Saturday, February 28, 2015

Evil: From Corvallis Or Somewhere Far Away?


Kimberly Hakes. Just another name. Just another homeless person. Just another dead body with its head bashed to bits in a public park. Just another article in the news. Pick it it...put it back down...go out the door...and life goes on.

I never saw any "makeshift shrine" set-up in her memory. No votive candles, no teddy bears, or
colorful balloons swaying in a mournful breeze. No, I never saw any media photographs of signs saying, "Gee, Kimbo...I'm sorry that you were so cruelly murdered by a psycho

No, I never saw a public outpouring of grief for Ms. Hakes. And even if it did happen and I missed
it...would it have made any difference in the long-range scheme of things?


But the recent article written by Rob Goffins in The Corvallis Advocate sure caught my attention.
Yes, it did.

Sitting where I am today, perched at a lofty height in a Newport, Oregon motel room...I am at
peace. My day has been filled with good Chinese food...sweet music in my ears from my
laptop...and an awesome view of silver rolled waves crashing against a long, rugged beach.

But one night several months ago, I sat on my backpack, in the outskirts of Corvallis, in the pouring
rain and tried all night long to get a ride out. I didn't get a ride until the following morning...when
a very kind man drove me to a church in Lebanon.

I spent some time at the women's winter shelter in Corvallis after it opened last Fall. But I never
felt comfortable there. By that I mean that I was constantly reminded by many people in the
local provider-system that I came from "somewhere else." And was generally understood
that eventually I would move on to "somewhere else" again.

No, I am not a native "Corvallisite." And most likely I never will be. Since I have been traveling
around North America for years, I don't think my residency status really matters. The old
saying: "No Matter Where You Travel...There You Are" most certainly applies to me.

But Kim Hakes never had to worry about me. I never threatened to kill her or anybody else at
the shelter or the drop-in center. I didn't like every homeless person that I rubbed elbows with
in Corvallis but I never considered killing any of them.

But I overheard conversations and some of them would never be printed on a greeting card. There
is a lot of anger simmering below the surface in the Corvallis homeless community. And that
malice is not limited to homeless people from "out of town." In fact, local emotions across the
homeless population board have really nothing to do with anybody's "place of origin."

I believe that Kimberly Hakes' death has everything to do with someone else's loss of
respect for human life. That may read like an over-simplified sentence but it's the truth. And
whether Kim's killer was a local resident or someone from another location doesn't matter.
What does matter is the fact that the lady is dead...a victim of a brutally violent crime...and her killer is still free.

Was her death the result of a drug deal gone bad? Did she piss off a gang member or a drunk?
Or did an "upstanding" member of the community, a local Corvallisite...hit her like she was

Don't pass her death off on another homeless person...that may or may not be the case.

I spent two weeks at the transit center before the women's shelter opened last Fall. Some of you
may have seen me there at night. Every evening, for two weeks, I unrolled my sleeping bag on
one of the concrete slabs (when it rained I sat inside a bus shelter) and pillowed my head on
my big backpack.

Did I sleep?

Yes...but "with one eye open."

The cops, whom I nicknamed (not to their face) "The Midnight Copboys" knew I was there. I
didn't hide myself...on the contrary...I made my presence known.

Would the decision to sleep in a more high-profile area...have saved Kimberly Hakes' life?

We will never know for sure. But I am blessed that God never allowed anyone to hate me as
much as someone must have hated her.  Someone evil...from the local area or "somewhere else."


Anonymous said...

I am Kim's older cousin. The last time I saw her she looked healthy and was sober. I know she struggled with her addiction. It broke her heart to have to give up and lose her babies. Luckily I was blessed to raise her first born son as my own. Then I had her oldest daughter for a few years until she wanted to return to Kim. I know that Kim is finally at peace in the universe. I know that her killer will be judged by our higher beings and his/her fate is already sealed. I love and miss you Kimberly! See you down the road!

Ruth Rader said...

