- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Tom Louie
Monday, Feb. 23, 2004 at 4:13 PM
Dr. Glenda Vittimberga was murdered and beheaded by a friend and former graduate student. So far, the media has virtually ignored it.
Please attend a memorial vigil for Dr. Glenda Vittimberga at Cal State L.A. on Tuesday, February 24, at 6:00 P.M.
in the Free Speech Area (north end of campus, outside the University-Student Union).
According to police, Dr. Vittimberga was brutally murdered and beheaded in her Pasadena home on Monday by a
university employee and former graduate student, who then apparently committed suicide.
Dr. Vittimberga taught in Administration and Counseling in the College of Education; her specialty was clinical
psychology. Ironically, she was currently teaching a course on "Intervention in Severe Behavioral Problems" when
she died. I never met her; one of my best friends took four courses from her, and my professors definitely knew
her. By all accounts, she was friendly, open, caring, helping, ready with a smile for everyone and, yes, I hear she
was attractive as well.
There was almost ZERO television news coverage of this horrible crime. As far as I have been able to find out,
only Channel 5 mentioned it. The rest of the stations were busy with wall-to-wall coverage of the city's "shock"
over the killing of an LAPD officer. (Compared to Glenda, the officer was lucky; he wasn't killed by someone he
knew and trusted, and he wasn't mutilated.) What's a mere professor compared to a cop? Ah, priorities.
Or perhaps the TV stations ignored the story because initial reports said the Dr. was killed in a "domestic dispute"
by an "ex-boyfriend." According to the victim's closest friends, it could not have been a domestic dispute, because
the killer was never her boyfriend; and even if that were true, what would it matter? The sheer numbers of
"relationship murders" are already at holocaust proportions. Choosing the wrong person for a relationship (or in
Glenda's case, for a friendship) seems to be an automatic invitation to murder, as far as the media is concerned.
Usually, the news of a horrific crime like this would go national. It didn't even go local. The fact that society seems
to assign no importance to the life and death of this remarkable human being only makes the pain worse.
The only good coverage was in the Pasadena Star-News and CSULA's own University Times. The Los
Angeles Times had something, but their story repeated the misinformation that it was a lovers' quarrel, and was
Apparently, the killer wanted a romantic relationship with the professor, feelings which she did not reciprocate.
Nobody will ever know for sure, but rejection may have been his excuse for doing the most petty and self-centered
thing he could have done, which was to deny her to everyone else by ending her life -- even by making her "ugly"
in death. What could have inspired the intense hatred that caused him to hack off his friend's head and put it in the
fireplace? Nobody will ever know. Was his rage fueled by alcohol or drugs? We may know that soon.
"Nobody will ever know." That's the double tragedy of this murder. By walking into freeway traffic one hour after
the murder, the putative killer cheated us. He will never suffer incarceration, questioning or guilt. We will never be
able to find out about his motives, something that could help us protect potential victims in the future.
Another tragedy is that the putative killer, a convicted felon with a history of violence, had been trying to turn his
life around. He had even gotten a master's degree, and Dr. Vittimberga, who was apparently aware of his past, had
been encouraging of his efforts to change the circumstances of his life. Obviously, in the end he failed, and took
other people with him. What about other felons and ex-convicts? Their numbers are increasing, and eventually
most of them will be back in society and will need help. But who risks helping them after something like this??
In the end, we are left with these painful questions:
Who can you risk befriending?
How do you tell ahead of time that a potential relationship is dangerous?
What do you do if you find out you're in a dangerous relationship? What do you do if you hear the words, "If you
ever leave me, I'll kill you"?
Are those words said more often than we realize? When we hear them, do we ignore them or think the utterer is
indulging in hyperbole?
Should women just carry guns everywhere from now on? Can any woman trust a male friend?
Does the fact that someone is attractive, friendly and open mean that they have to be regarded as an "easy mark" for
some asshole who wants to either control their life or take it? (Yes, the killer's death is also a tragedy. Yes, he was
a selfish asshole who should burn in hell.)
Why does "relationship violence", or violence by people you know, get such short shrift on society's list of
priorities? Why are people more afraid of being killed by strangers?
What about woman-on-man violence? Or man-on-man, or woman-on-woman? Do the same concerns apply?
Can you trust anyone not to "snap"???
Is it dangerous to try to help someone to "turn their life around"????? I mean....why risk it?? (I don't like asking
Are we doomed as a society to withdraw into our shells of paranoia? Should we regard all relationships as
danger-fraught and potentially deadly??
How is it that, in our society, frustrated affection so often turns into insecurity, striving for domination, and
eventually violent, soul-destroying hate?
And what else could be the result of this but even more frustrated affection?
Perhaps someday we can try to find the answers together.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 8 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|Doing the media's job for them?
||Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004 at 3:41 AM
||Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004 at 6:03 PM
|maybe we need to learn to be happier
||a regular visitor to this site
||Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004 at 10:08 PM
||Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004 at 10:50 PM
|Remembering Dr. Vittimberga
||Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2004 at 8:03 PM
|Dr. Vittmiberga's Legacy
||Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004 at 9:18 AM
|Her Chosen Career
||Member Class of '85
||Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004 at 1:42 PM
||Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 at 11:19 PM
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
More Breaking News...