Saturday, July 11, 2009

Murder In Pensacola

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I talked to Michael today. He called me to tell me about a funny incident that happened in Iraq. Let's just say that one of his soldiers had some interesting contraband and leave it at that.

Still no word yet about any interviews for Darryl. We are hoping to hear on Monday about a job he's really interested in. Still no word about the second interview the one job had promised him and that's been about three months from now. He keeps being told that they will be contacting him though.

Today I learned about a tragic murder that happened in Pensacola. It's a crime authorities say is shocking the community. A prominent Pensacola couple, known for their outreach to kids with special needs was murdered inside their home during an apparent home invasion. It happened on Mobile Highway in the Beulah community.

Authorities say Byrd and Melanie Billings were shot multiple times; eight of their children were home at the time. Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says the Billings exemplified what is good and decent in society. But now, deputies say the Billings are a victim of a truly senseless crime.

Around 7 P.M. Thursday night, authorities say at least three people entered the family's sprawling home from the front and back doors. Deputies say they shot the couple, but did not injure the children that were inside the house at the time. Deputies say at least one of the kids, ranging in age from 8 to 14 years old, discovered the parents and told a neighbor.

Deputies say the neighbor called authorities. Morgan says the sheriff's office does not know the motive behind the murder. Authorities have not released the names of the three people involved what deputies speculate was a home invasion gone wrong and say only that the suspects are white.

I find it interesting that the press mentioned that they were white. That's because it seems you often see the race of the suspect mentioned if they are black or Hispanic but seldom if they are white. I don't find identifying a suspects race particularly helpful unless you say something like, "The suspect was a white male, approximately between the ages of 18-25, about 5'7", about 180 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes." Identifying a suspect as black or Hispanic seems to only fan the flames of racial tension because we have no clue about the suspect other than they are a particular race. I understand sometimes that might be all you have. You might not have a clue as to their age or hair color or eye color. Sure I understand that but I think that only identifying a suspect by his race does not lead to a break in the crime.

I hope they will be able to find the people who did this. What a brutal and heartless crime.

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