Friday, February 18


Recall the case of Juan Manuel Alvarez, the purportedly suicidal man who bailed out of his SUV, leaving it parked straddling the center set of three sets of railroad tracks running through Glendale, CA, as a commuter train approached? The horrific train derailment that ensued caused eleven deaths and nearly two hundred injuries on the morning of January 26, 2005.

I wrote about this tragedy in this post, this post, and this post, as I followed the evolving progression of stories that took the defendant's actions that morning from those of a despondent man failing in a suicide bid to one who tried desperately to cover his tracks through post-accident, self-inflicted stab wounds.

But here we go again, as the plot continues to thicken with police authorities now claiming Alvarez was anything but suicidal, and in point of fact was a monster bent on causing precisely what ensued, because he wanted to get "his estranged wife's attention by causing a horrifc tragedy."

Indeed, authorities now claim there was never an original intent to take his own life. That was purportedly all a ruse. Alvarez was just covering his tracks in a dastardly bid to absolve himself from the horrific tragedy on the tracks where he not only left his SUV parked, but where he had doused it with gasoline beforehand to assure a fiery conflagration when the oncoming Metrolink commuter train, loaded with morning rush hour commuters on their way in to downtown Los Angeles, struck it head-on.

Juan Manuel Alvarez is innocent until proven guilty. I honor the rule of law. But what griped me the day of the tragedy and in the immediate days that followed were the number of posts and comments I read in the blogosphere in which there was genuine handwringing over this man's fate, and an irrevocable mindset that said a suicidal man didn't know what he was doing that morning, as he had to have been deeply despondent and likely temporaily insane. Indeed, the blogger at one site began postulating what the defense ought to do to get this innocent man off the hook.

Sorry, but these bleeding hearts got to me then and they continue to get to me now. They're no better in their rush to judgement, than are those who betrayed an ugly, lynch mob mentality outside of the jailhouse where Alvarez was being kept immediately after the wreck.