Remember Wichita - One Year Later

One year ago this weekend, at two in the morning of Saturday, December 15th, 2000, Jason Befort, Heather Muller, Bradley Heyka and Aaron Sander were shot to death in Wichita, Kansas. Muller was also raped, along with one other woman who can't be named, because she miraculously survived.

"Bleeding from her wound, she ran naked through the snow for a mile, miraculously reaching a house where she got help. The suspects were arrested the next day."

The victims were white. The suspects were black. I say suspects, because although they were arrested a year ago, they won't come to trial until May of 2002.

It's frequently the case that the minor detail of a suspect's race will not be mentioned even when it's the description of someone who's still at large. If you are one of the 70 million Americans who get their news largely from TV networks, you might not know that most interracial violence is committed by African-Americans.

As far as we can figure out, Scott McConnell was the first national journalist to break the Wichita story, in an article in the Taki's Top Drawer of New York Press; we posted it on VDARE.Com on January 10. Then it appeared Frontpagemag.com's "Politically Correct Hate Crimes" section. And subsequently the "Wichita Horror" was reported in the Washington Times, and elsewhere on the Internet. But otherwise it was not mentioned by the national media.

As Richard Poe of Frontpagemag.com noted:

Unfortunately, the general public usually does not find out about crimes such as the Wichita Horror. They are reported only in local papers, and often with the most horrifying details edited out. When it first occurred, only the Wichita Eagle paid attention to the alleged crimes of the Carr brothers. Our webzine, FrontPageMagazine.com discovered the story about a month later and published it on the Internet, whereupon it rapidly became a cause celebre – but only on the Internet and in conservative papers such as The Washington Times. You will not see Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather or Peter Jennings talking about this crime.

There are three points worth mentioning.

The media bias/dual standard issue

This crime doesn't even show up on the hate crime radar. Compare, for example, the national coverage of given to the James Byrd murder. Large media organizations just don't want to report this stuff because it doesn't fit their template. As Scott McConnell said:

The dual standard at once weakens a force that could unite Americans of all races and cultures (horror at crime) and threatens to transform the criminal justice system into an arena for exacerbating the country's fault lines of race and ethnicity.

I suspect some promoting the dual standard feel virtuous and progressive–that they are advancing the multiculturalist cause by hyping news of crime of one sort and suppressing another. Some might see whites, and particularly the sort of straight, normal heartland Middle American types, as obstacles to desired social change and not deserving of very much sympathy. Others simply adapt to prevailing newsroom expectations, internalizing the double standards. Either way it's a shameful spectacle, which does no honor to American journalism.

The non-resistance doctrine

I would like to think that this one died on September 11th, but I know there are still people who think that if you give the robbers what they want, they'll go away without hurting you. Richard Poe wrote about this just before the planes full of unarmed, non-resisting victims hit the WTC, pointing out that the five victims in Wichita were unarmed, and unable to resist. Poe wrote:

According to University of California, Berkeley criminologist Franklin Zimring, the best way to survive a robbery is through "active compliance." in other words, do exactly what the criminal says, as quickly as possible.

Don't believe it. Fight back.

We don't want to judge the dead, but if you don't learn from the mistakes of others, you may die yourself.

You are less likely to be hurt if you fight back with a gun. Even if you are forced to fight back without one, you have more control over your fate.

And there are worse things than dying.

Richard Poe wrote, with regard to the Wichita crime:

There is another reason for people to think twice before engaging in "active compliance." Victims who choose passivity risk far more than mere injury or death.

On December 14, 2000, a young schoolteacher – identified in the press only as "H.G." – went to visit her boyfriend Jason Befort, 26, at his townhouse in northeast Wichita, where he lived with two other men. As Jason and H.G. lay in bed, the porch light came on and they heard one of the roommates Aaron Sander, 29, talking to someone.

The next thing they knew, "the bedroom door burst open," the woman later recalled in court. "A tall black man was standing in the doorway. He ripped the covers off of me, and I don't remember what he said. Right after that, Aaron was brought in by another black male. He was kind of just thrown onto the bed."

The two men pointed guns at their prisoners and demanded to know who else was in the house. When all occupants – three men and two women, all single, white professionals in their twenties – had been rounded up, the intruders demanded that they strip naked…At one point, they found an engagement ring. "That's for you," said Jason Befort to his girlfriend H.G. "I was going to ask you to marry me."

Befort's girlfriend has reported that, during the course of the night, she and the other woman Heather Miller, 27, were repeatedly raped. She also said that the bandits forced the prisoners to perform sex acts on each other.

Gun Control

The story above would have been different if the victims had been armed. Gun control is not VDARE.COM's main issue. But we have written about it occasionally, because gun control involves the usual suspects on the Left, and because it's really the "bleeding edge" where the citizen meets the terrorist, invader, or criminal, without much help from the government.

Gun control may not be much of a threat in Wichita. But it runs rampant on the Eastern Seaboard. At least the dead in Wichita could have had guns. Similar victims in New York and Massachusetts were forbidden by law from possessing the means of self-defense.

With gun control, your own government may be an unwitting accomplice in your murder. I wrote earlier this year that:

If you're going to import criminals, you should have the means to defend yourselves inside the boundaries of your own country. And it would be stupid to disarm the populace during an invasion.

It's also true that if the government can't prevent crime, can't punish crime reliably, and can't be trusted not to misuse the machinery of criminal justice, then individual Americans are going to have to defend themselves.

December 15, 2001