Earlier this year, the news was of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, and his abortion house of horrors in Philadelphia, where deaths occurred not only of many infants who were fully delivered only to be killed, but also women who had gone there to receive his “family planning” services. Gross abuses went on there for over 15 years, with a blind eye effectively turned towards them by local Philadelphia authorities with a responsibility for oversight.
Today we have a new horror story from Philadelphia.
A mentally challenged man chained to a basement boiler. A disabled woman with her teeth knocked out. A malnourished niece with burn marks and pellet gun wounds. A two-year-old child the weight of an infant.
These are the some of the victims emerging as police investigate a ring that allegedly took in the downtrodden and disabled for their Social Security checks, then held them captive in wretched conditions, without enough to eat or drink.
The Philadelphia police commissioner said of one of the victims that:
I’ve been a policeman for a long time, 40-odd years. And I have never seen a victim whose injuries were any more severe than what I saw last night. At least not a living victim. … It makes you want to cry when you see her.
That victim is described as having “marks from being burned with a heated spoon, old fractures, wounds from being shot in the ankles with a pellet gun, and scars on her head, face, arms and legs.”
At least four, but possibly as many as fifty disabled individuals were being kept in a dungeon (or dungeons) and robbed of their Social Security benefits in this way. The investigation is continuing. It is reported that at various times dating back to 2003 neighbors called the police and made complaints to the city’s child-protection agency, based on hearing yelling and screaming at one location, but self-evidently nothing effective was done.
Are these two dramatic cases of long-term brutality and disrespect for life (in the pursuit of money) in Philadelphia both extreme aberrations, or is this simply where we are in America in 2011? It’s beginning to appear that if the victim is effectively helpless and voiceless, the crime will be ignored (even though “authorities” exist to provide oversight) until the evidence of gross violations of law pile up and stink so bad that even casual passersby can’t turn their faces away.
There’s nothing good or encouraging to be taken from any of this. It is simply horrific and an indictment of everything that American society is supposed to be. Whatever is wrong with Philadelphia, it’s too close to all of us.
And to think that it was in Philadelphia in 1776 that a declaration was made which claimed the following truth as being self-evident: that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It seems it’s time to start spreading the news.