Two disappointments cloaked as victories this week (the other I’ll get to shortly)…
The first is the discovery of remains in Edgecombe County last Saturday that have now been positively identified as those of Roberta Williams. I have avoided commenting on this recent newsoid for fear of flogging the Rocky Mount Missing Women story into the ground. My contempt for how authorities have mishandled these cases is hardly a secret, so let’s just spell it out:
Blatant racism… 11 black people are murdered or go missing in an area the size of a postage stamp and for nearly a decade no one manages to give a tinker’s cuss about the matter. Yes, deja shades of Robert Pickton and the Vancouver downtown Eastside murders all over again. It only took the Olympic games for B.C. to recover from that tragedy, so what do you think is in store for the tiny impoverished East Carolina region of Rocky Mount? I will tell you: the trauma of endless fear, self-loathing and humiliation.
It is no balm that Rocky Mount chief of police has finally… glacially… come forward and stated what has been obvious to my five-year-old child all along: “It’s clear that we are dealing with a suspected serial killer.”.
Thank you chief, you can go back to whatever busy work has occupied you for the last decade (perhaps there’s an abandoned vehicle that needs towing?). This week NC Wanted anchor Gerald Owens finally grew a pair and
boldly asked of the chief, “how many more victims are there?”. Thanks for showing up Gerald, where have you been? This isn’t about giving your Kodak image the perfect frame for tragedy: this is a real story, with real families that are suffering: you should have been in the game years ago.
While we all sit and wait for this to play out (ya, as if it’s some kind of parlor game), the prime suspect, Antwan Pittman has been sitting in jail for 8 months. What are authorities waiting for? For a gun to literally smoke? Meanwhile victims’ families continue to be traumatized daily by the mistakes and missteps of an uncaring and insensitive media and justice system.
“For the families who just want to locate their daughters or bring closure to their murders, the investigation has been a long, drawn-out process. Tucker speaks about her daughter in the past tense, quickly catches herself, and shifts to the present tense, emphasizing her commitment to finding her daughter. “As far as the investigation goes, I just hope they continue to do the best they can to put closure to the missing girls and the girls that have been found,” Tucker says. “Whatever it is, we are here waiting.”
“Regardless of drug addiction or other problems, that still doesn’t give a person the right to kill another,” says Knight. “If we can give a terrorist a day in court, we can get these women justice.””