Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Crime and Punishment, U.S.A.

Sportscaster Stan Duke Dies; Rage Ended His Career

"Stan Duke, a former Los Angeles sportscaster and one of the first blacks in local television news, whose career ended after he shot his estranged wife's lover to death in 1971, has died. He was 70," Dennis McLellan reported Saturday in the Los Angeles Times.

"Duke died Wednesday at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home in Santa Barbara, Ellen Duke, his second wife of 25 years, said Friday.

"Duke was a five-year veteran weekend sportscaster for KNXT-TV on Feb. 7, 1971, when he finished the late-evening newscast and went to the Wilshire district home of his estranged wife, Faye Williams Duke, a junior high school teacher and president of the Black Educators Assn."

He later testified that he saw her and radio commentator Averill Berman in the bedroom together, left to get a rifle, and after returning fired the fatal shots through the closed door of a bedroom closet in which Berman was hiding.

"'It took me 17 years to get where I am,' he reportedly said, 'and I blew it all tonight.'"

He spent about three years in prison and then became a sports information officer for the University of California, Santa Barbara.

In addition to his wife his second wife of 25 years, Ellen Duke, he is survived by sisters Carlene Jackson and Evelyn Cook sons David, Brent and Brandon daughters Beverly Duke, Tamala Newsome and Paige Williams-Wake, and several grandchildren.

Just think about it. This man spied on his legally separated wife, saw her with a lover, drove home some distance, came back with a rifle, broke into his her home, chased Berman into a closet, shot him dead through the door, and spent nearly three years in prison for his trouble.

And he wasn’t even an ex-football star and entertainment icon like O.J.

There are people in Georgia serving more time in prison than this for getting blow jobs.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dr. Death

Heroes are where you find them. Sometimes in prison. But Jack is now out. But probably the worst imprisonment a person can suffer is to be locked up in a painful, useless body.

Dr. Kevorkian publicly aided a few human beings to escape their painful mortal sentence and did nine years time for his crime. Most of us ride on the coattails our heroes. We reap the benefits of their derring-do, but the best we can do is acknowledge our debt and gratitude for the risks they take and the sacrifices they endure. Thanks, Jack. The world is less a prison for your sacrifices.

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