Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's Been a Long Week of Asking, "Why?"

by Stacy Dittrich

"It's been a long night of wondering, Why? - Why would somebody do this?"

This was the question asked by Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Royjindar Singh in Turlock, California on Saturday, June 14th after a man, 27-year-old Sergio Casian Aguilar, stomped and kicked his two-year-old son to death on a remote country road. What makes this story even more horrific is that several passersby stopped and attempted to save the child.

The man responsible for the toddler's murder had stopped his truck in the middle of the road and had drug the toddler behind it to commence a fatal beating. The man was so enraged and focused in this beating that anyone who tried to physically stop him from furthering the assault was promptly thrown onto the ground before the man went back to beating the baby. According to the witnesses, the man was screaming, "Demons are in him!"

A sheriff's department helicopter carrying a deputy landed at the scene where the man was fatally shot after refusing commands to stop beating the child. It was entirely too late for the toddler. His beating was so severe he would only be able to be identified through DNA and dental records. Everyone, including the deputy, who was subjected to this barbaric act will no doubt have a lengthy period of trauma ahead.

This is the second time in one week we are asking, Why?

As if the above, stomach-churning ordeal wasn't enough, we have been updated everyday on the two Oklahoma children who were shot to death six days prior to the toddler's beating.

Last Sunday, Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Whitaker, 11, decided to take an afternoon walk along a county road in an unassuming small town in Oklahoma. Less than twenty minutes later, the girls (pictured below) were shot to death, their small bodies found lying on the road.

Though this act has incensed and frightened parents across the nation, no one has been arrested and little evidence was left at the scene. What animal, monster, or sub-human creature could possibly shoot multiple rounds into two innocent children?

Theories vary. Some officials believe that Taylor and Skyla walked into a "crime in progress." I have been following this story from day one and have expressed my own theory. I believe it to be a strong possibility that this was an abduction gone bad. The excessive amount of rounds shot into the girls leads me to assume "panic."

Maybe the girls did what they were supposed to do when approached by a stranger. It's what we all teach our children about "stranger dangers": run, scream, kick, bite, and fight if you have to. Maybe the suspect panicked as one of the girls grabbed her cellphone while he held onto the other. Maybe.

Recently released information revealed that two guns were used in the brutal slaying, indicating to some that there were two suspects. Possible, but not absolute. A single-shot shotgun, which can be loaded very quickly, only holds one round--one for each girl.

In this scenario, I envision the suspect throwing the shotgun to the side, and picking up his handgun and unloading the magazine into each of the girls, angry and panic-stricken that he came so close to getting caught. Again, just maybe.

The last theory clearly concerns and terrifies residents in the area: That this was a random act of violence; that the suspect/s blatantly and without reservation drove by and shot the innocent girls for no reason. If this proves to be the correct theory, I strongly advise the people in the community to lock all doors and windows, and hold your children tight. Whoever is responsible will undeniably strike again.

Several witnesses in the area reported seeing a man (composite at right). This man was described as an American Indian, possibly half-Caucasian, around 35 years old and standing six feet tall, his black hair pulled into a ponytail. Witnesses described him in or near a white single-cab pickup with chrome striping and Oklahoma tags.

The reward for information on this violent atrocity is now up to $40,000. I urge anyone with information to come forward. If you believe this man to be a family member please know that all will be done to protect your identity, but the families of the victims need closure, and a town needs to be at peace.

It seems that we have embarked on unfamiliar territory in society as parents or just as human beings. Whether the news coverage of these horror stories is becoming more prevalent or the vicious acts themselves are on the rise, we can always count on that one question coming to mind:


If you have information on the Oklahoma murders, call (800)522-8017


Felicia Donovan said...

Stacy, why indeed. There's no sense to any of it, is there? I'll echo your sentiments that my heart goes out not only to the families over their loss, but to the investigators who have to handle the emotional drain these types of cases put them under. In a word, it's all senseless. Sometimes, "justice" isn't enough to tilt the balance of loss these tragedies invoke.

Felicia Donovan

Rae said...

Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.

I'm gonna go hug my kids right now.

Leah said...

Both cases are terrible beyond belief. I hope they catch the bastard that killed those two precious girls.