Posted on | February 15, 2017 | Comments Off on A Murder in Cleveland
Police say Alianna DeFreeze (left) was murdered by Christopher Whitaker (right).
Christopher Whitaker, 44, is a convicted sex offender. In April 2005, a woman let Whitaker into her apartment in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford Heights because he said he needed to use the restroom:
Whitaker went into the restroom and emerged with a pair of scissors. He choked the woman unconscious.
He sexually assaulted while she was unconscious and stabbed her twice in the neck with the scissors.
Whitaker served four years in prison.
Rape and aggravated assault and he gets only four years in prison? Whitaker probably won’t get off so lightly for his latest crime:
Alianna DeFreeze, the 14-year-old Cleveland girl whose body was found earlier this month in an vacant house days after she was reported missing, was beaten and stabbed to death, according to court records.
Christopher Whitaker is accused of abducting DeFreeze, raping her and inflicting blunt-force injuries, stabbing and puncture wounds that killed her, Cleveland police detectives wrote in records filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court that were made public on Tuesday. . . .
Whitaker, 44, is scheduled for an arraignment hearing Thursday after a grand jury handed up a capital indictment charging him with aggravated murder, rape, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Whitaker is the first defendant that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley will seek to put to death since taking office in January.
“The facts of this case together with his violent criminal history compels this Office to seek the death penalty,” O’Malley said.
Whitaker is being held on $3 million bond.
The records made public after Whitaker’s indictment offer the first official glimpse into as to how the girl may have died. . . .
Whitaker was arrested Feb. 2 after the medical examiner identified him through DNA evidence collected during the investigation, police said.
Everybody has to think of that 2005 crime. Rape a woman, choke her unconscious and stab her in the neck with scissors and . . . four years?
The murder of Alianna DeFreeze calls attention to Cleveland’s downward spiral. In 1950, the city had more than 900,000 residents. Today, fewer than 400,000 people live in Cleveland. The city’s population has declined by 80,000 just in the past 15 years. On average, since 1990, Cleveland has lost 4,700 people every year, and this exodus means the city has many abandoned houses like the one where Alianna’s body was found:
The empty house at 9412 Fuller Ave., where 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze’s body was found in late January, tells a story all too familiar to public officials and community groups waging a daily fight against blight. . . .
In 2013, Deutsche Bank bid just $2,000 for the property at sheriff’s sale, a public auction that ended litigation over nearly $74,000 of unpaid debt, interest and fees. Months later, the bank turned around and sold the house to a local investor for just under $7,000. . . .
“My construction yard is right around the corner from there, and I’ve wrecked houses on that street within the last year. And it’s been vacant for a long time,” said Bob Deskins of Lightning Demolition & Excavating, the company that boarded up the house’s windows and doors after DeFreeze’s body was discovered. “Everything is gutted out. The hot water tank is gone. Whoever bought the house wasn’t doing anything to it.” . . .
Deskins lost an adult daughter, Angela, to an East Cleveland serial killer a few years ago. He described blighted properties as crime scenes in waiting. “You can’t do it right in the street,” he said. “You need these abandoned houses to go into to commit these crimes.”
Angela Deskins, 38, was one of three women, along with Shirellda Terry, 18, and Shetisha Sheeley, 28, murdered by Michael Madison in 2012 and 2013. The murder of Alianna DeFreeze came to my attention because I happened to be reading a story by feminist Catherine Young:
For as long as feminism has existed, feminists have been accused of hating men. Pleas for equal rights, franchise, and financial independence have been met with not just ardent and sometimes violent opposition, but the persistent, insidious untruth that feminists desire nothing more than to emasculate and eradicate the male sex and “take over.”
While hating men isn’t a core tenet of feminist ideology, a curious trend has taken hold online over the past couple years: ironic misandry. Women attach #KillAllMen and #BanMen hashtags to news stories of male-perpetrated violence against women or legislation sponsored by male politicians designed to cut back on women’s rights. From the celebration of “Gleeful Mobs of Women Murdering Men in Western Art History” by the Toast to the bracelets proclaiming that “All Men Must Die” and mugs filled with “Male Tears” for sale on Etsy, the idea of telegraphing male hatred in public as a performance has really caught on. The thinking seems to be this: If men continue to insist that striving for gender equality is the same as hating them, why not lean into it?
You can read the whole thing, but the reference to “news stories of male-perpetrated violence against women” made me curious: Who are these males perpetrating violence against women? So I did a Google search for “rape+kidnap+murder” and found the story of Alianna DeFreeze. There was also the story of Brian Golsby, 29, who is charged with aggravated murder, rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery in the death last week of 21-year-old Ohio State student Reagan Tokes. And the story of Kenneth Gadson, 32, charged with raping and murdering Rina Shimabukuro, 20. You might want to check to see if any feminists have mentioned these cases (with or without “ironic misandry” hashtags), but my hunch is, no, they haven’t taken notice of these crimes. Jessica Valenti’s latest column is about abortion, and Amanda Marcotte’s latest column is about immigration. A cynic might suspect that feminists don’t actually care about “male-perpetrated violence against women,” but instead merely exploit such crimes if and when they find a case that fits their political narrative. You’re not a cynic, are you?