Sunday, December 24, 2006

“Santa” killed in gang-style slaying

(While digging through the Washington Post this morning, trying to find the cartoon section, I ran across this story buried deep on page 12. That’s terrible! This is an important story and everybody needs to know about it. I don’t usually post columns in Eighty-Four Glyde on Sundays, but this is special. That’s why I’m reposting it in its entirety here.)

The body of a man wearing a red suit typically associated with Santa Claus was found Friday night stuffed in a drainage pipe in the 1300 block of North Capital Street in Washington D.C.

The body was discovered after a local man was walking his dog which got loose and ran into a nearby creek.

“My dog Thi and I were just going for a night walk. I don’t always keep her on a chain because she’s a pretty well-behaved bitch,” said Bob Deacon. “But I guess she must have caught a scent of the body in the air because she went running down to the creek and started gnawing on something.”

Since Santa Claus has never undergone the fingerprinting procedure, or any sort of DNA testing, positive identification of the body won’t be possible. The situation was further complicated by the manner of death and the disposal of the body.

According to the Washington D.C. medical examiner, Santa Claus was most likely forced to kneel on the ground, facing away from his killer. The killer then shot Claus twice in the back of the head, point blank, thereby obliterating the majority of the victim’s face. There is really not much left other than a blood-matted white beard with chunks of brain and bone clotted in it. In an odd turn, the victim’s ears had been cut off, as well as his tongue. The manner of the death hints strongly at a gang-style murder, said Det. Patrick E. Able, spokesman for the district police department.

“We don’t have any specific info yet to hint at one gang or another, but the cutting off of ears and tongue is usually a mark of a local crew called the Black Hand. That mutilation signifies that the victim was a snitch,” Able said. “What Santa was going to snitch on we have no idea, but we’re looking into it.”

The Black Hand has had run ins with city police on many occasions. They are known to run drugs in Northeast D.C. as well as being involved with the theft and selling of merchandise.

According to an unnamed source in the police department, the Black Hand is in some way involved with more than two dozen deaths in the district in 2006. They also have ties with New Jersey mafia, making them a gang the police will have to keep their eyes on in the future.

While the police are unofficially looking into the Black Hand for the murder, they still have been unable to come up with a motive.

“The first thing we have to do is figure out just what Santa was doing in Washington D.C. in the first place. ‘What business could he have that would bring him here? Shouldn’t he be at the North Pole getting everything ready for the big day Monday?’ Those are the questions we need to ask and get answered as we continue in the investigation,” Able said.

Area residents are wondering what Santa’s death will mean for Christmas this year.

“Who’s going to bring our presents?” said 8-year-old Latisha Jones, a resident of North Capital street. “What’s going to happen?”

So far no answers are forthcoming.

“There are three days out of the year that my five children look forward to: their birthdays, the last day of school and Christmas. Now that Santa is dead it looks like Christmas isn’t going down this year. I have no idea how I’m going to deal with how disappointed they’re going to be,” said Jasmine Jones, Latisha’s mother.

Christmas will arrive on Monday. Until then people don’t know what to expect. Christmas morning could leave people happy and full of holiday joy, or with empty areas under their Christmas trees and in their hearts. We can only wait to see what will happen.

“I really hope Christmas comes. I’ve been waiting for it all year!” Latisha said. “And I hope they find the mean men who killed Santa and punish them!”

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