Murder At The Post Office  

Posted by Heidi in

Some of you might remember my post, Murder At The Elementary School, which turned out to be a bizarre suicide rather than murder. I was pretty freaked out about the whole thing and posted about it--repeatedly--even though this is supposed to be a humor blog. At least I try to be either entertaining, amusing, uplifting or inspiring. I have spent too many years in the past living through some really dark days to want to make anyone feel any negative emotion. Consequently, I get a lot of joy out of making people feel good. (Except for those who make me feel bad. Those will be punished. Instantly and thoroughly. Did I mention I’ve had my fill of feeling bad?)

For that reason, I hesitate to post about the murder that took place at the post office in my Mayberry-esque little town because there is nothing amusing, uplifting or inspiring about it. The police aren’t releasing many details so there isn’t much to say except that a very nice 73 year old man with a wife, kids and grandkids who all live here in town and who was at the post office retrieving mail from his P.O. box was stabbed multiple times by a man who is rumored to be mentally ill.

Ain’t life grand? At least it gives more credence to the phrase “going postal”. (Why did it have to happen at the post office? The one where everyone knows my name? And my husband’s name? And kid’s names? Why the one where the nice postal worker who ran out of the building yelling to the populace at large to give chase after the perp is the same nice worker who always gives my Little Guy candy prompting LG to bring candy to the worker in return?)

The ironic thing about it is, just that morning as The Spouse and I were out running errands, we were chatting about how stressed people are these days and how hard life is going to be for everyone in this economy and how there was going to be a lot more crime. “We aren’t ever going to want to leave our Mayberry-esque little town,” I said with a feeling of smug satisfaction. On the way home, we tried to stop by the post office to put a Netflix in the mailbox but all roads leading to the post office were blocked off. You know--the one smack-dab in the middle of our Mayberry-esque little town. It seems that sometime between the time we drove out of town that morning and the time we drove back a few hours later, somebody succumbed to the pressures of life and committed an act of random murder. (I'll be back tomorrow with something a bit more laughable. At least I hope so . . .)

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at Thursday, March 12, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

36 wise, witty and wonderful comments

How very sad. I'm sorry. Sheesh. That really is scary how personal it becomes when characters involved are your friends and when you pretty much just missed the incident. What a tragedy.

March 12, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Heidi, I am so sorry. I wish I had something to ease the pain and disappointment, but I really don't.

These things happen even in the smallest and happiest of communities. All we can do is rally around each other and let others know how much we care about them.

As my mom used to say, "Keep looking up. This too shall pass." I really hope so.

March 12, 2009 at 10:56 AM

That's really awful.

My sister-in-law has a list of 3 places she doesn't enter unless she has to. Banks, Convient Stores, and the Post Office.

I'm not going to tell her about this.

March 12, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Oh hon! That's no fun at all. Sending you peaceful chocolatey thoughts.

I've just been wanting to find a nice cozy cave somewhere and ride out society's demise in peaceful ignorance. But then my family would turn out all "flowers in the attic"ish and that would be bad. So we're riding it out here in the hood.

March 12, 2009 at 11:34 AM

There is a deal of tragedy in this sometimes joyful world. I know a woman who has ten children. Her fifth child was her first son, and he died of SIDS. Her youngest child, fourth son, died in a car crash four and a half years ago while driving to his high school graduation (freak accident, he was totally sober and not speeding), and last month her husband died of mesothelioma. He was in his early sixties. I don't know how she bears it, but she's a sunny soul.

March 12, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Woah, that's strange. When I saw "murder" in the title I just figured it was going to be like the snow story, not real murder.
Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I finally got a hold of your book, I requested it at the library, and I think they bought it just because I asked them too, maybe. I am really enjoying it.

March 12, 2009 at 11:38 AM

What an awful story. I can't imagine what his family must be going through... And to think that you could have been there to see it - or worse.

March 12, 2009 at 11:40 AM

That's crazy.

