Town Square

Arrest made in case of abducted Gunn student

Original post made on Nov 2, 2007

An arrest has been made in the case of the 17-year-old Gunn High School student who was beaten, abducted and sexually assaulted Tuesday, according to police Agent Dan Ryan.

Related stories:

  • Police hunt for clues in girl's abduction

  • Students 'shocked' and 'shaken' by attack

    Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 2, 2007, 9:55 AM
  • Comments

    Posted by joe, a resident of College Terrace
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Well done!

    Now lets make an example of him so that any potential copy cats will

    live in a withering state of paralyseing terror

    Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:30 am

    I don't know if making an example of this individual would do any good, I doubt people like him have the intelligence to learn from the experience of others. You can punish a rattlesnake for biting all you want, but the other rattlesnakes will not learn from it.

    The first task is to make VERY sure we have the right person here, and that means running him through the courts to establish guilt or innocence. I don't believe in punishing anyone before they are proven guilty, and there is always the possibility of a mistaken arrest.

    If this individual is proven to be the guilty party, punishment is not really the issue. We just have to make VERY sure that this individual NEVER has the ghost of a chance to repeat his crime. I am game for whatever it takes to prevent further offenses by him. But I think we would need to focus on prevention, not punishment. The prevention will probably be punishment enough.

    Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:34 am

    I am really looking forward to hearing the details of this in the announcement. I have many questions. Was this random abduction or was the girl "chosen" for a particular reason? Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that this vicious attact was completely unwarranted, but the brazen manner in which it was done makes me think that there is more to this than immediately meets the eye.

    Posted by Yvonne Holcomb, a resident of Palo Verde School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:43 am

    As usual, the Palo Alto Police are right on top of everything. Your department is one of the very best things about Palo Alto. Bravo!

    I don't believe in neighborhoods, I believe in a town working together. I'm sorry you made me choose a neighborhood to get my comment accepted. In a town of approximately 55,000 people it is ridiculous to divide us into groups, each lobbying for their personal desires.

    Posted by joe, a resident of College Terrace
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Fear is in fact the most powerful deterrent to crime particularly violent crime.

    Too many violent criminals are treated with a social work mentality

    and avoid severe punishment until they have come to believe they will

    not be caught, they will get probation or that their behavior is ok

    (just listen to some rap lyrics glorifying sexual violence )

    Mayor Giuliani of New York was successful in dramatically reducing

    violent crime by creating credible terror in the hearts and minds of

    potential criminals.

    That is what we need here and in surrounding communities.

    Posted by Deborah Kurland, a resident of Green Acres
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:54 am

    I would like to commend our Police Department for their huge effort. I was so heartened to drive down Arastradero and see so many police officers stopping each car and giving us a photo of the suspect. I shall be waiting to hear further information. Thank you so much for all you do, every single day. Debbie Kurland

    Posted by Henry Plummer, a resident of Gunn High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:33 am

    The chances here are 100% that this guy was a prior criminal.

    Most likely his DNA was matched to the crime scene evidence.

    My question is why was this guy out of jail in the first place??????

    You so called tolerant people when will you learn once a criminal always a criminal.

    Good job PAPD and State Lab!

    Posted by geraldine, a resident of Green Acres
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:45 am

    As I have repeated before over and over, the PA Police need to have a clear presence about our businesses, especially around our schools. They need a more personal approach in this town, which has out grown it's britches. The starting up of a "Flatfoot Patrol" ,I believe, would cut down on crime by the mere presence of a uniformed, informed,police person patroling.
    How about that comment, Chief of Police?????????? Put to a vote, think it would pass...........
    "Let's nip it in the bud", so the saying goes..Stop these opportunist criminals from destroying the peace and tranquility that our town USED to have!

    Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    The Little Lindberg Law mandated the death penalty for kidnapping with bodily harm. A bunch of idiots, Brando included, protested the execution of Carl Chessman, the red light bandit. This led to the failed social experiment of letting monsters live.

