Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse: Maybe I Wrote This Off Too Soon

How many cannibal incidents do you need in a week to start wondering if the zombie apocalypse paranoid might have something to it?  First, the bath salts crazed cannibal in Florida, now this college student doing the human recycling thing in Maryland.  The college student is from Kenya; I didn't think this was a custom of that part of Africa.

UPDATE: I see that the victim of the attack in Florida has a sad story that goes a lot farther back.  From May 30, 2012 CBS Miami:

For the victim Ronald Poppo, 65, however, it’s a completely different story.
At nine years old, Poppo and his family were involved in a serious car accident in New York. A yearbook photo acquired by the Miami New Times showed Poppo went on to become a decorated student at one of New York’s most prestigious high schools, Stuyvesant High.
Then, the family lost touch with him and haven’t heard from Ronald in 30 years.
“Well, I tried to reach him, but I just thought he killed himself,” Antoinette said. “And we really thought he was no longer on this earth.”
Even before he was attacked along the MacArthur Causeway; Ronald lived a tough life among the homeless men who call the space under the causeway home.
His past shows time in New York City, and back in the 80′s in New Orleans; but a long record of arrests for mostly petty crimes places him in the Miami area, at least off and on, as far back as 1978 when he was charged with criminal mischief.
Over the years, he dipped in and out of the courts for the types of crimes that are common when you don’t have a place to live.
Very smart kid...and somewhere, something goes wrong, and he ends up homeless, with lots of minor crimes ever since.  I would be very surprised if there wasn't a mental illness problem that developed in his 20s.  This is a very common pattern since deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill.  We tend to pay attention to the ones that commit serious crimes; we usually are not even aware of the ones who are living on the streets, getting in minor legal trouble or being victimized themselves.  As happened here, even Poppo's own family had lost track of him.  It is surprisingly easy to do.

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