More on the Billy Johnson Bombing/SuicidePosted: 1, 18 July , 2011
Here’s an update on the bombing/suicide that occurred in my hometown on 16 July.
A neighbor, Kim Shriner, who said she’d know him all her life, but whose name I didn’t recognize just as I didn’t recognize her face said, “I knew he was going to kill himself and I knew he wouldn’t hurt nobody else.” and “He was a good person, he was different, but he was a good person at heart.”
I guess I have to wonder, was he a good person? Maybe not. That’s not to say he was a bad person, but it is to say that perhaps we don’t have much ability to reflect, to address what certainly was a complex and probably flawed character. So was Bill a good person at heart? Yes, but he was also troubled, certainly violent, and clearly self-destructive.
I’ll be thinking about this, not so much about the act itself, but what let up to it and what environment hatched it and people’s reactions to it, for some time.