Me and Angelo

An old friend emailed me the other day to say that Angelo Pavajo was coming up for parole. Angelo and I go back more than 30 years to when I walked into the newsroom one morning and the day editor said in a strange voice, “There has been another outrage.” Richard Hemp, a Harvard man and former Marine, was not a man easily shaken but this morning he was. He sent me out to the Potrero Hill district of San Francisco where I found police and other news people gathered outside a modest home. This was about the time a Muslim sect of blacks were kidnapping whites off the street and torturing them to death. More than thirty victims in all. The crimes were so heinous the police put a lid on the cases. I found out about the cover up in a circuitous way and broke the story. It was like how the German concealed for a few days the New Year’s Eve outbreak of sexual assaults on women by the Syrians and North African Muslims welcomed into the country. Some things the public is better off not knowing. Or so the authorities are accustomed to thinking.

The evening before Pavajo had peeped through a window and saw a young couple seated at their kitchen table. They were doubly innocent in that they allowed someone to see inside their home in a neighborhood so close to the projects—O.J. Simpson’s old neighborhood where the youth went a-wilding–and left a window unlocked. Pavajo silently entered and burst into the kitchen with a knife. The husband should have resisted with everything he had. Instead, perhaps reasoning the intruder would leave after taking a few things of value, he allowed himself and her to be tied to their chairs. Maybe they were dumbstruck at the suddenness and unable to think clearly. You hope in similar circumstances you would fight to the finish. But who knows? The finish in this case was Angelo chose a heavy object, a lamp as I recall, and beat the husband’s head to jelly as the bound and gagged wife goggled with horror. Then over the next six hours he raped her repeatedly before departing the premises. You don’t want to know the details. I have forgotten how the police determined it was Pavajo, but he was arrested fairly soon afterward. I was a general assignment reporter at the time, but it was possible to choose a story if it took your interest strongly. I decided in light of the savagery of the crime that I would follow this one all the way to the end, which I hoped would be the San Quentin death chamber. I covered the trial but did not write a daily story, much to the puzzlement of guy who covered it for the Hearst newspaper. For him, it was just another murder case. You get calloused working at the Hall of Justice.

I wrote the story when the guilty verdict came in and the Chronicle gave it a big play on Page One with an artist’s drawing of Pavajo. He was handsome, café au lait in coloring, and looked like an Arab prince. Story and drawing were denounced by some on the left as racist, the first time I can remember coming across the term. Of course, today everything can be described as racist if you don’t agree with it or you are offended. People are more easily offended in these dumbed-down days or they don’t have the language to express what they are thinking,  so they resort to catch phrases that are one-size-fits-all. Forty percent of the people living in Flint are whites, but the lead in the water is because of racism. So is the air in the ghettos that they are breathing in better neighborhoods. The communists of old with their “capitalist lackeys” and “running dogs of imperialism” were eloquent in comparison.

The young husband’s mother, now 88 years old, will travel to Sacramento to speak at the hearing as she has every time Pavajo has come up for parole. Like I’m sure she does, I hope he rots behind bars. Here is a racist statistic for you: with only 13% of the population, blacks commit 70% of the violent crimes in this country. We’re not supposed to know those numbers, and I wonder how long political correctness will allow the FBI to collect them or make them public.

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