Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rich, steamy bowls of justice to be served

Murder of the innocent is senseless but it takes a particular kind of asshole to commit a crime like this.  In December of 1959, Cliff, Christine, Debbie and Jimmy Walker were shot to death in their family home by a still unknown intruder. Christine had been sexually assaulted and Debbie, who was 23 months old, had been shot and later drowned in the bathtub. It happened in Osprey, Florida and shook up the quiet little farming community. DNA found at the scene has finally been processed and a profile developed that may finally solve the case. Laura James at CLEWS has the scoop.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has an excellent walkthrough of the crime as well.

Pardon me while I get up on this soapbox but reading through the links provided by Ms. James I was taken aback. Friends and family of the Walkers are alive this very day and can remember their warm smiles. Their memories are of people who will forever be young and never had the chance to grow old with friends and neighbors. For those who are alive the solving of this case may mean closure or vindication. This isn't the case with the crimes I, and a handful of others, are persuing.

The people most closely associated with the crimes of the Midwest Axeman are long dead. If the crimes in Colorado Springs, Monmouth, Ellsworth, Paola and Villisca are ever solved, it won't really benefit anybody. So why do we do it? With a case that is almost 100 years old it is easy to forget that the victims were innocent people too. It isn't hard to draw a parallel between young Debbie Walker being drowned in the bathtub and little Nellie Burnham being struck down as she desperately scrambled over her mother's legs. We can often disassociate ourselves from adults we do not know but, at least in my case, we have a hard time doing the same when it comes to children and more children than adults fell victim to the Midwest Axeman. The children of Ross Moore never had the chance to grow up with their cousins, Herman and Katharine. Blanche Stillinger had to live the rest of her life knowing she was the one who let her two little sisters stay with the Moores on the night of June 9, 1912, a fact which effected her raising of her own daughter.

While the principal players may all be gone the lack of justice still lingers for the victims. Most who study historic crimes know the names of the victims in Villisca but very few know the Dawson family. The Hudsons are rarely mentioned in the same sentence as the Moores and they died only four days earlier. Has anyone bothered to locate the graves of Henry, Blanche and little Lulumay Wayne? Don't get me wrong, I would like to solve these crimes because seriously, how cool would that be, but sometimes I do have to step back and remind myself the victims aren't just names on a gravestone but real people with real families and friends who mourned for them almost 100 years ago.

P.S. My apologies to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for uploading the thumbnail but the linked picture was just too big.


Anonymous said...

Here is something odd. You posted the back in 2008. I wanted to see what happened since and the huffingtonpost crime blog posted the same story on. December 13, 2012 four years later. Is our justice system that slow at something as simple as to digging up bodies for DNA?

By the way. You have a great site here. Much excellent work. If only the justice system was run as good.


H. Justice said...

Here it is..2017 and many questions left to never be answered. I was researching the crimes myself and I came across your writing. And great insight. Out of curiosity..are you still piecing together the puzzle? I see that you wrote this in 2008. Therefore, I'm curious if you have continued. I enjoyed reading your words.

Inspector Winship said...

In the case of the Walkers, I'm keeping an eye on any new developments but not actively researching it. For the axe murders, I'm more or less at a dead end. There's just not much more to write until I uncover something new. I appreciate your kind words & thanks for reading.