlands...
they stagnate in their own juices.
These are the people who I choose to avoid...
especially when they choose to avoid me.
When they do lash out, take offense at my defense of someone or some principle --  I want to respond to their abuse in kind.
And at times I do...
though my written words are always measured by what I call the "boomerang effect":
will those words I emailed or sent... come back to haunt me?
Would the statement I made in my or someone else's defense... placed under the possible scrutiny of a jury, or worse... my mother.... reflect an over-all decent human being?

I usually show or read any nasty emails I write to an adversary, to a second party before I send them.
Often I hold onto them for 24-48 hours.
Acting on impulse, pushing "send" to soon, is like putting a gun to your foot and pulling the trigger.

My direct and closely scrutinized/edited emails,  are my version of  a missile launch -- a targeted, direct act of defense designed to protect someone smaller, younger, perhaps weaker physically, than the bully.
I will also go to email war to protect the disabled, the elderly, the more fragile, feeble or afraid...
from someone predatory.

Either way I will be the first to admit.... I do butt in to defend underdogs.
I  am not an easy opponent. As an Investigator,  I can prove who said what and when.
Still, I do suffer the consequences, the bruises and lumps, for my intrusion...
though they are well worth it.

To all of you out there who stand up against people who are trying to prove themselves right and you wrong...
To those who are called names...
and psychologically diagnosed by rank amateurs...
I say,  "Hold your ground!"
And if you need help,  rally it.

The good news is...
Most good people will always circle their wagons around the light of truth.
Oppressive regimes, the ones that shut you out,  denegrate you, build barriers to block you out...
insult your intelligence and free speech...
these regimes have and will be overcome.
Revolution is in the air.
Today, I am all about the Wind of Change.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I have learned a valuable lesson this weekend.
It was a lesson taught to me by repeated and methodical adversity.
Like banging your head against the same wall not one but three times.
And then being surprised that it hurt.

I knew I was walking across a bed of red hot coals barefoot.
I knew better.
Or thought I did.
Somehow I believed I could walk across those coals to bring about a change.
My goal was to build a bridge.
Someone burned it down.
I tried to build another bridge.
That too was burned down.
I figured third time had to be a charm.
Burned... big-time.
Third time wasn't a charm, more like a three-alarm.
And that's when the Cold Play Song below entered my mind.
I felt compelled to pull it up.
I think it says more about what people think when they are saddened  by the actions of others...
or their own actions...
than I could ever write in a blog.
I have learned we can not fix other people.
They can only fix themselves.
And only if they want to.

Lights will guide you home: from "Fix You" - Coldplay

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why Mothers Kill. Most Recent Update from the Associated Press

A few hours before I began writing this blog, The A.P. posted the story linked below.
It's called  "Moms killing kids not rarely as rare as we think"
After reading it...  I thought, how could I not post here, today...before I begin my rounds... and given the subject at hand?

I used to work at one of the Public Defender agencies in the Seattle area.
Among my many assignments, I was the Investigator assigned to defend a baby killer.
That case....
and one other, the defense of a cop killer....
are the reason I one day walked into my supervisor's office at Public Defender.
I said, "I can't do this anymore."
I simply stepped away.

Now, I represent injured victims,  just as an injury investigator might work for like the little boy who lived through what his mother did in the ice cold Hudson River.
I hope a responsible adult will find  good attorney to get the little boy a settlement from the car's insurance company.
The insurance company will no doubt deny the claim because, they will claim in was not an accident, rather a criminal act.
Still, a good attorney and a good jury, might be able to overcome that argument.A civil settlement may pay for the lone surviving child's college education.
And immediate therapy.
Not only witnessing the murder of your siblings...
but surviving a murder attempt by that same mother...
to have the last visual memory of your mom being you, slipping out a window while your mom's hand tries to pull you back into a sinking care where your brothers and sisters (I suspect) scream in terror...
it has altered that little boy world beyond anyone's capacity to comprehend it.
Why do mother's kill?
A whole lot of reasons.
I think they are best stated in this link:

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Frozen Fear On His Face"

Mom Posts on Facebook One Hour Before Drowning Kids

This is one sad story.
I have been following every element of the case I can since it happened earlier in the week.
The act is so aberrant and inconceivable to me, I run it through my head during my many miles on the road.
Of course, this case is all over talk radio and the news.
The world is aghast. And for good reason.
How do you conceive the inconceivable?

