In wake of Tibbetts slaying, people give in to their worst selves

The killing of Mollie Tibbetts, the Iowa college student who was abducted when she went out for a run, is a scary story, and not because of the likelihood we’ll be the victim of a similar crime.

It’s scary because of mob mentality that is near instinct for many humans.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the man charged with killing Tibbetts, worked at Yarrabee Farms in rural Poweshiek County for four years under a different name.

That, apparently, is all some humans need to threaten to kill the owners of the farm, who held a news conference on Wednesday (see full news conference).

“This is a really scary situation,” Dave Lang, a farm co-owner said. “And the unfortunate thing is, people are paying attention to me and we’re forgetting about the heartbroken family in Brooklyn and the heartbroken community.”

At a vigil last night, a priest said, according to the Des Moines Register. “We need to pray for a spirit of forgiveness for the one who did this.Faith teaches us that Christ came to forgive us. We’re all in need of forgiveness. We’re all sinners. None of us are exempt.”

  • chlost
    • Barton

      thanks for sharing.

  • crystals

    Everything about this is awful.

  • Sonny T

    This is why you don’t throw gas on fires

  • Guest

    We can want to examine folks who come into the US and try to keep out criminals, without thinking all X are bad people.

    To think we are racist because we want to examine who comes here is wrong. All countries have an entry procedure.

    To think all X are bad people is also wrong and also racist.

    • Ben Chorn

      This all happened on the same day a white serial killer in South Carolina admitted to hiding two more bodies, yet I have seen very little coverage of that.

      • Guest

        No change in our laws would stop that.

        Every crime by someone here illegally is preventable to an extent.

        • kevins

          Every crime by someone here legally is preventable to an extent.

        • Jerry

          Imagine how much the murder rate would go down in this country if we just got rid of all men.

          • Ben Chorn

            …or all the guns.

  • Noelle

    I’m unfortunately not shocked that the news outlets went out of their way to point out the murderer’s citizenship status, but I wish the mobs would be more upset that women can’t go about their daily business without worrying men will assault them (or worse) if we reject their advances.

    • Al

      Why I don’t exercise outside after dark. Or by myself. Or with a vagina.

    • Jerry

      Honestly, the only reason people care is because she was an attractive white woman. If she was African-American or Hispanic this wouldn’t have received any coverage.

  • MrE85

    I’m particularly disappointed that some MN politicians “went there” in their social media messages. I’ll say nothing more about them, but you know who they are.

    • Jeff

      Listening to the news on the way into work and there was one candidate who said “I’m not politicizing this…”, but then she did.

    • Frank

      This case fits dead center into the biggest political issue we have going. Of course illegal immigration apologists are going to be disappointed, but it’s just silly to think it’s not going to be an issue.

      • RBHolb

        Mass shootings also run into a big political issue, but we are always told afterwards not to politicize them by talking about gun control.

        • Frank

          And that stops you all dead in your tracks, Right?

          The problem gun grabbers have is, not one of the added regulations/laws/restrictions they advocate will solve anything because they rely on people obeying the regulations/laws/restrictions; criminals and crazy people dont.

          Conversely, removing illegal immigrants won’t cure all crime, but it will definitely solve the illegal immigrant crime problem.

          • Jerry

            And removing all blondes won’t cure crime, but it will definitely solve the blonde crime problem.

          • Frank

            True. And count me in on removing them. But there is no law against being blonde, so we’re going to have to suffer with them.

          • Jerry

            That’s only because we got here first (second actually) and are trying to slam the door behind us.

          • Frank

            And, being blonde, you’ve slammed it on your hand. 😉

          • RBHolb

            I resemble that comment!

          • RBHolb

            And if we get rid of all guns, it won’t cure all crime, but it will definitely solve the gun crime problem.

            I’m not going to argue gun control here, and I almost regret bringing it up. My point was rather that the right-wing in America doesn’t want to discuss gun control after a mass shooting, but is fine with politicizing the murder of this young woman because that fits their agenda. Tu quoque (“And that stops you all dead in your tracks, Right?”) isn’t any kind of defense here.