I read this comment with tears in my eyes. Just last night, a person who should be ashamed of herself, suggested that I go "spend the night" in the woods outside of Florence, Oregon. That woman is an ugly American with should NOT be in the position that she is in. She is a small-minded, bitter, spoiled, religious, hypocritical hate machine. And I doubt that she would have done Kim any good at all.

I mentioned Kim to her last night and told her point-blank that I would not go hide in the dark somewhere.

Tonight I am safely sequestered in a beautiful home by a river. The owner wouldn't have it any other way.

Yes, Kim's killer's fate is sealed. Absolutely.

But I feel that more needs to be done to protect Oregon's poor women. No one should ever tell a woman to "vanish into the trees" overnight.

Thank you for your comment.

Anonymous said...

why have the CPD purposely mislaid valuable evidence to this murder?a pair of shoes and wood mallet covered in blood?delivered by a good Samaritan w mutual friends of people responsible for the murder?why was the main suspect who btw the bloody shoes belonged to given a most lenient sentence on his robbery w a knife?could it be because he did cooperate w cpd?how could the cops not find the cowards responsible would give up their own mother to avoid a week in do you explain the detective never questioned the cremation of the body of a homicide victim?homicides can be solved by later exhuming the body for evidence missed on initial investigation. I believe the cops don't want this case solved theres a Benton county police informant and other dirty laundry the police don't want made public about the # of people involved a this brutal slaying that happened a year the gazzete Times the police said they have interviewed hundreds of people. They made an announcement to the homeless crowd that gathers at the first Christian church downtown.give me a break I've seen the first 48 those cops twist arms and put the screws to people and they bring the heat!the cops don't want to solve this murder or they would have to admit one of their own informants was involved and they don't think its important. Well thats messed up!that was a mom of 4 kiss all grown would you feel if it was your mom?Kim has a lot of friends and I'm going to keep her memory alive w lights across the downtown riverfront aka ground zero of where her body was discarded like trash,to remember her murder is still unsolved and the people responsible for this gross act are going to do this again to another vulnerable homeless woman just a matter of time.I could really vomit over what I know ,i just want justice for Kim hakes and her family by blood or adopted otherwise.and to prevent future killings by these thugs

Jdg 3_14_87 said...

Ask the police who did it? Better yet why not the lead detective

Angel Hart said...

To whom it may concern,please excuse me for not having any one or something explain this to me about it. I cremated my mother, Kimberly T Hakes, only liked her and I discussed before. I time all I was thinking about was how can this happen? Why, and why my mommy? I have not been able to go to sleep with her being gone. I am restless due to lack of knowledge of how it all happened n who did it. I'm not going to rest, for her death is being made to be seen by some people who don't want us to get out info about it. Please if any real factual information about her murder is called a hero. Not a rat. It is and been being said by the older generation of those who we look up to as not being considered not-right. So Please people Speak out like this anonymous comment.Thank you so much for all of your emails, love,and respects.

Ruth Rader said...

The disgraceful attitude that some people in Corvallis have toward the death of one homeless woman totally disappoints me. What Angel is trying to say is that it isn't a small snitch that will offer up valid information about Kimberly Hake's killer...but a strong hero.
Sometimes, doing the right thing requires courage.
I have heard a great deal about Kim since her death. Some of the stories are good and some are bad. Who Kim was sometimes remains irrelevant to me. No one deserves to die like she one.
When I walked across the bridge that spans the river in Corvallis recently (it was early morning and very few homies ever knew that I was even there)I thought about Kim.
Someday, I hope justice will come and you will finally rest in peace, my Sister.

Angel Hart said...

Thank you Ruthie. That is exactly what I was attempting to say. I can't go on through my day without trying to figure out who murdered my mother. I know many of the most respected, higher up of our home boys are relying on anybody with details as well. Most of them my mom, like always, cared and nursed them back to health. Anyone is more than welcome to email me personally of any info if they would. My family will return the favor any way we can. Thank you to those who have already!
Daughter of the "rain dancer"!🌁