She reached for her notepad. At the crime scene, Sergeant Tim Haywood paused while processing the evidence. The tragic tale demonstrates how our society often fails the most vulnerable among us, be they homeless, mentally ill, or neglected and abused young people. It illuminates tough questions about the limits of justice, redemption and forgiveness. The pair arrived on the scene at p. Video at p. The attack occurred seconds later.
He was hit in the head with the rock nine or 10 times, the medical examiner testified. He said he might have hurt someone really bad or might have killed them. He seemed like he was going to cry. Eugene police discovered that the teenagers had passed near the downtown bus terminal, and they worked with security to collect video of them.
During the week after the murder and before their arrest, the star-crossed lovers celebrated their first anniversary in the apartment where they shared a bedroom. A life lived decades ago in half a dozen states and reviewed through the lens of grief can be hard to fathom. But those who knew Ovid Neal recall a man full of verve and adventure. None foresaw the horrors to come. Named after a Roman poet, Ovid — whom virtually everyone, including Detective Curry, seems to have called by his first name — was born in Inglewood, California, on March 22, His father, Ovid Neal Jr.
He fearlessly fished a Texas pond, his friend Javed Akhund recalls, even after venomous water moccasin snakes surfaced. An old photo shows him tanned and in shape, with a small moustache and full head of curly brown hair. Albeit a bit more ridiculous. Senn and Ovid used to laugh until their sides hurt. It was literally the theater of the absurd. I think he was partly joking, but … that was when I started feeling this need to protect him.
The family was financially well-off, but they struggled in other ways. The s and early s was a quicksilver period for them. Roth recalls that they moved to New York as a family in , then their dad moved back to Texas and the kids stayed with their mom. Then all three kids moved to Texas, then returned to New York. Eventually, the two boys returned to Texas around or Ovid overdosed on six horse tranquilizer pills in Dallas at around age 13 or As things turned out, Ovid even counseled his mother.
Ruth Gordon recalls that it was Ovid who helped her stop drinking for good. Ovid spoke to her for a long time, and they prayed together. Sober and sharp, Ovid turned heads when he arrived at Hampshire College, a private liberal arts college in Massachusetts, in in a shiny red Volkswagen Beetle.
His desk was neat. He had these little rituals, and he loved coffee. I had this desire to feel anchored, like, I need an Ovid fix. Ovid went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Bible studies and was a triathlete and basketball player. Ovid and he discussed the euphoria that comes from exercise.
Much less is known about Jessica Simmons, for whom Oregon officials declined to release records. Born in Las Vegas in , Kirkpatrick was exposed to methamphetamine in utero but born healthy. He grew up amidst drugs, gangs and brutal violence in Porterville, California, and Anchorage, Alaska. Kirkpatrick had people who loved and cared for him, court testimony reveals, but his parents struggled with addictions and domestic violence.
A summary of his childhood written by Judge Suzanne Chanti in her Opinion and Order in the case — a page document recently unsealed by The Oregonian — includes information from child protective services CPS records from California and Oregon.
In , his father was sentenced to a year in jail, where his son visited him. Soon after, the father moved to Oregon. By , Judge Chanti writes, after foreclosure and eviction, Jonny, his mother and siblings continued to live in a house with no electricity. Jonathan Kirkpatrick and three sisters were placed in foster care.
Social services called their father, Raymond Kirkpatrick, in Eugene. Two days after his 14th birthday, Jonny and his three sisters moved in with his father, who shared a two-bedroom apartment with two other people. At one point, Jonny ended up in a runaway shelter, effectively homeless on the streets of Eugene at the same time as Ovid Neal. At some point, the teen moved back in with his father. During one argument he stabbed himself in front of [Simmons].
Steal Your Bitch. In the hours before the pair killed Neal, they had been drinking Oregon Springs vodka and arguing. A youth worker testified that Kirkpatrick head-butted a glass window before running off. Simmons brought her cat to live there, Chanti writes.
When police served a search warrant at the home, two miles from the scene of the murder, they seized a brass pipe that was stolen from Ovid Neal as he lay dying. O n February 4, Jonathan Kirkpatrick sat silently next to his bespectacled public defender, Katherine Berger, inside the wood-paneled Lane County Courthouse.
