Thursday, August 12, 2004

A big thank you to all those who wrote such sweet messages about my little "incident." I appreciated all of them.

Oddly enough, a few weeks back, I was emailed by a man named Mark O'Brien who had the same thing happen to his son, though his son wasn't as lucky as I was. In this case, the thugs were holding a gun and used it. I wasn't aware of this during our first few email exchanges, and he kept in touch with me pointing me to entries on his own blog, called Seven Inches of Sense.

I then watched a documentary television show about New York City police, profiling a murder in New York City. I saw the victim, a handsome sandy-haired young man, and thought, "He looks like the type of guy that I would date." His face smiled up from his driver's license. The smile of someone who would never be able to do so again. A life cut short by complete losers who accosted him and a friend on the street and demanded what they didn't want to work for.

One shot was fired, killing Burke, Mark's son. It's a senseless crime that is still unsolved almost a year later. The man had pointed me to the website of the show after it aired, and I mentioned in a return email how sad it was watching the parents come into the city to identify their son. Their world completely shattered into a devastating reality. In his return email, he said, "yes, that was me."

I was at work when I got that response, and it shocked me. I had no idea I had been exchanging emails with the very person that I'd just watched on television and felt such empathy for. I wondered, why he had reached out to me? What could I possibly offer someone who had suffered such a loss? And then it became clear. I can spread the word. I can be one link closer to the police finding the killers. A chainlink of me and other bloggers who can shake the rafters and call attention to this crime and the subhumans who did it and are still walking the streets. Perhaps you brushed by them in the subway, or helped them at your retail job. Perhaps you are only a degree or two of separation from the people who did this or someone who knows something. Eventually, the net will close in if enough people are made aware. I've linked to Seven Inches of Sense, a blog created by friends and family to develop a readership and help spread the word about Burke's site.

So visit Seven Inches of Sense, and Burke's site, and help a grieving family.

As if this story can't get worse, I just clicked on their site to test the link, and read that Mark O'Brien, Burke's father and the man who had reached out to me was killed in a car accident yesterday. How completely and utterly tragic. Please keep their family in your prayers.

No comments: