The Lester Street Saga Continues

Within a week of Memphis, Tennessee's worst mass murder, a culprit has been caught. One of the surviving children was able to identify "Uncle Jesse" as the man who murdered their family. I then saw on the news that Uncle Jesse was among those at the crime scene on the night the bodies were found. It is unbelievable just how insane he had to have been. What reason did he have to even be there? Was he trying to find out who didn't die? Was he taking inventory of his handiwork? I also saw him on the telephone while leaving. I wonder who was he talking to and what was he talking about? Was he comforting a relative who cried "who could do this to those babies" or was he plotting with someone to make sure that the surviving children never said a word?

The issue I have with "Uncle Jesse" is why was he even free in the first place?!? For those who have not heard of "Uncle Jesse's" background, here's a little bit of information:

*He was sentenced to 18 years in prison after killing a man in a drug deal gone bad.

*He pleaded guilty on a lesser charge of second degree murder.

*He was reprimanded 29 times while in prison, including an incident where he stabbed a fellow inmate.

*He was identified as a gang member while in prison, and was moved to four different prisons during that time.

*He was released on probation in August of 2007 after serving 13 of those years.

*His early release came after the completion of an anger management and family reunification course.

In other words, "Uncle Jesse" has not had one moment of peace in his adult life. He has repeatedly shown himself to be malevolent, angry, vicious, and without concern or care for the life of another. Yet, he took a class and got out of jail. I could go into how insane that is, but this is not about the jail system. Besides, as indicated by "Uncle Jesse's" presence at the crime scene, he is a very good actor.

The next issue I have is the reward money that appears to be well on its way back into the pockets of those who offered it. Crimestoppers said that the money cannot be given to the child who told police that "Uncle Jesse" killed his family because the tip was not called in. As quickly as the $81,000 was placed on the table, it was taken away over a technicality. I am pleased to say that Governor Phil Bredesen is trying to see that the young man who identified his "uncle" gets the money. I hope that the City Council, who offered $30,000, decides to place that money in a trust for those children. I think that the ultimate slap in "Uncle Jesse's" face is to not only see these kids survive, but to see them survive and have a future. Ideally, I would love for them to go to college, but whatever they decide to do, I am just thankful to God that they can live to decide.

If you are not comfortable with giving the surviving custodial relative(s) any money, then remember that they will need support in other ways. They will have to go back and forth to the hospital, so they may need help with gas or a car if they don't already have one. We don't know what all the insurance will cover for the kids, so offer to help with doctor bills. They will need assistance with childcare, clothing, and at the very least a therapist.

Now that I am done with the negativity of this Saga, I am going to give my personal thanks to the doctors, nurses, counselors, and security team of LeBonheur. I would like to applaud them for taking care of those babies and helping them to make it through such a trying time. I also thank them for turning a deaf ear to the harsh criticism of those who barked and yelled that the family needed to see those kids in the hospital. Yes, I am ready to admit that I was one who said that they needed their family near, so I will apologize and give respect where it was due.

Besides, who knew at the time that "Uncle Jesse" wanted them all dead?

Please keep the victim's families in your hearts, minds, and prayers.

p.s.-Good luck to you too Attorney Gerald Skahan, you'll need it.

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