If you don't know who LaShanda Armstrong is, you will.... by the time you finish reading this blog post.
And the articles that I am linking you to, will take you deeper into the tragic case.

LaShonda is the baby mama who deliberately drove her van and four children into the freezing waters of the Hudson River on Tuesday.
10 year old La'Shaun  escaped out a window in the minivan and swam to the shore, while his mother held her other three children in a death grip.
Landen and Lance Pierre, ages 5 and 2, and sister, Laianna Pierre, 11 months, drowned.
As did their murderer... their mother.

The  courageous surviving boy, little La'Shaun,  is now staying with an aunt in New York.
La'Shaun bore witness to  his mom's final verbal words before he escaped the watery tomb.
He  shared his mothers last words with both the witness, a woman who found him... and the police detetctive:
"If I'm going to die," La'Shaun said his mother said, "we're all going to die together."
La'Shaun heard this, rolled down the automatic window and swam out of the van,  while his mother tried to pull him back in.
In the very end, La'Shawn herd his mother cry she'd made a mistake.
The image/imagining of this underwater scenario sends shivers up even this jaded spine.

This is a fascinating link to the mother's back story in the Los Angeles Times.,0,221941.story

What I just found out today, was the mother updated her Facebook status an hour before she drowned those kids and herself. She used her Blackberry.
It was in essence, a suicide note... on Faceboook.
Her status said. “I’m so sorry everyone forgive me please for what I’m gonna do…. This Is It!!!!”
Here's a link to a story about the Facebook post.

This is a horrific story and I wonder if anything could have been done to prevent it.
It seems some people suffer so silently inside their own heads.
With others, you can see glimpses of strange or despondent behavior... sometimes, you see more .
Yet can anyone see something this heinous coming?

Suicide notes on Facebook say something pretty profound after the fact.
And I believe this woman had her mind made up  to kill her children when she posted that status update.
The fact that she posted it at all.... then drove that car in the water like Susan Smith did... is something I have still been unable to wrap my head around.
Susan was a chicken and saved only herself.
This mom was determined to do herself in, with no child left behind.

Perhaps we can learn something from the lone young  survivor.
Perhaps he was sent as a messenger to let us know all is not well here in America.
There's a world of hurt going on behind closed doors.
And the ultimate victims are the youngest... and most helpless.
The kids.
One more reason to be ever vigilant.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Johnny Cash - 1974 - Folsom Prison Blues.

The Jail Exchange and Locator

I've been stationed at my home base this weekend, tracking down last minute witnesses a for trials.
I have a huge list, no phone numbers. In an ideal world,I  find the numbers, call the people and see what they recall about an event nearly five years ago. In the real world, most numbers are disconnected and many people think your call is a ploy or threat and hang up on you.
It's  and arduous task considering my list started at about about 40 people. I am on the final five...
and will making more calls as soon as I post this.
Licensed Investigators have access to databases others don't have, so finding someone often comes down to a matter of money (per search) and clever thinking.
If you can't find your subject, then you look st your subject's family, neighbors, properties, Whatever information is legally permissible to get.
That said, I want to share a great free link, I just found that helped me find a few witnesses in prisons across the country tonight.
And it's a great site for inmates, their families and P.I.'s.
So I thought, what better place to share it than the blog?
May you, or anyone you ever love,  NEVER end up in one of these places.
Though sometimes, bad stuff happens to happens to good people too.
Not everyone in prison is guilty. nor is everyone in prison innocent, as most insist. Regardless, in looking for people, this a real handy link.
And its free.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Drinkin' Beer And Wastin' Bullets" by Luke Bryan


He proudly showed me the bullet they dug out of the upper cavity of his body.
He survived the shot.
It was a drive-by shooting. Two people died that night. One a fellow gang banger, the other an innocent passerby.
He was the sole survivor. And key witness. As was the bullet which linked to the shooters and gun.

