Arriving at a crime scene is never easy

Reporter interviewing MPD at Crime Scene.

My morning started off pretty normal. Kids off to school, update some reading, get a couple of blog posts done and then do some press releases for a coming show.

Then my phone rang.  Fellow Monrovian Robert Parry called and let me know that MPD had Melrose and Hillcrest closed. He “heard” there was a dead body found.  He tried to take a pic and he was asked to leave.  He called me to see if I knew what was going on or if I could find out.

I knew the neighborhood.  Its all older homes with a lot of our seniors living there.  Not the place one would expect much more than petty crimes if anything.  When I arrived a lot of people were standing on their porches and lawns looking at the yellow crime scene tape and all the squad cars.

It took a little conversation with a few of them and I learned what happened.  I choked.  I was told it was a suicide.  An elderly gentleman who was in tough times trying to recover from 2 strokes felt useless.  He shot himself outside so as not to ruin the inside of his home.  Sometime around 8AM he did the deed breaking the silence and ended his unhappiness.  I suddenly felt very horrible.  This is something so private and tragic I just had to stop in my tracks and think a bit.  I can’t intrude.  I do need to do something to ensure their privacy a bit.  

In talking with one of the gentleman he pointed out another man sitting on the corner and told he would have all the details.  I was told he and the deceased were close friends.  I did talk with him a bit and give him my condolences.  I wanted to cry with him.  How sad is it that one of our community felt so useless that he had to end it this way.

He and the deceased were friends since they were 8 years old.  His wife and he grew up with him, shared a lifetime of memories together.  We chatted a bit and my words of sympathy and encouragement to help the survivors felt somehow shallow.  But what does one say in a situation like that?  For my part I’m not giving names all I can do is allow that family their time in peace to come to grips with what happened.

I feel horrible for this man.  Depression after strokes is not uncommon. Depression in our elderly is not uncommon either.   Certainly resources like Medicare and Medical aren’t enough to help our elderly of modest resources when faced with the challenges.

I have to give props to our police officers and what they run into on every call.  I wonder how the “crime scene” reporters have come to grips with walking into this info as well.

RIP neighbor.  I wish your family the best in the coming weeks.

Pic by me.  I stopped with just that when I learned what was going on.

6 thoughts on “Arriving at a crime scene is never easy”

  1. You’re a good man Fraz. While your words may have felt shallow to you, I’m quite sure just being there and talking with the stranger was a great help. Sometimes that’s the difference between him deciding to do the same, or go on living. You may have just saved a life, so feel good about that.

    It is sad to see what becomes of the elderly after such terrible events as a stroke. I work in an Emergency Room, so I see it everyday. I’m constantly thinking, “I don’t ever want to go on living like this person.” It’s an awful thing to think, but at least he was able to accomplish his goal. It’s not uncommon for people to attempt suicide poorly, and end up in a far worse situation than they were in before.

    My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.

  2. Fraz, I’m sorry you had to walk into this, and I’m sorry for all the families involved. It’s so sad we can’t shepherd our elderly into these difficult times with more love & support. The only positive here is that he’s no longer suffering.

  3. You’re right, Fraz, post-operative depression and depression following a major illness is very common and was most likely left untreated in this poor gentleman’s case. Medicare and state supported medical services have tried to keep patients away from pricey psych medications for some time now. A few months ago (apparently while no one was watching because I saw precious little mainstream press on this) Congress passed legislation mandating that a whole host of medicines for depression and mental illness be scaled back by insurers (that includes Medicare)and placed more in alignment with other medications in terms of co-pay to the patient.

    Another victim of our fucked up medical arts apparatus.


  4. My meds arrived in the mail today. The cash price for 1 of the 5 I take was $784.71. This is for a 3 month supply. My cost or co pay is $65 + shipping. This is the least expensive drug I take. Were I not to take these drugs faithfully each day I would be like the man in his front yard. They keep me alive.Thankfully I have insurance that covers these drugs. My psych visits are doled out and monitored by some hack at the insurance company. I could have 6 ER visits in 2 months for a physical problem,with full coverage but go in with a mental problem and permission is needed. That is fucked up. In 2009 my mental health drug copays are increasing to $100 per fill as are my mental health MD visits.

    Being mentally ill isn’t sexy, its not accepted no matter what anyone says.It is a dirty little secret shared with only the closest of friends, Fraz being the first I told 9 years ago. I am glad he was there for that man. I was struck that the deceased went outside so as to not dirty his home. May you finally be at peace my brother.

  5. Sara you and I have been down that road and back together. You there for me when I needed it and vice versa I hope. Somehow we managed to keep each other on track. That is what worries me the most. What happens when we are as old and gray, don’t have insurance and Medicare and MediCal offering next to nothing in support?

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