A modern-day Tom Paine, when writing "these are the times that try men's souls," would be writing about the case of Crime vs. The People and how murders, especially the number of unsolved ones, strike fear into a populace.
It doesn't matter if the Justice Department announces that, overall, "crime is down" nationally. This is true. Yet in some urban areas and some states (including Georgia) the murder rate isn't down.
In Augusta the grisly killing of a 21-year-old U.S. Army sergeant, Marni Glista, has rocked her Oakridge Drive neighborhood and citywide confidence in the Sheriff's Department. It has been over a week since the vicious attack on the Fort Gordon soldier at her residence, and major questions surround the crime.
First and foremost, what is taking so long for Sheriff Charlie Webster to publicly reassure Augustans that all possible leads are being pursued?
Second, can he at least reassure the city that a serial killer isn't loose? And, if one has struck in our town, why in the name of public safety isn't Webster saying so?
Silence isn't golden; it's a community disservice.
Certainly, no one - including this newspaper - wants to ruin the extensive police work occurring on the Glista case. The community simply deserves some explanation. For a week, there has been nothing. Law enforcement investigative work continues. But in terms of public relations, Sheriff Webster is getting - and deserves - a black eye.