Saturday, December 26, 2009

'I'm sick like grandpa,' Beacon Hill killer of mother and child wrote (Updated)

This sad, terrible story is a reminder of how the violence and abuse of one generation is often visited on the next.  Most abusers and rapists have a history as sexual abuse victims.  Many times violent criminals have experienced physical assault in their lifetime. 

This sad situation in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood seems to have repeated a terrible family tragedy.  Earlier this week, Daniel Hicks shot and killed Jennifer Morgan and the couple’s three-month old daughter, Ema Lyn Hicks.  Police recovered more than twenty shell casings at the scene.  Morgan and her child were shot and left to die on Monday – the day Ms. Morgan had told her mother that she was going to ask Hicks to leave the house.  Morgan’s mother discovered the brutal, bloody scene on Tuesday morning.  Hicks left a note to his brother, serving currently in Iraq, saying that he had the same sickness his grandfather had.  In 1983, Hicks' grandfather, Dean Hicks, killed his wife, Lona  Hicks, and then himself.   Thought he couldn’t have memories of the event, Daniel Hicks was an infant at the time.

Hicks has been on the run since the crime was discovered, and there are reports that he called family members collect from the San Jose, CA area.  The family member reported the call. 

Hicks made the decisions, threatened and then killed Jennifer Morgan.  He will bear the cost if apprehended, as the county prosecutor’s office has indicated that they will pursue aggravated first-degree murder charges.

UPDATE 1 (December 29, 2009)

Hicks was arrested without incident yesterday by police in Santa Cruz, CA.  Investigators traced a telephone call he made to a relative to his location in Santa Cruz. 

The Seattle Times is also reporting that Hicks’ Grandfather murdered an adult son as well as his wife before killing himself in 1983.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Two Pierce County Deputies In Critical Condition After Another Police Shooting – (Updated)

From Seattle

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee

The Pierce County Sheriff's office says two deputies responded to an Eatonville home shortly before 9:00 p.m. to deal with an "unwanted guest." Police say they received a call about two brother fighting in the home. Police say after deputies were invited into the home, David E. Crable went upstairs, grabbed a gun, and opened fire on the deputies. Both of the deputies were seriously injured, but were able to return fire, killing Crable.

One deputy was taken to Harborview, and the other was flown to an army hospital. Both deputies are reportedly in critical condition.

According to Pierce County court records, Crable has previous convictions for assault and malicious mischief, and was named in at least one domestic violence protection order.

Police have released a photo of Crable:

This makes at least 8 cops in the last two months. Unbelievable.


I am truly nauseous just thinking about this.  It has to stop!

This one at first blush looks again like the perp intended to ambush Pierce County Sherriff Deputies when the responded to the domestic call.  Thank God the officers were able to terminate with extreme prejudice this bucket of night soil (didn’t want to be too crass).  This extreme violence against the men and women of our police forces HAS to stop.  Anyone who doesn’t get it that each traffic stop could be a shootout, each domestic call carries with it the volatility to explode into violence like this – in fact, many cops view domestic violence calls as the most volatile and dangerous police call.    This is making me feel sick.  How do we put an end to this disturbing trend?


The statements from the Pierce County Sherriff have been speaking of it in terms of an ambush. The man who shot the deputies was indeed the homeowner's brother. He had been the subject of the call to 911. Everyone in the house was very cooperative and the brother apparently agreed that since he was hammered he's let the deputies drive him to his own home. He went upstairs to get a jacket, returned concealing a firearm and then opened fire on the deputies from 4-6 feet away. He fired ten shots in rapid sequence. Crabbe was shot and killed when deputies returned fire.
For our men and women in uniform, sad to say, there is no safe situation right now. Even a cooperative guy can become an ambusher in the blink of an eye.


I think that from what my LE friends have heard, the guy was drunk but very cooperative, acted the Otis part.  He was not being arrested, and was in fact grateful for the ride home that the deputies had offered him.  At least that is what his smiling face and open body language said to the deputies.  It was a tactical error to let the guy go get his coat without accompaniment, no doubt.  I can only speculate that his demeanor, and the fact that he was gladly accepting a ride home rather than charges made the deputies let down their guard for just that moment.  I am hoping against hope that both deputies fully recover and are able to return to duty, and I am glad that albeit in a different way, the deputies gave Cobbe a ride home - straight to hell.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Disappointing Comments from Jim Mora at Seahawks Presser…Leadership Comments from Matt Hasselbeck at the Same Presser

