In an age of highly sophisticated criminal investigation techniques, showcased in CSI and similar shows, it would appear to be increasingly difficult to commit a murder and get away with it. This would be especially true for murders targeting people who work in law enforcement — individuals who know a lot about crime and who often take measures to protect themselves.
This is one of the reasons why the killing of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and and his wife Cynthia, which we noted in Morning Docket, is so shocking and so chilling. But there are others….
A second reason, of course, is that it comes so soon after the January shooting of one of McLelland’s assistant district attorneys, Mark Hasse. Hasse was shot on January 31, and today, two months later, little progress has been made in that case.
A third reason has to do with the possible connection between the two murders and who might be behind them. From CNN:
Fears that a white supremacist gang or someone else is targeting Texas law enforcement officials spread Monday to Houston, where the chief prosecutor went under 24-hour protection in the wake of the weekend shooting death of his counterpart in a suburban Dallas county.
Kaufman County — where District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, died Saturday — and Harris County were among numerous Texas and federal jurisdictions that participated in a task force targeting the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas in 2012.
Of course, it’s too early to say whether the Aryan Brotherhood or another white supremacist group is involved. Commenters on the Dallas Morning News website suggest the possibility of Mexican drug cartel involvement. (It’s even possible — although highly, highly unlikely — that the McLelland and Hasse killings are unrelated.)
Fourth, the details of the McLelland murders are disturbing. From the Dallas Morning News:
A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity described the scene at the McLellands’ home as an awful scene.
“There are shell casings everywhere,” the official said. “This is unprecedented. This is unbelievable. This is huge.”
There had been an early report that whoever had killed the McLellands had kicked in the door of the home, but later accounts indicated that was not the case.
A friend of the family reportedly entered the home to check on the couple after a family member was unable to contact them.
Finally, McLelland was killed even though he was armed and on high alert. McLelland told the AP that he started carrying a gun with him after Hasse was slain. And Hasse was also reportedly carrying a firearm with him to work in the days leading up to his death.
If two prosecutors get shot despite having guns with them, one can’t help questioning the “self-defense” rationale for toting around deadly weapons. Perhaps we would all be better off if everyone had a harder time getting their hands on guns.
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May the McLellands and Mark Hasse rest in peace, and may their killers be brought to justice as soon as possible.