During the brief time frame that my 22 month old is able to amuse himself after breakfast, I spend that time reading the news and looking for blog topics for the week. I came across a horrific crime that took place in October 2008. Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, were brutally tortured and murdered in their California home by, allegedly, four of Pietrzak’s fellow marines. See story here.
What makes this story stand out is that Jan and Quiana were an interracial couple; Jan was Polish and Quiana was African-American. The perpetrators were all African-American men, who claim they were looking for an easy score (burglary).
Two things about this story.
1. The media totally ignored this story. And not just national, I mean most media. I learned of the story from several random blogs. Now, granted it occurred just a few weeks before the presidential election, so everyone was wrapped up in covering the campaign. But how many times have there been 24/7 coverage of some lost/missing/murdered idealized American-as-Apple-Pie (i.e. white) couple and/or person, no matter what else is going on in the news?
2. In my opinion, this is a hate crime. The four perpetrators claim they were looking for an easy score, but I think this is BS. If they really wanted to simply burglarize them, they would have done so and left. But they did not. The couple was tortured and Quiana was sexually assaulted. You may kill someone in the heat of the moment, but you just don’t decide midway to torture someone. That takes time, planning and malice.
Of those media outlets that actually reported the story, no one suggested the possibility of a hate crime. Why? Because the perpetrators don’t fit the profile, as if black people can’t commit hate crimes. And to top things off, these sick individuals spray painted “nigger lover” on the walls, a´la Susan Smith, in order to make investigators think some random band of white people did it.
The most frustrating aspect of this story is that it is nearly impossible to find any current information about the case. The marines have been charged, but beyond that, nothing. I assume, as is the case with most legal matters, things are moving along at a snail’s pace. I will follow the story and update when new information becomes available.
Here is a You Tube video posted in memory of this lovely couple: