Originally, I started writing about homicides in Tacoma because of Tacoma’s reputation as a city of crime. Tacoma has a long and colorful history of crime and corruption. That history continues, but when it comes to homicides, Tacoma really isn’t as dangerous as it used to be. Crime rates have dropped significantly since the 1990s. My original purpose was to show that there really aren’t that many homicides in Tacoma. Usually about one a month.
Since most media reports tend to focus on the killer, I chose to focus instead on the victim. Personally, I don’t think killing someone should make you a household name. So whenever possible, I don’t mention the name of the killer. Another aspect of it is that the victim is usually forgotten and little if anything is written about who the person was. I wanted to write about these people who could no longer share their story, whatever their story was.
Soon after I started doing this, I found a new purpose in writing about these murders. I found that friends and relatives of the victim would often contact me. Some would be old friends who hadn’t seen the victim in years and only found out they had died through a Google search that found my site. Others would be mothers, wives, fathers and children of the victim. It became clear that what I was doing mattered to some people.
There was also the flipside of that coin. Particularly when gangs were involved, I’d get other messages. I’d get threatening emails. Once I got one with information only someone directly involved with the killing would have known. I forwarded that one on to the police. At the time, it occurred to me that while some liked what I was doing there were others who didn’t and some of those others were killers. And so I stopped for a few years.
During that time, I’d occasionally reread the emails from the friends and relatives of victims. I was contacted by one who asked me if I could find the name of the person who killed a woman a few years ago. It took a bit of research since I don’t mention killers, but the person who wrote me wanted to know who killed her mother. I sent her the information I had. I was reminded that what it comes down to is that the victims can no longer tell their story and someone should.
I started writing about Tacoma homicides again in 2011. I plan on continuing to do so for the foreseeable future. Because there have to be limits on something like this, I only write about homicides that occur in the city limits of Tacoma. I include police involved shootings because I am told that they are counted in official homicide statistics and because those victims have a story too. I don’t include vehicular homicides because they are much more difficult to write about. Often charges aren’t filed until much later, and writing about everyone who is killed in a car accident in Tacoma goes a bit outside of what this is for.
When writing about these crimes, I use whatever information is available to me at the time. I read newspaper articles, news sites and television news broadcasts. I also use whatever personal knowledge I might have of the victim, the area or any other information I might have. Whenever possible, I try to write it with a sympathetic ear towards the victim. This year, that’s been a bit difficult. There were two police involved shootings and two instances where a homeowner shot intruders in their house. While it’s debatable whether they were justifiable or not, there were no charges filed in these cases and in each of them, it’s understandable why events occurred the way they did.
I’m not a reporter. I’m not objective. I do have an opinion on each homicide I write about. I try not to let that influence me too much, but it’s impossible to keep my bias out of something I write. I’ll be the first to admit that occasionally I get it wrong. Often this is due to a lack of information on the case at the time that I’m writing about it. This is why I tend to wait until the name of the victim is released. Usually by that time, the story of what happened is out there and reasonably complete.
It’s my hope that telling these stories helps those who have lost someone and gives others a better picture of people Tacoma has lost.
– Jack Cameron
aaron was an amazing man he made every one laugh he did not deserve what they did they waited like snakes in the grass and yes some of us were there and seen to much ;;he was so happy had just found out that he was to be a dad and he was beaming excited as all be he couldn;t wait to tell his mom which he had intended to do on SAT he never got the chance aaron was trying desperately trying to get his life together he was going to be the best daddy a child could have .and for those who believe he was a monster your so wrong but come on who would you believe the victim or the cops well as some one who was on scene he didnt have a gun he didnt fight the cops.no one really wanted to hear the truth or they would have gone to the neighbors to prove how long that truck had sat there,but no they laid waiting for him yes he had a warrant a bench warrant yes they put a price on his head offered 5 grand to anyone to turn him in ..yes they went to every one they could that knew him offering they hated him with a passion it seem to be their number one goal to put aaron down and thats what they did they say that there were 2 officers that came on foot wrong there were 4 and there were 4 who went after him they say there tazzers didnt work please all 4 of them they say the truck had been stolen the day before funny how that truck had been sitting in the same place for more then 2 weeks broke down they say he had a gun no way and that was later proven ..no one speaks of the lawsuit against the tacoma pd a couple years back or how 5 of their finest beat him with what ever they could get there hands on,,,they wanted revenge it was all personal of course they knew him by sight they hunted him as if they were hunting a wild boar not a man who was trying to get his life together but there was no way they were going to let that happen… thats why they put the price out there he didn;t steal that truck eaither he traded his bike for a car the car wouldnt run after the trade he was loaned the truck till the car was fixed he believed it was ligit so for all of those who put him down degrade him karma has a way of making its round and your shall come one day to aaron was loved by many would do anything he could to help out most anyone he always knew if you were down he would have you laughing in no time he was really going to be an amazing dad and his child will know what an awesome man he was and of his mistakes in life and how badly this child was wanted by him and babys mother they were very much in love he said just the day before that he was the happiest he had ever been he will be missed so much but never forgotten to his family my heart breaks as yours does we loved him dearly concerned onscene