    Posted by Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    What shocks me about this is the age of the guy. He is 20 years old. He is a 2006 Paly grad.

    We (society) are raising kids who know nothing about respect and how to live as a responsible adult in today's society. Teenagers today spend too much time watching violent movies, playing violent video games and living in a world where violence towards others and women in particular is the norm and in fact glamorized. These teens get their kicks in the virtual world and when that stops being enough, they go out and get their kicks in the real world.

    Society must do something to stop things like this happening. We must stop the video game industry, the movie and tv industries from glamorizing violence. Punishing the guys after they have done the deed is one thing, preventing them from getting into a situation where they think it is ok to behave like this, is very definitely another and what we should also be doing.

    Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I am opposed to any punishment. Punishment amounts to revenge, and as King Arthur noten in Camelot, "Revenge is the most worthless of all causes." I am also opposed to punishment because society may indeed judge this person to have been adaquately punished for his deeds and let him go to repeat them. (Plea bargains, parole, time off for good behavior, etc.) Punishment itself is not the answer.

    Society should have a right to protect itself from individuals like the perpetrator of this crime, and that protection should include the ability to make sure that this offender never gets a chance to repeat his offense or any other offense similar to it. I am game for doing whatever it takes to make sure that this individual is ever in a position to assault our children again. I don't care if he is happy with our preventative measures or not, just as long as society is protected.

    Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    This news is less than an hour old, and some commentators have convicted the man online, sentenced him to death, endorsed assault and rape as long as it happens in prison... how thoroughly un-American, savage, uncivilized. Bill of Rights, anyone?

    How many wrongful arrests and wrongful convictions will it take to temper your bloodlust? Would you go to a public square to watch someone being drawn and quartered? Can I interest you in front row seats at the Roman Coliseum to watch the lions devour their human prey?

    If this suspect is guilty, I hope he draws a lengthy sentence. Isn't it possible to endorse firm punishment without taking delight another person's suffering?

    Posted by Parental Unit, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    I'm just guessing here, and I'm sure we'll know more soon, but this is not sounding like an out-of-the-blue stranger attack any more. Given that the (alleged) perp lived in the area up until a few months ago, I'm thinking there was some prior knowledge of his potential victim in advance of the attack.

    Maybe he was laying in wait for her? Maybe he picked her because (according to the SJ Mercury article) her English skills are lacking and he thought he could get away with it?

    Posted by Parental Unit, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I just did a quick look at the Paly Voice website, seeing if the guy who was arrested had been mentioned. It says that he was going to go into the Marines after his 2006 graduation -- Web Link and scroll wwwaayyyyy down to the "U" area (or just search for his name, Burpee).

    It also looks as though he was a running back on Paly's football team, at least in 2004. Not sure if he played in '05 (his senior season); there is no mention of him in the Voice articles about the games.

    Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Dang it Parent! What you wrote is too long to print on a sign for picketing businesses that make violent games, music, or movies. But you are SO right. We are teaching this stuff to our kids, and then we wonder why they practice what we taught. The manufacturers of this stuff say it is up to the parents to monitor what their kids are doing. BULLHONKEY! In the first place it is too pervasive for most parents to monitor, and in the second place, even if I monitor to for my kids, they will still be victimized by kids whos parents didn't bother to monitor it. (You notice we are not talking about what kind of games, music, or movies the victim here enjoyed.)

    I am a proponent of free speech, but your free speech rights do NOT extend to teaching that stuff to my kids.

    Posted by PalyParent, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    I would withold any judgment until there are more facts. Many parents went ballistic over the first newspaper report, which turns out to have many inaccuracies. This prelimnary report may turn out to be just as wrong.

    Posted by joe, a resident of College Terrace
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I have to say that I feel saddened for everyone involved in this case. Whether young Burpee is guilty or not, his life will be irrevokably altered by recent events, and if he is indeed guilty, his life is as good as over. We all lose any contributions his life would have made to us had this never happened.

