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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A nice letter.

Posted by on March 28 at 13:06 PM

We just received this letter regarding the Saturday Mourning story.

I’ve been reading all articles (even some of the stuff in SLOG) about the slayings with some level of disgust at minor factual errors, general tone or outright slander of the victims. After speaking with several of the survivors of the event and hearing first hand what really happened, I have to thank you and Thomas for capturing it correctly in the “Saturday Mourning” article posted on

If you’ve haven’t received much feedback yet you should know that people who are closest to this event are praising the writing and the honest portrayal of what happened and links to the article are flying around like crazy within the community’s information sphere. Some of the stuff that’s been on the news, especially the national outlets, (Egad! do they do any fact checking?) has been fairly damaging and that makes your contribution that much more important.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Burning Man event but we have a very active local community based around the annual festival. Last night an icon within the larger burning man culture, David Best, was in Seattle and spoke about turning grief into lasting positive change. David is known for building stunning temples out in the middle of the Nevada desert. (do a google image search for “david best temples”) Anyway, as a service to the city and with David’s help, the community is going to build a similar temple somewhere on capitol hill to remember the victims of Saturday’s shootings and to help the healing process for everyone. The goal is to raise $5k and build the temple within two weeks. There is going to be a fundraiser art party downtown this Saturday 04/01/06…the location hasn’t been arranged yet but I’m guessing it might be at consolidated works.

Anyway, thank you again for your work. A lot of people appreciate it.

CommentsRSS icon

Given the fact that most of your readers do not know the dead and are neither a member of the "raver community", nor attendies of the lame frat boy - let's look at naked chicks painted silver - nonsense called Burning Man, why the sudden emphasis on the tiny group of teenage techno-hippies in our town?

In Baltimore there are murders like this all the time. It's dull, it's not really news, and it's provincial to be acting like this is the story of the decade of something.

Oh I forgot this is Seattle, perhaps this is the story of the decade?

Sorry NAR, we'll try to kill a few more people so you can feel more at home.

Every day I wake up and I think, "god, why isn't Seattle more like Baltimore?"

Not a raver says "in Baltimore there are murdes like this all the time ... it's not really news".

Really, NAR? Seven dead? Do enlighten us-- tell us of all--heck, tell us of just ONE mass murder in Baltimore where seven people were shot to death. That wasn't in the news.

And then, assuming you can find one, tell us what's unusual about paying more attention to a horrific murder down the street than one thousands of miles away.
There's a word for people who don't care about anything unless it happens to themself personally. It isn't "citizen".

NAR - Seattle can be fairly provincial especially the locals. But there's plenty of New York and Chicago transplants who know just what you mean.

It can be frustrating reading what passes for "big news" here. At least I don't have to see this drivel on the front of the NYT.

NAR, you're obviously a relative newcomer to this area. Otherwise you'd already know that Seattle is still, at its core, a little fishing village. It's very "everyone knows everyone" here, especially on Capitol Hill where the murders took place. Not every single Stranger reader knew the victims, I'll grant you that. But for many of us, they were friends of friends, familiar faces at parties or on the street.

This was the largest mass murder to happen in Seattle in over two decades. It happened literally in our collective backyards, to people that many of us were at least familiar with. The fact that Baltimore is a festering sinkhole of mayhem doesn't make this any less tragic.

It scares me that there are people that would even think the way NAR does... I mean regardless of what "authentic" news means to anyone(by the way is there such a thing? who really is the judge of this?), that is not the point... the point is that 7 people are dead, senselessly, without any solid motivation, for no reason, just like that. How can someone minimize such a tragedy and try to debate authenticity, or anything at this time? I don't care what you think of Seattle, or ravers, alternative lifestyles, whose city is the best, or whatever...these again are not relevent... the only thing that should be focused on is how tragic this is and where we go from here. Seattle happens to be a very small community and all of us who live here are effected just by simply living here. Besides the fact that I do live here and I do happen to be in the same socail network of Jeremy and Jason (although they weren't personal friends of mine and I am not a raver), I do have enough empathy to hear tragedies that occur anywhere and do know that they always strike a cord within me... this is something that people like NAR seem to be lacking. Never would I be an outsider of a community, and be-little anything at a time like this. With all that said NAR stay in Baltimore!