            Tragic stories like this notwithstanding, undocumented aliens are less likely to commit crimes in the US than native born citizens.

          • Frank

            There is no way to verify that claim, because most jurisdictions to not keep track of the immigration status of criminals. In fact, leftist jurisdictions deliberately don’t collect that data.

            That makes it a myth.

            And you omit the fact that every person who enters the country anywhere but through a port of entry commits a crime.

            That makes the myth verifably false.

            When you come up with a viable plan to get rid of all guns, you are a shoe-in for Time Man of the Year and a Nobel peace prize.

          • RBHolb

            “There is no way to verify that claim, because most jurisdictions to not keep track of the immigration status of criminals. In fact, leftist jurisdictions deliberately don’t collect that data.” Texas does, and their statistics show that native-born residents are most likely to commit and be convicted of crimes, while undocumented immigrants saw a conviction rate that was about 50% lower. https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-research-policy-brief/criminal-immigrants-texas-illegal-immigrant

            In fact, every state seems to keep track of it. “The results from fixed‐effects regression models reveal that undocumented immigration does not increase violence. Rather, the relationship between undocumented immigration and violent crime is generally negative, although not significant in all specifications.” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1745-9125.12175

            A “myth” is something untrue, not unproven.

          • Jerry

            You know Texas is full of liberals and soft on crime

          • Frank

            OK. Couple of problems.

            1. This is 1 years data from 1 state.

            2. They’re citing conviction rates. It’s often said it’s not a crime if you don’t get caught, but that’s a real flimsy argument, IMO.

            3. Claiming they don’t commit as many crimes is hardly a recommendation for entry.

          • RBHolb

            No, it’s not a recommendation for entry. It is, however, an argument against hysteria.

          • Jerry

            There is not enough data in the world to disprove prejudice. What is proven to be true doesn’t stand a chance against what someone “knows” to be true.

          • Frank

            Let me tell you a little story, friend.

            In 1989, a young fellow in Bend Oregon walked out of a convenience store to find 2 men removing boxes of bottles from his truck. At the time, Oregon mandated a $.05 deposit on bottles, which made the contents worth about $25.

            When he tried to stop them, they attacked him. One of the attackers stabbed him 3 times in the lung; mushed it up real good…The man bled out on the spot.

            Through the miracle of American medicine, EMT’s were able to get enough plasma in him to restart his heart.

            The attackers were both Mexican nationals, in the country illegally. During their arraignment, to the utter horror of the victims family, the attackers were granted bail, and of course were back in Mexico for breakfast the next day.

            The victim spent 3 weeks in ICU and a month in the hospital. He was left with a perminantly damaged lung and $25,000 in medical bills. He never fully recovered.

            That victim was my brother. Bet you my next paycheck that crime was never counted in any statistical model. Please excuse my hysteria.

          • Jerry

            And all Hispanics must pay for their crimes. When bad things happen to us and those we love, a true test of character is how we react. If you must hate someone, hate those who did it, not an entire class of people.

          • Frank

            You’re the only one here talking about hate. In fact, you’re tossing out so many red herrings and non-sequiturs, it seems like you’re carrying on a private conversation with yourself.

            By all means, do carry on.

          • KTN

            “And you omit the fact that every person who enters the country anywhere but through a port of entry commits a crime.”

            Actually, it’s a misdemeanor, and it’s a civil offense, not criminal, but otherwise, your spot on -go get em.

          • Frank

            No. Entering the country is a criminal offense. Overstaying a visa is a civil offense.

            I get weary of having to educate folks about this. So you go ahead and check.

          • Jerry

            And overstaying their visa is by far the most common way people become “illegal”. But that doesn’t play very well into the whole “build the wall narrative”.

          • Frank

            Not from Mexico and South America.

          • Jerry

            So you’re admitting it’s only Hispanic immigration that bothers you. Glad that’s cleared up.

          • Frank

            I “admitted” nothing. I stated facts. Glad to clear that up.

