September 4, 2006

Describing This Murder as ‘Tragic’ Is Pathetic

Filed under: Immigration,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 9:15 pm

I have tried to resist commenting on this Mason, Ohio murder story. Since the linked story appeared, two suspects have been identified, and one has been arrested.

After all, the story is local, it’s not within the primary scope of this blog, blah blah blah.

I’ve given up holding my tongue, or keyboard as it were, because I’m hung up on one revealing word in the report on his murder:

MASON — Friends and former coaches describe Kevin Barnhill as a fun-loving, hard-working young man who loved life.

“Anyone who knew him liked him,” said Gary Wirsch, a former assistant basketball coach at Little Miami High School, where Barnhill graduated in 1997.

Wirsch had remained close to Barnhill, known at Little Miami as a competitor who set the school’s career scoring record, which stood until last season.

But his life ended tragically on Saturday.

Mason police were dispatched about 2:30 a.m. to an area near the Mason Bowl at 763 Reading Road on a report of a man carrying a baseball bat. Officers didn’t locate the man, but Patrolman Matthew Burdick discovered a man lying on the ground next to nearby Hamilton Security Products with what appeared to be life-threatening injuries.

Sure, if you want to look at it very narrowly, you can describe Kevin Barnhill’s death as having ended “tragically” — “dreadful, calamitous, disastrous, or fatal.”

But “tragically” is in this case is a whitewash word. Kevin Barnhill’s life ended violently and brutally:

Mason police responded to reports of a man with a baseball bat at the Mason Bowl, 763 Reading Road, at 2:30 a.m. Aug. 26.

Instead, police found Barnhill lying nearby with stab wounds, Cope said.

At least one stab wound was in Barnhill’s chest, according to a report by Mason Police Officer Aaron Yeary.

Barnhill was still breathing when police found him, about a breath every 10 seconds, according to Yeary’s report.

Police and responding emergency medical services crew, however, were unable to save Barnhill. He died at the scene.

“Tragedy” is a car-crash word, a “died of cancer” word, a “bad things happen to good people” word. This isn’t to say that Kevin Barnhill wasn’t a hero in his life and how he lived it; from all appearances, he was at the very least a good and decent man, probably one of those everyday heroes who never gets recognized. So when an apparently good and decent man is struck down with a knife and a bat in a parking lot, calling it a “tragedy” equates murder with being struck by lightning. It puts being cut down by thugs in the same classification as dying of a heart attack. It treats violent crime as just another “one of those things” things that happen from time to time.

In a word, describing Kevin Barnhill’s death as a “tragedy” is “pathetic” – one more small but telling sign that the people who we rely on to give us information will not call out the evil taking place in front of their eyes.


UPDATE, Sept. 11 — In response to the commenter, I didn’t actually substitute my suggestions for describing the killing of Kevin Barnhill in the post, so here they are:

  • Kevin Barnhill’s murder was an atrocity committed by people who need to be locked up and have the key thrown away, or worse.
  • Kevin Barnhill’s murder was an evil crime against a good person.
  • Kevin Barnhill’s murder was a wicked act that cries out for revenge.

As I said, calling Kevin Barnhill’s murder or the 9/11 massacres “tragedies” minimizes the evil of the deeds carried out against the victims.

I hope that’s clear, and my heart, and my prayers, go out to all who knew him, loved him, and miss him.

UPDATE, March 6, 2007: Since this post is getting visits from well-wishers and mourners from time to time, I want to let them know that police and Crimestoppers are still actively looking for the participant in Kevin’s murder who is still at large. Also, see these posts for my thoughts on the pitiful follow-up by the local media:
- Sept. 18, 2006 — Illegal Immigration Hits Home in Warren County
- Oct. 22, 2006 — Illegal-Immigrant Crime in SW Ohio: Willful Blindness Is a Big Part of the Problem
- Jan. 27, 2007 — Illegal Immigration Update: The Stories, Government Action, and Media Letdown (Part 1, Mason Council and Enrique Torres)



  1. Well, I am was very upset to read this article about kevin. I personall knew him well. All through my elementary and Junior High years I was in love with this boy.There is not one thing about Kevin that I can say was bad. It is so hard for me to understand how you can say this is not a tragedy. This is a tragedy. No one deserves this, just like being struck by lightning or some other tragic incident my mother nature. He was only 27 years old. How can that not be tragic! The fact that you call it “pathetic” in the way it was described is ignorant. He was loved by everyone that knew him! What about 9-11 was that a tragedy? Yeah I think it was and who was it committed by, not mother nature or a car accident. It was terrorist’s fully aware of what they were doing. Same thing as this tragic event! I understand that is your opinion but I just have to say I dont agree!

    Comment by Summer Faulkner — September 11, 2006 @ 8:39 pm

  2. #1, Summer, see my update. My thoughts and prayers are with all who knew and loved Kevin. We won’t prevent future atrocities like his murder if we don’t call out evil by its name and demand justice.

    Comment by TBlumer — September 11, 2006 @ 11:05 pm

  3. Thank you for responding back and I feel much better about what you were meaning to say. I do agree with that and he will always be missed and in our hearts!

    Comment by Summer Faulkner — September 14, 2006 @ 10:44 am

  4. #3, Summer, I am sorry I was not more clear from the outset.

    Comment by TBlumer — September 14, 2006 @ 11:00 am

  5. I too was very fond of Kevin as he was a high school friend of my daughter and therefore, thought of by me as one of my kids. I completely agree with your commentary regarding the media tiptoeing around these issues that we will undoubtedly face again and more often. You have to call it what it is! In this case, call it illegal murdering thugs!

    Comment by Kimberly Robinson — September 26, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  6. Kevin was a very good friend of mine and words can’t express how much he is missed, not only by me and our friends and families, but even people that just crossed paths with him here and there. He left such an impact on every person’s life he ever came across… He was just that kind of person. What those people did to my friend was disgusting. It turns my stomach to think about it… It saddens my heart beyond belief that even if they do spend the rest of their lives in jail, they will never know how wonderful of a person he truly was. I absolutely agree that people are biting their tongues far too much in fear of offending someone; and as many of us know that knew Kevin– he ALWAYS stood up for what he believed in. If nothing else, honor my friend by speaking out and making a stand for what you know is right. There is still a man out there that was involved with Kevin’s murder– it’s up to us to see that he is put away so this doesn’t happen to someone else. R.I.P. Skrill!! We love you!!

    Comment by Tina West — March 6, 2007 @ 3:42 pm

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