The Hatchet

The Scariest Thing About the Alleged Capitol Hill Hatchet Murderer Is That a Lot More People Like Him Are Going to Be on the Streets—Without Help—Soon

Comments

1
Mental Health Court could save quite a bit of money separating the low functioning probationers from the ones who are doing well. I see a lot of unnecessary supervisory practices taking place in that court which could be eliminated. For example, if a person has two years of probation and has been doing well why keep dragging them in to court every seven or eight weeks just to say "good job, keep it up?" Why not reserve compliance hearings for the defendants who actually get violated by their probation officer? Additionally, how about graduated levels of supervision? Is it really worth the money to drag someone into a probation office every other week for a drug test for the whole two years when they always pass the test? Seriously after twenty or more clean UA's wouldn't it seem reasonable to back off absent any other indicators of non compliance? Cut back on the probation visits, the drug tests, and the court hearings for those who are doing everything they're supposed to and the court could save lots of money.
2
could save millions here really easy , a box of .45 cal shells is about 20 bucks.
hell i'd do the job for minimum wage as a tax write off. theres no cure for this crap , and wasting millions on these shit for brains idiots is just fuckin stupid . and yes you will all whine and complain and call me names for saying this , but when one of these idiots crawls through your window and rapes you and torture kills you . or your daughter or mother . you will come around to my point of view . oh yes you will !

3
I actually kind of agree with you. It's to damn bad a properly trained CCW holder wasn't there to save the taxpayers a little dough. Help the poor suffering animal out with a lead lobotomy!
4
This is a dreadful read. Great work though Mr. Sanders

When I read this part I thought, you've got to be shitting me:
"LaRosa is currently a suspect in a second murder.. but due to cuts in funding for the state crime lab, ..."
5
What's it going to take for the moderators to ban the South Park troll already?
6
Seriously - fear the mentally ill??? What the hell is going on when the voices of tolerance use these tactics to fuel the violence toward some of our most vulnerable citizens. A mentally ill person is not a loonie and considering all of the mentally ill people and the low rate of ax murdering going on here in this city, I would call this one of the most irresponsible cover titles in the history of The Stranger. By the way - the person murdered by the ax was also mentally ill. So what can we make of this deductive idiotic reasoning??? Mentally ill people may be violent and they also may be attacked JUST LIKE ANYBODY ELSE.
8
Seattle always had problems with public mental illness. Nothing new. Those who are new to the emerald shitty take notes. It's not what you see in the airline magazines. In fact you'll be much safer on the streets of NY, Miami, and DC than in Seattle's city core. Seattle was always ghetto unless you live in suburbs and drive.
9
I think funding mental health is hugely important but I'll reiterate what I said in one of the other posts about this case: His brother tried multiple times to get him involuntarily committed and the current laws and ideology around mental health wouldn't permit this. Now, because we wouldn't "take away his freedom" by putting him in a secure treatment facility, at least one man lost his life and LaRosa is still going to end up being held somewhere against his will.

Some people need extra care beyond what's possible in the community. We need to maintain or increase mental health funding but also turn a cold hard look at what practices are actually improving the quality of life for the mentally ill, their families, and their communities and which practices feel good but don't actually work.
10
There was a man who kept sticking out his tongue involuntarily, like a lizard, and another who contended that his doctors were making him take pills because "they want to keep me confused."
The tongue motion may very well have been tardive dyskinesia, a side effect of many antipsychotics. The confusion the other man felt could also be related to his meds: The side effects of antipsychotics are brutal, which partly explains the frequent lack of drug compliance.
11
These people need to be warehoused like they were back in the day. It seems the price we pay for deinstitutionalization is an innocent person gets brutally murdered every few years.

Not worth the savings.
12
If we stopped filling our jails with people arrested for simple MJ possession, we'd have a lot more space and resources for the real threats to society.

@10 is correct. A lot of people on meds get overdosage, and the doses are based on the concept they won't also do alcohol and other drugs ... which, of course, they do. And they don't take them as prescribed, which gets them really wacky.
13
We need more scientific reasoning in the decision to medicate those with mental illness. The blanket approach of "Try this pill. Wait, it gives you worse symptoms than your disorder? Just take this blue one. The blue one makes you unable to move? Add this green one twice a day" only discourages us from trying. If there were better ways to determine what medications and dosages would actually help our mental illnesses without awful side effects and over-medication, a lot more people would be willing to try the med route.

