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Monday, January 14, 2008

Anonymous Vengeance

posted by on January 14 at 9:35 AM

Sent to I, Anonymous:

I hate to glorify what you did by giving it any more publicity but this is no lurid recap of your grotesque crime. This is a warning and a not so thinly veiled threat. I may not have known Shannon Harps, but I am a thirty year old woman living alone in Capitol Hill who could just as easily have been coming home with an armload of groceries at 7 oíclock this New Yearís Eve. And I know many other women like Shannon and myself. Independent, socially conscious, loving, beautiful, intelligent women working jobs that make the world a better place who moved here to start adult lives for themselves. Whole, complete lives and Shannon will never get to do that. Because of you. You didnít want her groceries, her money or her sex. You wanted her life. And though she screamed for it, you still got it. Well, you should know there are a lot of angry women and the husbands, fathers, brothers, boyfriends, guy buddies (and their pit bulls) that love them who are just as pissed off. Women are brushing up on their self-defense, traveling in pairs, and looking over their shoulders while keeping their trigger fingers on the mace. If youíre caught before this goes to print- good. I hope you rot in jail and let this warning go out to any other soulless asshole who thinks it might be fun to attack a woman. If not, although the SPD canít issue threats, I sure as hell can. Watch out motherfucker, this enraged white female isnít carrying mace. Iíve got my own knife. And Iíll be aiming right for your balls.

RSS icon Comments

1

Oooh! Them's fightin' words!

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 14, 2008 10:04 AM
2

Yet again: a murder victim immediately is a wonderful sweet person without a bit of evil in their entire being.

I want to be murdered so people will say only nice things about me....

Posted by Just Me | January 14, 2008 10:13 AM
3

Just Me: What? This post is about the murderer, not the murdered.

But for what it's worth, your stupid comment kinda makes me want you to be murdered too.

But not really.

Posted by David Schmader | January 14, 2008 10:22 AM
4

Bearded white males take note.

Posted by DOUG. | January 14, 2008 10:26 AM
5

Oooh! Them's fightin' words, too!

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 14, 2008 10:27 AM
6

Also, Just Me, you know why people focus on the positive when reporting on murder victims? BECAUSE THEY'RE MURDER VICTIMS. The single worst fact of their lives is already center-stage, and will forever be the primary component of their biographies. (Google "Shannon Harps" for proof.) Focusing on the value of what was lost seems like a natural, humane thing to do.

Did Shannon Harps reject you as a friend on MySpace or something?

Posted by David Schmader | January 14, 2008 10:29 AM
7

With a 'tude like that Just Me, I don't think you ought hold out too much hope for the "I want people to only say nice things about me after I'm dead" part.

Posted by COMTE | January 14, 2008 10:30 AM
8

@6, wish you would have said that before I forwarded the thread to the Seattle Police Department...

Posted by Just Me | January 14, 2008 10:31 AM
9

I worry about my fiancee all the time, but I never tell her that, because I don't want to be feeding her fearful-woman memes.

Imagine how Shannon's closest ones must feel now.

I'd be psycho.

Posted by Rich | January 14, 2008 10:37 AM
10

Oh, I get it now: Just Me is brain-damaged.

Carry on.

Posted by David Schmader | January 14, 2008 10:40 AM
11

Knives are so messy. Why not just go all the way and get a 22?

Posted by tsm | January 14, 2008 10:40 AM
12

Bravo! More people should have this response to violence. 90% of Seattlites are good, or at least aren't murders. But being good also means that you will protect your family, friends and community from the 5% of "other humans."

These other humans should not be tolerated. They should be punished. I recommend a .38 or .45 over a knife or .22.

I'm not advocating violence, I'm advocating a community's legitimate right of self-defense and protecting the social welfare. We don't need a posse, but we do need to let the other humans know that we will protect our community by any means necessary.

Posted by Medina | January 14, 2008 10:52 AM
13

@11, I think a larger caliber is in order. A .22 might not provide the single kill shot one is looking for - I'd suggest nothing less than a .40 caliber. It's practically fool-proof provided you don't shoot your friends or have your children shoot their friends with it.

