In the past two weeks there have been two murders in my community. These vicious crimes have left multiple neighborhoods, families and church congregations, as well as civil law enforcement agencies in complete shock and sorrow, because “nothing like this” ever happens in our small, rural town.
Both deaths were completely senseless and each were allegedly caused by more than one person. So difficult to grasp is the fact that these murders were committed for next-to-nothing ‘profit.’
An 81-year-old woman was tied up and nearly decapitated. A male and female suspect (the latter of whom is the victim’s great niece) were captured on Walmart surveillance film a short while later making purchases with the decedent’s credit card.
The second horrific crime took place through a “lure” the murderers devised in an attempt to get a motorist to step out of a vehicle on the road. It worked. The killers had placed a duffel bag in the roadway. A 60-year-old man on his way to work got out of his car, and when he did, someone from a nearby woodline shot him multiple times and killed him. He was robbed of $24. Three young adults have been arrested under suspicion in the homicide.
When murder hits close to home, one can’t help but ponder a noticeable decline in the respect for life with which this nation was once associated. A credit card and $24? Those items are worth killing for? What has changed to make people think they can viciously attack and kill a fellow human being in exchange for a mere little spending spree at a department store, or what—a few packs of smokes?
I have watched the citizens of my own community cry and mourn the losses of these two precious human beings. I have also watched countless people shake their heads in dismay and confusion, asking how the world has become so turned upside down that murders are being committed in little country towns where the biggest crimes are typically minor traffic offenses or graffiti infractions at the local park.
I’d like to think this murder-minded plight that is seemingly overtaking our nation is not a permanent condition. What will it take to restore the Golden Rule? Perhaps, it begins with God-filled people sharing the love and joy and kindness within their own hearts with others—stepping outside the comfort zone to reach out to those whose houses were built on shaky foundations.
One thing’s for sure, when people are dying for less than $25, something has to change.
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.