If I hadn't had the support of my loved ones and a roof over my head, I wouldn't have kept trying new medications until I finally found the right ones. I can't imagine how hard it would be for someone with more important things to worry about, like eating and not freezing to death. Then add the cost of medication and you can see why those in that situation would be unwilling to spend years feeling like shit while doctors throw pills at them.
14
@2: This was a story of a really crazy guy killing a less crazy guy. Your volunteering to be a third crazy guy killing crazy guys isn't really helping the problem the rest of us are looking at.
15
Four comments:

First, the irony of this news story is that Mr. LaMango's tragic fate is the real risk of further budget cuts to the safety net. People with mental illnesses are much more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent crimes.
Yet, the emphasis of the news story is on Mr. LaRosa and his actions.

Second, he headline of this story is shameful (especially, the hard copy) and doesn't reflect what ends up being some strong investigative reporting within the body of the news story. Journalists don't write the headlines, why not? Can't they provide input on them? I suspect Mr. Saunders doesn't like the headline of the news story very much.

Third, this news story is based on a false premise that presumes there is a strong link between mental illness and violence. One thing I liked about this story is that Mr. Saunders provides additional context for other factors that may have contributed to Mr. LaRosa's horrific act in addition to his mental illness including substance abuse, poverty, incredible sleep deprivation and perhaps fear (perhaps from living on the streets or due to symptoms).

The facts are that the vast majority of people living with mental illnesses
are not violent (as Mr. Saudners acknowledges), and that the reasons for violent acts are complex (also implied in the story). While
mental illness can sometimes play a role, it is inaccurate to simplify the
role of mental illness in violence down to a sensational headline. This is where the news story ultimately fell down because the overarching message readers are left is the headline.

Alternative headline: A Lot of People will Needlessly Suffer due to State Budget Cuts. With this new headline/ framing, new directions for news coverage can be opened up.

Fourth, there is growing consensus within the mental health community that it is unethical to be arguing for the preservation of mental health services based on scare tactics. (Not that the mental health community is above this kind tactic as the recent SEIU 1199NW White paper demonstrates).

The real risks of a breakdown of the mental health safety net is that people
with mental illnesses who will lose services will be at greater risk for
being homeless, for becoming unemployed, for being incarcerated and for
facing other kinds of setbacks in their recovery. Communities will be
stretched thin to fill in the gaps. There will be many more people on the
streets and in higher-cost and less-effective settings such as jails and
hospitals.

The concluding comments by news sources that discuss this point were a strength in this news story and Mr. Sauders should be praised for seeking them out.

16
As the brother of a paranoid schizophrenic, this article and case hit pretty close to home for me. The state's standards (and perhaps even those of the mental health community) for what does/doesn't constitute a "threat" are entirely too stringent. My brother has verbally threatened my parents, cut the hell out of his forearms, and has been arrested for two DUIs, just to name a few of his more serious illness-related incidents; none of these were deemed an immediate threat to himself or those around him.

It was only when my parents had him arrested for breaking some windows and destroying a bunch of stuff around their house that he was involuntarily committed, and even then it was only for two weeks and only because Western State Hospital actually had an open bed for once. Our mental health "safety net" was already stretched pretty thin, and we're only screwing ourselves further by cutting a huge chunk of its funding.

Finally, I probably shouldn't bother responding to such obvious trolls, but @2/3 - kindly go fuck yourselves. I sincerely hope you never have to deal with a mentally ill family member.
17
@15 The point of this article was to put the budget cuts under the lens of mental illness and cover the LaRosa case. It wasn't to cover all facets of how the budget cuts will affect us (there will be countless other articles toward that end, I'm sure).

I'll agree that the headline is tacky as hell though. It's a shame too, it's an otherwise interesting article.
18
Seriously, #2, what the fuck is wrong with you? You need immediate psychological counseling yourself. Shoot all the mentally ill people? What a perfect solution to the problem, why didn't we think of that? Better yet, why don't we just barbecue them alive in Westlake Center and feed them to the homeless? Kill two birds etc etc.

