Well, it has been a busy week, compounded by my getting sick on Monday morning and being out of commission all day and still feeling lousy most of Tuesday. It was one of those 24-hour flu-like things that I think must be food related. They don’t happen often, maybe four times since I’ve moved here, thankfully.
There are so many little bits and pieces I want to write about, from a funny advertisement for Wall Street Institute of English to my trip to the first Triple O White Spot burger joint to open in Thailand (yes, there seems to be a run on “first one in Thailand” burger places at Central World Plaza).
But today I’m going to bring your attention to something that Matt in Emeryville, California sent to me. It is sobering, I’m afraid, and not in the light-hearted nature I’d prefer to share. I’ll give you the general details and then links to further information:
On the afternoon of April 12 in the small town of Crothersville, Indiana, about ninety minutes southeast of the university town of Bloomington, Aaron “Shorty” Hall, aged 35, was savagely murdered by a trio of young men who are using the defense that they thought he was gay.
Reminiscent in its brutality of the 1998 murder of Matthew Sheppard, Hall’s murder lasted through the night and at one point in the process the murderers took a picture of him with a mobile phone and messaged the photo to a friend. His naked body was wrapped in a tarp and hidden in one assailant’s garage until it was discovered by police ten days later after one of the trio reported the crime.
There are several things that are shocking about this case, not the least of which is the sheer savagery of the murder. But here are some things that make it particularly noteworthy:
- One of the accused murderers’ father is the Deputy Coroner of Crothersville. No explanation why he failed to notice what has been reported as a murder site with blood splattered throughout the kitchen, deck, railing, stairs and living room.
- There has only been sparse coverage by small local media. Months after the murder, the Indianapolis Star – the largest and most influential newspaper in Indiana – has yet to cover the murder. Nor have major national media outlets brought light to this story. Katie Couric, where are you?
- Indiana is one of only five states in the United States to not have passed any hate crimes legislations; a major piece of legislations was defeated only a few weeks before the murder. Jackson Country, Indiana is still “Klan Country”, a corner of the state near Kentucky that is not only a hotbed of hatred and homophobia, but a place where people still think that “I thought he was gay” is a reasonable defense for murder.
While this is a terribly unhappy story, I’d ask that you read the coverage and acquaint yourself with the available facts. This is not the type of story that should be easily swept under the carpet.
In the hopes of leaving this post just a little bit lighter, I’ll share this picture that I snapped this morning while crossing the Chao Phraya River on the Rama IX Bridge as the rain showers came to an end.