The  two shooters and their getaway driver, had been on a drug-fueled revenge rampage... one gang seeking vengeance against the other. However, the shooters had lousy aim.
They killed just one gang banger,  killed an innocent man.... and  injured the other, the man I was talking to ten years later.
"I just laid there and pretended I was dead," he told me.

And once the police investigation was closed,  the sole survivor, in whose living room I stood...
was so persistent, he convinced the  the hospital and police to release the evidence to him.
The bullet.

Remember.... it was close to 10 years later when he told me this shooting story.
He left the gang and turned to education for a future.
Now he was a still a young man with a decade under his belt.
He had a job he was proud of, a young son, and a wife.
His son watched, transfixed, as dad told me the bullet story for my first time...
though the young boy, equally transfixed.... had no doubt heard  it countless times, all his life.

The bullet was in a small, clear plastic container dad pulled off the mantle above the fireplace.
It was right next to what I  quickly discerned was an urn of someone's ashes.
I chose not to ask who was in the urn on the mantle next to the bullet.
I remember thinking there was something off-kilter in keeping human ashes above a fireplace.
The scene was like a Fellini movie.... for those old enough to remember Fellini.

So he opened the plastic box, held it out in front of me and offered "the bullet" to me.
I  shook my head no,  said "you hold it", which seemed fine to him.
I could study it just fine with my eyes.

They way he held it, his palm upward, the bullet rested in the center of that palm...
I  recall thinking he thought of it as a religious icon.
A single bead from the rosary of his hoodlum past.

However, the bullet was not what my visit was about.
It was about a drunk driver -- the one in the 350 pick-up with two times the legal limit of alcohol and benzos, barbituates and opiates found in his system in his tox screen.

The drunk driver ran a red light while pedestrians were crossing at an intersection.
My new client....  the guy who'd survived the bullet shot almost a decade earlier.... was in that intersection with his son two months before I was his living room.
Fortunately,  dad saw the car coming.
Dad said he had an instantaneous gut feeling that overtook him when he saw the missile of steel racing aimed toward him and his son.
They were the last through the crosswalk and the car was aimed straight for them.
Dad said primal instinct kicked in...
and in one sweeping Superman-esque move, he lifted his son and tossed him to his right, out of the way of the car...
and into the arms of a stranger who was there for what I believe this very divine purpose.

In the police statement, the witness who caught the boy, said he was at the very edge of the cross walk, when he saw the whole scene happening.... and something inside him told him dad would grab that boy and toss him.
He caught the boy with his arms and body.... then shielded the little boy's eyes against his chest, so the little one wouldn't see dad fly though the air,  land on the hood of the car.
Nor did the son see dad's head slam and crack the windshield, then roll off the car and slam backwards and headfirst into the concrete. The impact was to the back of Dad's head and his neck.

The prospects were not good for dad, who told me he was told he died twice (and obviously revived) during the airlift  to the hospital.
Yet somehow he survived.
He would be paralyzed for life.
The DWI had no auto insurance.
And since the DWI was drinking either at home, or while driving down the road, judging from the opened...and unopened bottles in his car (which he appeared to be living out of),  there was no establishment....  like a bar or market an attorney could go after for "over-service"
So basically, as I continued my questions,  my investigation, I realized there was nothing this particular law firm could do to help.
No insurance or assets on the  DWI/Defendant's part to go after.
Besides he was in prison and not likely to get out for the remainder of his life.
Turned out, prior to this crosswalk hit, he shot and killed a man in another state and was a fugitive with multiple warrants hiding out here in WA State

If my client had his own car insurance,  maybe his uninsured motorist might have kicked in.
However, the economy is not good and many people are driving their own cars uninsured.
He had no health insurance either.

Yet dad was still happy... despite being paralyzed in his wheelchair. That happinesss was real, no fascade. His home revealed no financial affluence, yet it was filled with joy and love.... family photos, religious symbols and affirmations. He was grateful to be alive.

I so savored his positive energy, I took the easy way out.
I chose not to deliver the news to him that the lawyers  would likely not take the case and more than likely, could not help him.
Instead, I said, "I will let the lawyers review the case and see what they can do."

