May 1 , 2007
By Ken Krayeske • 12:00 PM EST
This is the building on my street where 18-year-old Alexandria Clouse-Desmond was brutally murdered Friday night. As I took the photo last night, boys played baseball across the street in a parking lot, and a girl walking down the sidewalk stepped around me and my camera to avoid being photographed.
My friend emailed the other day, telling me it was probably time to move off of Laurel Street. Aside from the long list of sex offenders who live on this humble byway, we have our fair share of crime.
This true tale of human depravity, another in the long line of tales of man's inhumanity to man (or woman, in this case) happened just a few days ago, a short walk from my house.
The Hartford Courant has the sordid details, but in sum, it seems as if four people brutally murdered Alexandria Clouse-Desmond, 18, stuffed her in a cardboard box, placed a bag over her head and put her in a closet.
In the list of grotesque group homicides, it's not quite Auschwitz, but it certainly ranks alongside the tragedy of Maryanne Measles. People didn't move out of New Milford after a crew of miscreants gang-raped, strangled and dumped the 13-year-old's body in the Housatonic River. So I think I'll stay put.
I tried to take a pretty picture, because beauty lurks everywhere. Elsewhere on Laurel Street, on Saturday, May 5, a bank will hold a foreclosure auction for 368 Laurel, two houses down from me.
George Lewis, owner of the gorgeous yet really run down 370 Laurel Street, is selling. He has put it on the market himself, as a small sign on the boarded up window of the front room advertises "For Sale By Owner."
Unfortunately, I hear he is looking for like $319,000. Um, considering that the house needs probably $250,000 of work on it, and that no house in all of Asylum Hill is worth $600,000, I think we'll be stuck with it for some time.
Otherwise, things seem normal. Poverty hasn't left, as I saw men looking through the trash for cans yesterday. Nor has the drug dealing or litter.
But regular folks still try to make a life here, barbecuing in front of apartment buildings, hanging out on the front porches people watching and walking dogs.
As for me, it's time to get back to law school studying. With $11,000 worth of exams in the next week, I want to know that I got my loan's worth.
UPDATE: This afternoon, as I pedaled off to the library and the bank, two police cars were in front of my house. One was pulled up across the sidewalk and onto my our driveway and front lwn.
"Just a traffic stop," the cop told me.
An import coupe was trapped in our driveway, unable to move because of the fence, and blocked in by the aforementioned cop car.
"He thought he pull through your driveway," the officer said, but motioned that the wrought iron gate stopped the get-away driver.
"That's why we put the fence in," I said. Good guys 1, bad guys 0.