did eastern michigan university try to downplay the murder of laura dickinson at the expense of students?

The “Ann Arbor News” is now confirming what’s been suspected for the past few days – that Eastern Michigan University officials sat on details concerning the December death of Laura Dickinson, a student who appears to have been raped and murdered in her dorm room. Students, reporters, and Ypsilanti residents want to know why the University community wasn’t allerted to the fact that a killer was loose on campus, but EMU president John Fallon isn’t talking. Here’s a clip:

…Washtenaw County’s medical examiner confirmed this morning that the death of an Eastern Michigan University student on campus was immediately suspicious – despite initial university assurances that foul play was not suspected.

“It was the arrangement of the body,” Dr. Bader Cassin said, noting the fact that the female student was lying on the floor, with no clothes on from the waist down. “It was all suspicious to me, as it was to the police.”

Laura Dickinson’s keys also were missing from her dormitory room at Hill Hall when her body was found Dec. 15 – a detail that also made her father wonder if she may have been killed by someone who locked the door on the way out…

So, when University administrators said that foul play was “not” suspected, they were lying. They could have said, “we don’t know what happened,” or, “we’re not commenting until the investigation is concluded,” but they chose instead to say that foul play “was not suspected.” And, that’s not all. It also looks as though there may be a question as to whether or not the accused murderer, Orange Taylor, should have been at EMU in the first place. According to the “Ann Arbor News,” he was known to be threat. Here’s a clip:

…”I understand that they kept it quiet, but they were also keeping an eye on him, and they had him as a suspect early on but didn’t want him to flee,” (the father of the victim) said. “My biggest concern is – what was he doing enrolled in school? He had a prior drug paraphernalia arrest, and he was apparently restricted from certain areas of campus already, but we’re angry and hurt that he was even allowed on campus”…

So, if I’m reading this correctly, the University knew that she was probably killed, and yet told students that it didn’t look suspicious. Furthermore, the man now being held for her rape and murder was already known by University officials to be a threat, at least on some level… This really isn’t looking good for the University. (And, unless they had him under 24-hour surveilance, it’s not looking good for the police either.)

Could someone at EMU please explain to me under which circumstances a student would be “restricted from certain areas of campus”? It seems to me that if someone had done somethng making it necessary to keep him from certain parts of campus, that he shouldn’t probably be anywhere on campus. Am I missing something?

Posted in Ypsilanti | 43 Comments

sores, ass fat and wall-crawling insects

Boing Boing had some really great stuff today. They had this story about an absolutely disgusting wallpaper pattern made-up entirely of ants, a piece on a boat that runs on liposuctioned ass fat, and information on where one can procure printable cold sores that can be affixed to the ubiquitous images of models we find ourselves surrounded by every day. The ant thing freaks me the fuck out, and I can’t stop itching as I sit here thinking about it, but I find the other two projects are really inspiring… And, by the way, my ass now powers the Ypsi Food Co-op on cloudy days. And, all those cold sores you see on local models are my doing.

Posted in Art and Culture | 6 Comments

what’s this in my ice cube?

As the polar ice shelves melt, we’re being introduced to a whole new world of previously unknown aquatic life. The news today was about these really incredible looking orange sea stars and blue ice fish. Part of me is happy that something interesting is coming out of global warming. Of course, a much, much bigger part of me is scared shitless by the thought of what might still be beneath the ice.

Posted in Observations | 5 Comments

cheney’s not all bad, he loves dogs

My friend Eric thought that he had something that was sure to lure me out of my recently announced blogging retirement today. He sent me this story about a man here in Michigan who is being charged with sodomy for having sex with his girlfriend’s dead dog. I, of course, found it interesting, but it wasn’t something that I felt compelled to blog about, however, until I noticed that the story appeared right next to a photo of a smirking Dick Cheney. Now, that, I couldn’t resist.

Posted in Observations | 4 Comments

casualties of the bush economy

My pal, Jeff Kay, lost his job today, along with over 300 of his coworkers. That makes the third person that I consider a close friend to have lost his or her job this month. They’re all brilliant, hard-working people and I’m sure they’ll land on their feet, but it depresses the hell out of me to think that things have gotten this bad.

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