A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Too Close for Comfort, part two

TOF's cousin, his milk-sister from days of yore, was over to the stronghold the other day and, as so often the case, talk turned to the recent murder spree that touched down tornado-like in the West Ward and blew lives apart. The friends of the murdered man, one of whom ran out of the house to comfort him as he lay dying, bore names familiar to TOF from his own schooldays -- Bader and Kutz. And Mariellen, the aforesaid cousin, recollected that she had taught the fellow in middle school. He was not an academic powerhouse, but had worked hard and dutifully and had achieved respectable grades.
Jeffrey S. Knoble Jr.
There had been another murder in Easton this past March 11.

Jeffrey S. Knoble Jr. texted Andrew "Beep" White trying to get a room for the night, and White, trying to be a good Samaritan, rented a room at the Quality Inn downtown, across the street from the McDonald's that the TOFian family sometimes use. 

Knoble and White apparently spent  the evening in the hotel room, drinking and listening to music. And at some point Knoble shot White in the head as he lay on the bed. The news stories don't say if Knoble stripped him before or after.

In the early morning, Knoble contacted his mother and told her he was in the car of someone he'd shot. He said he needed clothing and was coming to her house. When he didn't show up, she drove around Easton and found him near Northampton and Tenth streets. He showed her video images on his cell phone of a naked black man lying face down surrounded by blood. He told his mother he intended to shoot police officers. (His father is already in prison for attacking Bucks Co. sheriff's deputies with a knife.) She believed he wanted to have a shootout with police to advance rank in the Brims faction of the Bloods gang.

The mothere called police and said her son was threatening to kill police, was armed with a handgun and may have killed someone. Police used Knoble's cellphone to track him to his mother's home, where he had returned that afternoon. About 3:15 p.m., after a brief standoff, Noble surrendered and was arrested.

He had gotten the gun on March 2 from Tyquan Emmons, of Forks Township. Preliminary tests by the State Police, show it is the same weapon used to kill White. (It was also used by someone else in the Jan. 23 murder of a man in Irvington, N.J.)
So what's the connection? My cousin had also taught Knoble, the shooter, in elementary school. He had one foot in the bucket from day one. He was born addicted to crack, and repeatedly ditched school to run drugs for his mother. One time in the fifth grade (iirc) truant officers found him at a drug-and-booze party being put on by some high school seniors. The suspicion was that he was welcomed into a high school party because he was supplying them.

For all that, my cousin remembers him as a polite kid though prone to ignore all authority.

She also taught the shooter in a robbery-murder at the gas station in New Jersey that the family TOF gasses up at; and a kid whose father turned family annihilator/suicide.

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