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View Diary: Another day in the (gun crazy) U.S.A. (16 comments)

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  •  Thanks for doing this (11+ / 0-)

    It's a lot of work, and an important archival round-up.

    Meanwhile, I got thinking about some gun violence from a few years back, in light of the current debate. The woman in question and been my landlady a decade earlier.

    This kid should not have been able to buy that assault rifle.  Though, truth be told, there were enough guns around in his world that he probably could have done it anyhow, even without buying that gun.

    January 1, 2006 / January 5, 2006
    Double Homicide-Suicide
    Peggy French, 52, and Joe Hoar, 57, of Taos, were shot to death in their bed by Peggy’s son, Caleb French, 20. A massive manhunt for French ensued during the next few days before he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an outbuilding on his father’s property. Caleb French was described as paranoid schizophrenic and was not taking his medications. He also had a history of hard-core drug abuse since his early teens. On December 6, 2005, Caleb purchased a Romanian CA1 AK assault rifle from a Taos-area gun shop that matched the caliber of the murder weapon. Investigators also found numerous other guns in Caleb’s truck and Hoar’s home.
    Prior to the service, on the afternoon of Jan. 5—a Thursday—Joe's stepson and Peggy's boy, young Caleb French, 20—the suspect in the deaths of Joe and Peggy, according to news reports—died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a cabin on the property of his father, Tom French. The police describe his clothes and shoes as being full of burrs, worn, torn, and wet. The double homicide in which Joe and Peggy died occurred around midnight on New Year's Eve.

    We can only imagine that young Caleb spent five days eluding helicopters and ground searches, clutching his rifle and running across the mesa like a scared rabbit, like a little boy, hiding under the sagebrush, finally coming to ground and dying on a couch in his Dad's cabin, from a gunshot. Those who knew him say he suffered from bouts of schizophrenia and heard voices.

    Co-workers of French at the thrift store said Caleb French had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and had been on medication.
        "Peggy spoke openly about Caleb's problems," said Connie Kesner of Ranchos de Taos, who said she knew French from working with her in the store. She said that Hoar and Caleb got along well and that they had gone hunting together a month ago.
    How does it work that she worked at the domestic violence center; it was widely known the kid had serious mental issues; and yet he could buy an assault rifle?  Furthermore:
    In the week prior to the fatal shootings of Peggy French and Joseph Hoar, 20-year-old Caleb French was upset with his mother and stepfather and told his stepsister that they "should be killed," according to search and arrest warrant affidavits filed in District Court on Thursday.
    Details as to why Caleb French took his mother and his stepfathers' lives may never be known, but in the weeks following the murders and suicide, Thomas French candidly described how, over the years, his son struggled with drug addiction and had previously been diagnosed with mental illness.

    "Taxes are for the little people" - Leona Helmsley (before being sent to jail for tax evasion)

    by Land of Enchantment on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:18:53 PM PST

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