gang rape redux 2012

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.

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6 thoughts on “gang rape redux 2012

  1. This article confuses me on several points. I don’t see any connection to the occupation of the landlord and this heinous crime, yet the blogger to want to assign some of the blame to him for this. The blogger says the building was “abandoned,” but the news article says someone (landlord’s brother) was living in one of the four units. “Rundown” isn’t “abandoned,” and direct family doesn’t sound like an absentee landlord.

    As far as the landlord’s comment, the way I read that is he said, “I’m sure as hell glad my brother wasn’t there, lest he end up swept up in this and dead.” When someone is violently assaulted, you don’t want people to think you’re callous, but I’d sure as hell be worried if one of my siblings came that close to something like this. Hard to fault a guy on that score.

    The third point that confuses me is that the blogger memoans the moral decay of New Orleans, yet cites an incident in Algiers from almost 40 years ago. Seems like this isn’t the product of years of moral decay as much as it’s a product of life in an urban shithole. That’s what Algiers was when Jo Ellen Smith was murdered, but great strides have been made to improve Algiers. Yes, Gerttown/Hollygrove are currently a shithole of drugs and crime, but that doesn’t mean they have to remain that way for another forty years.

  2. Parse whatever meaning you want out of my post, say whatever you like, you won’t diminish the fact that an awful crime occurred.

    You described the neighborhood as a “shithole of drugs and crime”, I didn’t – with that said, tell me, do you believe that the sibling of a mover and shaker such as Mr. McNamara actually lives in the neighborhood where the crime occurred? Just because its in the paper doesn’t mean its the gospel truth. Plus, the alleged perpetrators themselves may not even live in Zion City.

    Bravo in trying to divert attention from what happened, a crime against humanity, rape. You do the victim no favor by picking apart my post on semantics…

  3. “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?”

    Ever hear of a shotgun? I guarantee you I would have stopped that if I was home and lived there.

    • Yes, I have heard of a shotgun – I have one myself…

      You probably have one too…

      But that doesn’t mean the property resident has one. And even if he did, what’s to say he was able to properly use it? Or get it taken away by the perpetrators?

  4. Pingback: Guest postess Janet Hays – Zion City Neighborhood Improvement Association Event Saturday March 10 at 9:00 am | NOLAFemmes

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