The attorneys are the ones who deny or resign cases when I simply can not bear to.
Call me a wimp, I don't mind.
Sometimes enough is just enough.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Can your genes make you murder? "The Warrior Gene"

"The Warrior Gene"

One of the subjects that has fascinated me ever since I can remember is rage and crime.
I have been a victim of both, though never to a degree that I feel I am not a better, tougher person for having survived it.
I have read true crime books, and little else, ever since I was kid.
Fiction has never interested me. I wanted only truth.

I have a fond childhood memory related to the subject of truth.
One of my two wonderful, brilliant sisters had a huge library in her bedroom.
That sister is a Mensa-type genius...
and I recall growing up and going into her room...
as I when I go in her home to this day...
I see every wall covered with shelves upon shelves of meticulously maintained books on all subjects. Fiction, Non Fiction. Crime, Romance, British Literature.
Remember, there was no internet when I grew up.  Or personal computers and cell phones.
And my first memory of television was black & white... Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Ed Sullivan, The Assisination of Kennedy, the Wizard of Oz.

Since then, the technological advances on this planets have expanded exponentially.
Books have been displaced by the internet.
And many people believe if it doesn't exist on the internet, it doesn't exist.

For a kid growing up in New Bedford Massachusetts (a whaling town where Moby Dick was written) my sister's bedroom bookshelves were my haven.
Of all her books,  there was a series I cherished most.
I can not recall their names though I see them as vividly today in my mind's eye as I did ages ago, holding one of those books in my hands.

This series of books detailed crimes and included little packets of actual evidence you could open, touch, feel, to solve the crime. There were actual letters pasted in envelopes to the pages; keys in envelopes; cocktails napkins; buttons; all "real" evidence the detective in these books used to solve the the reader followed along with them.

Growing up, I became obsessed with these books, with my sister's increasingly growing library,
and one other true crime case.
Lizzie Borden.
Lizzie lived in Fall River Massachusetts, next to my home town of New Bedford.
Allegedly, "Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her father 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done, she gave her mother 41."
The whole concept of that act, killing your parents was inconceivable to me. I read every book on the subject, scrutinized the pictures in the book,  the scene photos, death shots. My childhood visit to the Borden home years later.... consumed me. Or better said, possessed me.

Months, years, decades,  close to a half century has passed.
And thanks to TV and movies, true crime and war reports, civilians have what we in the business call the "CSI Effect." Bodily innards, blown out brains,  autopsies... the grosser, the more appealing to the masses.

Still,  I ponder what appears to be a simplistic question,  yet is anything but that.
What triggers violence?
What are the components/elements of the anger, crime, murder equation?
Is it nature, or nurture?
Or is it a combination of the two?

Is "nature" -- some kind of biological imbalance in the brain -- what triggers rage, anger, murder?
Or is it "nurture?"  Something  in the upbring, like trauma,  parental violence or torture?
Could it be a combination of both?
Could medications have been introduced into the womb?

I have a friend whose brother killed his father.
They were always close.
Then one day at age 32, the brother walked into the house while mom was cooking dinner and stabbed dad to death many times in front of horrified mom while dad slept on the sofa after a long day of work.
Then the son turned around, walked to the front porch stoop... sat down... and waited for the police to arrive.

Long story short.
The brother was a "forceps" baby.
Turns out, 32 years earlier, he had been extricated from his mother's womb with a type of forceps, placed on a particular side of the brain, which ... unknown to doctors way back then... induced a form of schizophrenia or psychosis which showed up later in younger adult-hood.
The son ended up in a mental hospital.
My friend and her mother have still not recovered.

So I have been hearing a  whole lot about  something new lately -- the  "Warrior Gene."
I throw it under the "nature" (vs. nurture) header, however.... this  is a gene which makes it all about DNA.
So it has less to do with the brain function,  brain lobes, or the chemical levels in the brain...
and more to do with the genetic code which is passed down through generations, throughout history.

The You Tube above links  to story about the Warrior Gene.
While it is eye-opening, it is not for the weak of stomach.

I heard National  Geographic is doing a TV special on "The Warrior Gene" this week.
The story I am linking you to is older, however, I like how it states the case.

