The Wackos of Westboro

Worse than the murder itself it’s not; however, it’s a close second. 

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church—known in some circles as ‘the wackos of Westboro’—plan to demonstrate in Blacksburg, Virginia tomorrow claiming the violent homicide of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington is a curse from God.  The young woman was as last seen alive thumbing for a ride outside a Metallica concert, held on the University of Virginia campus, on October 17, 2009.  Her body was discovered on January 26, 2010, on a 720 acre farm in nearby Albemarle County.

This is the same Westboro Baptist Church that recently caught the ire of many Americans for protesting adjacent to the funeral of a U.S. serviceman killed in the line of duty.   The group claimed the young U.S. Marine died as a result of God’s wrath towards America’s pro-homosexual agenda.

“We’ve already had our daughter abducted, raped, and murdered,” Morgan’s mother, Gil Harrington, recently told NBC Channel 12, “and now we have this postmortem attack.”

According to WDBJ Channel 7, the Westboro Baptist Church informed city administrators that it plans to picket outside a Jewish Community Center, along Blacksburg’s Main Street, and in front of a middle school. 

Dan Harrington, Morgan’s father, plans to be present but will not engage the protesters.  “They [members of the Westboro Baptist Church] plan to be at Virginia Tech tomorrow to protest a number of things, including the fact Morgan Harrington’s death was deserved, and, again, how would any family feel when you hear those types of comments made?”

Like all Americans, members of the Westboro Baptist Church are entitled to their free speech rights.  Sane and compassionate individuals throughout the nation, however, will stand arm-in-arm and pray for the Harringtons as the family deals with the tragic death of their daughter.


Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler.

Copyright, Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010

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