    Young Burpee's parents must be traumatized, and they will probably face some hard choices in the future about cashing in their savings to try to defend their son or just let the public defender misrepresent him. Their dreams of grandchildren and normal retirement are over.

    The victim of this crime will face a long road to a recovery that may never be completed. She will undoubtably be emotionally scarred by this, possibly physically scarred too. The emotional scars will probably be worse.

    The victim's parents and family will also be traumatized by these events and her recovery. At least they know that they and their daughter have done nothing wrong, though that will be small consolation. They will also need to look into therapy and help for the victim. Personally I would spare no expense there.

    The rest of us will look at kids in the neighborhood differently, watch our kids more closely, and wake up nights with nightmares that our kids became the next victims. It's a scary world.

    One thing I would like to know: More than music, video games, or whatever, was there a history of drug use? Which drugs? This is not from an excuse-making point of view, it is from a "We have to fight the drugs" point of view.

    Posted by To Billy M, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    What do you mean by "somebody like him"? Many rapists are high school - and college - graduates. Psychopaths are in every strata of society, & he sounds likely to be one.

    Posted by Billy M, a resident of Barron Park
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I would guess that not many PAHS grads are rapists. If this guy is one, it would be interesting to see if there are factors that distinguish him from the other PAHS grads who are not rapists so that this kind of thing can be avoided in the future if possible.

    Posted by To Billy M, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    I went to Paly and I saw some pretty scary stuff. Rapists fit into every echelon of our society and many don't get caught. So why would you make that naive comment? Do you really think Palo Alto is THAT special? I was nearly raped by a Stanford football player, for example. He was white, intelligent, etc.

    Posted by Billy M, a resident of Barron Park
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by Barney Morgan, a resident of another community
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Interestingly enough, as you might expect, there has been a fair amount of research by crimnologists on the characteristics of rapists (and other criminals). Here's a pretty good summary. Extensive citations at end of link. Web Link

    Characteristics of rapists:

    AGE: 75% under age 25, 80% under age 30; over 30 if sadistic type

    SEX: male normally 100% of the time

    RACE: Vast majority are black (75-90% of rapists in prison are black); crime tends to be intra-racial; rapists are usually unarmed; 1 in 4 times (25%) uses a knife or instrument.

    CLASS: majority are from poverty-lower class backgrounds

    IQ: majority in normal range 90-110

    FAMILY: sibling history more important than family history, may have been sibling bed sharing, overt sexual behavior in family with siblings and/or (sadistic) mother; lack of support from (absent) father; temper tantrums as child

    SCHOOL: usually no learning problems and typically a high school graduate; some college possible; discipline problems likely, most likely involving pornography interest

    PEERS: mild to moderate social maladjustments, but normally one of the "boys"; tries to cultivate a reputation as a tough fighter, but known as a punk and low life to many; usually married, divorced, or lives with a women, in that order, but has demonstrated poor relations with women

    WORK: majority work reliably around women; lack self-confidence to improve self; if sadistic, takes better job

    CRIMINAL HISTORY: majority are successful at avoiding this; average of 2.5 priors, only 2 years served on each

    DRUG/ALCOHOL: noted problems in this area

    MENTAL: antisocial personality; defines self as normal in every way except sexually, where suffers a known philia or mania; ritualism may border on psychotic with sadistic type

    ARREST: frequently leaves clues with victim; plays games with police; difficult to get confession

    TYPES based on Hale's research, not Scully's:

    POWER REASSURANCE (30%) - precipitating factor is lonliness and lack of self-esteem on 7-15 day cycle; neighborhood nonviolent attacks; keeps souvenirs, thinks victim liked it

    POWER ASSERTIVE (30%) - precipitating factor is desire to dominate an impersonal sex partner on 20-25 day cycle; cruises singles bars, acts macho; may repeat on same victim