NEWBY TOO, how awful for you to have to deal with the "provincial" locals. How awful for you to have to slog through (ha!) "drivel" regarding the murder of seven unlucky people in the same neighborhood where this paper is published.

I really just don't understand you people who come from other cities and then bitch about the locals. If it's so awful here, if the people are so small-minded and unbearable, then why do you stay?

Oh, and NEWBY TOO -- this is being covered by the NYT. It may not be on the very front page of the print edition, but at the moment it's the lead article in their online National section. How awful for you, to know that your beloved Grey Lady has deigned to cover such "drivel". Oh, and fuck you.

I haven't been to a rave in quite a while (and it's been even longer since I heard anyone really call them "raves" - last I heard they were just parties), but on Saturday night, I was at Sakuracon and I lent my cell phone to someone that was trying to find out if her friends were still alive.

It happened in Capitol Hill, not far from where many of the staff, and where the core of the readership lives. I think a sizable number of us, even if we don't have friends or friends-of-friends directly affected, are wondering if the same thing could have happened to us.

What if this guy had gone to a rock/hiphop/etc. concert instead? A lot of us go to after-parties, even if we're not ravers. There's nothing fundamentally different between the difference music scenes. It's different music, different clothes, but otherwise it's just people getting together to have fun. I can only speak for myself, but I suspect most readers can identify with their situation.

NAR just so you know Seattle people can be tetchy. We've been struggling hard to get more density here, and a lot of us would like it to be less provincial. It's moving in a more dense urban direction.

Capital Hill is not the center of the Seattle Universe (though it would like to think so). There's a bunch of new buildings going up on Capital hill that should clean up some of the scummy areas. That will make it nicer, the rents will be higher and in a couple of years the people living there will either have to get real jobs of move away.

If Capital Hill was more like Portland's Pearl district, there would be nice condos there instead of cheap party houses. I've spent a lot of time in Pearl District parties, there are plenty of interesting creative types, and fun parties, but a weirdo like that guy from Montana wouldn't have gotten past the doorman.

NAR hang in there. In a couple of years Capital Hill will be a different place, and party house scum like that will be long gone.

How incredibly callous. It's sad that anyone would even suggest that a community could be improved if people did not care about a mass murder! I don't even live in Seattle any longer - and this still shook me that my city could have suffered this.

To try to drag this back to the point of the original post, I agree that the Stranger's attempt to report the facts of this tragedy has seemed very fair to the community. I hope that the fundraiser is a success.

Wendy: couldnt'a said it better myself. Thanks!

NAR: I’m from Baltimore, too, and I couldn’t disagree more. If you become callous and jaded, maybe the murders don’t appear to be news to you, but they still make the news every time, and it saddens me every time.

Newby & NAR: I’ve got news for you—you’re both on a Seattle blog that focuses a lot on local issues. If you don’t want to read this drivel, why are you on this site to begin with?

One thing Seattle does have over Baltimore—a more cohesive sense of community. If the outpouring of emotion and shock is a manifestation of that sense of community, why knock it?

A few years back some distraught woman was clinging to University Bridge ready to jump.

Seattle drivers drove by and yelled "jump already you're slowing down the commute."

I thought that was pretty funny and was happy to read that The Stranger agreed. If you want "I feel your pain" therapy culture read Seattle Weekly. Seattle has a mushy underside that is pretty annoying. As this city grows, many of those pussies will either shut up or leave.

BTW, this shooting has been covered in the Baltimore Sun. Not a Raver's full of it.

thank you.