You are clearly more mentally disturbed than Michael LaRosa ever was. At least he has a profound neurological condition to explain his actions. What's your excuse?
19
#18 Darling he is obviously pulling your chain. He invited it- you took the bait! ha ha you Seattle hippies make me laugh, so bloody easy to wind up!
20
This problem really can't be fixed. There will always be mentally ill people who are chaotic, scary, and disruptive (and sometimes dangerous) in addition to being sad and miserable. There will always be families who want to help but have limits of sacrifice. There will always be advocates who aggressively pursue mental health workers and doctors for hospitalizing the mentally ill because they are afraid of what they MIGHT do. There will always patients who aren't willing to keep taking their medications. There will always be people who think the cost of sustained hospitalization(s) to save a few lives a year cannot be justified when weighed against the other needs of society. And there will always be people who are furious that the mentally ill are wandering around and want the problem dealt with.

Well, the problem CAN'T be dealt with. Accept it, try to understand, be kind, be vigilant, and protect yourself if you have to.
21
@Rotten666

In that case, I hope your 9 month old child grows up to be mentally ill.
23
Well, if my 9 month old turned out to be a danger to himself and the community I would certainly hope he would be institutionalized.

Try again fuck face.
24
As far as I know, there is no organization called the Seattle Mariner which has games. The Seattle Mariners have games; people who have attended those are "leaving a Mariners game", not "leaving a Mariner's game", unless you actually intended to indicate that the person(s) involved had attended some sort of game that was organized by a group of Seattle fishermen and seahands.
25
As an ER nurse, I have seen the untreated mentally ill on a frequent basis. Usually after the results of a fight or getting their basic health care. It is way, way too hard to involuntarily commit someone anymore.
Evn patients who were actively hearing voices telling them to kill me, until the pateint actually tried to kill someone, they are free to try to ignore the voices. involuntary committment would have stopped the voices. saved a life, perhaps.
26
further reading from the head of the Union Gospel Mission. He's a lot more eloquent than I am...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/op…
27
@26, your nine month old is probably more eloquent than you are
28
So, as someone who works in the Mental Health Industry, when I read this article online my thinking was "-you know, not so bad". But then one of my clients brought in The Stranger to my office and showed me the cover where it calls unmedicated people with mental illness "loons".

Fuck you, The Stranger.

These "loons" you are talking about are people. They are people with a real illness who cannot control their actions. Calling them loons, even the ones who are decompensating, is like calling a practicing homosexual a faggot. Unfortunately the mentally ill are seen as the lowest of the low. They are seen as deviants, crazies, psychos, rapists, and murderers. The clients I work with who have real mental health disorders are some of the best people I have met in my life. If you were to see them in public, which all of you have, you would have no idea that they were living in a half-way home for Schizophrenics. You would have no idea they were "loons".

Let me emphasize this: these mentally ill people are people. Real people with real emotions. People who get offended by comments in "Seattle's Only Newspaper" which categorizes them as medicated loons. People who get hurt when they read comments like "could save millions here really easy , a box of .45 cal shells is about 20 bucks". People who cry when someone they love dies. People who want to get better.

Unlike a broken arm, mental illness is something that you will never be "cured" of. The medications do help but eventually the body becomes used to them and changes are in order. Now I'm not saying that every person with mental illness takes their medications, which is a whole other topic for another time and another day, but if the funding was there facilities like the one I work at could have more rooms, take more clients, and monitor more outpatients.

As for the person complaining that scientists need a better way to medicate these people; where is the funding to do so? Because every mental illness is different there is no possible way to simply diagnose and treat. This is why having a mental illness is so difficult.

Lastly, the building where I work is literally one block away from where this incident happened. This could have been one of my clients murdered. I am very thankful that my clients were safe that day.
30
@28, a rare, actually-informed poster on this site, points out why allowing just any idiot to post comments on this site about any subject under the sun ACTUALLY CAUSES HARM.

But by all means, keep allowing people like Fifty Two Eighty and Will in Seattle to post their thoughts on literally every single subject Slog posts about, 24/7/365. God forbid anyone miss out on their pearls of wisdom.
31
@29 Holy shit, did I just get served?
32
@2 fine trolling sir
33
@28, "These mentally ill people are people." Excuse me, I am VERY OFFENDED! It's people with mental illness, not mentally ill people. PLEASE put the person before the disability or disease!