But wherever the crazy stuff happens, it's somebody's small town, or neighborhood, or something.

March 12, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Lisa--it is not a good feeling but it isn't as bad as living two miles away from Columbine high school when THAT happened. Scarlet-thanks! I probably shouldn't have posted about it but I mentioned it earlier, so . . .Sue--I think your sister is very smart! I love our post office, though! boo hoo! Jami--you make me laugh! Pam--oh, that poor woman! It seems that there are some people who get the double or triple barrel--it makes no sense! Heather--I guess I use Murder in my blog titles too often. And, yes, I am sure they bought it just b/c you asked for it so thanks! Kate--I know people who did see it. Yikes! It's just not what you expect living here. I think that's why it's extra upsetting. Lara--very good point. I think it being in a small town makes it more newsworthy and sensationalized, too. Another murder in Oakland is just no big deal (even though it is).

March 12, 2009 at 12:06 PM

It makes me so sad. Crime is on the rise and it's just the beginning. I am so very sorry for your little haven.

March 12, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Whenever the big wide scary world invades my private hiding places I want to huddle up in my warm blanket with a bag of popcorn and a book... the fact that I've been watching the news lately has caused me to gain a few popcorn pounds!

I'd recommend a good book - but I'm pretty sure you've read my latest "feel good" suggestion, being as you WROTE it!

Here's hoping for a better tomorrow, and peace and comfort for that man's family.

March 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

So let me get this straight, you started talking about how crime was on the rise and then a crime happened?! The power you yield Miss Heidi....shocking! :) Sorry to make light of the situation, and of course I mean in no way this was your fault. I have a problem. I know it. Sorry again.
Honestly I would like to murder my son right now if he bites me one more time while he's nursing!!!! Heck no!! OWWEEE. (Sorry, there I go again.) :(

March 12, 2009 at 12:34 PM

What a very sad, scary situation. I think it really hits us harder when it's in a place where this kind of thing rarely happens.

March 12, 2009 at 12:36 PM

somebody succumbed to the pressures of life and committed an act of random murder

How blamelessly you say that. You have such a kind heart, Heidi.

*sigh* and I love my P.O. Box. Going to get mail is one of my stress relievers.

March 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Jan--me too. We'll get over it just in time for it to happen again. I hope we never have reason to get "used to it". T--does it make me selfish that I like the part of your comment that's about my book the most? Melinda, have you tried giving him the flick with your finger when he bites? It sounds so cruel but it does work. Kristina--exactly! It's one reason why people live here and pay big bucks for the pleasure (except us--we got in on a really swell deal). Laura--I so appreciate you! You are determined to see the best in me every time! I do feel a lot of compassion for the man who did it. When I saw the picture of him when he was being handcuffed--the look on his face--- I knew he was mentally ill before I was told. Since I have a son who is mentally ill and vulnerable (except he has too many other problems to be unleashed unsuspectingly on the public)to the stresses of life in ways others aren't, I feel a ton of compassion for him. And for his parents. Of course I feel horrible for the family of the victim but it is the parents of the guy who did it to whom I most relate in this situation. They must feel just awful. I hope they have already passed on. This is one of the biggest fears of a parent with a mentally ill child who is out on her/his own.

March 12, 2009 at 1:21 PM

I love how positive and uplifting you are, but when something shakes you up, by all means share! Our struggles and worries are such a big part of what makes us human...and makes the positive moments all the more beautiful.

So sorry tragedy has touched your home like this.

March 12, 2009 at 1:22 PM

CR-AZI-NESS! Sometimes, it's okay to write about stuff - Next time, make it a little more haunting and exciting, like with special forces dropping down from the roof and in the middle of the night phone calls from a mysterious man with a raspy voice who does nothing laugh maniacally and in the morning, when you wake up, there's a fog that's settled over the town, and all the neighbors have locked their houses, closed their blinds, and it now looks like a deserted ghost town....
Or you know, whatever... :)

March 12, 2009 at 2:05 PM

BTW, I am sorry to hear about your kind postmaster - I sometimes should just not say things - afterwards they come out not quite how I intend!

