06 May 2006

The Real California

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Hamaseh Kianfar

Not far beneath the haute bourgeois facade of “America’s dystopian future” lurks the primeval savagery of the frontier West of the cannibal Bender family, combined with the latest form of decadent perversity the New Age can invent.

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker reports a criminal case illustrating the propinquity of the Californian Utopia of Good Living to the American Heart of Darkness

A 75 year old woman and her husband were walking along Euclid Avenue, where it runs between the Rose Garden and Codornices Park. It is one of the most spectacularly beautiful urban scenes in the world, with panoramic views of San Francisco, the Bay, and its bridges on one side, and a hillside of architectural landmark houses and public spaces, including Bernard Maybek’s classicist masterpiece Rose Walk and the modernist Greenwood Common.

The elderly couple were walking home from a continuing education class at the University of California. The North Gate to its campus stands at the foot of Euclid Avenue, (Berkeley) less than a mile away. They moved aside to make room on the sidewalk to allow a pair of girls to walk by them. Suddenly, one of the girls grabbed Kate around the neck and slashed her throat with an 8-inch butcher knife all the way to a bone in what police say was an apparently random attack. Kate struggled briefly with her attacker, who released her. Then she reached up to her neck. “It was spurting blood,” she said from a hospital bed Friday. “It was just astonishing.”

Fortunately, the knife narrowly missed the important veins and arteries in the victim’s neck, and she survived the brutal and senseless attack. The area usually has many people enjoying its parks and views, and witnesses were able to see the attackers drive off in a very expensive car, a BMW M-3 convertible. Unless the car was stolen, these were not underprivileged children. Police relied on tips and arrested a 16 year old Oakland girl.

So, over a year later, Lifson follows up:

The wheels of justice have been grinding very slowly. The alleged assailant, Marilyn Webster, was a juvenille at the time. She has been found to be severely mentally impaired, and authorities have not been able to find a facility adequate to house her.

The alleged accomplice, Hamaseh Kianfar, was a county-employed mental health worker who had worked with Webster in an official capacity. Following the attack, she drove Webster from the scene, allegedly lied to police about the crime, and now her attorney expresses herself to be “incredulous” that her client is to stand trial.

Kristin Bender of the Oakland Tribune has been providing the best coverage of the bizarrae and shocking case. Here is her account:

As the woman laid on the street “bleeding profusely,” Kianfar drove the girl away, bought her clothing to wear following the assault and did not notify police about the incident for roughly 15 hours, said prosecutor Carrie Panetta. The woman recovered from her wounds.

Panetta said Kianfar also did not tell police where the girl was staying and later “warned” relatives there was a warrant out for the teen’s arrest.

“She knew very well where the juvenile was,” Panetta said. “She gave statements to police, but they were untruthful statements.”

Kianfar met Webster while the teenager was serving a sentence in Juvenile Hall. Kianfar’s supporters have said the mental health worker befriended the girl in an effort to help her.

Judge Jon Rolefson ordered Kianfar to return to court May 18 to begin routine court proceedings for the trial. She remains free on $15,000 bail.

Several aspects of the case remain mysterious. In the early aftermath, there were reports of a ritualistic aspect the crime, supposedly involving an occult practice called “blood-feasting.” Kianfar’s precise relationship to the mentally-impaired young woman has also not been detailed for the public.

Kianfar is entitled to a fair trial with the presumption of innocence. But her alleged behavior disturbs me deeply, as does her attorney’s apparent belief that one can leave a victim to die, spirit away the alleged perpetrator, buy clothing to disguise the evidence and lie to police, all without being charged.

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