The tears simmer in wait just beneath the surface. A lingering thought about a ten year old girl who escaped a vicious scene of murder and rape suddenly stirs emotion. A glance at the sweet smile of a dedicated librarian and mother instantly rekindles sadness. Over the last several days we have been a community in mourning. The ripples felt from the moment of attack at the Great Northern Mall extend infinitely beyond the parking lot where police say a stalker found his prey.
In the days since the attack conversations have centered on connections to the Lori Bresnahan and her accused killer David Renz. Many remember him from working at the front end of the James Street Wegmans. They remember him from ES-M High School. If they did not know of him before he has become a name that will not be forgotten for all the worst reasons.
On the other hand those who knew Lori have vowed that she not be forgotten for all the good she embodied. Many remember her for sharing information and knowledge in one of the libraries of the Liverpool schools. Others for her time singing in the Liverpool Community Choruse or attending Christ the King Church. When I saw her picture posted and her age of 48, I felt a personal sense of recognition. Lori and I attended school together in the Liverpool district. Several former classmates recalled on Facebook her kindness and smile.
We had experts in crimes of sexual abuse and violence sharing advice with us about the range of emotions that come with a community tragedy. Anger, sadness and confusion are among them. How could this happen? How could a man accused in a child pornography case be allowed on the streets? How could a electronic monitoring bracelet be disarmed? How come justice is not coming more swiftly? What is the future for the ten year old girl?
We consider those questions. We discover our connections to the victims and the accused. Beneath it all those tears patiently wait for a moment to escape.
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