This gene causes excessive rage, anger, outburst.
If you have road rage, yell at people, insult or demean others, act on angry impulse,  cause fights,  have anger management issues, aggressiveness... you could have the gene.

People with the Warrior Gene can be verbally or physically abusive... they are perpetually on a slow steam waiting for something or someone to make them boil. Then they erupt like a human volcano.  Emotionally,  psychologically, physically, the gene  takes people from 0 to 90 instantly.

Evidently more men than woman have the Warrior Gene -- in fact 1/3 of all men,
For women to have it, they need two copies of the gene. Which is harder to have.
For the men to have it, they just need one copy of the gene.

There are companies, commercial now, you swab your cheek and they find out if you have the Warrior Gene. 

Having the Warrior Gene can help a mean person understand why they are being mean.
The next step is to know the Warrior Gene doesn't have to control you, even though are genetically predisposed to your bad behavior.
You can learn how to control it,  tame it, with therapy, anger management, family counseling...
and at the very least choosing flight over flight.

Monday, April 4, 2011

All I Want For Christmas is a Job

Facebook Depression

Before computers and Facebook, when someone I loved lost her husband of some 30 years,  she sank into a depression, the depths of which I could not plumb.
It got worse every time her still-married younger sister sent her postcards from all over the world of exotic places she and her still healthy husband were visiting.

When I sustained an injury and felt I lost everything:
everyone near and dear to me...
and the will or motivation to live...
I resented the countless other happy couples I saw in restaurants or movie theaters.
When those who never had....or suddenly lost.... enough money to keep themselves secure... see others' extravagance, luxuries, vacations,  allegedly perfect  health,  new lovers and lottery wins covering walls on Facebook.....
it can be an emotional knife wound to the heart.

Facebook has brought those raw emotions home.
It is late Sunday evening, actually....Monday morning.... I have been working all  yesterday and into the night this a.m. Yet  earlier on today's rounds,  I pondered the issue of Facebook and what it does to people and relationships and decided I'd write about it before calling it a night.

So here's the deal.
There's a real syndrome called "Facebook Depression."
What it means is Facebook can make some people really depressed.
And wow, do I get it...
feeling like more of a "have not" than a "have" at times.... totally due to my own nature....
there's a depression that results from emotions like envy, jealously, resentment,  perceived insult.

True, we older folks owe the younger generation an apology.
We are taking over their Facebook.
Facebook was oringinally designed for students.
And while my Facebook wall boasts many students, that's because I am a teacher and professional P.I. I use the wall to lead to this blog.
So Facebook, for me, is is a business tool intended to legitimize the PI profession like so many others are doing.
Yet that business effort  has surprisingly turned into a social escape pod and a means of re-uniting with old friends of decades past.
Facebook is also a way to spy on what people in my life are doing, saying and thinking without them knowing.
That's might handy for a P.I.

The younger folks use their wall  in a multitude of ways. Usually they feature hundreds of pictures of themselves (which blows me away because you are giving your image away for free, possibly to a pervert.)

The younger Facebook target market  also have status quotes that can be as dull as a butter knife or a sharp as a tack. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they are inane.
Often they relate to food, songs,  how bored they are,  how disgusting they can be, sexual innuendo, video games, movies.
This younger demographic loves insulting  themselves...or degrading others...
yet hates being called on it.
There is also goodness there, walls of friends built of cyber bricks... people who help each other.... share tips, songs, videos and messages.

Across the board and age groups, many of those who are single hope to hook-up.
Though I think mostly, people are looking for friends/connection in this hard world.
And here comes my peeve... and the point of this post.

Those who fall in  love and share every detail of their relationship on Facebook make me want to hurl.
They are so sickenly sweet... their Facebook walls are painted with kisses  and hearts and  promises of eternal dying love. They drop their regular friends and talk only to themselves. It's like I want to say, "take it to the bedroom and shut the door."

When two people who meet on the net use Facebook to advertise and immortalize their new found love, I usually eliminate those walls from my rounds  until they disengage and become individuals again....
because the lovey-dovey trip is way too personal and insensitive and tacky  for my tastes.
And I find their total disregard for everyone else who's alone, depressed, injured, isolated and hurting.... offensive.

