Published: Sep 21, 2008 04:57 PM
Modified: Sep 21, 2008 04:57 PM
Another life taken away too soon
We don't know yet exactly what happened out there in the woods off Twisted Oak Drive.If police reports are accurate, we do know that a gentle young man named Joshua Bailey went in and never came out alive. The account of his death reflected in documents produced by the police and prosecutor Jim Woodall paints an utterly chilling picture. According to those authorities, a group of six men led Bailey into the woods west of Chapel Hill, made him stand in a shallow grave and shot him in the head with a 9-mm pistol. Afterward, authorities say, the parents of one of the suspects advised them to use acid to destroy evidence of the crime, drove some of them to a home improvement store to buy the acid, and helped move the body to another lonely burial site, in the woods near Jordan Lake.The legal process has just begun to play out, and until it does we all have to reserve judgment on the question of guilt. It's likely to be some time before we know with any degree of certainty just what happened, and why. In fact, no matter what motive eventually may be presented as the impetus behind Bailey's murder, in all likelihood we will never be able to really answer the second question. Why one human being takes the life of another is a question that has no satisfactory answer. But once again, much too soon, violent death has shaken the community. Once again, much too soon, another young person is gone. We're long past the day when we could harbor the comfortable belief that such things don't happen here. They do, too often. And although we have had to face violent death before, each one leaves us shocked and horrified anew. Within that shock and horror lies the refusal to accept that violence is inextricably a part of our community, that it's just the way things are. If the day ever comes when such a thing can happen and we aren't shocked and horrified, that's when we'll have lost something else.
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2008 The Chapel Hill News