I know the Fremont Arts Council is trying to help the artists who want to do a Memorial in two weeks thru the city permitting process ... just got an email about that.

oh, and to the Chicago guy who said "Capital Hill is not the center of the Seattle Universe (though it would like to think so)."

I'd like to point out:

1. it's Capitol Hill - originally they hoped our state capitol would be located there.

2. the Center of the Universe is Fremont, a different neighborhood in Seattle, e.g. and should be some info there.

Oh let's get the community together and do a Rachel Corrie memorial while were at it! At least when a liberal is run over by an Isralie bulldozer the "community" doesn't organize memorials.

People die every day in the time in this world in the WORLD COMMUNITY we all belong to. Wake Up and smell your latte!

Will all you bleeding heart types please go to the Seattle Weakly with your drivel.

Is the take away point from a few posts here supposed to be "Seattle should grow up and get used to mass murder?" Because that is the dumbest thing I've read all week. You want insensitivity just like back home? Here goes: fuck you. There's a reason people want to move here and not to the shitholes people moved here from.

Tetchy are we? People move here to live in a world class city not a provincial backwater.

A handful of kids got shot, it's not Jack the Ripper or Son of Sam, even your very own Green River Killer was more productive. In real cities people do get used to murder. It's called the human condition - people are murdered now and have always been murdered, and in all likely-hood always will be murdered.

As other posters have pointed out, mass murder is happening all the time, most of it paid for by American tax dollars. Yet because it is not happening in your neighborhood you don't notice.

Provincial means limited in perspective; narrow and self-centered. Six people are killed in your town and it's the story of the decade. Thirty Thousand people are killed on the other side of the world and you are calmly sipping your latte. Your Seattle attitude is rather provincial.

As Seattle grows, a local murder will not matter so much and that'll be a good thing.

we don't want local murder to "not matter so much." doesn't that imply an acceptance of it. I'm sorry, but i'm never going to accept living in a city that averages more than one murder a day. even if the city has grown. we should aim to grow, and yet still value human life.

Do you have brown eyes, Chicago Kid? Because you're sure full of crap up to them.

BTW, Son of Sam only killed six, not seven. And not all in one go. Jack the Ripper probably killed five.

The clue phone is ringing, moron. Pick it up. Your lame tough-guy act is fooling no one.

"As Seattle grows, a local murder will not matter so much and that'll be a good thing."

I'm sorry that you're so empty on the inside that the senseless loss of human life doesn't affect you unless the body count is in the thousands.

You're a callous asshole, Chicago Kid.

CHICAGO KID, I think only you and NOT A RAVER have called this the story of the decade. Ironic, since both of you (or perhaps you're the same person?) can't seem to stop bitching about how seriously some people are taking this. Amazingly enough, there are some people on this earth who will always find it tragic when six young people are senselessly murdered. I thank whatever god there is that those people exist, so that they help karmically balance out people like you who do nothing but spread hatred and intolerance. And I hope that someday, when you're coping with a horrible tragedy, people are kind to you, so that you'll feel like an even bigger asshole over how you've behaved here.

Am I the only lurker here who read Kyle-Huff-attitude in NAR's original post?

Am I the only lurker here who is pretty sure that NAR and CK are the same bored troll douche?

"there are some people on this earth who will always find it tragic when six young people are senselessly murdered. I thank whatever god there is that those people exist" Wendy wrote.

I believe the point here is THIRTY THOUSAND people have been senselessly murdered in Iraq, by Americans, using your tax dollars. For whatever reason you can keep calmly drinking your latte while that slaughter occurs because your provincial little Seattle mind can't manage to grasp the larger perspective of living in a World Community.

At least in a real city when people have to experience the murderous human race in their everyday lives, the numbed out latte sippers are seen for the sickos they really are.

If you are this upset when six white people are killed, and feel nothing when THIRTY THOUSAND brown people are killed by your government, you need to get a new meditation teacher and stop lecturing others about Karma.