I think when you have a Facebook wall, you feel like you're not so alone.
That can be a good thing.
You're surrounded by people, some who are or become true friends.
Some are there just because they want numbers on their  Facebook wall.
Some people are so bored, Facebook is their only thrill.
For other's, it is an addiction.

Many people, especially younger ones entering or engaged in the work force,  can forget others read their walls.
And when one writes something stupid or offensive without thinking,  it can really reflect poorly on your intelligence...
and intelligence is handy to have if you ever hope to succeed professionally.

Because P.I.'s like me have back doors in and out of secret  Facebook places...
and employers appreciate"Time Machine Apps" when considering the past and present history of potential new hires.
So it is always wise to be careful what you write.
I know a P.I, who is a cyber mine sweeper.
He blows all  ridiculous photos and words linked you off the net and helps you reinvent yourself.
In essence,  my cyber mine sweeper freinds blows the juvenle behavior off the net so it appears one is a grown up.... more attractive, employable and likable.

I think one thing some of the younger( and older) generations don't get....  is when others are hurting,  sometimes, they get depressed hearing how happy others are.
Some people would give anything for someone who loves them, yet when those who have that love, flaunt it... excessive, overstated, hormonal driven happiness can cause others who are not happy, pain.

Which is why I am posting this now.
Lately,  I know more than a few people I would diagnose with "Facebook Depression."
They send me emails and texts of offenses and ask how to process them.
While the link that ends this post primarily addresses the younger demographic, I think it speaks to us all.

There is no room in the horrific economy to act like Donald Trump when you're surrounded by Donald Ducks who can't even keep their head above water.
Keep your egos in check.
And there's really no need to fill up your wall day in and day out, with every detail of your latest love... when in 6-9 months, pure fact, the hormones will wear off and then you will know if your love is true.
It takes a few good debates, arguments, fights, to  really test a relationship.
I personally judge the valor and strength of a man or woman by how they fight... what tactics they use in both combat and resolution.

"What most attracts you to a person in the beginning is what most repels you later on."
I, for one, have found this  quote to be true... and I have lived over half a century.
So I got a little experience under my belt.
I link you now to an article on Facebook depression in the hopes that some folks out there will be a little kinder and gentler and more compassionate to others on this social networking phenom.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Second Thought on The Final Act: One Gentle Man's Suicide.

I intended to post on a differet subject this morning, however, I feel compelled instead, to follow-uph on the subject of suicide.
Specifically that of Scottt Simpson... and extraordinary local man with a huge heart, strong and generous spirit... and incredibly successful talent, culinary included.
He was also quite courageous... enduring and surviving many challenges in his life.
His legacy is the "Lunchbox Laboratory."

Suicide is not  a subject people ike to read or hear about.
Many prefer to swim in that great river of denial.
Others, in my opinion, unfairly and unjustly chastise -- particularly some of the religious persuasion who believe suicide a sin.
However,  when someone leaves the planet in such a manner, by their own hand(s), those left behind hold huge questions in their hearts and minds.
And Scott Simpson's departure left so many questions in my head yesterday while working while a case....  I felt a need to examine Scott's situation further.
I did not want to be intrusive, merely to understand.
How can someone so young, so attractive, with so much going for him, choose to end it?
I made phone calls while moving up and down the I-5 corridor.
It was a 12 hour work day, so I had plenty of time to jump between local talk radio discussions, people calling in who knew Scott, running their stories and the info through my head.
And the info I gathered from sources who knew Scott beyond meeting hm helped me fill in the blanks.
I returned last night from my rounds and found a community message board filled with questions.
Evidently I was not alone in my quandry.
This forum (at the end of this poste),  is from Seattle's historic sea-faring community of Ballard -- one of my favorite spots in town...  which discusses issues that may have been a contributing factor.
Out of respect for Scott, his family and friends of this kind gentle man, I will not go into those issues here.
I will say sometimes I see suicide as a confluence, or covergence of events -- psychological, emtional physical, economic.
Triggers can be internal or external.
Sometimes it takes a single straw to break a camel's back, despite a life time of windstorms.
Certainly, there can be one single moment or precipitating event that flips a switch in someone's head.
That could be an event...or a prescription medicine.

