Monday, August 04, 2008

When the murderer is painted as the victim

I came across an article from the St. Petersburg Times of Florida that made me want to ram my fist through the monitor. I have heard about the nuttiness of this particular newspaper before, but it is really quite something to view an actual example.

The article is about two men: Sean Ellenberger and Titus Hill. Two days ago, Titus Hill pointed a handgun at Mr. Ellenberger and attempted to rob him. Mr. Ellenberger - who was a teacher by the way - had a concealed-carry permit, and proceeded to pull his own handgun. Shots were exchanged, and both men ended up dying.

The article's absurdity begins with the headline: Teacher, teenager killed in shootout. Notice the subtle moral equivalence here? It gives you the impression that they were equal participants, even though one was defending his life from the other, who was threatening his life. Not to mention, notice how 19 year-old Titus Hill is reduced to a mere "teenager." While technically, he was a teenager, most people don't think of 19 year-old men when they think of a teenager; the image that comes to mind is usually more of the younger and more awkward, pimply-faced variety. Moving on to the descriptions of perp and victim, it is hard to discern which man the newspaper mourns the most. Observe how the article describes the robber/murderer, Titus Hill:
Hill, whose mom works for Hillsborough County Administrator Pat Bean, had no criminal record.

"He didn't break into homes and steal cars," said Hill's grieving mother, Yorlanda Green. "He was a son everybody would want to have."

She said Hill, who lived with his mom in Seffner, was two tests away from graduating from South County Career Center in Ruskin, and was poised to receive a college scholarship. He made a rap CD at a local studio, Green said.

"He said, 'Momma, I'm going to be a star,' " she said.

Green welcomes most visitors to Bean's office, and Bean knew Titus Hill. "You'd walk over and kind of hug him, and he'd smile," Bean said. "He was a nice young man."

Bean said Green did her best to instill values in her five children. But Bean also listened at Green's home Saturday as a deputy explained the events of Saturday night.

"Titus killed somebody?" Green asked.

"Yes," the deputy replied.

"Did he have a family?" Green asked.

"Yes," the deputy said.

Later, Green told the St. Petersburg Times, "It's just hard to believe what they're saying."
Ah, yes... an innocent life, snuffed out. The article also described Hill as "an aspiring college student who dreamed of becoming a rap star" (now that's original!). As usual, you have a clueless Mamma who defends her thug of a son to the very end with that "He was such a good boy" business: "He was a son everybody would want to have." Well, obviously not Sean Ellenberger, who was described in the article as always having wanted to marry and start a family; I don't think he would want Titus Hill as a son, seeing as how Hill killed him.

God Bless you, Mr. Ellenberger: you went down fighting, and you took the scumbag with you. I see it as your final act of kindness which you have bequeathed to your fellow citizens.

Good Day to You, Sir


M.A. said...

Hill "had no criminal record", which only means he had never been caught breaking the law.

I'd be curious to hear his rap lyrics. I'm sure they were about flowers and puppies, because rap music never glorifies violence and crime.

Yeah, he was such a good boy...robbing people at gunpoint...anyone would want him as a son.

Don, American said...

. . . and we wonder why fewer and fewer people want to be teachers.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Good call MA. I would have said the same thing, that he just hadn't been caught. No one goes out on a teenage lark and decides to rob a guy. Where did he get the gun? I'll bet the articles will follow that had Sean not been armed and allowed himself to be robbed he be alive today. What crap. In my experience people have to learn to be criminals and it takes some practice to get to this level of violent crime. RIP Sean.

Anonymous said...

I remember the old line from Sgt. Joe Friday of the Dagnet show--"the facts mam' and just the facts."

The reporting of this story should be relegated to the op/ed page. Another "journalist" with an agenda trying to make the victim into the criminal.