          • Jerry

            You cleared lots of things up. But people aren’t being subtle about it now, anyways.

          • lindblomeagles

            Frank, Mollie’s death is not an illegal immigration crime. It is a crime against women, a crime that frankly hundreds of white and black men commit daily. You can get angry and riled up because the person in this case has brown skin, black hair, and speaks a different language. That is your right to do so. But that’s not going to stop another girl who looks like Mollie from being abducted and killed tomorrow. If you want to really help, join the campaign to stop violence against women. Start small by protesting two of college sports’ biggest and wealthiest programs, Michigan State and Ohio State. Join those of us who find it immoral that a leader of men such as Urban Meyer, a white guy, would allow a friend of his (another white guy) physically beat his wife. If you do more of this, that is to say, making the fight less about the race of the assailant, and more about the crime itself, i.e. a zero tolerance policy no matter what the victim’s skin color is, you might make progress on this illegal immigration thing. But the more you make it about race, the less likely you will be the solution to the overall problem.

          • lindblomeagles

            Illegal immigration is directly caused by political and economic displacement in the immigrant’s country of origin. Currently, Frank, Nicaragua and El Salvador are on the brink of civil war. Mexico, for more than a 100 years, has been unable, or unwilling, to provide enough jobs and security for its people. Guatemala is still trying to recover from its 54 year old civil war that ended in the early 1990s. I say these things not to bring you to tears for Latin American immigrants. I say these things because the U.S. HAD THE CAPACITY TO INTERVENE TO CREATE A MARSHAL PLAN FOR LATIN AMERICA, and chose to spend it all on spy missions and jails in Cuba from 1959 to Obama’s lifting of sanctions. Additionally, we spent trillions of dollars trying to solve Israel (1960s forward), trying to spy on Iran (1979 to the present), and trying to win whatever war was going on in the Middle East (1950s forward). We CREATED our illegal immigration problem when we decided Latin America wasn’t worth our attention.

      • MrE85

        Since when is a murdered college student a political issue?

        • Frank

          When the murderer has benefited from a political agenda.

        • RBHolb

          It happens on the day when the President’s former campaign manager is convicted, and his long-time consigliere rolls over and takes a plea agreement.

  • Rob

    For anyone who is not a misanthrope, all I can say is that you’re not paying attention. Or as Pogo pointed out: “We have met the enemy and they is us.”

  • Frank

    The farmer has said he was presented with forged documents, including a social security card, which passed cursory inspection. He has turned over his hiring documents to Immigration officials, and they have placed a hold on the suspect. From what we know now, the farmer didn’t do anything wrong.

    Many people do not realize that identity theft is often the second crime illegal immigrants commit, but it is.

    • Barton

      Isn’t this what they closed down St Agnes Bakery over? Because the owner didn’t verify that the I-9/documents were legal he was held responsible. So, yes, the farmer did do something wrong. But the murder of the young woman isn’t his fault.

      • Kassie

        All an employer needs to do is complete the I-9 and verify that the documents reasonably appear genuine, are of the person they are hiring, and allow the person to work. My understanding of what happened at St Agnes was that they got word the ICE was going to audit them, and then 10 of their employees quit. I can’t see anything that says St Agnes was held responsible for anything.

        • My employer, which discovered they didn’t have an I-9 for me last year, had me fill a new one out, but wouldn’t take the driver’s license as proper ID. I had to bring in a passport.

          • Frank

            Hard as it is to believe, some states issue DL’s to illegals. And as far as I know, they do not distinguish them from legit citizens licenses. Pretty soon, we’ll all have to walk around with passports.

          • You will if you want to fly on a U.S. airline and live in MN.

          • Sybil Twilight

            I use my passport as ID most of the time in legal/financial/employment situations. As much as I would protest having to have a national ID system — largely because i believe it would just lead to a lot of fakes — maybe the passport is a solution when hiring folks who lead you to suspect they might not be legally entitled to work in the US.

            (I worked for several years with a Mexican Native who was in the US legally and had the appropriate green card. She had to renew regularly and had been trying for the citizenship lottery for 9 years at the time. She used her Mexican Passport, SS Card and Green Card as ID.)

