Although murder and crime are not unknown in less-urban parts of the United States, I must admit I hadn't thought of anything quite so disturbing coming to my current home town of Ashland Oregon, a place Ive called home for almost twenty years.
There have exactly six murders in the last 30 years here. Most of them, save one which was ruled only a "possible homicide", were settled fairly quickly I gather Then came the brutal killing on November 19th of David Michael Grubbs, a 23-year old grocery clerk, musician and student at the local Southern Oregon University. His nearly-decapitated body was found along a paved bike/walking path called the Bear Creek Greenway, a path I am familiar with. He died around 5: 30 that evening, just after sundown.
The assailant apparently used some kind of a large sharp instrument to do this heinous deed. There was no robbery here. It was more like an execution.
Grubbs was apparently a nice, upbeat young man. No one appears to have had it in for him. A crowd of about 500 people came out to the local high school on the evening of November 28th to hear the local police talk about the case. The authorities seem baffled and appear to be grasping at straws.
Grubbs wasn't a drug dealer, just a hard-working student with roots in the town who got along with others. Some people think it might have something to do with a video game he played online, but so far that's a lot of hype.
There are no real leads, despite having 16 detectives from all over the area working on this case. The FBI has been called in. A forensics expert is coming next week from all the way back in Pennsylvania to try and sort out what type of weapon was used in the victim's death.
For the last two weeks this town has been on edge. As much as you say, "Of course something like this COULD happen here", you're not prepared when it actually does.