James Ramseur, one of the thugs shot by Bernhard Goetz, dies

The AP reports:

Apparent Drug Overdose Kills Goetz Shooting Victim 27 Years Later
December 23, 2011
NEW YORK— One of four teenagers wounded by New York City subway gunman Bernhard Goetz has died of an apparent drug overdose 27 years to the day after that notorious shooting.

Forty-five-year-old James Ramseur was found dead in a Bronx motel room Thursday.

The Daily News reports that two empty prescription pill bottles were found next to the bed with their labels scratched off.

Ramseur was one of four teens shot by Goetz on a subway train on Dec. 22, 1984.

Goetz said the teens tried to rob him. He was acquitted at trial of all charges except illegal weapons possession.

Ramseur fell into a coma after the shooting and underwent multiple surgeries.

He was released from prison last year after serving 25 years for rape.

Bernhard Goetz—how many lives did he save by
disabling Darrell Cabey and deterring thugs in general?

Here’s Wikipedia on the Goetz incident; the vexed issue of how many shots he fired and whether he deliberately shot Darrell Cabey twice is discussed at length. Here’s an article by the reliably confused and incoherent Stanley Crouch apparently written in 2004 looking back at the Goetz incident and its impact on New Yorkers. Crouch tells us what precisely Ramseur went to prison for 25 years for:

But in order to understand what kind of young men Goetz plugged and why he was briefly loved by the masses, one has only to look first at James Ramseur, who vehemently described himself as a victim and called for Goetz’s execution. Soon after being released from the hospital, Ramseur attacked a young woman, took her up on the roof of her building, and held a gun to her head while his companion sodomized her. He was that kind of a guy. Barry Allen and Troy Canty, the other two who were shot, went to prison for robbery. Some crew.

So the only one of the four who did not continue as an enemy of society after the Goetz incident was Cabey, who was paralyzed by Goetz’s (single) shot that severed his spine.

- end of initial entry -

Sophia A. writes:

I cannot believe that you featured an article about the death of James Ramseur on your blog. Or that the bum is dead. The Goetz case had a profound effect on me, on my political development.

I wasn’t living in NYC at the time. I was in living in a very liberal, “artsy” environment and got into numerous arguments with friends and colleagues about the case. The case was national (perhaps international, I don’t know) news. People discussed it like the O.J. case. People’s reactions to it taught me a lot about people, not only the liberal mindset. I had more than a few conversations with good, decent, conservative types who just didn’t understand how savage things had become in NYC at the time, and who disapproved of Goetz’s action. But most of the people I argued with were insufferable liberal nitwits. I still get angry thinking of some of these idiots.

In the ensuing years, I’ve thought of Ramseur occasionally, always with a shudder, because he was the worst of the lot. I feel as if he’s haunted me for 27 years. You describe Crouch’s article correctly as “confused”—I like to say that he gives with one hand and takes back with the other. [LA replies: Yes, that’s more accurate.] But he also soft-pedaled Ramseur’s crimes a bit. I remember distinctly reading an account of exactly what Ramseur and his accomplice did to the woman they raped, a pregnant 18-year old Puerto Rican. They took her up to the roof of the building and sodomized her, as Crouch reports. Then they stuck a knife up her anus.

I googled around for a confirmation of my memory and couldn’t find one. If I had a Nexis account I might be able to find it. So you’ll just have to trust my memory. I’ll never forget reading that newspaper story. It’ll stay with me forever. I am so glad he’s dead. He won’t rest in pieces but I’ll take it.

December 24

Tim W. writes:

After all these years the press still hates Bernhard Goetz. Notice how the AP article describes him as a “gunman.” That’s the same word used to describe vicious killers who murder innocent people. For example, the man who killed four people in a Long Island pharmacy last summer was described as a gunman in press accounts. So there’s no distinction made by our media between someone shooting four hoodlums trying to rob him and someone killing innocent people in cold blood. By describing Goetz as a gunman, the AP acts as if he went down into the subway for the expressed purpose of shooting someone and it could have been anybody, even an old lady coming home from the hair salon.

AP then described the incident as a “notorious shooting.” An online dictionary gave this definition for notorious:

“Generally known and talked of; especially widely and unfavorably known.”

These two examples were given:

“The coach is notorious for his violent outbursts.”

“a notorious mastermind of terrorist activities”

The Goetz incident is “generally known and talked of,” but I don’t think that’s why the AP writer chose to use “notorious.” It was chosen because in the press room Goetz is “unfavorably known,” a “racist” who shot down four promising black youths when he could have just handed them his wallet and everything would then have been cool.

Goetz certainly isn’t “unfavorably known” to the general public. He’s a hero. But to the press, Goetz is a “subway gunman.” Meanwhile, Rodney King, a career criminal who led police on a potentially deadly chase while high on drugs, and who then physically assaulted the arresting officers, was a “Los Angeles motorist.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 23, 2011 04:23 PM | Send

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