The regular, casual, and frightening violence around Norfolk is so common that we don't always even note it, though the newspaper almost daily details child deaths, drug murders, random shootings, non-random shootings, shootings of missionaries, armed bank robberies, robbery +abductions car jackings, ex-cops charged with child rape, muggings, knifings, assaults, and other reminders of life here in the 757 (not to mention rampant property crimes and even the digging up of a Civil War grave for relics). The sheer amount of bank robberies is something I can't believe-it is almost every day. Here was a shooting yesterday about a half mile from my house and about four blocks from an elementary school (and polling place).

But sometimes certain horrifying events do warrant particular attention. Right before we left for Korea there was a mob killing of a navy man in Ocean View, led by three young teenage girls. They have just come to trial now, one of them just pleaded guilty to murder, but claims not to have robbed the murdered guy (who was 19 years old). She did lure him to the party, where he was ambushed. The other people on trial are also 17 years old: Nichelle Carter and Ieshia Rountree. Sometimes it is hard to comprehend a world is which you read this sentence over breakfast: "The girls, both 17, also face lynching, robbery, malicious wounding and weapons charges in the July 2007 mob beating death of James S. Robertson Jr., 19."


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