Sheesh. With advocates like these, who needs Frenemies? Or Stranger-allies? Or Both?
34
@ 28 Believe me, I understand the difficulty of accurately medicating even if I can't comprehend what it would be like to work in an industry that is so broken. Every disorder is different and every person has a different manifestation of the symptoms of that disorder. I wasn't trying to insult those who work with those with mental illnesses; doctors and therapists and supporting staff are all doing the best that they can with the tools at their disposal. Many of those tools are going to be taken away thanks to the budget crisis, making it even harder for you and those like you to try to help people like me.

What I was saying was that disadvantaged people with mental illness won't have the motivation or conviction to try to get help when the available treatments are so imprecise. The scientific community and drug researchers need to start treating mental illnesses the same way as other chronic conditions. They need to develop more accurate empirical standards to define these illnesses and focus more research into actually understanding how these drugs work in the brain, rather than saying "It does something with serotonin and is slightly more effective than a placebo. Let's put it on the market, where it will be used off-label in situations that we didn't investigate in our FDA trials." It's not the psychiatrist's fault that there aren't medications with clear effects; they're trying to work with what they have. Psychiatrists are trying to help us and I can't and won't blame them for using every medication at their disposal. Patients are desperate and oftentimes trying another new med is the only option the doctor has.

The blame for this isn't with people like you, who actually have compassion and empathy for those with mental illnesses, and I'm sorry if it came off that way. It's the problem with big pharma and lack of actual understanding of psychiatric disorders and neurology. It's hard to blame people who don't take their medications or stop treatment when it's so emotionally draining to try a dozen meds with negative side-effects without tangible positive improvement in their lives.
35
I am very offended by people who go off their meds.
36
The mayor has a policy to fix this. He wants to ship mentally ill people to the Sunny Jim factory so they will be closer to the woods that they are buying hatchets to live in. Once they are all just living in the woods it won't cost anything to house them or keep them on their meds. They can take care of business Lord of the Flies style to only be a problem for truck drivers in the industrial section of town and neighborhoods that border the woods. It can be our fun little secret.
37
@34 By no means whatsoever as a person working with mental illness am I offended. I am offended on behalf of those who do not have the capabilities of fending for themselves. I appreciate your response and agree with you on the whole funding issue.

I am well aware of the budget cuts. But who can blame state for the cuts when even our local newspaper -a newspaper who is supposed to be liberal and pro-diversity, calls these people "unmedicated loons"? We need to change ourselves from ground level up. We need to stop the stigma of those with mental illness.

Ideally? The Stranger should keep this article, change the cover description on the hard copy (too late, I know), and The Stranger should put numbers of our State Government to contact and email addresses of those in power positions so that we can attempt to get this reversed. What is more important, spending a bunch of money on another over-expensive tunnel or giving money to those whose lives are on the line?
38
Mike Johnson, director of the Men's Shelter of Seattle's Union Gospel Mission in Pioneer Square: "Washington state policy must find a middle ground between the 1950's overreadiness to lock people up, and the overreaction of the late 1970s deinstitutionalization that closed down whole systems. Surely we can respect freedom and still help people literally unable to help themselves. . . . Our policy claims to protect civil rights, but my job lets me see a consistent side effect: to turn real people struggling with mental illness onto the streets where some will simply die, and others will — from time to time — kill. Again, these are extreme cases, but real.

Finding that middle ground would be good but, even there, judgment calls are going to be involved: is a person too much of a danger to others, too much of a danger to themselves? And, unless you err on the side of caution and keep everyone who even seems to be a threat away from the public, some innocent people -- like LaMagno, Shannon Harps and the woman in South Park -- are almost certainly going to be killed.

39
37/are7era: -a newspaper who is supposed to be liberal and pro-diversity,

Yes, it is that. But anyone who's read it for any length of time knows that it also can be provocative, offensive, politically incorrect, in-your-face, flip and snarky. The Kumbaya Stranger it's not.
40
@39 Yes. But if a newspaper wants to propagate change, which the article is intending to do, it should drop the provocative, offensive, politically incorrect act when it comes to insulting the ones it is trying to help.