I can’t blame him on the one hand.  Coach Mora that is.  His team is now 5-9, fourteen games into year one of the “Mora Era” in Seattle.  They have lost to good teams, but they’ve increasingly lost to poor teams, too, a trend perhaps hitting its’ nadir Sunday with a home loss to a 1 win Tampa Bay team.  What was disappointing, as shown in the blog link below, was that Mora took every out he could for the abysmal play of a team he looks very much to be losing as the season dribbles to an end.  Mora has gone from a position insisting that the team is thinking playoffs to now saying the team had a chance until Sunday’s loss to double the number of wins from last season.  It took a row of articulated Metro busses and neat lines formed and waiting for a turn at being tossed under the bus.  The head man seemed to be passing the buck to injuries, and a 4 win team last year; even referring to rebuilding after having taken reporters to task before the season for similar thinking.  The post linked below also very insightfully points out that a “true leader” such as Matt Hasselbeck, asks for no cover, and accepts no quarter.  Seeking no one to blame but himself, Hasselbeck said:

"I just feel like I let a lot of people down today," he said. "It's my fault. It's on me and I'll improve."  Not one word about being pounded like a cheap flank steak game after game.  Not one word about having a better completion percentage than last year.  No, this leader simply says, ‘It’s on me, and I’ll get better’.  Read the article for more.

The SunBreak | Sports | Jim Mora Tries to Save His Job with Revisionist History

Mike Holmgren to Cleveland

Everything I have heard from people who’ve spent a lot of time with Mariners CEO Leiwicki is that he is well-liked, well-respected and professional.  Certainly, he seems to be taking a measured and thorough approach to re-setting the Seahawk organization for the future.  And unless you’re one of those people who really wanted Mike Holmgren back with the team, a careful and deep look at what this team and organization need to get back to winning – to evaluating talent and getting the most from it; to demanding excellence from player, coach, scout and team staff.

I’d heard several times that Mike Holmgren had come to see himself in a role similar to that of Bill Parcells, as President of a team.  I think that the Seahawks, with a Head Coach suffering through a dismal first season in which he is installing new systems, facing injuries similar in scope and impact to last year’s disastrous injury fest, to the recently departed GM, were in fact, a rather bad fit for Mike Holmgren at this juncture.  Why?  Simply put, the one job Mike seems to have wanted – the job of team president or CEO – was the one job not on the table with the Hawks.  Tod Leiwicki is dialed in to both Vulcan and to sports organization management.  He’s got a golden reputation, and if rumors are to be believed, Owner Paul Allen is very comfortable with what Leiwicki is doing and how he is doing it.

So, much as I love Mike Holmgren, and as strongly as I believe that winning Super Bowls is as much about the Head Coach, or the CEO/GM of a team  exerting his will on the organization, this just isn’t the right situation for the Big Show any longer.  As Owner Paul Allen fights his own high-stakes battle, he will want to know that the man running his sports interests is ‘his guy’, and will maintain continuity even if Mr. Allen is slightly less directly involved for a bit.

Today, the Cleveland Browns got their new President.  A classy, determined, knowledgeable, and absolutely resolute winner with a solid gold resume.  I have no doubt that five or six years from now there will be a dog pound in Cleveland that is watching a week in, week out winner.  Maybe another Super Bowl winner. 

So, am I sad that Mike Holmgren won’t be here?  Yes.  Very much so.  But I am hopeful that Tod Leiwicki will make some deeply reasoned choices that will do what Green Bay leadership did when they brought in an unproven head coach and soon enough won that coveted Super Bowl.  Will the new GM be able to work with the coach already here?  Will the team be able to draft, sign, coach and motivate the kind of improvement  that Coach Mora will need to keep his gig after next season? 

I just don’t know.  If reputations translated to accomplishments in all circumstances, then I’d be pretty durn confident of the Hawks future hire as team GM.  But, as we all know, it is never that neat and tidy.  Even had Mike Holmgren returned it wouldn’t be a clear-cut winning hire. 

I attended nearly every Seahawks home game from 1976 through 1980 – my Dad got our family season tickets and we loved every minute of the Jim Zorn, Steve Largent, Jack Patera era.  Later, in the 80s, I watched every game I could on TV, and when the local station decided to show another team instead, I formed a Sea Hawker fan club and we worked on getting the Hawks on in our area.  I’ve been a fan across the three decades since the founding of the franchise, and I imagine I’ll be a fan as long as the team continues or I do.  I loved having a winner.  I reveled in the 2005 running game, which made Matt completely deadly.  I’ve had bleeding gums and blistered eyes from watching the 2008 and 2009 teams, and for my own health I hope the turnaround is quick!

So, all I can do is wish Holmgren the very best.  He is a great man, and a great football man, and I have no doubt he’ll take what he learned in his time as GM and apply it to make his time as team president a great success.  And then I wish Tod Leiwicki the best in bringing in his team to give Coach Mora the players he needs to win.  And then I wish Coach Mora success.  He has some big shoes both literally and figuratively, to fill. 

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: NFL/Football

Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
As always, the photos we use are either my own, or in the public domain. Please let me know if there are any errors and I'll correct them immediately.