Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Violent crime shakes small town

Here's a headline from today that read, "Deadly home invasion rattles small town." Forty two year old Kimberly Cates of Mont Vernon, a "small, rural town in the hills of New Hampshire," was killed over the weekend in a violent home invasion. Her 10-year old daughter was severely injured in the attack and is still in the intensive care unit.

A major focal point of this article seems to be the contradiction of the stereotype of rural areas as being safe and having low crime rates. It's not just that there was a violent home invasion that resulted in a murder and serious injuries to a little girl, but that this type of crime comes as a major shock to a small community. The "shock value" and usual safety of the town is mentioned three times in the very brief article:
"'This type of murder does not happen very often,' New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Will Delker said. 'This is something out of the ordinary.'"

"'The people up here aren't used to this kind of thing,' Don Himsel, senior photo editor for the Nashua Telegraph, said Tuesday. 'This never really happens.'"

"Himsel also said violent crime is extremely rare in Mont Vernon. 'I think we may have had one assault in town in the last 10 years.'"
I'm not saying that the rarity of such a crime isn't newsworthy, but perhaps the shock is more heavily emphasized because this is a rural town.

1 comment:

Lisa R. Pruitt said...

Another story about this crime reports that the teens who have been charged with the murder picked this home at random to rob--and that Cates' home was "on an isolated, dirt road." To me this suggests that the vulnerability associated with spatial isolation may have influenced the assailants' choice. The story is here:

It features another interesting quote from a resident, highlighting the rural-urban distinction: “You feel safe and separated from what goes on in the city, and to think… there are boys who can actually do something like this, you just can’t wrap your head around it.”