It is absolutely mortifying to hear that tunnels and park turf renovations and certain other budget allowances are chosen over people. These people need us to stand up for them because they cannot stand up for themselves. As a gay man, I know I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for people who were not gay standing up for me. I really want to believe that Seattle and its Seattlites are better than this.
41
@38: I think there's a better middle ground than the one we currently have, though, don't you? I think a few false positives would be preferable to even a handful of deaths, especially if we have a robust system for appeals and reevaluation of those who have been committed.
42
wow mr. crying clown hat guy , i waited to respond to you because i just knew it would rise to the surface that you were a. gay of course b. you were just so personally offeneded that you had to cry out in your holier than thou little hissy fit anger declaring for the world how important these human beings are to the world and must MUST be saved no matter the cost !c. your a mental case as well , go figure. do i stand behind my statement that .45 rounds are cheaper than the thousands a year it takes to maintain just one mentally fucked psychopath ? absofuckinlutely ! on average to take care of one of these shit for brained deviant bastards properly and humanely a minimum of 60,000 dollars a year times how many? and what will happen any way? they will randomly rape and kill people in the delusional haze they live in , and some bleeding heart liberal will run to his or her defense saying they didn't know what they were doing we shouldn't prosecute them blah blah blah . just fuck you man . just fuck you !
43
i'm sorry upon review i ranted a little hard in that last statement. truth is there is no easy answer here ,but frankly your demands are little high clown boy. demanding the stranger re write the whole story to follow your line of reasoning , good luck with that , and the tunnel issue and the other shit. yeah you are mentally ill. get back on your med clown boy , shit aint goin your way anytime soon.
44
@28 are7era,

I just want to say thank you for your comments. They've made me stop and consider.

I don't know what the solutions are to our social problems, but I know that one of the mistakes we as a society continually fall prey to is that of conveniently forgetting the humanity of groups of people for some reason or another. Being reminded that these people are feeling human beings never hurts.

It seems that many acts of cruelty, callousness, or violence are preceded with some reasoning as to why the target is less than human, less than worthy of human compassions. Why do we continue to fall into this trap I don't know.

Thanks for your words of compassion. An important message.
45
let me quote the futility of your argument "Unlike a broken arm, mental illness is something that you will never be "cured" of. The medications do help but eventually the body becomes used to them and changes are in order. Now I'm not saying that every person with mental illness takes their medications, which is a whole other topic for another time and another day, but if the funding was there facilities like the one I work at could have more rooms, take more clients, and monitor more outpatients." you in your own words show what a waste of time and money it is.
46
One thing I don't grasp is why these few people are considered the enemy.The amount of violence done to the mentally ill by so-called "sane" people is astronomical compared to the reverse. A mentally ill person is much more likely to be the victim of abuse than the guilty party. But blaming the mentally ill for all the rape and murder and the crime in the world is easy.
47
well no sane person would rape or murder any one. tell me this , what exactly is the contribution that these dingbats make to society to the positive? what do they do that that justifies the spending of our hard earned dollars on their support , maintinence , and medication , etc?
48
Wow. What a bunch of assholes/idiots in this thread.
49
First, if you're the type who thinks shooting the mentally ill is a good idea, I'd be careful. A lot of people probably think YOU'RE crazy.

I work in the Mental Health field and have made several referrals for involuntary commitment. While sometimes the standards for involuntary commitment are frustrating, I agree with them. There used to be a time when it was possible to commit someone that had an odd personality trait or simply didn't fit into what society deemed "normal" (Francis Farmer is a high-profile example). Basically, we all have the freedom to be bat-shit crazy, which is the way it should be. Unfortunately this means the occasionally someone slips through the cracks, but it's better than the alternative.
50
Also, I can assure everyone that if cuts to programs for the mentally ill continue, things are going to get fucking wild in Seattle. No joke.
51
@46, are7era

I try not to read SLOG comments because they pretty much make me lose faith in humanity and further depress me about our educational system. However, I've been following this story closely because I live less than a block from the crime scene, witnessed the aftermath of this murder and knew the victim.

I just want to thank you for being a voice of reason and kindness. I want to thank you for the work you do with people suffering from chronic mental illness. Your clients are lucky to have you in their corner.