Read the warning labels on prescription meds... especially anti-depressants.
Suicide can be a side effect!
How absurd is that?
You take a medication because your are bummed out... and it kills you!

Still, for many, I believe suicide is a thought that has been thought many times...
until it is acted on.
After that, there's no turning back.
Only reflection and lessons for those left behind.
Here's the link to a sorum forum where some people people ask the same questions we all do.

Friday, April 1, 2011

In Memorium: Scott Simpson, Lunchbox Laboratory

One of the skills a P.I. develops when working personal injury or death cases, is remaining detached and steady.
Because the injured person is panicked, paralyzed or traumatized....
the deceased person has a shell-shocked family, with a house packed full of the sobbing or stoic.
And often the means to whetever end  brought me to someone's house, hospital room or roadside cross... is never pretty or pleasant.

Taking pictures of woman's amputated toes recently...
and various others scars from multiple surgeries, some botched, was evidence of my ability to flip my emotional switch.  I just zoomed in and out with my beloved camera, moved my body, switched perspective and thought only about focus and composition.

I have taken my camera lense into an eye socket struck by a bullet.
The eye was gone, the hole remained, and as I moved to an extreme close-up inside the  empty eye cavity.... I will spare you the details of what my camera captured and what will forever remain on the hard-drive in my head.
Some memories can not be erased.

Sometimes I feel I transform from normal human being to detached P.I. as soon as the camera lens touches my eye -- or I walk into a hospital room to meet a broken client; or enter a home with grieving family members and friends.
It's like my skin turns to a hard shell...  my heart beats harder for justice... and my mind processes the case quickly from an emotional perspective to a linear one. The question becomes "how quickly can I get this info to the attonreys so they can help?"
I have photographed the unimaginable because what you see on tv is staged.
I have witnessed the unbelievable, yet accepted the truth.... because it was right in front of me.

Still, something happened yesterday, as I was heading north on the freeway that stopped me in my tracks.
I pulled my car over by the nearest exit, parked it and rested my head on the steering wheel and just  breathed through the waves of confusion, loss and my inability to fathom the truth.
Because I had been listening to the radio moments earlier.
And that's when I heard the news about Seattle Chef Scott Simpson, a man I met when I fist dined at "Lunchbox Laboratory," his awesome burger joint in Seattle.

I had been hearing about the place for a while, so one day, between cases,  I went there and Scott was there.
I ordered the best burger I had in my life, a dork and pork...and struck up a conversation with Scott.
I went one more time with a friend.
Scott was there again. He remembered me (or pretended to).
Such was his nature.... kind, warm, generous in both burgers and conversation.
So the news I heard while driving yesterday up I-5 was like a sucker punch to the head and heart.
Scott took his own life. He was only 38 years old.
I link you at the end of this post to a story about his suicide from the Seattle Times.

And while I begin my day's rounds, crossing the Puget Sound by ferry then navigating my way down the  concrete freeway... I will ponder this equation that still does compute in my head.

Just know I believe this:
Suicide is NO sin.
I also believe, based on your religious upbringing or beliefs, many will disagree with me.
In my opinion, suicide does not correlate with religion.
It doesn't keep you out of heaven or send you down below.
In my opinion, it takes you the big sleep before your time.
Suicide ends a profound pain a person can not bear.
It does not mean they are weak.
It just means the pain of living is too great to face another moment.

I also believe, for many, suicide is not always a choice as much as impulse.
If the impulse can pass, either by intervention or reconsideration, that would be the best possible outcome.
Unfortunately, life doesn't always work the way we all want it to.
Scott is gone, his family and community grieves.

Please take a moment to follow the link at the end of this post.
Then take a moment to look at those around you who may be suffering and need an extra hand.
Some people are too proud to admit they are hurting.
Often their despair can be drawn out  when you are a non-judgmental, willing, open listener.
Maybe you can help.
Maybe you can't.
You can always try.

May Scott Simpson rest in peace.