Kirkpatrick had turned 18 and moved from a juvenile facility to the adult jail. His close-cropped haircut recalled s gangster John Dillinger. A half-dozen people took notes with pen and paper. Like many states, Oregon passed rules in the s that favored a tougher approach to justice for juvenile offenders: Measure 11 automatically tried teenagers 15 and older as adults for murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault and sex crimes.
During the trial, three psychological experts shared conclusions drawn from thousands of questions and their knowledge of the field. Or was he yet a child, with a developing brain impacted by his upbringing? Berger, the recipient of a statewide legal award, had testified before the state legislature in support of SB before its passage.
Berger did not respond to several interview requests. At stake in the case was not only the question of how juvenile offenders are tried in Oregon. For Kirkpatrick, a waiver into adult court would mean a far longer sentence. Either way, it is significantly less than Kirkpatrick would face if tried as an adult. He adds that the state would have been at a disadvantage had he recused himself, given his experience prosecuting many local homicides. The state and Simmons had already agreed to a plea deal that kept her case there as well.
It was across the tracks, literally, from Cambridge, with a back view of an old Italian social club. It had one door — to the bathroom.
Ovid hit the books and busked in Harvard Square, playing music on the streets with harmonica, guitar, amplifier and drums. A contemporary photo shows a lean, intense Ovid with longish hair, holding a cigarette next to an open window, at a small table replete with a book, papers, fruit, flowers and what looks like pill bottles. The path seemed natural for Ovid. It was not to be. Gordon flew to Boston and her son had lost 30 pounds.
In their last phone call, a week before his death, Ovid surprised his sister by thanking her for things she did for him decades earlier, including throwing a party at the Somerville apartment. He loved the blues, so she had cooked him a big Cajun dinner and baked a Cajun-style strawberry cake.
Thirty people had packed the tiny apartment. D espite his history counseling and healing others, Ovid never pursued work in the ministry. His family and friends say his goal was to understand the nature of God, or to write — he started writing poetry as young as age 7, his mother recalls. His intent was to understand God. Had he not been afflicted with mental illness, he would have written.
Ovid also worked at an East Village diner called Around the Clock, while living with Harwell, who also struggled with mental health. Harwell recalls Ovid would work, play music and hang with friends.
By the mids, friends and family say, Ovid had moved to Seattle and married a woman he knew from his teenage years. The pair rode there in a horse-drawn carriage.
There was a sky-blue house with a white picket fence. She worked at Microsoft, he at Half-Price Books. After the divorce, his sister, Amanda Roth, recalls, Ovid withdrew from his family, spent time in a group home, and eventually reached out to his brother and mother. He moved in with them in Las Vegas. In , in Las Vegas, Ovid stopped taking the drugs suddenly. It was perhaps the only time in his life when Ovid was violent with others. Ovid refused to take his pills or go see his psychiatrist.
His brother was in Seattle, working, and his mother was vulnerable. The family saw no way to prove to a judge that Ovid was a threat to himself or others, despite his behaviors.
Ovid ended up in a residential hotel near downtown Las Vegas, his sister recalls. So that Christmas, Nick and I went from shelter to shelter looking for him … but could not find him. So he went off, and he became a vagabond. I think he was toying with me. The former triathlete smoked tobacco and marijuana while walking 10 miles a day, Amanda Roth says. F or years, Oregon has had the highest prevalence of mental illness , including addiction, in the country.
Housing instability is another big problem. In homeless populations, mental illness often coexists with drug use. A man played with a yo-yo; a woman sat crying on a curb. Outside of the White Bird Clinic where Ovid got his mail and services, a group of people sat on the sidewalk. People appeared intoxicated, or in withdrawal. Some ate push-pop ice cream or hot dogs, drank Red Bull; others appeared in the throes of active addiction.
A Lane County Legal Aid study found that 80 percent of trespass and open container citations went to unhoused people. Ovid received three citations in , for trespassing, jaywalking and an open container. Yet Ovid feared the police. If police were to be avoided, so were other unhoused people. God is good. In , a homeless woman named Annette Montero was run over and killed by a garbage truck outside of First Christian Church Eugene, a place that had helped Ovid out with his tarp, coat and food.
The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that about 13, people die on our streets each year in the United States.