Posted by dirty harry | January 14, 2008 10:54 AM
14

So, do Stranger writers and Slog readers only care about Capitol Hill murder victims? Reminds me of the "missing white woman" syndrome on cable news channels.

Posted by duh | January 14, 2008 10:55 AM
15

This I,A writer is looking to get fucked up. Knives are really difficult weapons to use correctly, and they provide much less of an advantage in a fight than most people think they're going to. If someone with a knife is attacked by a larger, stronger opponent, odds are good they're going to have the knife taken away and used against them.

Guns are also a bad idea for a lot of reasons. Most people are either too nervous about them, or they don't pull them in time and things go badly.

Either way, you're always better off just keeping your eyes open and trusting your gut.

Posted by Judah | January 14, 2008 10:57 AM
16

Oh it's already been buh-rot'n!

Posted by monkey | January 14, 2008 11:00 AM
17

@15 - Exactly. Anyone who arms themselves must ask the following:

1. Am I proficient enough with this weapon to stop a larger and stronger attacker?

2. Am I mentally prepared to kill someone?

If the answer to one or both of these is "No", then you're better off without a weapon.

I feel the same way about pepper-spray (obviously, you can ignore question 2 for this one). But, what are the chances of having the attacker take the pepper spray and using it against you? What are the chances of pepper spraying yourself by mistake?


Posted by Mahtli69 | January 14, 2008 11:24 AM
18

@17 - you're basically saying that all self-defense efforts of any kind are pointless. Screw that. Yes, there's a chance of weapons misfiring and the like. But I'm going to operate under the assumption that a random person assaulting me is willing to kill me, and I'd rather enjoy any possible advantage, although I'd also want to make sure I knew how to use whatever weapon I carried.

Posted by tsm | January 14, 2008 11:29 AM
19

I think Just Me did it!

did I just say that out loud?? I'm totally kidding....or am I?

Posted by catnextdoor in albuquerque | January 14, 2008 11:35 AM
20

1) What possible good can come from this I, Anonymous post?
2) What possible good can come from any I, Anonymous post?

Has it helped in anyway? No. Then fucking shut up.

Posted by paul | January 14, 2008 11:36 AM
21

if this was a black women from burien there wouldn't be any of this outrage. fuck white women being sensationalized, fuck white women who feel they can relate to another white women simply because she is white, and fuck white women that get all scared when a speciously connected white woman is murdered.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 11:48 AM
22
you're basically saying that all self-defense efforts of any kind are pointless.

In a street situation, this is basically true for most people. Arm yourself at your own peril. This is even true for cops, who are, on average, about a million times more paranoid and aware of their environment than a normal person. Nearly 20% of cops who are shot and killed in the line of duty are shot and killed with their own guns, or their partners' guns. Which is the other part of this equation: if you carry a gun, you're not just risking your own life, but the lives of bystanders.

Posted by Judah | January 14, 2008 11:50 AM
23

@18 - I do not think self-defense efforts are pointless. However, without training and practice, they can easily make matters worse.

I will add that I think many of us are a bit over-paranoid about being attacked. Most of the time, a little common sense will keep us safe. In the rare case that common sense isn't enough (such as Shannon Harps, presumably), it is big news and everyone freaks out.

Frankly, we should all be more afraid of driving a car than being murdered (statistically speaking, this is especially true if you are a white female).

Posted by Mahtli69 | January 14, 2008 11:56 AM
24

see, I don't find over the top displays of racism that bad because most the time they are laughable and you can easily write that person off as being wrong. I find subtle things like white women everywhere being paranoid now because another white woman bit it, nevermind that women everywhere are victimized every day without regard to color. i find it sad that most white women would be more fearful now of a random attack on someone of the same race, rather than an attack on a black woman from someone she knows.

i suppose ignorance causes fear and there are likely a whole lot of ignorant and fearful white women in the world right now.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 11:59 AM
25

20: I wondered about that myself, and had a couple smart women read the text before I posted it. Said one: "I like the vigilante feeling and anger behind it. Many people are feeling the same way." Said the other: "I think it probably speaks to what a lot of women are feeling, afraid, but empowered."

Posted by David Schmader | January 14, 2008 11:59 AM
26

@21 - Would you feel better if we expressed equal outrage at the Rwandan woman who got assaulted in the U District?

