Murder of Leila Fowler in Valley Springs, CA: “Residents say, their guns are loaded”

April 30, 2013


The murder of 8 year-old Leila Fowler is tragic, as well as a bizarre crime with many more questions than answers — CBS: A region of oak-studded hills in California, where big-city dwellers come to get away from crime, was on lockdown Monday, two days after a mysterious intruder stabbed an 8-year-old girl to death at home before being spotted by her 12-year-old brother.

And while I certainly don’t want to over-politicize such a horrible crime, I found these opening passages from People Magazine surprisingly candid about the role of guns.

The stabbing of an 8-year-old girl in her home in Valley Springs, Calif., has residents of the small town loading their guns and keeping their kids home from school as police – who have few clues – search for the killer in hilly, remote terrain.

Police say Leila Fowlers 12-year-old brother, who was home with his sister on Saturday, spotted an intruder, who ran out of the house. The boy then discovered his sister severely injured and phoned his parents, who were at a Little League game. The girl was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The county coroner says she died from multiple stab wounds. Friends say the third-grader had a heart-warming smile, loved the color purple and was a daddy’s girl. Fowlers slaying has devastated the 10-square mile community of about 3,500 in Calaveras County, where residents typically keep their doors and windows open and the biggest newsmaker most years is the jumping frog contest written about by Mark Twain in 1865.

Now, residents say, their guns are loaded.

Guns aren’t going to solve a heinous crime, or do anything to bring young Leila Fowler back; however, I suspect many residents of Valley Springs are happy to have them just the same – especially if they have young children they feel inclined to protect.

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