I too have spent time working with this population and have found them to be some of the sweetest, most brilliant and empathic people ever to touch my life. Yes, very rarely someone suffering from mental illness becomes violent. However, if we look at rates of domestic violence, child sexual abuse, homicide and assault these crimes are almost always committed by people (well, mostly men - but god forbid we add a gender analysis to this - the morons on SLOG will go ape shit) who are considered "sane."

People, you are much more at risk in the presence of an angry, entitled "average" dude with an empathy deficiency (exhibit a: ERIC CARTMAN and other idiots on this forum) than the vast majority of people suffering from mental illness.
52
Hmmm... Seems to me that some of the people on here that left comments are off their meds. Especially the ones who think we should just shoot them all.... Cartman, you are such a Douchbag, Cocksucker! But, Im sure you get that all the time.
53
I think it's also problemtic to talk about the mentally ill as the "sweetest, most brilliant and empathic" population. It reeks off the idea of the "noble savage" and is unrealistic and ghettoizing and stigmatizing. I know the intentions come from a better place but it still makes me anxious to view any group of as somehow "more than" or "less than" another.

That's not an attack, I just think it's dangerous to idealize or demonize. Mentally ill people are people: Not "dangerous monsters" or "beautiful minds." They're people. We need to help them and help them help themselves and not let our liberal or conservative ideologies get in the way of treatment.
54
I have committed felony's before as I was very ill and looking for a way to get off the street as my fear was I was going to do something real bad if I did not.
My mug shot made me look as if I had just ejaculated as at that moment I knew I had made it to the sweet loving arms of the Federal prison and all my problems would be made good.

I can and do sympathize with all the victims and anyone who has wrongfully killed anybody knows you can run but you cant hide from yourself

every hour of every day some one kills some one some how in some fashion from melamine to faulty car breaks to neglect to freak accident.

we need to forgive and forget those who are worthy of forgiveness and terminate with extreme prejudiced the few who are truly in need of another world.

the unpremeditated Killing of one person dose not deem you a threat to society in any form.

the most advanced creation on earth and the vast majority of space sits on top of all of our necks and so when the most advanced creation in the vast majority of all of space gos haywire we realize just how little we understand about our selfs and realize all those X-spurts and sigh-n-tists were just good for taking your money and getting more people killed.
55
41/judmentalist, Yes, I would agree with you that there's a better middle ground than the one we currently have. But even if that better system had a "few false positives", some innocent people are still going to end up murdered by people who should have been removed from the public but weren't.

56
@55: I didn't communicate well: I meant it's better to have a few people wrongly committed than a few people dead. One is short term and reversible, the other is permanent and irreparable.
57
The headlines for this story were dreadful. Fear mongering and filled with hate. The few good points made in the article are lost in the sensationalism of the headlines.

The day this issue became available, I spent the day interviewing consumers of mental health services as part of a fidelity review of an evidence based practice at a local mental health center.

All four consumers have a serious mental illness and all four were employed. They were enjoying the same affiliation and accomplishment from their work that I derive from mine.
Their hard work and resilience have helped them get to where they are.

More people will be having trouble getting the care they need as a result of the state budget cuts. This will not turn them into murderers. Shame on the Stranger for promoting stigma and discrimination. I expect better.
Recovery from mental illness happens. We can all be a part of that change.
58
I think I'll wildly presume that Rotten666's 9-month-old written about was in his hand, his mouth, or with its siblings in a jar next to his bed. There, now I feel a whole lot better, and can try to employ some due diligence before furiously fingering the next field that springs up on forum roulette.
59
I have felt an out-pouring of grief ever since 11-22. I got home (17th & Union) just in time to talk to a homicide detective about what had happened on our first day of snow. There was a murder; a man had died. That's all I knew. But I had a feeling it was Joe. I met him 6 years ago in an Algebra class. Later, we shared friendship and conversation. We were neighbors. He was a good guy. Joe- you died so brutally, and I am so, so sorry. You are missed. Our neighbirhood had not recovered. Like the New Year's Eve murder, this was senseless, and random- the scariest kind of killing. I can't look at a stranger without looking for a possible weapon or signs of violence. Walking past the site, every day, I think about you. Again, on behalf of all of us, Joe. You are loved, you are missed. Please Rest in Peace. -M
60
God, I really, really hate to admit it, but the first thing I thought of when I finished this article is that somehow, some way we need to actually incorporate the eventual result of the Eric Cartman troll's idea. Is that just a horrendous, inhumane thought? Yeah, it is, and I'm not glad I'm having it, but I have to ask, I just GOTTA ASK...