Chicago Kid's vision of a future Capitol Hill sounds an awful lot like Belltown. Only rich bastards can afford to live there and they hide in their luxe condos from the riff-raff on the street. There are a lot of things that annoy me about Capitol Hill, but I love that it's still inclusive, that there is still something of a community here, and that it's still relatively down to earth.

"If you are this upset when six white people are killed, and feel nothing when THIRTY THOUSAND brown people are killed by your government, you need to get a new meditation teacher and stop lecturing others about Karma."

What are you talking about? No one, anywhere in this thread, in the original post or in any attendant posts or threads has said or implied any such thing. Go back to the Television Without Pity and Talk Back threads where you belong, troll.

Hey, Karma: I don't have a meditation teacher and I don't drink latte. And I'll wager I know more about what's happened to those 30,000 than you do. The real sickos are the ones who think every conversation should be about what YOU want it to be about.

FNARF, this is pure gold: "The clue phone is ringing, moron. Pick it up."

Yo, KARMA. I don't see where anyone said they didn't give a rat's ass about the deaths in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. I don't see why we can't be upset about these murders at the same time that we're trying to find a way to get our troops out of Iraq.

Also, judging from the pictures most media outlets have posted, it wasn't 6 white kids. "Sushi" was a native Eskimo according to his Myspace profile, and Melissa Moore looks like she may be perhaps of Asian descent (judging from her photo and also photos of her mother and brother on Not that it matters what ethnicity any of the victims were. Loss of life is loss of life, regardless of skin color. But thanks for playing, "KARMA"! Or should I say CHICAGO KID or NOT A RAVER?

Also, KARMA, you said: "I believe the point here is THIRTY THOUSAND people have been senselessly murdered in Iraq, by Americans, using your tax dollars."

No. That would be the point here if this comment thread were in regards to a posting about the ill-advised, unsanctioned war in Iraq. But it's not. It's a comment thread in regards to a post about the recent murders on Capitol Hill. If you want to talk about the Middle East situation, and the horrifying loss of life both civilian and enlisted, then find a posting in regards to some aspect of the war and go to town, buddy.

Also, maybe you should take some time to get to know your audience. Most of the Stranger readers I know are very liberal, anti-war sorts. You're kind of back-asswardly preaching to the choir with your rhetoric and I'm super amused by it. If you weren't wearing your own ass as a hat right now, I bet you could find some folks on here who would love to have an intelligent, informed discussion with you about the war. Alas.

Amy Kate: I wish I could claim credit for it, but if I took credit for all the funny things I've heard but forgotten where, well, Christ, I'd be popular. A quick Usenet search turns up a first example in 1990, which sounds about right. Maybe alt.folklore.urban. Gosh, and you kids think THIS is a flamewar. I've been in more Usenet fights than you've had hot dinners.

Hey, Wendy: you rule.

yet another forum that's devolved into a pointless pissing contest. Well done!!

Again with the watersports analogies. Your pissing contests may be pointless, huh. But not mine.

The point is Cosmopolitan people are not shocked by human brutality. It's a part of our existence.

Seattle is a sheltered, provincial backwater that longs to be more important. Use a part of your caffine shriveled brains to imagine life in Tel Aviv today or Bagdad would be a step in the right direction.

Citizens there face worse violence daily - most of it caused by your unwillingness to step out of your cubicles and tell your government to stop. A slaughter of only six people would be a good day in those places.

Please examine your provincial reaction to these events, and try to imagine what's happening in the world beyond your Capital Hill condo.

You live across the lake from the richest man on the planet, in the richest most violent nation the world has ever known, and the best you can come up with is to spend $5,000 building another Burning Man sculpture memorializing the lives of a few rich American teenagers?

You can do better.

Hey, FNARF, thanks. You're not half bad yourself. GLANCER, STACY: my pleasure.

To be on-topic: Kudos to Megan and Thomas for the "Saturday Mourning" piece. It was gut-wrenching, horrifying, and yet respectful and sensitive to the victims and survivors.

