A MinD in MoTown


You are the monster hiding under every child’s bed.
July 31, 2008, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Argh, News Girl, Scrantonia

Although I had already started a post for today, it’s not often that I come across a news article that provokes an emotion from me. Generally speaking, I tend to read a story and move on to the next one without pausing to think about the material in front of me.

But this article made me angry; actually, it caused chills and made me absolutely livid to the point where I had to discuss how peeved I was with a coworker.

**Note (before I continue): For the back story behind the article linked here, visit this previous article from July 18, “The inside story of Scranton’s triple homicide.” It discusses how 25-year-old Randal Rushing brutally killed three people because he thought his girlfriend was cheating on him (that’s the crux anyway). Oh, and did I mention this took place in my hometown? Lovely.

**Note #2 (for the slackers): Since many people lack the love of news that I have – and because, let’s face it, most of us are pretty lazy, as Surviving Myself pointed out – the jist of the story goes as follows: Rushing lived in the basement of his girlfriend’s home that she shared with her mother and three brothers. While the girlfriend was at work, Rushing killed two of her brothers and her ex-boyfriend (with whom she had a toddler-aged child (the ex did not live in the house, but his dead body was there)) because of a belief she cheated on him. He tied up the remaining members of the family (sans the baby), including the girlfriend when she returned home. He fled to a neighboring town where, less than 12 hours later, police captured him and charged him with murder.

The new article (for those who don’t click the link above) primarily discusses Rushing’s lawyer’s belief that his client has been depicted as a “monster,” which has tainted the potential jury pool in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The lawyer continues his argument by saying “there has been a significant effort to paint this guy as a monster,” something he seemingly blames on the media coverage of the murders – coverage that was nothing short of fact and the words from the still-breathing victims’ mouths.

Not a monster? A man who, acting out of anger and revenge, brutally – and I’m talking stabbed one son to death as his mother listened to him cry out – killed three people and then had the nerve to tell reporters following his arrest, “I had fun.” And this man isn’t a monster? He isn’t the person every mother fears, every father threatens and every child hides from? Is he someone you would put any trust into, knowing that at any moment, he could snap?

And his lawyer has the gall to say, “This kid has come from an extremely difficult childhood and background,” thus he must have “some serious emotional and mental health problems” that led him to bludgeon three people. Clearly, we should blame his actions on “serious … problems.”

Did I mention this is Rushing’s second lawyer? Well, it is, and why? Because Lackawanna County’s capital-case-certified attorney declined to defend the “monster.” If an attorney with the stature and experience to be certified as such won’t take the case, that should throw up a major blood-red flag.

And while the lawyer did not explicitly state that the media – i.e. The Times-Tribune (formerly known as The Scranton Times) and local television stations – were to blame, he clearly insinuates such, to which the District Attorney added, “Law enforcement and police haven’t leaked anything to the media, and the media has stated the facts.” Perhaps Rushing’s lawyer does not realize it is the media’s job to tell the story, especially one as horrifying as a triple homicide, of the incidents in the readers’ backyards. To blame the media, in my opinion (of course), is to simply put the negative attention one is receiving at the hand’s of another; to place the fault on someone/something that didn’t beat a man so badly that cause of death couldn’t be determined.

And while it wasn’t the story itself that angered me, but rather the tale it told, I cannot believe that people in this world seriously think as this lawyer does. Yes, I fully comprehend that it is your job to see that this man receives the lightest sentence possible, even if that includes attempting to persuade a jury into believing it was his background and “difficult childhood” that created this “monster.” But a little compassion wouldn’t kill you … nor a little confidence in society. The media didn’t create this “monster” the public now sees; Rushing did it himself.

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5 Comments so far
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People are insane. There was a similar incident in Seattle. A couple brutally murdered the girl’s whole family because they wouldn’t loan them a couple bucks. It was a while ago, but I remember being very disturbed that there are people out there like that.

Comment by megkathleen

Meg: Definitely disturbing. And while this man did some horrible things, I think I’m more angry at the lawyer for defending him than I am at Rushing for what he did. Strange, yes, but true.

Comment by amindinmotown

First off, I admit that the first time I’ve even heard about this was 30 seconds ago when I started reading your blog. Kudos to you for following Scranton news more closely than I.

Sadly, some lawyers are sleezbags and the more attention the can attract to their own name the better it is for business.

And although there are times where the media can show some bias, our savior Mr. Obama for example, in a situation like this, just talking about the facts truly does paint a picture much scarier than any reporter could try to spin it.

Comment by Patrick

Everytime I hear Scranton I think about The Office.

Very sad article though.

Comment by Matt

Patty: You haven’t heard about this? Oh jeez, you are definitely out of the loop. And yes, the media can show bias – i.e. the conservative bastards on Fox News (oops, did I say that?).

Matt: The Office? Really?? You just broke my heart.

Comment by amindinmotown




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