@22 -

Nearly 20% of cops who are shot and killed in the line of duty are shot and killed with their own guns, or their partners' guns. Which is the other part of this equation: if you carry a gun, you're not just risking your own life, but the lives of bystanders.

Perhaps, but you also have to balance this against the number of times cops may have avoided death by virtue of having a weapon available.

I'm not a gun nut, and wouldn't necessarily suggest that people tote around deadly weapons willy-nilly, but if your advice to people who wish to get out of a hypothetical street altercation alive is "Prepare in no way whatsoever" ... well, I'm not convinced that's the best advice.

Posted by tsm | January 14, 2008 12:00 PM
27
if your advice to people who wish to get out of a hypothetical street altercation alive is "Prepare in no way whatsoever"

Yes, that's was my advice exactly. Only I said it in code when I said, "Either way, you're always better off just keeping your eyes open and trusting your gut."

There are a million little tricks for staying safe on the streets: take corners wide rather than tight, keep your hands out of your pockets, check doorways as you pass them, and so on. With practice, these things become automatic, but they require a lot of practice. You have to be committed to being safe, and committed to keeping yourself sharp. People who go out and buy guns or carry pepper spray often do so under the mistaken impression that it gives them an edge that will make them safe on the streets, and they're just plain wrong. Staying alert and being visibly aware of your environment is always safer than being armed -- particularly if being armed lulls you into a false sense of security, as it often does, in my experience.

Posted by Judah | January 14, 2008 12:13 PM
28

I would feel better if people didn't get into a tizzy when one race is victimized and it happens to be their race. white women are especially bad at this. be a strong woman, don't get frightened so easy.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 12:23 PM
29

I would feel better if people didn't get into a tizzy when one race is victimized and it happens to be their race. white women are especially bad at this. be a strong woman, don't get frightened so easy.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 12:32 PM
30

28. We heard you already, ok?

Posted by Waxing Rhetoric | January 14, 2008 12:38 PM
31

um, it was very, very probably someone that knew her. duh.

Posted by geez, morons | January 14, 2008 12:41 PM
32

you know what i meant, it was probably someone that knew her! duh.

Posted by geez, morons | January 14, 2008 12:42 PM
33

Seriously Bellevue, what @30 said. Anybody who ever talks about a murdered white woman without discussing a murdered black woman in the same breath is racist. Got it.

Posted by Julie | January 14, 2008 12:47 PM
34

I tend to be on the "that pepper spray is not really going to help you" side of this argument. If a much larger man is grabbing you from behind, what is the likelihood that you're going to be able to get out your mace, aim, and spray, all while struggling against this person. Pretty much no weapon is going to help you in that scenario.

Being alert and smart about your surroundings is the best way to be safe.

That being said, I haven't followed the case that closely, but I thought @31/32 was right and they were thinking it was someone who knew her?

Posted by Julie | January 14, 2008 12:53 PM
35

i'm sure Shannon Harps' killer is quaking in his boots after reading that threat.

actally, he probably won't read it because, unless he's a moron, he shaved & got the fuck out of dodge.

Posted by max solomon | January 14, 2008 1:00 PM
36

julie, are you a white woman? regardless, one doesnt need to have parity in reporting, because obviously even if there was parity white people would be more shook off of white people being victimized.

anyone that is more scared when a white woman is killed vs. a black woman is a racist. it shows that one race being killed has more impact on their perception of safety than another, which goes to show they most likely don't care when it is black on black, native on native. it's okay though, everyones a little bit racist, sometimes.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 1:08 PM
37

One of the best things that could come out of this sad situation is increased enrollment in martial arts classes by both genders. I'm not talking about a 6 week "women's self defense" class, either. Find a reputable place, with a focus on practical self-defense, and make a long-term commitment to your own safety.

If you care about your kids, find a good martial arts studio, and start them early-like at age five. To this day, it remains the best thing my parents ever did for me.

For the skeptics out there, I'm a petite blond girl, and I have had to use my skills against a bigger, stronger, attacker. I left him spitting his teeth on the ground and crying after one punch-and that was before I got a black belt-these days, I'd pick a smarter target, and not hurt my hand on his nasty teeth!

