Horribly sad

helen hill

(Dr. Paul Gailiunas and Helen Hill… TP photo)

There were 6 murders in less than 24 hours in NOLA. But one of the latest has shaken the city

On Thursday, shortly before 6 a.m., police responded to reports of a shooting at a shotgun double on the corner of North Rampart and Spain streets in the Marigny neighborhood. Just inside the front door, Gailiunas was found on his knees, holding his toddler son and bleeding from gunshot wounds to his hand, forearm and cheek, police said.

Inside, his 36-year-old wife lay dead with a gunshot wound to the neck.

The victim was Helen Hill, an animator and filmmaker. Her husband, Dr Paul Gailiunas and her son survived. Dr. Gailiunas worked with the poor and the couple were activists committed to rebuilding New Orleans.

Several NOLA bloggers knew this couple.Just go read Editor B who was friends with them. It’s heartbreaking.

Loki who also knew the couple writes…

Why is it that after 40 years of living with everything from our infamous murder rate to the aftermath of the Federal Flood I am so completely disheartened?

And Oyster writes…

Granted, I understand it’s not all the mayor’s fault or the police chief’s fault or the NOPD’s fault. However, one thing I do know is this, and it’s a lead pipe cinch: until our leaders recognize the depth of the crime problem in this city, and honestly face it rather than cover it up with sham statistics and bullshit national comparisons, there is absolutely no chance for sustained improvement.

Last spring, Nagin and Riley began downplaying and covering up the rising crime problem in New Orleans so they could keep their jobs. They have been in “damage control” and “spin cycle” mode ever since. The people of New Orleans deserve “reality-based” leaders at the local level, just as Americans deserve “reality-based” leaders at the national level.

Crime was a terrible problem before Katrina but there is as Loki says a Lord of the Flies scenario becoming entrenched in the city. My friend with whom I stay when in NOLA (in that Marigny neighborhood less than 2 blocks from where Helen Hill was killed) has described the city as becoming Deadwood. And that was before this murder.

Now I see that another woman has been murdered in her home in Uptown. I have no idea what the solution is but what is happening is horrible and terribly sad.—–

7 thoughts on “Horribly sad

  1. Scout, you know the block – one block from me.
    TJ – what I heard last night is that the murder of the brass band founder earlier this week started the outrage cycle. The outrage is not limited to black on white – but you are right that there is a huge outrage distiction between drug war killings and things like this.
    PansyPoo – we HAVE National Guard here already. Until June, they say.
    I’m going to take a while and calm down (just got back today) – but to answer the obvious – yeah, they got me thinking about leaving.

  2. Well, Riley and Nagin have finally emerged to say something about the violence. They are considering a curfew. Jesus H. Christ.
    This is insane.
    TJ, utterly gobsmacked

  3. >>Nagin and Riley began downplaying and covering up the rising crime problem in New Orleans so they could keep their jobs. They have been in “damage control” and “spin cycle” mode ever since.>>
    not so sure this is a desperate clutch at job security as much as an desperate attempt to keep people from writing off the city more than they already have. there are more than a few folks who use high crime rates in the poorer neighborhoods of their own cities as evidence that ‘nothing can be done with these people.’
    but i’m not in nola.

  4. as someone who has lost much not too long ago, this is too damn fucking sad. i hate bush dearlly.
    but out comes my inner snark.
    gee, where’s the national guard? oh yeah, IWAQ.
    good job georgie.
    i hope high on the democrats agenda is getting NOLA and the levees fixed.

  5. Words just seem inadequate. It’s tragic that these dynamic and engaged people – the kind of people NOLA needs the most- were caught up in this mindless violence.
    And the larger issue- the already rampant crime spiralling into some kind of vigilante nightmare – is even worse, even sadder.
    Loki’s post is so heartbreaking:
    It is more than a civilized human can bear. I think of what my feelings would be if I lost my wife in such a fashion. My entire chest knots up with an icy cramp as I consider it. The other thing that causes a tightening in my chest is the realization that I, who usually try to be a good Samaritan, will not be opening the door for any late night emergencies. I have discovered fear, the mind killer, the little death.
    The call of generations of Blancs, Monroes, Williamses, Martins, and other blood relations is loud and persistent in my mind. This is my home, damn it! I fear that siren song of the blood is becoming a different one, still of blood but far less inviting.

  6. scout, this is so so upsetting. I’ve been commenting about it over at Eschaton but nobody really seems interested. And I’m also upset that it took the death of a white woman before people seemed to really care. Why do the black victims count less? Why?
    I’ve been reading the comments at the T-P and elsewhere. people are fed up. the city is cracking up, and the deterioriating mental health of nola citizens is not going to help this problem. They feel abandoned, deserted and forgotten.
    Thank you for continuing to remember and write about my friends and neighbors.
    How much more can the citizens of new orleans take?
    TJ, despondent

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