Author Topic: Appalachian trail attacker, update.  (Read 476 times)


gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3177
Re: Appalachian trail attacker, update.
« Reply #1 on: 10:22:09, 15/07/19 »
The article raises an interesting point for us in the UK. Until the time of Mrs Thatcher most towns and cities across the UK had a 1000+ psychiatric hospital near them. Then the policy became that they would close down and most patients were then discharged into 'the community' and became our neighbours. I know this because I was, at that time, part of a team that discharged patients from a hospital in Epsom to all sorts of community settings. The 'care in the Community' policy has carried on through the Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and Mrs May years. I don't know how many thousands of people it involved but it wasn't just a 'few,' I would guess it would now be over hundreds of thousands?!

I have no problem with the policy and would not like to return to that way of life but the public at large, when they talk about prominant cases in the newspapers, do not seem to know about this recent UK history and how a change of policy can affect society in all sorts of ways. As I remember it the first real problem to hit the headlines soon after the policy came into effect, was when a man called Mr Zito was pushed onto a railway line by an ex-patient and was killed. His wife Mrs Zito then spent a few years running an information/charity site about such issues. I wonder where Mrs Zito is today?

During my hiking career I have recognised and talked to many people en-route, who in the 'olden days' would have been incarcerated in large institutions, but now they live everywhere and move everywhere as we do. From my experience, the major weakness of care in the community is that no one really gave a thought as to how you would manage people with difficulties from a geographical distance. In the old institution days, the staff would have been there as each problem happened but as I know from personal experience, what do you do when your client is experiencing a mental/physical crisis when you as the 'responsible person' who would like to intervene but the problem is that at the time if the incident I am 106 miles away!?

I know a Police Sargeant who has often expressed the view that about 70% of her time today is dealing with people with mental health issues, so little time to deal with crime!

I often ask mysel,f did the Thatcher government really do it for the concern of the patients, or was it just a 'trick' to save or stop spending money to help them? I know what I think!

tonyk

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1972
Re: Appalachian trail attacker, update.
« Reply #2 on: 11:13:23, 15/07/19 »
Four people died on the Pembrokeshire coast path,all killed by a local farm worker who was a career criminal.It took the police more than twenty years to bring him to book.Due to these killings it was a walk I avoided as there were rumours that the victims had stumbled on a IRA unit landing arms and had been executed.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3177
Re: Appalachian trail attacker, update.
« Reply #3 on: 11:55:52, 15/07/19 »
Was he a 'career criminal,' or had he a history of mental health problems and then a career of crime? How would we even know until after a case had been closed? Its a bit like those who are convicted of terrisom, so many with known mental health problem and criminal careers as well. So what came first the chicken or the egg, the criminality and then the mental health problems, or the other way around?

Your IRA worry remined me of the time in the 70s when my wife and I walked through the Savernack Forest near Marlborough and stumbled into an extreme right wing training day, (men, women and little children as well) who were using broom handles and pickaxe handles to hone their fighting skills, obviously just getting ready for Judgement Day! That was scary, so glad I wasn't a person walking through with a brown or black face!

So over thirty years later and for them its still not happened, the years must have left them frustrated but in 2019 they surely now are more hopeful that their time is coming!

tonyk

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1972
Re: Appalachian trail attacker, update.
« Reply #4 on: 15:31:32, 15/07/19 »
 John Cooper was desribed as a career criminal by the police and there was no mention of mental health problems at his trial.At the time he was charged with the four murders he had served time for armed robbery and more than thirty burglaries.

 https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/may/26/john-cooper-murders-finally-solved
 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-13409516

 He strikes me as a man who made some bad business decisions and out of desperation turned to crime.It happens quite a lot but is rarely taken to this extreme.