And newspapers wonder while the circulation is tanking.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to set the record straight.
I never met Titus Hill, but the way he died was to good for him.
As for Sean Ellenberger, he was my best friend. He had served both as city law enforcement and military police and an injury in the line of duty force him to change careers. Sean and Titus Hill had never met each other, it was not an angry student getting back at the teacher that made him mad, as may have been concluded. It was a group of thugs taking items that did not belong to them because they thought they had found an easy mark. Sean did everything he was ordered to do by his assailant, who was intent on murdering his victims. Shot before his attackers even knew he had a gun, he drew his weapon (yes, legally permitted)to protect his friend. This kind and genorous man litterally gave his all protecting his friends and family. He is a hero and is sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

There is a special place in hell for people like Titus, who prey on people they think they can bully...thank god Ellenberger wen tdown fighting. If more citizens fought back, thugs may think twice before robbing us.

Anonymous said...

titus went to school with me and he was the most quite guy in the school am not a thug neither was him, he was another kid like me trying to make it in the world, bad thing is he was hanging with the wrong people and it gets me mad that people not knowing the kid would talk like that about him and he used to get on the bus rapping, lunch rapping,i think he used to dream rapping he was super intelligent and if you would talk to him he would talk with respect and diplomatic hes vocabulary was better than my principal he just made a bad decision r.i.p. titus hill homie

M.A. said...

Your "homie" robbed and murdered an innocent man, which doesn't really back up your "respect and diplomacy" viewpoint.

Your "homie" is not the victim here. He made the choice to "hang out with the wrong people" and his "bad decision" cost an innocent man (a Veteran, former public servant, and teacher) his life.

nebraska girl said...

I am so sick of this "he was just hanging out with the wrong people" crap. He CHOSE to hang out with those people. He CHOSE to rob at gun point. He broke the law and took the life of an innocent person. Titus Hill was just another thug. It's a tragedy that he had to take a good man with him when he flushed his life down the drain.

Chanman said...

To anonymous friend of Titus Hill. Thank you for writing to defend your "Homie."

At the risk of sounding harsh, your friend WAS a thug, and contrary to your "RIP" at the end of your comment, I hope Titus Hill is burning in hell. Damn him for contributing to the downfall of this society, and damn you for defending him and making excuses for his indefensible actions.

Anonymous said...

Fuck all you motha fucken pussys that think they no bout titus i dont giove a fuck that your friend is dead. fuck you for talkin bout titus like dat. GittMann is one of the best people u would ever meet. R.i.p dog we miss down at SCCC. We no u in a betta place man.

Anonymous said...

R.i.p Titus, every one down at south county new titus and dat he was a good person. titus would always be tellen me ta grab the door for a girl and always tellen me to get my work done. i knone titus for 2 years now and just found out like 2 or 3 days ago that he is dead. i thought he graduated like he was tryin so hard ta do dog. titus always wanted to become a rapper and he was good. he was da coolest kid in school. titus is in a better place and he wouldent purpusly hurt some one so i dont no what yall talkin bout. m.a.,Law and order teacher,chanman, NG, yall need to check yall selfs befor talk bout my boy titus.

K-BO said...

Man Fuck all yall. I been knowing titus my whole life. He was my brother. Yall don't know shit about Him. Yall dont know what our family is going through without him. He was the life of our family and now that he is gone we are all having trouble moving on without him. and before you speak on the situation you need to get the facts right. titus didnt shoot first. that fuck ass white man shot my brother first as he was walking away. FUCK SEAN AND THE REST OF YOU DUMB FUCKERS!!!!!!!! RIP BLLOD BROTHA WE MISS YOU LOVE YA FACE!!

Anonymous said...

I really don't know where to start but i'm reading these comments & it's such a shame that we have good people like my friend titus(knew him since i was 11) & Mr. Ellenberger resting in peace & pieces of shit like you motha fuckas on here sayin titus belongs in hell still walking the earth. u belong at the bottom because you're scum. You don't even take the time to realize that maybe TITUS has a family or maybe TITUS has friends that care 4 & love him i mean who are yall to judge him? He made the wrong choice i admit & i feel for Mr. Ellenberger & his family as well but yall cant sit up here & act like you've never done anything wrong i mean come on people & for yall to just get on here & curse my boy's name like that yall belong in hell because thats just evil.