March 12, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Yikes! Scary. I guess these things happen no matter where you live.

March 12, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Kim--thanks! That means a lot to me! Abra--you are so great at writing that kind of thing! And no need to be sorry--I totally get it! Rachel--so true. So, lock your doors!

March 12, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Damn Bay Area. Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again.

Just be glad you aren't on my side of the the not-so-Mayberry-esque town of Oakland, aka the Ghet-to.

I am returning to my bunker now. Thank God I have an internet connection. I may never leave.


March 12, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Francesca--you crack me up! I just wish Fenton's wasn't in your neck of the woods.

March 12, 2009 at 2:57 PM

how sad! i heard one of peggy's neighbor's was arrested for murder. creepy!

March 12, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I am so sorry Heidi. Just when we feel comfortable with where we live some kind of crap happens (sorry for the swear word, but I think the situation calls for it). 2 attempted child abductions happened within a couple blocks of my kids' elementary school right after the school year started so even though I only live 2 1/2 blocks from the school they don't walk home anymore. Are we ever going to feel safe? I hope the man's family has support!

March 12, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Oh, wow. How sad. I don't even know what to say. I hope his family will find comfort.

March 12, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Jessica--eep! I'll have to get the lowdown on that. Julie--ooh, that is scary! Melanie--yes, so do I. The whole town will get together and have a candlelight vigil at our downtown park complete with gazebo a la Gilmore Girls. Somehow it seems kind of ironic.

March 12, 2009 at 4:17 PM

I am so sorry. That gets creepy when it is so close to home. I remember about 8 years ago when a crazy man stormed into the hospital where I had delivered three of my kids and shot a doctor. It had been a couple years since I had been there, but it was still very haunting.

March 12, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Heidi, I'm sorry. these are the kinds of things you can't just NOT write about. It's what is on your heart and mind as it should be. (and you were still funny with the going postal thing.)

If you took this stuff lightly...well, you wouldn't be the lovely you that you are. Your blog is a fun place to visit and get a laugh. And on the occasion you're more serious, it only makes you more lovable for your transparency and real-ness (totally a REAL word)

Peace to you and yours,

March 12, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Oh, I am so sorry! I feel so bad for the man and his family. How devastating that must be for them. And how threatening for everyone who lives near by. We had someone dump a dead body at the end of our street when we first moved out here. That was so creepy and made us not want to leave your house at all. It will probably be a while before you will feel safe at the post office again.

March 12, 2009 at 6:15 PM

I'm so sorry, Heidi. I know firsthand what that can do to a community. It will all get better, but it will take awhile.

March 13, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Kazzy--I can surely see how! Heather--thank you so much! Joy--eep! How awful! Yuck!! Randi--yeah, I know, I was there for Columbine, too. I just read an article in Good Housekeeping about it last night (10 year anniversary) and I was just sobbing--it brought it all back. Littleton was not a good place to be that year.

March 13, 2009 at 8:23 AM

It's never fun to have something like that happen. My kids were in lock down at school last week because a nephew took after his uncle and shot him. Sometimes I get scared to keep going, but the alternative is not an alternative.

My prayers are with you and your town.

March 13, 2009 at 10:05 AM
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March 13, 2009 at 12:51 PM

You are right that people get a little more, ok, maybe a LOT more desperate when times are tough. And crazy people seem to be able to wander wherever they can.

I'm sorry for that man's family. :(

March 13, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Wow. That really hit close to home for you; don't feel bad for writing about it. I'll keep your little Mayberry-esque town in my prayers.

March 13, 2009 at 6:53 PM


Our town has been stressed out too. The high school was on lock down twice this past week due to vicious fights. And both the elementary and the high school are victims of repeated grafitti.


March 14, 2009 at 10:54 PM

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