Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tragedy in Richmond

On Sunday, I learned about something my mom had known about for days, but hadn't known how to tell me: Bryan and Kathy Harvey and their two little girls had been brutally murdered on New Year's Day.

Big news, first in Richmond, then Virginia as a whole, and finally nationwide. I first read about it when the police announced they'd caught the likely killers in Philadelphia a week after the murders. Not only are the two men being charged with the Harvey family deaths, but with those of another Richmond family as well. Apparently the cops noticed the similarities in the murders, and the evidence trail led to the two suspects.

This would be a horrible story in any case, but rarely do such stories brush middle-class lives like mine--or the Harveys, for that matter. In this case, as I read with dismay about the murder of a somewhat prominent musician and his businesswoman wife in Richmond, I realized I only knew two people who fit that description: Bryan and Kathy.

It's not that I knew them well--in fact, I never met Bryan. But Kathy was the youngest daughter of one of my mom's best friends, a wonderful woman who died in the mid-1990s. I'd known Kathy since I was little, but she was several years younger and went to a different school. I mostly knew the kids--including her older sister Shelly, who's my age--from frequent visits to her mom and dad's house. (You might have heard of one of Anjo's other kids--the actor Steven Culp, who most recently played Rex on Desperate Housewives. He was Kathy's half-brother, from their mom's first marriage.)

Bryan Harvey had some renown with a late 80s/early 90s rock duo called House of Freaks. Though he and his partner never really made it big--Bryan was working for a local school system as a computer specialist by day, playing gigs with a new band at night--he "made it" enough to warrant an obit in the Hollywood Reporter and news in Rolling Stone. Kathy ran what's described as a funky gift shop in a nice Richmond neighborhood. Friends describe the family as happy, stable, loving. The city came out in droves to honor their memory.

My mom has pictures from their wedding. Kathy and Bryan made a handsome couple, and eventually had two beautiful girls, ages 4 and 9. What happened to them was a nightmare that no parent should have to live through, and my mom and I agreed on something we'd never even thought before, much less voiced: It was lucky that Anjo and John (and Bryan's parents, too), didn't live to see this.

Apparently the murderers came to rob them; instead, they killed them, up close and personal, with knives. I'm haunted by the images the news reports conjure, and try to force the pictures from my mind--with little success.

I hope the cops got the right people. I hope those people never see the light of a free day again.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Illegally Blonde said...

How terrible. These things that happen in our world - so disturbing.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Ugh. So sad and disturbing. I'm sorry that it happened in general, but I'm sorry that you are personally affected by it since you know them.

9:40 AM  

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