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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Gangs' impact felt in small towns, too

Friday, April 30, 2004

If you've ever questioned the savagery in this world look no further than the murder of a couple in St. Joseph, Mo. Rarely am I shocked by criminal activities but this case has my stomach turning.

Police are looking for three suspects in the murder of Danny Watson Jr. and Dawn Thornton of St. Joe. Their bodies were found in their home by police on Sunday. Both had been shot. Police say gang members from Kansas City were looking for someone who had previously lived in the house but when they learned that their intended victim had moved, they shot the couple instead.

But police say there's more. The same suspects are wanted for a gang rape of a teen-aged girl the night before in Kansas City. It seems that 15 gang members stopped a car in Kansas City Saturday night at gunpoint. They forced the female passenger in the car into an abandoned house and raped her repeatedly over a four-hour period. As of today, one 16-year-old gang member has been arrested for that crime.

Gang activities are not relegated to New York and Chicago. They exist here in Sikeston and countless other communities in this land. They bring violence and crime wherever they exist. And they prey on innocent victims and create fear.

We know police will find the murder suspects. But it will not put a dent in the gang violence unfortunately. Gangs are a creation of a social structure where parental responsibility is abandoned and the gangs pick up the slack.

When police find the murder suspects - and they will - we hope the trial is fair. And we hope the execution is swift.

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