Saturday, August 9, 2008

American Killed at Beijing Olympics

by Kathryn Casey

My Friday post on the inability of any government, even the oppressive Chinese, to wipe out senseless crime unfortunately rang true today, the first day of Olympic competition. Just a short time after the spectacular $100 million opening ceremonies that mesmerized much of the world, the Associated Press reports that an apparently deranged man attacked an American couple, murdering the husband and injuring the wife. The killer then committed suicide by plunging to his own death.

This apparently random act of violence was aimed at Todd and Barbara Bachman of Lakeville, Minn., parents of 2004 volleyball Olympian Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman (photo right) and in-laws of U.S. men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon. It happened while the Bachmans were sight-seeing at the Drum Tower, an ancient structure where drummers once marked the passage of the hours. Todd Bachman, CEO of the family's Minneapolis home and garden center, died of knife wounds, and his wife suffered serious injuries. Wiz Bachman was with her parents but unhurt.

Meanwhile, Tang Yongming, 47, who has been identified as the assailant, reportedly jumped from a 130-foot balcony on the Drum Tower, located five miles from the main Olympics site. After the murder, the Tower was closed and paddle-locked by Chinese police (AP photo above).

"It's certainly a down day, certainly for the U.S. people," Jim Easton, an American IOC member, told The Associated Press. "Here it is supposed to be a great time of happiness and peace and all that. That's what we work hard for, then for one person to be able to put a dark cloud on that."

From all of us at WCI, our condolences to the Bachman family and friends.


Leah said...

Yes, things haven't gotten off to a great start, have they? Will we ever understand why things like this happen??

Hope your party went well last night. Mine did except for the headache I had this morning. Think it was my allergies....all that ginger ale in my gin gave me the headache!

Kathryn Casey said...

LOL. Sorry to hear about that nasty ginger ale effect, Leah. We changed our minds and served Chinese food, to go with the theme. Lots of fun.

I'm so sorry for the Bachman family. How tragic. Hope the rest of the games come off without any more violence. Very sad that this happened. And no, we'll probably never totally understand why these things happen!

TxMichelle said...

This is a terrible way to start off the games that should bring the world together. That poor woman and daughter.