    ANGER RETALIATION (24%)- precipitating factor is perceived injustice at hands of women on 6-12 month cycle; sees self as athletic and masculine, action-oriented; uses blitz attack

    SADISTIC (16%)- precipitating factor is need to express fantasy; compulsive in personal appearance; carries rape kit; learns better ways to stalk, and will eventually kill

    Posted by Paly parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you, Palo Alto Police Department, for working this case really fast and arresting a suspect. Those of us with teen daughters have been quite concerned. This proves you just can't stick your head in the sand in Palo Alto and think crime never strikes here. We need to have a certain level of awareness and preparedness as citizens, and I also thinks it helps to deter criminals if the city's Police Dept. is known as for being on the ball.

    Posted by michelle v, a resident of Stanford
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Barney Morgan

    Thanks a lot for that research-- very valuable--- time to start weeding

    these likely offenders out early despite the inevitable howls from the PC crowd.

    Also how about having everyone provide a DNA sample to get a drivers

    permit we already provide thumb prints but that is 19 century technology.

    Also it is time to implement total castration for violent rapes such as this. Lets get the proposal to the legislature NOW

    Posted by Yet another Paly Parent, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    My 20 year old daughter, a Paly grad, was concerned to...about the level of blatant racism and violence on the part of some of the writers to this column. She didn't know the fellow student personally but knows of him and his siblings and was horrified with some of the comments people have been making. This is upsetting enough to our kids without some of the adults in our community using this as an excuse to show how truly violent and bigoted they truly are. And I am sure she is correct..if this was a white student people wouldn't immediately be requesting the death penalty or castration and your "statistics" obviously are suspect because rape is one of the crimes that is reported, charged and convicted quite differently based on race.

    Posted by michelle v, a resident of Stanford
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    My 14 year old daughter attends Gunn HS, she and her friends have read these posts.

    They do not see racism here and they agree with the idea that the

    punishment should fit the crime.

    They also feel very reassured by the excellent performance of the PAPD

    and the actions of the good samaritan

    Posted by Parent of a Gunn student, a resident of Gunn High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    "The chances here are 100% that this guy was a prior criminal.
    Most likely his DNA was matched to the crime scene evidence.
    My question is why was this guy out of jail in the first place??????" -- Henry Plummer (above)

    100%? You sure now?, I'd be wary of listing personal speculations as fact...

    According to my newspaper's most recent report: "Burpee has a pending credit card fraud case against him, but otherwise has no prior criminal record, according to police."

    Maybe that report may turn out to be inaccurate, but I'll wait - without assumptions - to see what more information surfaces.

    Posted by Analyst, a resident of Stanford
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Given that Burpee used to live on Arastradero, he was probably there to visit someone. The question then arises as to how he happened on to the victim. With his familiarity of the street, it is possible he has actually planned this attack by carefully screening for a potential target. Hopefully, more facts and details will be released on his MO.

    Posted by michelle v, a resident of Stanford
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Paly parent

    Have you ever listened to the horrifying lyrics of some RAP songs or

    read the criminal history of some of the performers.

    This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with lyrics that

    denigrate women and encourages sexual violence towards them just like in this crime.

    If that were part of the Country Music, Motown or the Blues genre I would condemn it but it is not there its in RAP

    Posted by Try Not to Be Quick to Judge, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Based on the sketch, I called the police tip line to report on a man I know pretty well who works locally and lives in Sunnyvale. The sketch looks just like him. I felt awful, because I could not imagine him committing this crime. But I still called, because it was the right thing to do. I'm so glad I was wrong and take it as another lesson not to jump to conclusions.

    Burpee has been arrested and I trust that the police have good evidence. But I will double my efforts to think and speak of him as the ALLEGED perp unless he is convicted. And even then, I will hope for prevention and rehabilitation. Vengeance only harms those who hold it. Hate the crime, but never the criminal.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family. And Burpee and his family.

    And I'm the father of three school-aged daughters.

