I am slowly realizing my current hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey is quickly becoming Murder City, USA. Yesterday, I discovered the going street price of a life in Jersey City is $6.66 as the murdered bodies of a woman and her two children — a boy aged six and a girl aged 13 — were found stabbed to death in a Greenville apartment. They died Monday.
The crime wasn’t reported until yesterday because the fourth victim — an eight-year-old boy who had been stabbed 10 times along with the rest of his family — only regained consciousness long enough to dial 911 before passing out again.
He is currently in surgery in critical condition. The police believe there was an argument with another family member over the need for $20. The family left North Carolina 20 days ago to start a new life in Jersey City. Now, instead of buying new school clothes for the children, relatives are left to shop for gravestones.
This is the second wholesale “death by puncturing” of an entire family in Jersey City this year. In January, an Egyptian Coptic family of four found death via stabbing after being robbed by a tenant renting a room in their home.
That family lived a block away from me and today there is still a shrine of fresh flowers pocking the chain-link fence surrounding their home. To put the point on a tragic day in Jersey City, yesterday at 3:00 pm, a man with a grenade, a gun and a knife held a jewelry store owner hostage after a botched robbery attempt near the Journal Square PATH train station. The man gave up after a seven hour stand off when the police threatened to send in two police dogs to drag him out alive.
The man claimed he gave up because he didn’t want to hurt the animals in a fire fight. We are in for a reckoning of human magnitude across the scope of our existence because, as the world becomes smaller and living is deeply discounted, we are all reminded, like it or not, that life is cheap. Murders and killings are not unique to Jersey City.
Unfathomable deaths by cruelty happen in small towns and villages every day. The difference today between what we have and how it used to be is the change in the magnitude of the murders. Crime scenes are now bathed in blood pools instead of sprinkled with simple blood spatter. Rage increases the death ratio beyond the aggrieved and into ending the lives of innocent children.
Death by a shared bloodline is impossible to prevent or police. The only thing left for the living is to weep for the children who lost tomorrow.