Five People Murdered In Small Illinois Town


Even by small town standards, Manchester, Illinois is smaller than most.  It’s a town of 300 people located 85 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri.  This small town has been rocked by the murder of five people.  According to the Mayor, Ronald Drake, who was interviewed on the St. Louis Fox television station, his “pager went off at about 4:45 a.m.” local time this morning, alerting him to an  emergency with “multiple victims.”  As it turns out, Drake is related to the alleged gunman Rick Smith, who died in a shootout with police.  Smith was Drake’s nephew but claimed they haven’t spoken in two years.  A relative, Brad Teeter, told the Chicago Tribune “The guy broke into the house. I couldn’t tell you about the guy, never met him, never seen him, never talked to him. He apparently broke into the home of my wife’s mother and shot everybody inside. I’m at a loss right now.”  Smith was shot in a gun battle with police after they pulled him over.  He was wounded in the exchange and pronounced dead at the hospital.  Police were not releasing any motive for the murders but it was rumored that Smith and his ex-wife, who was related to the victims, were involved in a custody battle over their four-year old daughter.  The ex-wife was not injured in the incident.  Those killed in the house included a one year old boy, a five-year old boy and three adults.  Once again we have multiple murders perpetrated by a crazy man with firearms.  And there is little doubt that gun control advocates will cite this case as even greater reason to enforce strict gun control laws.  But this is not about firearms.  Anyone capable of murdering two small children would have found another way.  More importantly, let this be a wakeup call for small town America, where people believe they are isolated from the issues of the big city. School shootings only happen in smaller, seemingly isolated from big city communities, like Columbine, Aurora and Newtown.  Perhaps in large cities, people are forced to get along because they live, work and travel in such close confines. Perhaps there should be psychological studies on the effects of living in rural, homogenous communities.  Whatever the reason, it’s time for those who believe they are living in a dream world outside the reach of the big bad city to wake up and begin paying attention to all of the those wolves in the fold.  And there are many more out there.

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