    Posted by Unknown, a resident of Old Palo Alto
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    I went to school with the suspect, and I do not think or can believe the case that is brought up against him. I can never see him doing this. He has never displayed the potential for doing such a thing for all the years I have known him. I hope this is a case of mistaken identity, and for if it is not I will just keep my hands together and wish him well with his sentence.

    Posted by paly parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    How to reconcile this last statement from "unknown" with a prior comment from someome that a girl had to transfer away from Paly a few years ago to get away from this suspect while he was also at Paly?

    Posted by PA_parent, a resident of another community
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    It is good news to hear that they have a suspect in custody, but still dangers remain out there. What about the attempted abduction at Castilleja just a few weeks ago? Is that guy still wandering around? Just check the Megan's Law website to see how many convicted offenders there are in our midst, not to mention the ones that are still out there or are on the brink of committing their first offense. It is naive to think that just because you live in an affluent area with good schools that you are immune from this cancer of society.

    Posted by sharon, a resident of Stanford
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    i agree with the michelle v approach to complete physical castration for convicted violent rapist
    let us call it the "make them smooth" campaign. we will be distributing flyers on campus and

    downtown next week--- join us for a rally to take back the day and the night-- how

    about a march down university avenue all the way to dumbarton bridge --- let freedom

    ring---make them smooth---go girls

    Posted by Concerned Citizen, a resident of another community
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    We need to recognize that crime is a violation of people and relationships and this violation creates an obligation to make things right.

    The victim, the offender and the community are all affected - not just the police department and prosecutors.

    Even those of you in this forum can help to foster reconciliation, restitution and healing.

    Posted by Sparky, a resident of Barron Park
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by Parent of a Gunn student, a resident of Gunn High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    "How to reconcile this last statement from "unknown" with a prior comment from someome that a girl had to transfer away from Paly a few years ago to get away from this suspect while he was also at Paly?" -- from paly parent (above)

    Was that prior comment in another thread? I didn't find it in this thread...

    Posted by Rodney, a resident of Southgate
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Why is castration such a popular punishment among so many women? Something else is going on here. Should we also cut out the tongues of verbal abusers?

    This stuff is crazy.

    Posted by michelle v, a resident of Stanford
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:07 pm


    many of us actually have children ---we are not talking about punishment for

    stealing ---you obviously just do not get it if you equate stealing with violent rape-- the

    students i have heard from are fully supportive of the full castration of convicted violent

    rapists and i have heard from 79+ so far this evening alone---make em smooth--go girls

    many of these young women are willing to talk to the media about this and will in the next

    week both print, blog and national tv --- we have a tipping point and will take this all

    the way to the highest court--- this is no trivial joke ---beleive me and the sisters. you are

    now on record for ever as the trivial minority opinion on this matter in palo alto-- hope

    youre proud about that.

    Posted by Ray, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Rodney, verbal abuse is not a crime, just bad manner. You could also be banished from the limelight if verbal abuse has racial overtones. Sexual abuse is very serious under any circumstances but is particularly heinous when the victim is underage. Just imagine the trauma and the stigma for the rest of her life. I second the motion to castrate serious sexual criminals, and Burpee fits the mold. We hear too much about habitual sexual predators that the criminal justice system has allowed back into the society. Fine, allow them back but only after they can't do the thing.

    Posted by Parent, a resident of Gunn High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    The alleged previous accusation of rape is from a thread in "Crimes and Incidents":

    "Web Link"

    As far as "castration" idea, I think it misses the point that studies suggest the "jumping from the bushes" stranger rape is actually a crime of violent force being used to exert power, maybe fueled by anger (or drugs), with an intent to control and subjugate/brutally humiliate a victim for some reason of theirs, not really a crime of "uncontrollable lust".

    Men are perfectly capable of controlling their sexual feelings. Some men commit rape (ie: child molesters) by choosing not to control their obsessive feelings. But a sudden violent assault on a stranger is not primarily about sexual gratification, even though that is the method of hurting the victim being employed.

