Saturday, September 10, 2016

Grim Anniversaries

Sloughback Saturday again...

A couple weeks ago, I included a cartoon about rank and file antipathy to the Latino-American Chief of the Milwaukee Police Department in 1991. Part of the MPA's grudge against Chief Arreola, stemmed from the suspension of police officers John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish.

Balcerzak and Gabrish had thwarted an attempted escape four months earlier by Konerak Sinthasomphone from serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer. In September, 1991, I depicted them behind then Milwaukee Police Association President Bradley DeBraska being interviewed by then Channel 4 news anchor Mike Gousha.

In panel three, I reference Sandra Smith and Nicole Childress, the African-American women who called police that night in May, 1991,
When police arrived at 25th Street early in the morning of May 27, Dahmer told them that Konerak was 19 years old, that he was a houseguest who had too much to drink, that he was his lover.
The boy, really 14 years old, was reportedly naked and impaired by drugs or alcohol, and police believed Dahmer`s story.
Smith and Childress tried to tell the officers that the boy was in trouble, but they refused to listen, telling the citizens to "get lost," Smith charged.
"One of them said to me, 'I`ve been investigating for seven years, and I don't need an amateur telling me what to do.'"
The officers then pursued their probe, telling the boy (whom one police source described as incoherent at the time) to sit on the car. They talked only with Dahmer.
Had Balcerzak and Gabrish checked Dahmer's criminal record, they would have found that Dahmer was a convicted sex offender -- convicted of assaulting Sinthasomphone's older brother. Yet astonishingly, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the officers entered Dahmer's apartment, where the body of Tony Hughes was rotting in the bedroom, and found nothing amiss.

Balcerzak would later be elected president of the Milwaukee Police Association from 2005 to 2009. Gabrish is currently the Police Chief of Trenton, Wisconsin.


Since tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of 9/11, I'm reprinting here the cartoon I drew on 9/10.
I drew this cartoon to accompany the Milwaukee Business Journal editorial that week, eulogizing Milwaukee philanthropist Jane Bradley Pettit, who died on Sunday, September 9, 2001. The daughter and niece of the founders of Allen-Bradley Corporation, she was married to Schlitz Brewing heir Joseph Uihlein prior to her marriage to Lloyd Pettit; you can find those names all over the city of Milwaukee.

(I'm not sure what happened to the electronic version of this cartoon; I like the softening of the caricature, but the words were originally much sharper.)

I was busy scanning, cleaning up and emailing this cartoon to the Business Journal offices that Tuesday morning as the planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. I knew nothing of the attack until I was driving to work and heard NPR's reporting from the Pentagon as the third plane struck.

No comments:

Post a Comment