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Published:April 14th, 2011 15:16 EST
Something About 'Collective Social Complicity' In the Long Island Ripper Case!

Something About 'Collective Social Complicity' In the Long Island Ripper Case!

By John G. Kays

"Hush a wild violet, hush a band of gold. Hush you`re in a story I heard somebody told. Tear the promise from my heart, tear my heart today. You have found another, oh baby I must go away. So hang down your head for sorrow, hang down your head for me. Hang down your tomorrow, hang down your head Marie."  Hang Down Your Head " Tom Waits " Rain Dogs

Shannan Gilbert

The search for Shannan Gilbert kicked off this nightmare. Details of her last day seen alive (May 1, 2010) have expanded in the news. When first reported she was just a Craiglist prostitute. Now her image is that of a real person with career goals. And is the local community gripped with fear, or do they shrug it off? Business as usual. Our perception is shifting.

And why did the police leak that they have a suspect or suspects? This would just tip off the Long Island Ripper (Or Craigslist Ripper or Seaside Sicko) that they`re on to him, and he`ll change his MO. But will he stop his killing? Unlikely, since he probably thrives on the media attention and his dexterity in outfoxing the cops. Oh, don`t forget his utter contempt for women acts as a behavioral trigger.

And have the police clearly linked the Long Island murders to the 2006 murders of four women in Atlantic City? The nature of the link, as reported by the New York Post, seems a little iffy to me. The only connection reported was that Kim Raffo was living on Long Island for five weeks with her husband, then took a bus to Atlantic City and subsequently lost her life. Did the Ripper follow her?

Perhaps the police have more, but this bridge between cases is tenuous at best. My instincts tell me they are connected, but what links them together? Maybe the police have found out that Kim Raffo was acquainted with the Ripper and are developing this individual as a suspect by way of that association? The tie-in has to be stronger than a simple bus ride to Atlantic City.

I have been following the case fairly closely since last December, when the four bodies of women were discovered in the brushy thicket, off of Ocean Parkway. I have tried to write about the case several times before, only to walk away from the keyboard when it became all too much. Confusion comes over me when I see conflicting coverage in the media. Is the Ripper holding the winning cards in his slimy hands?

Suddenly, `legitimate media` (such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal) is covering the chilling story in full force. Before it was just the tabloids or bolder media outlets covering a familiar tale of prostitutes being killed by the dozen and discarded like trash near a busy freeway. What`s up? Now these women are real people with dreams of a better life. Hey, these girls even have parents, sisters and brothers who love them.

I recommend you read an article (Prostitutes` Disappearances Were Noticed Only When the First Bodies Were Found) in The New York Times written by Manny Fernandez. It`s very dangerous out there, and with a Ripper on the loose, I wouldn`t chance it ladies. But is this gleam of conscience by the media and society in general just transitory happenstance? Or is it a fundamental change, where women of the night will no longer be marginalized? I`m skeptical, that`s a long shot. But it`s good to know for a brief moment excessive media attention is holding a mirror up to society, that blushes in shame for what we`ve done to these poor girls.

The Ripper himself is as Evil as you want him to be. But why is he so Evil? Because he contains within his very fiber, his DNA, all the contamination of societal misgivings and misunderstandings about women in general, and especially about women who practice in the sex trade.

That is, the Ripper thinks it`s alright to kill these women, since he believes society wants him to rid the world of them. Something about `collective social complicity.` I still can`t get it right, but this time I just typed out some clumsy words so you`ll get a fragment of my thoughts. We`re not suppose to be thinking these thoughts, much less posting them on the internet!