    Posted by lola, a resident of Professorville
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    full castation--- that is taking off everything---- takes away both the drive and the ability

    to offend again--and will deter other potential offenders--just think about it---- i have

    to tell you this idea is catching on like wild fire-- if this guy is in fact guilty he can be the

    posterboy for deterence-- make em smooth girrrrls---

    Posted by Sparky, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Michelle again a thoughtful post from you and your posse of discerning youth! Sorry I don't "get it." So you oppose cutting off hands of thieves, that's good. Medieval punishments are just for violent crimes then - shall we pluck out the eyes of people who commit battery then, and dismember murders?

    I have two daughters and am glad to keep them away from the nutty ideas you are peddling. I hope you keep the girls away from the media - bad for Palo Alto and I expect bad for them being "on the record" for medieval-ism. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by Parent, a resident of Gunn High School
    on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    'lola' who seems a lot like a couple other pseudonyms here obviously didn't read my post, ah well.

    For those who are interested, there's a book on the market called "Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender". Chapter 1 page 2 explains the common misconceptions of rape as a sexual act instead of a sexual expression of power and anger.
    "Web Link"

    A castrated angry violent criminal could still resort to regular methods of assault with future victims; bash them in the head or some such. "But much better than if he could still rape!" - Not.

    Posted by Ray, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Parent, you are missing the point of the need for castration. It would deprive the criminal the male organ needed to penetrate the victim, which according to you is a show of power and control rather than lust. Once castrated, the criminal would have lost the means to project his power and control. The resulting damage to his psyche should be enough to suppress any fantasy to hurt others.

    Posted by Parent, a resident of Gunn High School
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 12:37 am

    Maybe. Can you guarantee that impotent men cannot (or if they have, would no longer) violently harm others? I personally wouldn't bet my safety on it.

    Posted by you are naive, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Oh please Ray if you cut it off the rapist can just use some other thing to penetrate. Castration doesn't solve the problem, it only solves the need for violent revenge.

    Posted by Ray, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 8:28 am

    I dare say castrated men would develop an inferiority complex too hard to overcome. Also, the threat of castration itself should be an effective preventive measure against rape. Most people are law abiding citizens because they don't want to be punished, not necessarily because they were born nice. Any potential rapist would think twice or more if he knew the consequence might mean the loss of manhood, which to all men is probably the single most important thing!

    Posted by Gerald, a resident of Downtown North
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 10:12 am

    When you consider what the Marines and the rest of the US armed forces are doing in Iraq, this guy would've been a perfect fit-what a shame he flunked the Marines entry tests. For purely selfish reasons, I'd rather these type of guys be over there than roaming our streets. Let the international war crimes courts deal with them and those who are rresponsible for their presence there instead of our courts.

    Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    As the grandpa of a marine with two tours in Fallujah, and as a combat infantryman, I can attest that the morals of our troops are likely among the world's highest, because the Uniform Code of Military Justice and its predecessor the Articles of War are unambiguous in their treatment of criminal behavior. There is no need for an international tribunal because we clean up our own messes.

    Posted by Cherish Each Child, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    I would like to thank the Palo Alto Police Department for their quick and focused work to identify and apprehend the suspect.

    As a parent of children in the Palo Alto Unified School District, I very much appreciated receiving the telephone announcements from the City of Palo Alto's new Community Alert and Notification System. It was very appropriate for the City to alert residents to the tragic event and to the potential danger for other children. The phone announcement about the arrest was most welcome.

    The email alerts sent out through the parent-run PAUSD mailing lists at my children's schools were highly effective, as always, in getting information out to parents right away. I heard about this distressing crime first from our school email list. Immediately, I reviewed with my children the instructions about walking in groups and so on.

    Thanks to all.

    Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
    on Nov 3, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    No Wallis, we certainly don't clean up our own messes since many rogue soldiers and the entire Bush/Cheney junta are not in jail. As far as your grandson, the excuse of "I was just obeying orders" won't fly in the Hague.

    Posted by Robert P., a resident of Charleston Meadows
    on Nov 4, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    The Palo Alto Police Department has been under rated and under appreciated by the loons of this city for years. I have had enough speculation from those who are obviously unknowing and ill informed. Loons with opinions should try to sound less like an authority on the subject. I am sure the police have the right guy. Do you really think they would have made an arrest if they weren't absolutely positive they had the right guy? Stop drinking the Kool-aid of conspiracy people. Must you doubt everything positive?

    Foot patrols? And where will we get the manpower for that? Do you realize that there is a shortage of police in California that is quickly approaching epidemic levels? Probably because no one wants to subject themselves to a career where ones every contribution to society is minimized and unappreciated. Parent's roles shape society, not the police.

    I think we should build the police a nice new police station and pay them a wage that allows them to live right here in Palo Alto. Thats my idea of community problem solving.

    Posted by Parent of a Gunn student, a resident of Gunn High School
    on Nov 5, 2007 at 12:18 am

    I agree with Robert P. that the police should be paid wages that allow them to live in the town they protect. I think this should also be the case for other underappreciated members of our infrastructure like teachers and firefighters. They deserve to be a real part of the town they give so much to. How much more would it mean to them if they could really call it their town?

    Posted by Phil, a resident of Fairmeadow
    on Nov 5, 2007 at 5:10 am

    I, too, feel that our police should be appreciated for the vital and dangerous work that they perform.

    I hope we can move forward with this new police building, soon.

    Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Nov 5, 2007 at 8:43 am

    I think if you talk to many police officers, PA or elsewhere, they will tell you that they do not want to live in the city they work. They feel that it is not fair on their families. How do you think they feel if they take their kid to a soccer game and discover the coach is someone they just stopped for a speeding ticket who remains angry with him, or a parent in a child's class is someone he has just arrested for burglary, or some such. No, I can fully understand why PAPD officers don't want to live in Palo Alto, and it is nothing to do with the cost of housing.

    Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 5, 2007 at 11:30 am

    It seems to me that there was a healthy venting of anger over the weekend about this matter.
    I have no doubt cooler heads will prevail moving forward.

    This horrible assault traumatized the whole community,
    we were all victims of that.
    Victims have a right to express their anger paloaloonline provides a valuable and unique forum for the expression of that anger.

    The staff do a good job of editing personal attacks and slander.

    In terms of the family, they decided to provide interviews and the content of those interviews was, in fact, very sympathetic towards them, some people believe too sympathetic.

    The identity of siblings was known instantly through the school grapevine no doubt and to anyone with google etc. in a second

    We can now allow the courts and due process to proceed and see what we can learn and what we can do to deter such vicious crimes in this community moving forward.

    This is Palo Alto, not Durham North Carolina nor Salem Mass.

    Posted by Moira, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 5, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    A very sad incident, but let's please keep our wits about us. One of the elementary schools is not letting students walk on the outside of the building to go to the restroom, even though the perimeter entrances are secured. They have to walk on the interior hallways of this particular school. The children were told this is because of "the kidnapping". The kidnapping took place off of a PA city street, not at a school. Women being grabbed by strangers is VERY rare people, why are we scaring our children that they can't walk to the bathroom at school? It was a horrible thing, but you can't overreact and make kids think danger lurks everywhere. Having kids walk or bike in groups is probably the safest thing, scaring kids about unlikely crimes is ridiculous.

    Posted by Dissapointed By Stander, a resident of another community
    on Nov 5, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Be happy the man is off the street. Obviously The PAPD did a good job. Believe, me I knoe this is one of the best Organizations of the country. Yes the citizena od CPA expect GOLD and they have got it, so please quit complaining. Look at life in a good way & stop b;aming others. PA is a great City & they have a much better PAPD than many Cities of it's size.