WHAT are these people contributing? To ANYTHING? How much trouble are they really worth if they're seriously legitimate menaces to society? What good is it doing us spending millions of dollars on these people?

Now before you start saying that I'm a troll as well, and I know that would sound like the obvious thing to do, I'm in no way saying we should just go "oh, well, guess we're going to just kill them all, they have no worth to society, and clearly, having no worth to society means death," I'm saying that we need to figure out a way, and we need to figure one out NOW, to keep those people who represent significant threats to society, off the streets. I may not advocate death for them, they are human, after all. But I am in no way comfortable with the idea of people with dangerous, violent histories and mental illnesses (that we KNOW about) being out on the streets with little or no monitoring.

And it's true that they're clearly a big budget strain. Now I could give a shit about the taxpayer, we're all hurting and we're going to continue to hurt and we're going to have to get used to that. But I have to wonder how we're going to deal with the dangerously insane, who clearly certainly exist and are existing among us, and that scares the bejeezus out of me, I won't lie. I'm not going to pretend I know what it's like to have a family member or a close friend be batshit insane, so I'm not going to just say "Oh, sure, kill 'em," not by a long shot, that's ridiculous and barely less insane than what we fear these people might do. But then WHAT are we doing with these people?
61
Excuse me number 16, you can go fuck yourself to. I'm not a troll. I sincerely meant it when I said it's to bad someone was unable to take that killer out. Is there any doubt that he killed the other man? Of course not, certainly not in this case. I don't hold any sympathy in my heart for mad dog killers whether or not they might be a little sick in the head. The best way to keep society safe from someone like that is if they aren't breathing anymore.
62
gah i feel like taking a shower after reading these comments. From the overly PC to the haters

I read this article and I didn't have the impression that it was broadbrushing all people with mental illness, not at all. I'm sure most of us know or have known family members, friends, etc with mental illness/abnormality of some kind, and that we know not all in this category are murderers.
So, the shocking attacks by schizophrenics off their meds in Seattle, cited in this article- do you think this is something we should NOT take a hard look at? Or not discuss?
63
I have Schizoaffective Disorder. I'm very offended by this article. Several studies have shown that patients with Schizophrenia are no more likely to commit a violent crime than the general population. Patients are more likely to harm themselves and tend to withdraw from society. They are no more of a threat than anyone else. How many people without Schizophrenia commit violent crimes? The majority of criminals DON'T have a mental illness. Thank you for further stigmatizing a disease I suffer from. You are an asshole. And while you may be published in a shitty Seattle based magazine (a free one at that), this Schizophrenic is about to have her research published in 35 countries. Do us all a favor and go fuck yourself.
64
Well, Look at NYC, It got all shitty and horrible when they cut funds in the 70's, then it got better when they started to flush the funds again.

So ethically it's bad to paint people as dangerous when they need help, but you could make the argument the other way around, that when crazy people don't get the help they need they stay crazy and sometimes hurt others. But it would just be better to focus that people in need of help, NEED that help and taking it away starts a chain reaction for the worse.
65
I don't really want to get into this debate- its incredibly upsetting some of the stuff being said here and given that I have worked in the community mental health field for the last seven years- I am unlikely to be able to keep my cool in the face of such ignorance.

Mostly I just wanted to put my two cents in about the front headline being absolutely tacky and insensitive. Using fear to support the need to fund community mental health only works to uphold the BS stigma put on mentally ill individuals and helps no one. This kind of crap only further labels and shames an already marginalized group. Do you really think furthering the social isolation of severely mentally ill people is going to help anything?? While the stranger isn't exactly known for tact, this is actually pretty disappointing.
66
Unfortunately, many people w/ loud mouths in our society can't or won't respond to the idea of caring for each other. From Tim Eyman to Glenn Beck, Bill Donohue to Bill O'Reilly, they & their followers are not interested in anything but "what's in it for me." These people will only respond to threats of their personal safety.

