Monday, July 27, 2009

James Ricky Thompson West Campus Double Murder

I have not written in a while and I normally only blog about the sins of National politicians, but last Friday night the Austin Police Department staged a VERY exciting show of force just across the street from my house and I felt like relating it to my fan(s?)
I am Thompson’s neighbor. He seemed to be completely normal in my occasional encounters with him. On the third day after he moved in he and his roommates showed up at my front door asking if I had seen anything of a black man who they said they caught jumping down from their roof after an attempted break-in. Later that day he borrowed some tools to use installing several security lights around the house. This house which had previously been one of the darkest corners on the block was now the most brightly lit house on the street. Not exactly what the average drug dealer with high traffic usually desires. They had lots of friends stopping by, including many fine examples of Austin’s hottest and nicest young women. They seemed to be very ordinary 20ish partiers who were enjoying their youth and lack of responsibility as most average kids of that age do. A couple of days after the West Campus murders took place he stopped by again to borrow a drill to put up cabinets with. He returned it a few hours later and did not look like someone who was nervous or hiding a double murder.
Friday night I was sitting in my house chillin’ with a local high profile guitar player/producer I know watching a movie when we heard a loud noise outside the house that sounded like a large metal dumpster lid crashing closed. I usually grab my shotgun before going outside when I think there is foul play about but tonight I didn't and its a damn good thing. The first thing I saw as I opened the door were the large letters S.W.A.T. on a military like vehicle. I decided the shotgun would have been serious liability in this situation and was glad I had not done my usual. Noting that I had exited the house and was not yet dead or face down on the concrete, I was relived to deduce that they were not here for me. There were half a dozen uniformed officers; half a dozen SWAT team members; Ambulance and Fire Department vehicles blocking the street for about a quarter of a block. They were definitely there for something other than an ordinary pot bust. After a much larger explosion than the first two occurred, the waiting SWAT team members stormed the house. Shortly after that a voice from the darkness near the SWAT vehicle said “go back in your house” so I did, briefly. After a few minutes I noticed my other neighbors standing in their driveway and joined them watching from directly across the street as the situation unfolded. SWAT team members stayed for about 30-60 minutes. Police would not answer any questions except to say there was a “ongoing investigation”. Several detectives and forensic types showed up about 30 minutes after the excitement. They were Suit and Tie cops (usually homicide or white collar investigators) not narcotics cops (usually dressed down with lots of facial hair). One detective kept coming outside with a lovely young blond girl, sometimes in cuffs and other times not. He interviewed her for more than two hours off and on. As the perp was led to the awaiting police van he said something to her. I must assume that was his girlfriend. I was not ready for the perp walk and could not get my camera ready to shoot until they had put James in the van. The neighbors and I stood around for a long time speculating about why such a show of force had occurred and Sunday mornings news stories told the tale.
Blaming the double murder on DRUGS as the mass media and police have been so quick to do misses the reality of what happened. James had to be high on cocaine or something else. I encountered him at the 7-11 one night last week and he looked like he had "cocaine eyes". Cocaine or Methamphetamine or other REAL NARCOTICS cause this type of irrational behavior, not marijuana. Potheads don't go around killing each other over $7k. They go around laughing, eating and falling asleep. People who say legalizing pot will fix this problem are also wrong. Nothing can fix an individual who is willing to commit murder for such a pittance. If James was stealing from his pot connection to start with and then moved on to murder, that is evidence of a deeper personality flaw not marijuana addiction. Pot does not turn you into a thief or a murderer.
I entered the house the next morning with the landlord to do an assessment of the damage. He was nearly in tears. Everywhere a flash bang grenade had been used there was damage to adjacent walls and ceilings. Either these folks were the trashiest people on the planet or the police had trashed everything, ripping open drawers and spilling the contents. There were many broken windows and the front door was destroyed. Air conditioning vents were pulled away from walls. Must the police always destroy a house to make an arrest? Occasionally they should try tricking the desired target to come outside with some kind of rouse. Any kind of story will do. Narcotics agents are good at persuading people to believe lies. The poor unfortunate landlord is now faced with thousands of dollars in repair. Who is going to pay for it? James Thompson? No. Who did the damage? James Thompson? No. APD destroyed this house. APD should pay for the damage. Legislation is needed to compensate Homeowners for destructive Police action that is no fault of a guiltless homeowner/landlord.
All and all it was a very entertaining evening here on Alexandria Drive. Too bad the owner of the home who had absolutely NOTHING to do with it is picking up the tab.