|For an iPhone, Sally lost her life... a victim of 'snatch and grab' by a black male|
Aboard a jet, some 10,000 feet above the city, Wayne thinks to himself:
Departing the world of fiction, into a world where horror has replaced reality (George Romero wildest nightmare doesn't hold a candle to the macabre nature of life in 2013 America), the story of Sally Katona-King's death is a reminder that beneath the skyscrapers of Chicago lurks an enemy no caped-crusader is ready to confront [Teen pleads guilty in death of woman pushed down CTA stairs, Chicago Tribune, 4-13-13]:
Sally Katona-King's family sat Friday in the front row of the courtroom, crying and clutching each other as they listened to the lanky teen's explanation for pushing their mother down the steps of the Fullerton Avenue "L" station to her death while trying to flee with a stolen cellphone.
"I thought snatching iPhones was the safest and quickest way to make money and support myself without hurting anyone," Prince Watson wrote in a typed, one-page letter. "Now I understand what I did was wrong and it hurted a lot of people deep down inside."
As his lawyer read his words aloud in court, Watson, 19, hunched forward at the defense table with his eyes cast at the floor. Moments later, Judge James Linn sentenced him to 32 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and robbery in the 2011 death of Katona-King, a 68-year-old mother of three who was a deacon at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Logan Square.
It was a swift and emotional end to a case that shone a spotlight on a surge of snatch-and-grab robberies targeting public transit riders' new electronic gadgets, which can quickly bring hundreds of dollars on the black market.
The lure of easy cash was powerful for Watson. By the time he was charged in Katona-King's murder five months later, he had already been accused of committing two other robberies on the CTA, even though he knew he had killed someone. That aspect of the crime continues to haunt Katona-King's son and two daughters, who submitted powerful victim impact statements to the court about their mother's inspiration and how their lives have become unglued since her death.
"It really bothers me after knowing what he did to my mom that he kept committing crimes," daughter Eileen Katona wrote. "This is what makes me feel that he is very dangerous because his actions make it seem that he had no remorse for what he had done."
Katona-King's children also wrote eloquently about how their mother overcame a difficult upbringing to better herself and help others.
As a child Katona-King would often go to bed hungry because her alcoholic father blew his money on booze. At 8, she was pulled into a gangway and raped by a stranger, her family said. She later battled polio, divorced her first husband and then while still in her 20s endured the fatal shooting of her second husband in an armed robbery.
"She had a very hard life, but she had a good life," her other daughter, Kimberly Katona, told the judge through tears. "She made her life good despite the adversities."
If her mother had met Watson, Katona said, she would have wanted to help him and cook him meals like she did for other disadvantaged families. A self-taught baker, Katona-King was known as the "cake lady" and would often sing and dance around the kitchen as she cooked.
"She always had a helping hand to lend, even in our tough years, and had an extra plate of food for anyone who stopped by her home," her daughter said.
Watson, dressed in a tan jail jumpsuit, bit his lips and stared at the floor as Kimberly Katona spoke. In the courtroom gallery, his aunt, Kym Ashford, listened quietly with tears rolling down her cheek.
Watson's lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Susan Smith, told the judge that the teenager had a tragic upbringing of his own. When he was born, his mother's blood alcohol content was 0.28 percent, a nearly lethal level "because she'd had gin for breakfast," Smith said. When Watson was a toddler, he found his mother dead from an overdose on the family's porch, she said.
By the time he was 13, Watson was using marijuana and taking medications for hyperactive disorder and mood swings, according to a court filing by his attorneys. He dropped out of school as a freshman and began picking up juvenile arrests for disorderly conduct, battery and retail theft. He spent monthslong stretches in juvenile detention, at one point attempting to hang himself with a bedsheet, the filing said.
In August 2010, Watson's older sister, Marshalla Johnson, was fatally shot in her West Side apartment, allegedly by her husband, Simon Simmons. A month later, Watson's twin brother, Rico, was arrested in the armed robbery of a cabdriver and was sentenced to 18 years in prison, records show.