It's sickening to use this argument, to be sure, but that's how sick our society is today. If it's the only way that we can fund the social safety net, so be it.
67
WELL IT HAD TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER . SOME COMMUNIST HIPPIE WIKI LEEKING SHIT BAG HACKED ME. SO I HAD TO MAKE A NEW ACCOUNT. MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS WILL NOT STOP ME , NOR WILL IT DO YOU ANY FAVORS. LET ME REMIND YOU THAT I WORK FOR THE T.S.A WHICH HAS VERY CLOSE TIES TO HOMELAND SECURITY. MY FRIENDS AT HOMELAND WILL FIND YOU , ENJOY YOUR COCK MEAT SANDWICH AT GITMO YOU FUCKERS!AS FOR YOU MENTAL CASES , SEE THE TURNING TIDE AS PEOPLE START TO SEE THE LOGIC IN MY ARGUMENTS. LET ME QUOTE SOME ONE , AND SEE IF YOU CAN TELL ME WHO SAID IT. "AS YOU ARE , I ONCE WAS . AS I AM , SOON YOU SHALL BE . IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME . " O.K. COLLEGE BOY'S , WHO SAID THAT ? by the way yes mental health workers are gonna defend these worthless fucks, it's how they make their living , they are just trying to save their job's wich i can understand , but don't fall for the bullshit. the real cure is the same one used for mad dog's!
68
I also want to add to all the mental health workers here a little something. I have sympathy and compassion for mentally ill people who are doing what they need to do and aren't horrifically violent or for those who want the help but can't get it. I don't paint the mentally ill with a broad brush. I specifically mean those select few who are extreme dangers to society. To those who are sick and evil enough to just snap and kill random strangers I say it's to late to help... Put them down!
69
In response to the question Eli posed in today's Slog, is it unethical to talk about the impact of cutting funding for family planning services on the community? You know, that unwanted pregnancies and STIs will increase?

Mentally ill people who need to treatment to remain in and interact comfortably with society are not bad people, but they do need treatment to remain in and interact comfortably with society. Of course there will be some impact to others when those people lose their treatment. Some of it might be violent; some of it might be in terms of having to come up with scarce resources to support a family member or friend cut off from aid; some of those people who lose treatment are likely to be unable to continue in their jobs, and are going to wind up on more public assistance or on the streets.

Bad things are going to happen, to a lot of people, because of all of these state funding cuts. Let's not pretend that is not the case because we're concerned that somebody might be offended. Better that than we pretend there isn't a serious problem and more people's lives are destroyed because they or someone else couldn't get the treatment they needed.
70
@62 - I believe that quote, however butchered your version may be, has been on a large number of gravestones - including a Revolutionary War veteran and a even going at least as far back as Edward, the Black Prince. It's possible that the Black Prince's tomb may hold the original verse, in French, as he died in 1376. But... It's also been used, in a slightly altered form, in a Megadeth song - though, I can't recall which one off the top of my head. The inscription on the Black Prince's tomb read (using the English translation):

Whoso thou be that passeth by;
Where these corps entombed lie:
Understand what I shall say,
As at this time speak I may.
Such as thou art, sometime was I,
Such as I am, such shalt thou be.

71
RIGHT, Eric DORKMAN, like guns are the answer to everything.

I noticed that in your latest rapid-fire response, you got so rattled that you turned on the All Craps---OOOPS!---"ALL CAPS" button again.

Everybody look out, Crapman's got an itchy trigger finger.....
72
why auntie aren't you the clever one! yet not one of these college boy's had figured out my quote yet ? amazing ! the writer was a form of a socialist , comon commies who is it ?! @ 70 i think you meant 67 not 62 . you are really close on the money , but it was rephrased by a very famous person in the 20th century . that would be the name i'm looking for . heres another "when we do right , no one remembers . when we do wrong , no one forgets ." who said that ? while guns are not the answer to every thing , they usually get the last word .
73
Being too dumb to remember your password isn't the same as "being hacked".
74
listen shit for brains , my whole system was hacked. i know you didn't do it , you are too fuckin stupid .
75
This guys sounds like a perfect fit for the Stranger Staff. When's his first article?