Washington, DC

Photo by Hugh Clarke

Ed. Note: I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated to the St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser in the fight against Childhood Cancers. Even though I’m an idiot and posted the wrong link yesterday, we’ve gotten halfway to the goal. Thank you so much for your generosity. And if there are others who’d like to make a donation, any amount helps, please do so and get a free PoPville shirt at the head shaving event!

If you have a personal question you’ve been dying to ask me – fire away! You can ask in the comments (which I’ll go back to and pull from) or just send an email with your question to [email protected] with “Ask me Anything” in the title.

“Dear PoPville,

Are there any crime stories for which you wish you knew more background information about the victim?

Although I had not worked with her in years, Carolynn Ellis, worked in the front office at my federal agency. We got the email from management that she died suddenly on Monday night (struck and killed by a DUI driver at 10th and U St, NW), but it didn’t take long to figure out what happened. Shared the thread from PoPville with a few folks who liked knowing that the community cares.”

I absolutely wish I knew and could share more about not only the victims but the perpetrators as well.

To be totally honest, having run this site for over ten years now, I’ve become numb to most of the crime posts. After these posts I go through cycles of anger, fear, depression, sadness, and hopelessness – which constantly repeats. What many people don’t realize is that I’m also occasionally emailed by victims of crimes who ask me not to post about it, they just want me to know what happened. These emails are heartbreaking because while I’m sympathetic there’s nothing I can really do besides offer an ear and the pain the victims conveys is just terrible. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to dissuade anyone who simply wants to talk. I’m just being honest and of course I’m always available at [email protected]

As to why I wish I knew more about the perpetrators – well my (and many many others) favorite Facebook page in the world is Humans of New York and the way in which the author humanizes folks from all walks of life is just incredible. I’ve been moved so many times. I’ve always wanted to do something similar for this site but it’s really really difficult to get people to open up like HoNY does. Maybe one day when my knees give out and I’m forced to hire someone to take over the other elements of the site – I’ll devote more time to just talking to people. This is something I thought Danny Harris’ retired People’s District did very well. Anyway, I’d love one day to go deeper and “introduce” District residents from all walks of life to each other. The more we know and understand about each other the better. The stories are obviously far more complex than what we get from a name in a crime report. A touch of empathy all around will go a long way towards a tighter DC.

-Dan Silverman: Citizen of the District of Columbia


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