Tuesday, October 17, 2006

All is not well in the heartland.

My sister was in Seattle this weekend, up from Pocatello, Idaho, where she lives. I was surprised when I asked her what was going on in Idaho to learn of a recent gruesome murder in the city deep in the heart of Idaho's potato growing region. It appears that a teenage girl was brutally killed in her cousin's home, and the buzz in the city is that the killers, two other teens, filmed it. My sister has heard that the teens told the girl that they wanted to film a horror movie and she played along, thinking it would be a fun diversion, instead it was a horrible snuff film they wound up shooting instead.

Furthermore, according to a classmate of mine in law school who is from Pocatello, there might have been evidence that these two teens were just warming up. The rumor is that they were planning to bring guns to the Pocatello High homecoming came and let loose a volley of ammo onto the unsuspecting crowd. The homecoming game this year was played against cross town rival Highland, and was played in the Idaho State University’s football stadium. This deep seeded high school rivalry had sold out the football field (something that ISU games never do) and the thought of the horror they could have unleashed sends a shiver down most local’s spine. There is also some speculation that another gruesome unsolved murder might be attributed to one of the killers.

I was surprised that I didn't learn of this earlier, this is normally the type of event that gets plastered across the national news. The town might be trying to avoid the media spotlight as is not the type of place that would welcome this attention. Furthermore, it happened in the same period as the school shootings in Colorado and in the Amish country back east, so in may just have been buried. But some news magazines have been poking around and we might hear more details soon.

Nevertheless of the exposure, it's still tragic. I lived in Pocatello for some time and did all my elementary education in that small town; it's difficult for me to imagine that type of horror happening on a sun bleached fall afternoon there.

Furthermore, one question I keep asking myself while thinking about the new child on child killings is why is it happening in the heartland. Think about all these incidents. They happen in Colorado, rural Idaho, rural Washington, in rural Pennsylvania, etc... What is going on in our nation's interior that is driving these kids to do this? Perhaps it’s just perception that this in only going on in the heartland, perhaps it’s a universal phenomenon, but it does beg the question.

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