Chanman said...

To most recent Anonymous:

Let's pick apart your stupid and barely coherent statement shall we?

"'s such a shame that we have good people like my friend titus..."

I'm sorry, did you just call Titus "good"? Are you talking about the same Titus who robbed a man at gunpoint and then killed him?

"...but yall cant sit up here & act like you've never done anything wrong..."

Wow, you are so right. I rob people at gunpoint and kill them all the time. Who am I to judge?

You know what's evil, you nitwit? It is when people like you (and his family for that matter) defend scumbags like Titus Hill. He made his choice and, obviously, he had to deal with the consequences. Perhaps you should leave it at that?

I really hope more of you Titus Hill groupies keep writing in. I am having a ball reading your tripe.

Anonymous said...

Well I had met Titus briefly and I am shocked that he would do something like this. I am a pre-medical school student. So I know that Titus was not a bad person(nobody is). And he just made the wrong decision. But for people to sit up here and make comments about somebody. That maybe you know. Or maybe you don't. It makes you ignorant as well as them for committing the crime. But he was a good person. And I wish Titus as well as the other Gentlemen's family the best of luck. Because it is very hard loosing somebody. I have lost two brothers in car accidents two years apart. Hit by drunk drivers. So I know how it feels. Last thing I would want to hear would be somebody talking down about them. That's just not right. It isn't fair to both families and friends.

Anonymous said...

It's crazy that people would talk like an not knw the facts.. for one put ya'll up on something. fisrt let me say i when this shoot out happened i contiued to do my reaseach and i also attened every court set da record stright titus did not kill mr. ellenger, titus had no gun.. the reason he ened up shot was because he stepped out the car when the argument started balkaraan pulled his pistol out because mess an ellenger was tryna short hem on his money for them buying dope. shot were fired an titus jumped n da way saving balkaraan, (words of balkarann)it was a drug deal gne bad..ellenger got hit at the end odf the street by that time titus was already down, the other guy shot ellenger as they rode off killing him...Balkaraan got off on all charges..there was no justice for anyone.. so for u racist people to talk wen u dnt knw the facts lol ur stupid.. tius was a good kid, who really could rap, who cared about everybdy he didnt steal, rob nor fucked wit anybdy. you guys are painting ellenger out to be a saint he was a crack head hem and bob mess. i bet u didn't knw they detectives found drug used drug baggies in and around that house. 12 at nite @ white men fixing a stero in the they were buying dope. it's a shame that first bob mess was four sure it was titus that shot ellenger but at trail he stated he can't say FOR SURE IF IT WAS TITUS. AN IF TITUS DESERVED TO BE DEAD THAN THE CRACK HEAD DESERVED WAT HE GOT. oh yea an i met his mother she such a sweet lady, she raised a good boy, smart, respectful he was just da wrong place at da wrong time

Anonymous said...

some people are just ignorant chanman.. ellenger was a a dope head everybdy knw that he wasnt no saint. just cause he didnt have a criminal record doesnt mean he didnt get caught it just maybe means he wasnt doing wat u racsit pigs are saying. a good kid he was. how is it that wen white people c that a black person is n the news for killing or robbing some one white they have sumthing harsh to say, but when a white person robs, kills,rape a black person it's glorified by u pigs. get a life knw ur facts. titus did not rob anyone he had no kowledge of a robbery he was just getting a ride home. wrong place wrong time. and for the person who left the comment M.A. he really could rap. and he was a good kid, just as ellenger may have been good. OH yea he didnt shoot anyone he never had a gun there's a third person in this picture, thats not being focused on. try asking the police wats up wit that. you find out alot when u go to every court date. something u pigs should have did. R.I.P Titus s/n: get your facts str8. as u can c ellenger got no justcie because thier facts were lies. mess couldn't even keep his story str8