A small number, 37 in and 11 in , were homicide victims. And the scene, to me, just looked like somebody who was sleeping on the sidewalk, and incredibly vulnerable. And they were murdered brutally, and just left on the sidewalk to die alone. In between, they stored it in a grate under a tree. The parallels between the two assaults raise troubling questions.
Fruichantie, 60, presented at an emergency room at a. October 3 with a one-inch scalp laceration requiring five stitches. Whether Fruichantie received benefits is not known. Police say they investigated but found no pattern. Sometimes there were thefts, she says; sometimes not. Disabilities including mental illness comprise only 2 percent of hate crimes, according to FBI data. There is no federal legal protection for homeless victims of bias crimes, says Eric Tars, legal director of the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty.
Oregon and Eugene are among 46 states and the vast majority of cities that lack such protections, Tars says. The Civil Rights Division of the U.
Calls and messages to his spokespeople went unanswered. Kirkpatrick was found responsible for second-degree murder and second-degree assault; Simmons, for second-degree murder. Inside the nearly empty courtroom, Zachary Neal and Amanda Roth joined via streaming video from Las Vegas and Hollywood, anger and dismay clouding their faces. Other participants included Kirkpatrick, Berger, Hasselman, other attorneys and juvenile justice staff.
I wish it were me instead. Three weeks later, Simmons spoke in a similar video-based adjudication from Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany, wiping her eyes with a tissue, her hair in a bun, white cotton knit shirt buttoned to the top, voice trembling. All I can hope is someday I can save lives. They could be released sooner. Or did two kids whose childhoods became social studies get a much-deserved chance at redemption? In the last decade, a sea change has reshaped our understanding of adolescent brains, favoring a heavier weighting of adverse childhood experiences, adolescent brain science and trauma.
In this case, Kirkpatrick, a month shy of 17, was adjudicated as a child. Many other states have similarly rolled back the tough love approach of the s. Tragically, we are facing possible rapid growth in our unhoused and mentally ill populations — and, experts say, growing numbers of attacks on them. The family plans to scatter them at Sequoia National Park, after an Episcopal service. Healing may take longer.
On a Facebook remembrance group, one man mentions the irony that Ovid, a former teen addiction counselor, was killed by teens battling addiction. What does a crew of talented musicians do when forced to serve at the pleasure of a notoriously cruel dictator? They play like their lives depend on it. He began to pray. He did not have the keys, he told them. Is it really you? Suddenly, he was warmly patting the older man on the back.
Its international claim to fame is the dire poverty of its citizens and its terrifying, bloody, seemingly never-ending wars.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens ran from their homes. Those who did not manage to escape were slaughtered, their bodies thrown in the river or stuffed down water wells.
Aid workers watched helplessly as armed thugs took over the towns and villages, stringing human intestines across the roads as barriers — a gruesome warning to others to proceed no further. His fame probably saved his life.
The prospect was exciting — but also terrifying. The anecdotes from his time abound with absurdities, stretching from the beginning to the end of his reign. But it was a long time before he heard from the great leader again. That means that you are a nationalist at heart. As a teenager, Bokassa was educated in missionary schools and had initially planned to study for the priesthood, before joining the French Army when World War II erupted.
Though Bokassa saw music as a diplomatic tool, he also loved it with an all-consuming passion that was obvious to all. Upon landing, some of the musicians were so shaken by the experience that they ran away and hid, refusing to perform that night. I will sing with you. But it was far from all fun and games. We turned around and there were armed security guards standing behind us, gun barrels pointing. It was very difficult.
Though the pope, along with a multitude of other state leaders, declined the invitation, preparations for the coronation progressed full steam. It was decorated with pearls, diamonds and rubies. I turned it over and over in my head. And afterward, it simply came to me, just like that.
The dignitaries thought only of hiding themselves in their Mercedeses. Several years later, in , Bokassa returned to the Central African Republic, hoping to be forgiven and welcomed back. The displaced have since been forced to leave the airport and return to rebuild their destroyed homes.
Life expectancy is just 52 years — the shortest anywhere on the planet, according to the World Bank. In recent years, Russian soldiers and mercenaries have descended on the former royal palace, setting up training camps for soldiers inside the grounds, according to a CNN report. And Tropical Fiesta is playing once again. One night, I went to a show. The venue was in a garden next to a ditch, off the main road in Bangui. Lit up sparsely by a few functioning street lamps, it was guarded by a half-broken gate.