"He seemed to get angrier after that," his grandmother, Mattie Ashford, wrote about Watson in a handwritten note to the judge. "But I didn't know he was out there robbing people. It never crossed my mind."
Prosecutors said that on the afternoon of March 28, 2011, Watson snatched an iPhone from a passenger on a Brown Line train as it pulled into the Fullerton station, then pushed Katona-King down a flight of stairs on his escape. Katona-King, who was on her way to work, fractured her collarbone and multiple ribs and suffered brain contusions and bleeding. She died a day later.
Watson was arrested May 15 near the Clark/Division Red Line stop after he grabbed an iPhone belonging to another woman and fled, according to court records. The woman chased the teen, and police caught up with him. Watson quickly pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison. In the meantime, investigators linked him to Katona-King's death through DNA and surveillance video, prosecutors said.
Watson's lawyers wrote in the sentencing memorandum that Watson was devastated when he heard of Katona-King's death on the news and "spent many days at home in his uncle's house, sad, reclusive and upset."
Watson's aunt said in a telephone interview after his sentencing Friday that she doesn't believe his sentence fit the crime.
"They shouldn't have been so harsh," Kym Ashford said. "People with weapons don't get that much time."
In his victim impact statement to the court, Katona-King's son, David King, wrote that Watson had shown a "callous disregard for humanity" in continuing to commit robberies even after his mother had died. In the last two years, King said, his emotions have swayed from wanting to kill Watson himself to punching a brick wall and "shedding tears in friends' arms many times."
King, who lived with his mother and shared expenses, has since found himself out of a job, his possessions in a storage locker and sleeping on friends' couches or guest bedrooms.
"Life as I knew it is gone," he said."She made her life good despite the adversities..."
When you juxtapose the lives of Katona-King to Prince Watson, a dissertation of profound consequences emerges that would befuddle your most ardent of Marxist sociologists.
In light of the high level of crime, murder and mob violence in Chicago, new warnings from police there should probably get attention.
Second City Cop, a widely read blog run by current and former Chicago police officers, now has shared an ominous prediction with WND:
[I]t is almost a certainty that if these “wildings” continue, the casual tourist will become a rarity in short order, and a tourist intent on enjoying Chicago will come to town armed, as many already do. You don’t hear about it because they aren’t usually confronted by criminals.Given the “current lawless climate” in the city, “it is likely, almost a certainty that someone will have to defend themselves or a loved one from the out-of-control individuals currently prowling through Chicago.”
For the first time, the mainstream media also has admitted that “mobs of unruly black teens” are at fault for flash mob violence, at least in Chicago.
Dr. Stanton Samenow, of Alexandria, Va., is a clinical psychologist, Reagan appointee, and author of the seminal work, “Inside the Criminal Mind.” Samenow shared his assessment of the flash mobs with WND.
He said criminal minds, which are nothing new, now have access to instant communication. He analogized sexual predators, whose crimes are easier to commit by using the Internet. “The Internet doesn’t revolutionize crime, but it does facilitate crime by making it easier, giving more like-minded people the opportunities to commit crime, and reducing the risk of crime.”
Samenow says that the attackers “are seeking excitement at the expense of others, reducing them to a quivering, pleading speck of humanity.” He also rejects the typical explanations offered for flash mobs:
The mobs aren’t caused by past discrimination, institutionalized discrimination, or social policy. These attackers elevate themselves by looking down on others.While it is difficult to know the outcome of these attacks, Dr. Samenow sees trouble ahead.
“We can’t predict how lethal the outcome will be, but there will unfortunately be more such outcomes.”
Chicago is no achievement, if one is unsafe boarding public transportation or walking the streets of the Magnificent Mile.
And why is it unsafe?
Ask the descendants of the so-called 'Great Migration' -- ask "Obama's Son's and Daughter's."