Our Opinion: Murder

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 11, 2008

Community effort needed in solving crime

Murder is one of the most heinous crimes. At its core is the violation of a basic human right &8212; the right to life.

On a cold February night, someone fatally shot Randy Douglas Warren. Police are still searching for his killer some two months afterward. There is pitifully little to go on, and investigators are frustrated.

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The Demopolis Police Department is close-mouthed on the details of the shooting. This is understandable. They are leery of compromising an ongoing investigation.

Troubling, however, is a detail authorities let slip during an interview with The Times. Apparently several of Warren&8217;s neighbors heard gunshots at the time the victim was killed. They didn&8217;t report those shots immediately, a time when officers could have been on the trail sooner.

As a result, Warren&8217;s body lay in his house for approximately 12 hours before it was discovered. Police only discovered that neighbors had heard gunfire after canvassing the area. One witness reports a vague description of two males fleeing the scene, jumping into the passenger&8217;s side of a car and speeding away.

The murder of Randy Douglas Warren is a tragedy. A man in his mid-30s was gunned down in his own home. A greater tragedy for Demopolis is that no one called 911 when they heard the shots. Perhaps they didn&8217;t want to seem foolish. What if it had only been a car backfiring?

Perhaps the caller would have felt foolish. Or perhaps the killer or killers of Randy Douglas Warren would be in custody, facing charges.

Or perhaps the neighbors didn&8217;t want to get involved.

Neither did the neighbors of Kitty Genovese. Genovese was killed outside her apartment in Kew Gardens in New York City. Genovese had driven home in the early morning of March 13, 1964. Arriving home at about 3:15 a.m. and parking about 100 feet from her apartment&8217;s door, she was approached by Winston Moseley from behind. Moseley stabbed her twice in the back. Genovese screamed for help &8212; screams that were heard by several neighbors.

Someone yelled from a window, and Moseley fled &8212; for a short time. He came back, however, and finished the job 10 minutes later. Genovese died outside her apartment, with more than a dozen neighbors hearing her cries for help. No one called the police until Moseley was done fatally assaulting Genovese.

Someone out there knows who murdered Randy Douglas Warren. Someone out there has a clue &8212; a clue police are missing. Someone out there can identify a suspect. It is time for that person to come forward.

Justice demands it. Don&8217;t let a murderer roam free.