A balafon player began striking a few notes. Clutching large bottles of beer, the older men looked up at the stage with a faraway gleam in their eyes. The women, wearing figure-hugging dresses made out of colorful cloth, shook their hips languidly.
Before long it became a party — families, friends sitting around plastic tables, chatting and waving away mosquitoes, while others invited friends and lovers to dance. Zokoko, who now heads Tropical Fiesta, was there, getting ready to sing, surrounded by friends and fans. The violence in and around Bangui had died down, and the usual rhythm of life had slowly begun to resume. Yet the songs played on, people sang along, their eyes half-closed, smiling as if trying to spirit themselves back to a different era, before the country was riven by war and armed gangs.
Alongside the music, a certain nostalgia for the era of Bokassa had emerged. In his time, we were the best in Central Africa, now we are the worst.
Those rulers who came after brought a lot more suffering since. Sometimes those requests are impossible to turn down. We are not politicians, we are musicians, but we want to give this ambi e nce of social cohesion, so that it comes back to us. God knows, the solidarity between us will return. In , as part of a general amnesty, he was set free, having served just six years in prison. He found Bokassa both paternal and petrifying. Then fate intervened. Read Listen Listen. Story by Jeff Maysh.
Sign up for our Newsletter Love this Narratively story? Sign up for our Newsletter Submit. Send us a story tip Follow us. Read Listen. This photo and header image courtesy of ICC. D ominic Ongwen spent 27 years of his life with the LRA, before defecting from the rebel group at the end of When he appeared out of the thick vegetation near Obo, in the Central African Republic, the only thing he had on him was a Bible.
Go directly to shout page. Do you have any photos of this artist? Add an image. Refrain: I do not know how long 'twill be, Nor what the future holds for me, But this I know, if Jesus leads me, I shall get home some day. There'll be a day that's always bright, A day that never yields to night, And in its light the streets of glory I shall behold some day. There is a God that rules above, With hand of pow'r and heart of love; If I am right, He'll fight my battle, I shall have peace some day.
His father was a slave, and his mother was free. It seems that he was expected to work to help the family. Together they had eight children, some of whom would later assist him with the publication of his hymns. Tindley was largely self-taught throughout his lifetime. He learned to read mostly on his own. African American preacher Charles A. Tindley b. Berlin, MD, ; d. Philadelphia, PA, was also a composer who wrote most of his church music for the East Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church, which he founded in Philadelphia.
His church choir performed many gospel concerts. Although probably written earlier in the century, Tindley's "Beams of Heaven" was published in in his New Songs of Paradise copy available in the Library of Congress. Stanzas 1 and 2 use the rich Old Testament Exodus imagery of light and darkness to refer to times of joy and sorrow.
The third stanza points from current troubles see 2 Cor. If you notice that a particular Wednesday 13 CD release or compilation is missing from the list above, please submit that CD using the CD submission page. The ultimate goal is to make the discographies here at Heavy Harmonies as complete as possible. Even if it is an obscure greatest-hits or live compilation CD, we want to add it to the site.
Please only submit official CD releases; no bootlegs or cassette-only or LP-only releases. EPs and CD-singles from Wednesday 13 are also welcome to be added, as long as they are at least 4 songs in length.
Stele - Guess Who (4) - Un Anonim Celebru (File, Album), Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Various - Christmas Through The Years (CD), Interview, Prelude On Watermelon Man - Tom Farmer* - Chamber Music Of Tom Farmer (CD), Place For Us - Kool & The Gang - In The Heart (Vinyl, LP, Album), Regenbogenmond - Silly - Wutfänger (CD, Album), Announcer - Charlie Parker - Bird At The Roost, The Savoy Years - The Complete Royal Roost Performan, Neue Pest - Confrontation (3) - Demo 2002 (CDr, Album), Supergood (Radio Remix) - Various - DJO107 DJ Only (CD), Clocks - The Angel Of Mons (Live At The Reading Festival), Why No Reply - Arabesque - Deluxe (CD), Tripping On Your Love (Metropolis Edit) - Bananarama - Tripping On Your Love (CD) Dub