So its 2012, yet there are still instances of horrific crimes against people, against nurses who are on a mission to simply tend to the sick. It happened practically a week ago – a 53 year old home health nurse was brutally gang raped in Zion City, in an abandoned house in the 1300 block of South Gayoso during the afternoon of January 26, 2012. The first appearance in the Times Picayune of this incident occurred on Monday evening, and a follow up report indicates there still is no police report on the crime.
Could that be because the owner of the abandoned 4-plex where the gang rape occurred is owned by (ironically) a CEO of a biomedical company who is developing the planned Tulane medical corridor? I find this interesting…
The location where the woman said she was raped is a rundown fourplex owned by Jim McNamara, president and CEO of BioDistrict New Orleans, the state agency charged with redeveloping portions of the Central Business District and Mid-City into a medical corridor. McNamara said police had not contacted him. In fact, he was unaware of the attack on his property until contacted by a reporter. His brother lives in the only occupied unit on the property and also was not aware that anything untoward had happened there, he said. The attack probably happened while his brother was at work, he said. “I’m sure if he would’ve been there he would’ve stopped it,” McNamara said.
The thing that strikes me is, how in the heck is one man going to intervene in a gang rape of a lone female by six adrenaline fueled men?
I think this echoes the pathetic state of the city of New Orleans, the utter breakdown of the moral fiber that can fuel such an incredibly heinous act, in 2012. And we are relegated to wringing our hands, expressing outrage and praying for the victim to recover both physically, mentally and spiritually.
The first thing that came to mind when I read this story, buried in the back pages mind you, was JoEllen Smith. Miss Smith was a student nurse who was making a house call in Algiers sometime in 1973, and was brutally raped and murdered while on a “mission of mercy”.
JoEllen Smith has been memorialized, having a hospital named in her honor and a memorial scholarship still actively bestowing funds to eligible people 39 years later. But it was quite unfortunate that she was killed while caring for the health of others. I am not comparing the two crimes, but instead I ask when will the lurid segment of mankind recognize the actions of those who serve a selfless mission to ease the suffering of others, without feeding their own deplorable, twisted need to commit vicious crimes against nature?
Come on NOPD…
UPDATE: NOPD has made some arrests in this case – read about it here – and the Times Picayune published an editorial piece on how the NOPD handled the incident in today’s paper.