          • AL287

            I guess I’m screwed if drivers licenses don’t count.

            My passport has been expired for 27 years and I am not inclined to travel outside the U.S with the current occupant in the White House.

          • Barbara

            My husband started a new job on August 20, taking his passport for the I-9. HR sent the Department of Homeland Security the required picture of the passport and the face recognition software DHS uses couldn’t match the photo and rejected it saying he isn’t a citizen. Apparently this is normal for DHS’s software and he had to fill out an appeal form, that is allowed 10 business days. The use of the software is to save money with reduced staffing of real people, and it would seem with low budget software.

      • Frank

        The owner of St. Agnes didn’t try to verify. As I understand it, the farmer did check.

        I don’t know what the rules are for identity verification, but they obviously need to be strengthened. Identity fraud is rampant.

  • RBHolb

    This kind of story always makes me wonder why anyone makes death threats (or any other kind of threat). What is it supposed to accomplish? On some level, I can understand a person who was directly victimized lashing out. It’s not right, but it’s understandable. If, however, your only connection to an event is reading about it or seeing it on the news, why would you contact a total stranger and threaten them?

    • Jerry

      Because humans are awful

  • Jerry

    And remember, when people use the term illegal or illegal immigrant, they mean Hispanics. They aren’t talking about Melania Trump.

    • Frank

      Probably because Melania came here legally.

      • lindblomeagles

        That’s also a myth. Every European immigrant to the United States does not come here legally. In fact, historically, in the United States, most Europeans didn’t come here legally, and many were allowed entry BECAUSE whites here feared they would be outnumbered by African slaves and Native Indian populations.

      • AL287

        And her parents used “chain” migration to gain U.S. citizenship something her husband is opposed to or at least he SAYS he is opposed to.

        “Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in
        virtually unlimited number of distant relatives,” he said during his
        State of the Union speech this year.

        “Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting
        sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is
        necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security and our
        future.”

        I guess that is a case of do as I say, not as I do.

  • Middle America is safe. Anybody remember Chuck Percy’s daughter. Crime happens. Headlines happen.

    • The Resistance

      Many would disagree. The nation, including Middle America, is becoming more defined by its high rate of violent gun related crime as compared with other developed western nations. It’s just that we have chosen to believe that it is normal and can’t be changed.

      • Sure, but how it’s perceived, and how we perceive it, isn’t always accurate. I guess it depend on your definition of “safe”. From a personal standpoint, I would think that would depend on what one’s actual odds are of being the victim of violent crime.

        What is the line between safe and unsafe? I suppose that’s for everyone to determine on their own but I would guess — and it’s only a guess — that what people would say their odds are isn’t what their odds are.

        • The Resistance

          OK. I was referring to Middle America as a whole based on your earlier comment, rather than personal perceptions of safety.

  • Rob

    Crime can happen anywhere. No place is completely safe.

  • lindblomeagles

    Mollie is dead. That is a tragedy. But, we’re not learning a damn thing from her passing because we are spending far too much time on who killed her instead of addressing violence against women in the United States. Today, Urban Meyer, Ohio State University Head Football Coach, was suspended for a ridiculously low 3 games after investigators found he essentially did nothing to protect a woman from being beaten up by one of Meyer’s assistant coaches. Some of you might wonder what does this have to do with the story. Others of you will say, well the assistant didn’t kill her, and the woman was an adult. Both points illustrate the point women have been trying to tell us since the Ray Rice video. We want to punish Black men who hurt women (Rice never did get back into the NFL). We want to punish Hispanic men who hurt women (like this individual here in Iowa). But, when it comes to successful white men (remember Donald Trump’s own Access Video. Just grab them in the p——y?) we make excuses (Urban Meyer didn’t know) or exceptions (Trump was younger and joking) unless the successful white guy is somebody we don’t like (Al Franken, former US Senator from Minnesota). All we’re doing here today is ignoring the larger societal problem we have, which is we don’t really recognize violence against women.