As a Virgin Islander and as a human being, I am shocked and saddened by the murder of this young man and feel the pain of his parents' grief, as all Virgin Islanders do.
After viewing the sensationalized national publicity, I wanted to compare the St. John community and the New Hope, Pennsylvania, community where the Cockayne family lives. I Googled "New Hope, PA" and found interesting information on their population size, crime rate, income and employment stats, the ethnic and minority composition of the population, and their local media report of this incident. The Source would do well to write an article about these comparisons.
The unbalanced national media attention, along with the name-dropping of U.S. Senators' names by ego-driven journalists and the publicity-hungry lawyers, has given me the feeling that some affluent VI visitors (as the Cockaynes must be if they were planning to retire on St. John) still think of these Islands as a colony that is ruled by Big Brother in the U.S. Congress and the mainland media…especially when things aren't exactly to their liking or exactly as they are in their mainland cities. There are many, many unsolved crimes in every city in the U.S., ignored by the national media. Many solutions take a long time and many are never solved, even with the help of Federal law enforcement agencies. And it never helps if the police are rushed into making arrests and compromising juries.
Prior to the arrest in St. John and before Larry King's report, I saw online that one young male friend of the Cockayne victim said in his hometown TV interview that "he was a hothead, not the easiest person to get along with", leading me to wonder if his attitude and temper, combined with alcohol, might have provoked the incident that led to his awful and wrongful death. Of course, the penalty for a bad temper and intoxication is not death by stabbing, nor should anyone be followed and killed after an argument.
I understand the frustration of grieving parents, but it's been less than 60 days. They are right to want answers, but I hope that they would rather have a thorough investigation, the arrest of the right person, and a fair trial and conviction of their son's murderer. All Virgin Islanders want the same thing. Not so we get more tourists, but because it's our home and it's the right thing.
Lorraine Creque Moolenaar
New York City
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