Gossip girl “No doubt”

Mordre wol out, that se we day by day.
Mordre is so wlatsom and abhomynable
To God that is so just and resonable,
That he ne wol nat suffre it heled be,
Though it abyde a yeer, or two, or thre.
Mordre wol out, this my conclusioun.

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Prioress’ Tale

Gossip that used to take place in jardins and zocalos seems to have moved tointernet forums such as the SMA civil list. The following comments were posted there as a result of the death of Joyce Schuman.

In other threads on SMA civil (as well as elsewhere on the web) there are statements about how safe people feel in San Miguel. On her website Living in the Country Ms. Schuman, too, linked to one such post (by Laura Fraser).

More recently chat has shifted from the murder of Ms. Schuman. Home break-ins became an upward trending topic as did the related topic of how best to ward off intruders (or whether it is better to not interfere). The latter was a somewhat moot point as most people who reported having had a break-in claimed that it took place while they were away from home. That topic, too, has temporarily run its course, and the focus has shifted to taxis, taxi drivers, taxi fares, and the like.

Theme #1 – But What About Us? and Them?

I think what would help a lot of us in the community ‘move on’ is if some of the recent murders of expats (I can think of three in the last few years reported on this list) would be solved. Perhaps they have…but I never read a follow-up with regards to solving any of these crimes after the initial reporting. Only speculation as to why.

The next quote clarifies “the recent murders.”

Well I’m glad you have such confidence in the authorities, however I would remind listeros that in the 1st 6 months of 2011, 3 american men and one canadian woman was murdered in seperate incidences in SMA and no one has been apprehended for these crimes. Please for your own safety stop being delusional about security in Mexico.

A “listero” is someone who reads the SMA civil list,

Unfortunately, the only way that the Community at large can be sure that major crimes will be seriously addressed is if a group devoted to Security gets re-started.

For some a group or committee is the way to get things done.

… but it [San Miguel] is crime infested ,admittedly most are of a petty nature. However, the real issue for us expats should be the underlying thing everyone seems to avoid ,the rage towards us by the local Mexicans, who resent what we have and all our do gooder works won’t change that.

Admittedly, if there are crime infestors in San Miguel, I do not hang with them. However, I have not witnessed any purse snatchings nor heard my neighbors complain of break-ins. I have not experienced any rage by Mexicans towards me; all that I have seen and experienced has been kindness and toleration.

Rage? Look at the employment we expats bring. As I write I have three (wonderful) painters and a perfectly lovely housekeeper in our home. We have hired blacksmiths, plumbers, electrician, and many others. If they are “raging” they are pretty good actors.

Theme #2 – String Her Up

The statistic I’ve seen most often quoted regarding crime resolution in Mexico is that 2 per cent of crimes are solved.

The first post in this theme had everything wrong.

A mexican friend just told me there was a shooting in her community just past los frailes at an american’s party. Many were shot and the shooter killed himself. has anyone heard about this?

The next post pointed out the falsity of the report, but had no new information.

OMG! Where did this totally false information come from? Totally incorrect and shocking that someone would fabricate such false information.

Next, we learn something factual. The notorious “they” is not specified.

Do not know anything about the shooting but do know an American woman living in Don Diego Ahito … was killed. Body found Thur. or Fri. She was a friend of my friend. They believe it was an inside job.

Then someone semi-confirms the original report:  there was a shooting and there were multiple shots.

I live in Los Frailes and heard the shooting but do not know where it came from. Felt a bit uneasy as it was not too far away from my house. Several shuts were fired and it was definatly no fire crackers.

Eventually, the true nature of the incident became known, although no one is yet to blame.

While there is NO reason to panic because this was a DOMESTIC situation, the murderer has NOT been apprehended. May I suggest that all of us who know and love Joyous Heart, contact the American Embassy in Mexico City to urge them to be in contact with the local and federal authorities to help bring the responsible murderer to justice to this horrendous crime.

The next person wants to be prepared. For what?

Joyous was a very kind person, though I didn’t know her that well. We met through some local businesswomen marketing events. But now I’m concerned, as I haven’t heard any of the details of what happened. Do you know what may have happened to her? I want to be prepared.

The post below says that there are many reports in the archives, but I think the poster meant to say that there were a few posts that linked to articles or broadcast journalism regarding Ms. Schuman’s murder.

There are many posts in the archives that detail newspaper reports on her murder. She was stabbed 40 times in the neck and had her throat cut. One paper said she was beheaded. The police are looking for her adopted daughter who left the house after a loud argument (witnesses) and is reported to be highly schizophrenic. A sad story. Best to check the archives first for info.

Now we have the first mention of schizophrenia and the shooting crime has disappeared, so perhaps those were firecrackers we heard, after all?

There is no proof that daughter killed her. All is speculation at this point.

No proof … do we have a potential juror?

Uh, there is a LOT of proof, in fact. I’m shocked that there has been ZERO urgency to get this killer behind bars. The daughter has been determined conclusively to have done it, and she is still at large. She was MISTAKENLY reported to be schizophrenic, she is not, she is in face Sociopathic. There is an enormous difference. Prior to reporting anything here or anywhere else, please check your facts with the Ministerio Publico, not just the town gossips.

So, there you have it. A sociopath. Lock your doors.

I really do hope the Moderators will stop the commentary on this case. Some folks have now gotten into “trying the case” on this List. Let the Professionals do their job, please. Ask yourself, if the same thing had happened in the U.S.A., would you really be doing this on the local Yahoo Groups page?

Theme #3 – Judicial System

A few days ago Ms. Schuman’s daughter was arrested by Mexican authorities. There are seven entries on this thread the last I checked, and one warned:

Please, please..the CAUTION signs are up! We all have an obligation to be careful and not spread wild rumors. Publish only”official reports.”  (The “I have heard &/or my cousin told me…” kinds of information does NOT belong on this List.)

We have to be fair to the family of the victim AND to the alleged culprit in the crime. If there is a open trial, it will be one of the first in the State of Guanajuato. Mexico is undergoing new judicial changes in trial procedures…more closely resembling the system we use in the USA & Canada. We do not want to do anything which might jeopardize that process.
Thanks in advance.


Philip Seymour Hoffman, like Daniel Day-Lewis, transforms himself so completely that I get lost in the character and become unaware of the performance. The most evil villain I’ve seen in recent years was Hoffman’s Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III. In Capote he might have been more believable as Capote than Capote himself, someone who always seemed more a caricature than any cartoon. In the following clip he plays a priest in Doubt and sermonizes on the effects of gossip: I became totally immersed in the story of Father O’Rourke, the woman and the pillow.


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