Wednesday, December 5, 2012


An endless number of things elude my admitted ability to comprehend them.  If I attempted to tackle just one of them a day - each and every day in this space - my contribution to vacuous clutter would run forever.  Fear not - I have as little interest in that as I suppose you do.  There is an end date out there somewhere.  I promise.  At present, I simply cannot see it.

On Saturday morning I spent a few hours at the office (if you are willing to start your Saturday work day by 4:30 am the amount of things you can accomplish by 9:30 am may boggle the mind) and upon getting home spent several hours with the Missus doing chores and running errands.  Late Saturday afternoon, with chores completed and errands concluded, I made my weekly trek to the A&P.  I was standing in line at the cash register waiting my turn to check out, bored, when I decided to start messing around with my "smart" phone.  I was looking for the starting time for Saturday night's CU v. Wyoming men's hoops game on the ESPN App when my eye was drawn to the headline discussing the murder-suicide in Kansas City, Missouri, which involved a NFL player (whose name I had never heard in my life) Jovan Belcher.

The abridged version of the story is that at or about 8:00 am on Saturday morning Belcher had killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, who was just twenty-two years young, by shooting her multiple times (I have seen the number nine reported in more than one place) in the rented home they shared.  Kasandra was not simply Jovan Belcher's significant other (a dating relationship in which the two reportedly referred to one another as husband and wife).  Kasandra was the mother of his three-month-old daughter, Zoey, who was born to the couple on September 11th of this year.

In the days since this story first broke I have read much about twenty-five-year-old Jovan Belcher - a starting linebacker for the Chiefs who was a fourth-year pro out of the University of Maine.  The information I have seen paints a picture of a typically complex and multi-layered individual who had an impressive history of community service. 

None of those attributes changes what happened on Saturday morning.  None of them explains the inexplicable.  He murdered the twenty-two-year-old mother of his three-month-old child in cold blood.  He murdered the twenty-two-year-old mother of his three-month-old child in cold blood in front of his mother.

After murdering Kasandra he drove in his newly-acquired Bentley to Arrowhead Stadium where - according to at least one report I have read - he used a different handgun to commit suicide.  A suicide he insisted on committing in front of his Head Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli.  A suicide he committed after "confessing" to Pioli that he had murdered Kasandra and that he was not going to jail. 

Perhaps it is the jaded Irishman in me - I do after all subscribe to the Denis Leary take on the wish that any perpetrator of a murder-suicide had simply done the world a favor and reversed the order of his actions - but when I consider the victims of Saturday's events there is one name that crosses neither my mind nor my lips.  Jovan Belcher. 

What drives one human being to destroy the lives of those around him - including a trio (his child, his spouse and his mother) for whom one might properly expect him to have more compassion than any others - is simply beyond my limited ability to comprehend.  For today at least.

And tomorrow is not looking much better.


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