Ladies, don't rely on weapons you have to carry. Rely on the weapons that can never be taken from you. It's the best investment you can make, and it's never too late to learn how to kick ass.

Posted by Poecile | January 14, 2008 1:15 PM
38

30. Implicit, implicit, implicit, explicit. Thanks for issuing us the hall pass.

Posted by Waxing Rhetoric | January 14, 2008 1:19 PM
39

36 not 30

Posted by Waxing Rhetoric | January 14, 2008 1:20 PM
40

anyone that is more scared when a white woman is killed vs. a black woman is a racist. Bellevue Ave


So since it was a woman that was killed, are women being sexist for feeling more vulnerable?

particularly if being armed lulls you into a false sense of security, as it often does, in my experience. Judah

I can't tell if this reads like Judah gets attacked a lot or attacks a lot of people.

Posted by PdxRitchie | January 14, 2008 1:21 PM
41

perhaps they are being sexist, but the race issue is much larger. why among one group of people are whites being victimized so much more outrageous and fear inspiring?

racial bias is why.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 1:42 PM
42

perhaps they are being sexist, but the race issue is much larger. why among one group of people are whites being victimized so much more outrageous and fear inspiring?

racial bias is why.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 1:42 PM
43

@16

OH IT'S ALREADY BEEN BUH-RAHT-IN!!!!1!!


and

"before this goes to print"

That's a little assuming, right?

Posted by stu | January 14, 2008 1:44 PM
44

oh my GOD Bellevue Ave... Your words are like poison. And I think you are completely wrong. I'm assuming you're a white man?

Posted by catnextdoor in albuquerque | January 14, 2008 1:49 PM
45

@41,

It's not unusual for members of one group to identify more strongly with members of the same group. You'll see that in news reports about disasters overseas where they report on a handful of Americans who got swept up in it. It isn't racist for a woman to get freaked out when she sees someone like her, living in the same fucking neighborhood, be a (possibly random) victim of a violent attack.

But it's nice to see that you're moving on from your own racist ramblings to sexist ramblings. All your "honeybucket" Mudede ad hominem attacks were really getting old.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 14, 2008 1:55 PM
46

honeybucket still applies. he is still full of shit. quote me on that.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 1:57 PM
47

also, how are my ramblings racist? i dont care about what races do or how they live, therefore that makes me a racist right? I mean, my complete lack of empathy for natives is racist right? but if i get spooked because a white man is murdered vs. a native that isnt racist?

also, sexism isn't any better than racism, which is why im glad im not either.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 2:04 PM
48

either a sexist or racist.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 2:05 PM
49

How is Bellevue Ave being racist?

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 14, 2008 2:24 PM
50

I dont think anyone ever called Bellevue racist. Bellevue suggested that himself.

BOOYA!

Posted by catnextdoor in albuquerque | January 14, 2008 2:31 PM
51

what were we talking about again...?

Posted by ellarosa | January 14, 2008 2:37 PM
52

ive been called racist for my appalling lack of empathy or tact towards natives. also you need to learn how to read. @45 keshmeshi alludes to racist ramblings that i make. book it.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 2:53 PM
53

White people dropping the R-bomb on white people.

Posted by kenton | January 14, 2008 2:53 PM
54

I think people are always more scared when it's an attack by a stranger than someone known to the victim; because we all have the belief that our judgement is better and we won't have people like the murderer around us. We also are more afraid when something happens in or near our neighborhoods, because people feel that this person attacking random people is nearby, and that they could be next--not irrational.

The murders that bother me most are the driveby shootings that get bystanders, how on earth could you protect yourself from those?

And having some mace or a knife in a purse could help someone feel and walk more confidently, a predator will usually pick small, weak, uncertain targets. So it could help keep someone safe, as long as they don't get so cocky they don't pay attention. A buddy system would probably also deter attackers, always harder to control a group than a single person.

Posted by SpookyCat | January 14, 2008 3:24 PM
55

@52,

You went way beyond not having empathy toward Native Americans. You accused them of being lazy, ignorant drunkards who are too busy blaming whitey than to do anything useful with their lives. Additionally, your comments were made in reference to the desire of some Natives to break away from the United States and become self-sufficient. So, sure, you're not racist.

