Monday, July 6, 2009

Serial killer dead after spree in nonmetropolitan Cherokee County, SC

Read the latest from the New York Times here.

Gaffney, South Carolina, where the five killings occurred, has a population of 12,968 and is part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Statistical Area. Gaffney is in Cherokee County, which appears to be micropolitan, with a population of about 54,000.

The news reports of recent events seem to reflect the vulnerability associated with rural places. Here's an excerpt from an AP report on 5 July:
An 83-year-old woman and her daughter were shot to death on Wednesday, and a 63-year-old peach farmer was found dead at his home a week ago.

The killings have alarmed residents, who canceled Independence Day holiday plans and armed themselves.

Sheriff Blanton warned people selling door to door to stop knocking, and he cautioned anyone who broke down on the county’s rural roads to wait instead of walking to a house for help because he worried “people are going to start shooting at shadows.”
In this short excerpt are rural themes of self reliance/self help--specifically involving guns, as well as vulnerability due to spatial isolation and the attendant limited presence of law enforcement.

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