Hey, Chicago Wank: tell us again how many people were murdered in Tel Aviv today. I'm still waiting on the answer about unreported mass murders in Baltimore, too. Or Chicago or New York. Or anywhere for that matter. Baghdad is everywhere in the press. As a matter of fact, I don't see you doing jack shit; you can't even be bothered to be informed about what's going on in the world. You just sneer at the people who do. You're a jerk-off.

CHICAGO KID, I've noticed several posts under different names, but in your same inimitable style. No one else seems to hammer on "provincial backwater", "sip your latte", or "Capital Hill" as much as you do.

I really don't understand why you're so angry that people are showing emotion over these murders. Despite myself, I'm starting to feel sorry for you. You can work yourself into quite the righteous lather over the scores of dead in the Middle East, but you can't spare a drop of empathy for people gunned down in the town you presumably live in?

I'm sorry, but I don't agree that "Cosmopolitain people are not shocked by human brutality." As a human being, I'm shocked every day by the horrible acts we commit against each other. That's what keeps me human, my outrage and grief. That's what keeps me working to ensure that future generations will know peace.

You keep harping on "MY" government and the atrocities they commit in my name. Are they not your government as well? Are they not committing atrocities in YOUR name, too? Tell me, CHIGACO KID/NOT A RAVER/HIPPIE HATER/et al, what are YOU doing to stop OUR government?

I'm making a few donations this week, to the memorial temple fund as well as the International Rescue Committee, the American Refugee Committee, and Northwest Harvest. (Gotta think global and act local, you know.) I'll be making these donations in your name whenever possible.

You seem to be a real big talker, CHICAGO KID/NOT A RAVER/HIPPIE HATER/etc. Maybe you should try putting your money where your mouth is.

CHICAGO KID is so hip and cosmopolitan HE spends HIS free time baiting hippies and liberals on the local alt-weekly news blog.

OOO, now THAT's some so-PHIS-ticated urban pleasure!

Like, do you have Prince Albert in a can?


After thinking on it whilst washing the dishes, I feel sure that the comments of Nar, et al, were meant to be offerings of Buddhist wisdom, touching on the oneness of all beings (this must be the reason for bringing up Iraq), the misguided grasping for material happiness (the references to lattes, etc.) and the impermanence of this precious human rebirth (the seemingly callous response to lost life).

Yes, that must be it.

And I'm sure that if they were ever to meet face-to-face the family and friends of those murdered, they would continue that Buddhist philosophy of causing no harm to others and surely offer their sincere condolences.

Chicago transplants are about the only thing that makes Seattle liveable. They're the ones pushing for more density and striving to make this place a real city.

You mossy brained Buddhists wouldn't last five minutes in Chicago.

wow..."capitol hill" and "relatively down to earth" in the same sentence. it is amazing what can pass for normal these days.

quote from

"Burning Man Tickets Now On Sale
Tickets for Burning Man 2006 are now on sale here. Tickets at the $185, $200 and $225 levels are sold out."

ahhh, pure, altruistic art. yea right. take your stupid statues back to nevada, dave. seattle doesn't need a burning man franchise.

newby, dude...ever heard of sarcasm?

(and I'd bet my dead dog's ashes that there are upwards of several thousand practicing Buddhists in Chicago.)

As a white girl who grew up in the CD, and as an adult bought a home in the CD, I have long heard the sounds of gunfire at night. There have been stabbings and shootings on my block in Madison Valley, and in one memorable incident, a pitchfork rammed through a man's head. 23rd and Madison, near the recent murders, has been the center of the the combat zone for decades and is actually much better now than it used to be. Nonetheless, there is still gunfire at night, more now towards Jackson than Madison but plenty in between. There are black folks shot in the CD all the time. As a parent I mourn for those lost in the mass shooting on the hill, but as a citizen cant help but wonder where all this sorrow and angst is the rest of the year when the victims are black, and murdered in the exact same neighborhood with consistent frequency.

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