And now, in this post as well as in this morning's news, you've implied that women are a bunch of hysterical hypochondriac racists, because you once knew a couple female hypochondriacs and because the I, Anonymous writer is pissed off about a violent murder. So you're not sexist either.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 14, 2008 3:29 PM
56

keshmeshi knows my every view and take.

natives arent lazy, most of them just happen to live in poverty which is a major drag, dude. most natives arent drunkards but most natives are alcoholics on reservations, as you could easily discover by google. does this mean they choose to be alcoholics? no, but most of them arent choosing to leave the res. and im sorry if i don't have any squishy feelings for people that cant get out of a bad situation simply by being in a bad situation.

and the entire premise that breaking away from the U.S. would solve their problems is laughably retarded because breaking away from the U.S. doesnt change any of the problems that face reservations. unless they set up a meth plant, casino or something like that, the res will rarely have anything economically rewarding on the res. thats where they really got screwed over, in the allocation of land for reservations.
theres an old proverb that goes "you can't change the wind, but you can change your sails." natives cant change the past, but they can at least try to improve their future by leaving the crap that are reservations and being part of the greater society of the united states.

also, a lot of white women that have a middle class standard of living are histrionic, hypochondriac, stealth racists. they would never say that a white women dying scares them more than a black woman, but its the truth. they don't value black life as much as white. i think all lives are equally valuable and one shouldnt get all alarmed because one person of one race was murdered. people should get alarmed when anyone of any race is murdered because murderers are mostly color blind (they know the person).

any keshmeshi, im glad you've become a fan of mine, even though i'll never be as much of a blubbering PC apologist as you. it makes me feel like i'm doing something right if you feel compelled to hang on to almost every word i type.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 3:54 PM
57

there are all sorts of fucked up shit to be enraged/intimidated/vigilant about. but isn't life (OBVIOUSLY) a bit too short for that? instead of the you're this/YOU'RE this crap that this thread has involved, why don't you go eat a good meal, admire the almost-snow, smoke a bowl, or have some sex?

at least now the subject has been potentially changed to 'let's verbally kick the inane hippie's ass'...

Posted by pretentious | January 14, 2008 5:52 PM
58

Bellevue - I don't really get your whole "white women get hysterical about white woman being murdered" thing. Yes, this one I, Anonymous author might qualify. But, is there some epidemic of over-anxious urban white women who fear to leave their apartments that I don't know about?

I am white, live in Chicago, and am not afraid of being attacked. I'm not stupid (e.g., I don't walk alone down alleys at 4 am), but I don't carry mace or worry about random acts of violence. In the past few months, there was a white woman raped in an alley 4 blocks from me and a Hispanic woman murdered in a nearby park, neither of which caused me (or my friends) any particular distress. I mean, of course it's terrible whenever something like that happens, but, histrionics for any one crime are pretty rare, given the sheer number of them that happen in this city.

I don't think I'm atypical. I have never had a conversation with any of my female friends, white or black, that was like "oh, my god, that woman was raped/killed, we should all carry mace!"

But, whatever. I agree with SpookyCat @54. People discount murders when the victims knew the murderer because they don't believe it will happen to them. Some people get more agitated by a random murder in their own neighborhood, because they think, hey, that could happen to me.

Posted by Julie | January 14, 2008 6:26 PM
59

I'm more disturbed by the recent spate of teenagers being murdered in this city. As an adult you can choose to make safer decisions and hope that you aren't targeted any way. We might want to talk about how much scarier it is that a 16 year-old young man could be shot in the head at a school dance. Or that a fourteen year-old was found shot dead in the street. That is a hideous problem that concerns me more than a person in my demographic being murdered. What kind of city are we living in when we can't protect teenagers from gun violence? These are abominations. So is Harps' death.

Posted by katethed | January 14, 2008 7:58 PM
60

you tell me julie. why is the news covering this so much here, when this isn't a big deal. its cause its a white woman, and the media caters to a market segment that wants to see white woman murder stories; sparsely educated middle class white women.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 11:02 PM

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