Demons & Dialog

Exposing hidden news, history, & the new world order

Economics: Tragedy leaves a community searching for answers

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LOS ANGELES – Before the unspeakable horror that struck the tan stucco house on McFarland Avenue, the blue-collar folks who labor and live in the community called Wilmington had suffered their fair share — not unlike other Americans.

Homes in foreclosure. Refinery workers mulling a strike. Cutbacks at the nearby Port of Los Angeles, where some longshoremen haven’t found employment in months. A drive past the taquerias and body shops, past a beauty parlor tagged with graffiti, finds a man pushing a shopping cart, stopping to dig through a stranger’s trash can.

The people of Wilmington know what it means to feel fed up and stretched thin, to survive on one income or none at all, to struggle to afford basics and leave a grocery store “still feeling miserable,” as one man said.

Perhaps this explains why, when tragedy came to their community, that street and that house, they responded with outrage, anguish and grief. Whether or not the slaughter on McFarland Avenue can be truly blamed on America’s economic crisis, Ervin Lupoe’s neighbors felt a kinship with a man who claimed that desperate times had driven him to commit the ultimate evil.

The story spread quickly across California and beyond: A man, fired from his job, shot and killed his wife, 8-year-old daughter and two sets of twins, 2-year-old boys and 5-year-old girls, before turning the gun on himself.

Both Lupoe, 40, and his wife, Ana, 38, had been fired recently from their jobs as hospital technicians at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center West Los Angeles. Police say they had lied about their income to try to get cheaper child care.

Other financial pressures were mounting, too: Lupoe owed the Internal Revenue Service at least $15,000 and a check to the agency had bounced; he was a month behind on his mortgage and owed $2,500, a late fee, plus thousands more on a home equity line of credit.

In the face of all of this, Lupoe took his children out of school, packed his SUV with snow chains and winter clothing and appeared ready to leave California for his brother-in-law’s home in Garden City, Kansas……..

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Written by Michael Cooper

January 31, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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