Reality Round-Up: Hump Day +1

Han Lei in court to face his punishment (Xinhua)

Han Lei in court to face his punishment (Xinhua)

A lot of people refer to Wednesday as “Hump Day” since it’s the “hump” in the middle of the work week that, once crossed, means a downhill cruise to the weekend—and some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Sadly, there is no special name for Thursday that I’m aware of, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get at least some attention… especially today, when a number of strange and disturbing news stories caught my eye. Here are a few that seemed worthy of sharing.

Beijing Baby Killer

On July 23, Han Lei and his friend Li Ming were finishing dinner in the Daxing District of Beijing, China when they decided to meet some friends at a local karaoke bar. Unfortunately, parking near the bar was hard to come by, so they attempted to park at a bus stop. That’s where they encountered a woman—also named Li (which must as common as the names Jones or Smith in America)—who was waiting with her two-year-old baby Sun.

For some reason, Han accused the woman of blocking the parking spot with her stroller and an altercation erupted. As a crowd gathered around them, Han struck the woman in the face and allegedly threatened to hurt her daughter. Moments later, he followed through on his threat, grabbed the baby and hurled her to the pavement.

Sun sustained severe brain damage and died from her wounds less than three days later.

Needless to say, Han was arrested and despite claiming to be intoxicated and not thinking clearly at the time of the murder, a Beijing court found him guilty of intentional homicide and sentenced him to death yesterday. His friend Li Ming was charged with harboring a criminal and will spend the next five years of his life in prison.

Of course, some think a death sentence is still letting Han off lightly—and I tend to agree, to some extent. Consider what a person known as Xiongwoxi posted to the Chinese social media site Weibo shortly after hearing Han’s sentence:

“He deserves to be shot 100 times. Dying once is leniency.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Xiongwoxi!

 

Is this the face of a serial rapist? Do you know him? (NBC News)

Is this the face of a serial rapist? Do you know him? (NBC News)

Serial Rapist Terrorizes Masseuses

Police in southern California are on the lookout for a serial rapist suspected of assaulting more than 30 women at massage parlors in Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. The rapes began in 2009 and thanks to DNA evidence, authorities were able to link the multiple crimes together. They also have video footage of the suspect, a still shot from which I included here.

According to police, the suspect poses as a customer, enters a private room for a massage and then pulls a gun on the masseuse before raping her on her own table. And since he is still on the loose and capable of doing this again and again—as he has for the past four years—people in the area are obviously freaked out.

“It’s really scary to hear that because I had no idea that was even occurring,” a massage customer named Jamie Brownow said recently. “I’m going to be very cautious now when I walk into places.”

Being careful is important, of course, but getting this guy off the streets is even more so. If you live in the area, know this suspect or have seen him before, please contact the authorities as soon as possible. And remember this: just because he likes raping masseuses now doesn’t mean he won’t change his methods and start targeting women in other locations later. The heat is on him and since the cops will be watching massage parlors more closely, I wouldn’t be surprised if he altered his patterns simply to avoid arrest.

After all, he hasn’t been caught in four years, so he’s obviously more cunning than we might imagine.

Kid Killer

Last Friday—and after receiving some calls expressing concern—police in Henderson, Nevada entered an apartment on Eastern and Sunridge Heights Parkway and discovered the bodies of 40-year-old Elvira Canales-Gomez and her 9-year-old son Cesar Navarro. Gomez had not shown up for work and would not respond to calls from friends, while Navarro hadn’t been in school since September 17. And what’s worse was that the oldest child—16-year-old Adrian Navarro-Canales—was nowhere to be found. Police feared he may also be a victim, but eventually this changed and he became a “person of interest.”

Adrian with his mother and brother (Facebook)

Adrian with his mother and brother (Facebook)

An arrest warrant for Adrian was signed on Monday, but police didn’t run across him until several days later. He was sitting in an open-air food court in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip and was taken into custody without incident.

At this point—and despite charging him as an adult for two counts of murder—no one knows what may have led Adrian to stab his mother and brother to death. The murders occurred on the evening of September 17, but Adrian continued living in the house with the bodies for a short time afterwards—his brother was dead in the bathtub while his mother’s body was lying nearby with a knife sticking out of her chest. Adrian’s aunt mentioned how he and his mother often fought, though, and some of these altercations became violent. It’s likely he has some kind of mental illness working on him, too.

This may sound bad, but I hope Adrian is mentally ill. At least that might help explain why he reacted so violently and killed his entire family. Otherwise, his case will remain a mystery like so many others, including Adam Lanza, the teen responsible for the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School not too long ago.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: crime never sleeps and the daily news stands as a testament to how dark and demented some of our brothers and sisters can be—both here in the U.S. and around the world. It would be nice for this death and destruction to end someday, but we all know that isn’t likely to happen any time soon… if ever.

Never give up hope, though. Nowadays that might be all we really have left.

Posted on September 26, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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