A brief local illustration of the arrogance of government officials:
Here in rural, normally relatively crime-free Lancaster County, over the past four years we have experienced two major crimes that made national and world headlines:
Last October, Charles Roberts entered the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Bart Township, equipped with four weapons (a deer rifle, a shotgun, a hand gun, and a stun gun), five hundred rounds of ammunition, a knife, a filled toolbox, a truss board, and a tube of sexual lubricant.
He released the boys and the adults, then bound the arms and legs of ten young school girls (ranging in age from six to thirteen-years-old), lined them up at the chalkboard, and, when local authorities surrounded the school and demanded that he release his hostages and surrender, he then began to shoot the girls, execution style.
The end result was that five of the young girls either died at the school or later succumbed to their head injuries, and one remains on life support, and is now at home with her family, never expected to emerge from anything more than a vegetative state.
Charles Roberts, the killer, was reportedly scheduled to undergo an employment-related drug test the following day.
Most likely due to its rural location and yet its proximity to a Pennsylvania Turnpike exit, a small family-owned well-drilling company, located just a few miles from our home, served as the infamous location of the dumping of assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna’s body in December of 2003.
At the time, Luna was purportedly investigating a case in which several high-profile state or national politicians were involved.
For those who may not remember, Luna was stabbed thirty-six times with his own penknife and was discovered ‘drowned’ in a little creek behind a local well-drilling company. He had left a Baltimore courthouse the night of December 4, 2003, and, according to court records, instead of going home managed to make his way to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, exiting at the exit nearby our house without his E-Z pass, but using, instead, a blood-stained toll ticket.
Presumably shortly thereafter, he continued to stab himself many more times with his own knife, drive his car into the foot-deep creek behind the local business:
... crawl under the front end of the car just beneath the engine, and drown. A bizarre way of ‘committing suicide’, to any rational mind.
Also contributing to the ‘bizarre suicide’ scenario is the fact that a pool of blood was found on the floor of the rear area of the car. Then again, Luna may well have been a contortionist of sorts, able to somehow reach a car’s steering wheel from the floor of the rear seat.
In the nearly four years since the ‘suicide,’ and despite a $100,000 federal reward for information about Luna’s death, no suspects or motives for a possible homicide have been uncovered.
Because requests by Luna’s family to conduct an inquest into his death were denied, early this year the Luna family’s attorney filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to force the Lancaster County coroner to conduct one.
In a highly unusual move by the Lancaster County Republican Committee, Lancaster County coroner, Dr. G. Gary Kirchner, has not been endorsed for re-election this year. The committee instead endorsed another candidate, who won the primary election, yet Kirchner has initiated a write-in campaign in order to retain his position.
Today’s Lancaster Sunday News contains a very brief article stating that, since he took office four years ago, Kirchner has repeatedly defied state law by keeping all autopsy records, including those of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna and mass murderer Charles Roberts, private.
Pennsylvania law states that a coroner must file all of his official records on an annual basis, ‘for the inspection of all persons interested therein’. Yet Kirchner claims that autopsy reports are not public records, and that records obtained in the Joanthan Luna case, in particular, ‘would embarrass a lot of people’.
I, and many other Lancaster County residents, still harbor countless questions regarding the way five young Amish girls, and one assistant U.S. attorney, met their deaths. And at least one elected public official is not doing all that he is required to do to put those concerns to rest.
So much for public disclosure and ‘public servant’ accountability.