Xavier has a post up about the murder of young, free-spirited Kirsten Brydum. Kirsten was on a sort of wanderjahr; couch-surfing, free-storing, and dumpster-diving her way across America. Her trail took her through New Orleans which, while no longer the Mad Max world it was in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, is still far worse than it used to be last time I drove through, and it was bad enough then.
I'd say that there are neighborhoods in every city where one does not go, but that wouldn't be entirely correct. I have lived in some of those neighborhoods in Atlanta; people obviously go there. It would be more accurate to state that there are neighborhoods where one does not want to be lost, an outsider, out of place, uncertain. To do those things in those neighborhoods, especially at oh-dark-thirty in the A.M. marks one, as certainly as if there were a neon sign over one's head, as a resource, a victim, a prey animal for the predators that glide through the city's nighttime reefs.
Kirstin did that, and the result was depressingly predictable.
What is fascinating is the comment thread at Xavier's, where some have stopped in to express their belief that Kirsten was somehow targetted by the CIA or some nefarious member of Blackwater hit squads that populate the imaginations of folks who have forgotten to double-layer their Reynold's Wrap yarmulkes.
Let me get this straight; an unarmed, lost, young out-of-town woman gets killed in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of a dangerous city, and some folks want to say it was Blackwater or the CIA?
Folks, when you hear hoofbeats rounding the last turn at Preakness, do you look for zebras?