One thing’s for sure, Michael Anthony Strouse who was arrested for the murder of a 23-year-old West Chester girl looks like a loser. We don’t know much about the case as of this writing other than it took good police work to discover the body which led to the arrest near the intersection of Millikin Road and Maud Hughes. Of course, I have spoken at great length about what has happened at that particular intersection and the turmoil from many deceased persons is quite extensive. If you believe in ghosts, this is not the place for you, yet that is where the body was found, along a tree line at the back of a farm-house at the corner of that intersection across from the neighborhood of Hawthorne Hills.
This case hit home with me a bit for many reasons, not just because the body of a young person was found only a few miles from my home, but because I have a personal history with the farm the body was found on. In fact, all up and down Millikin Road are the older homes of members of the Hoffman family most of them long gone. That particular farm-house was the rowdy residence of some of my cousins who were very well-known several decades ago as some pretty crazy lunatics. That particular location has a reputation for bringing out the worst in unsavory characters. It might be that well before the British settled the area before and after the Revolutionary War that many Indian mounds from ancient cultures were built upon and destroyed by farms that the spirits of some pagan deities take over the mind of the weak and inspire them to evil. It’s hard to say. But what we can determine is that by just a look at Michael Strouse, who was servicing a year-long probation for exposing himself, that the guy should have been arrested just for looking like someone who might kill somebody.
Naturally, we just can’t go around arresting people, or killing them because they might be a menace, but this Strouse guy was living in Liberty Township, one of the best places on earth to live, but he was obviously showing signs of harming other people’s lives and his appearance projected those intentions like a lit-up billboard in Las Vegas. Strouse has quite a police record, mainly for drug use and possession. Looking at him it doesn’t take much imagination to conclude that he looks like the kind of loser who would kill someone, so it’s a shame that we couldn’t have acted on him sooner, before some family lost their daughter to this guy.
They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Well, “they” are usually idiots, most of the time you can. If a person looks like a derelict and they present themselves to the world the way that Strouse did, something bad is bound to happen around them, and our first defense is to judge that they are dangerous and should be avoided, or destroyed. Speaking of that area I did get involved with the confrontation of just such unsavory characters that led to the death of one person in a shoot out just a few hundred yards to the west of the location of the body in this Strouse case. It was a long time ago and under very unfortunate circumstances, but sometimes you have to do what has to be done. In that case it was friends of mine who had actually pulled the trigger ending the life of a young juvenile delinquent. Most everyone else survived, and even though it’s not fashionable to talk about the deceased because the people who are left behind are often emotionally affected, it is individual behavior which ultimately is to blame.
It doesn’t matter if its evil spirits from some ancient culture residing in the burial mounds of a region that has long destroyed them which whisper in the ears of the drunk and drug induced young people to kill themselves and others, it is ultimately those who fail to filter out the voices who are at fault. A place may have a past, but it is how people deal with the present that either fuel evil or repeal it. A guy like Michael Strouse was dangerous, he was on probation so that what we could assume was a caring family could watch over him. But you could tell just by looking at the guy that he was trouble. With a history of using drugs and exposing himself to women, what good could possibly come from the guy? It’s not like he was going to invent the next cure for cancer or find a way to colonize space. He was just an idiot who was proud to be a parasite on the human race and he advertised his disrespect for the human condition with every cell in his body. Judging people is a good thing and if there is anything to learn from this case it’s that we should judge others more, not less.
I’m sure this is all very shocking to the residence of Hawthorne Hills across the street from where the unidentifiable body of the victim was found but they had to know by just one look at the loser Michael Strouse that someone was going to be hurt sooner or later by the guy. As I said, I know the area well and could tell stories all day long before there was ever a Hawthorne Hills of the people who fought and died in that very region out of conflicts that arose for many reasons. Why there and not someplace else? Speculation can only do its work, but in my personal case its better if its people who are trying to bring harm to other people who end up laying in a field dead to life than some innocent person. It’s always sad because whoever ends up dead is always someone’s child who had all the potential for a good life straight out of the womb. But when they get up into their mid-twenties and they look and act like Michael Strouse did, it’s too late. Nothing good is going to come from a life like that and I’m sure the neighbors in Hawthorne Hills knew, they just didn’t want to get involved.
Evil must be confronted, and when a person presents themselves with an obvious embrace of such evil, they declare themselves a threat and it is up to our judgement to engage them. I’m sure we’ll find out the details of this tragic story and it will make us sick, but the crime happened because too many people were minding their own business, and were not willing to confront evil as it was on full display. That allowed this Michael Strouse to sneak in and out of the house undetected and put in danger young women who are not yet old enough to have their wits about them. And it is that very circumstance that allows the wrong kind of people to end up dead. History may say that by the nature of human activity somebody at the corner of Millikin Road and Maud Hughes will die for one reason or another, but we should all be more engaged with our surroundings so that we can ensure that it’s not the innocent who become victims. Sometimes the villains of our world make it easy for us, and Michael Strouse will dare us to pass judgment, but for the sake of the innocent we should do so much more often.
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