Denver Bar Association
January 2000
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Miss Management


Easy Mark in an Easy Town

Editor's Note: Due to complaints about The Docket's frequent coverage of the rich and famous, it has been determined that there is a need for equal time. Therefore, this column is dedicated to the poor and obscure, which includes government attorneys, solo and small firm practitioners, attorneys who are parents of small children, and everyone at Legal Aid. (Miss Management is the nom de plume of a Denver attorney who is or has been most of the above.)

'. . . it took not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN homeless murder victims in two months before the mayor publicly noted that perhaps we had a serial killer problem.'
Once upon a time, Colorado was a pristine wilderness and Denver was a large town with no traffic jams, no smog, one skyscraper (the Security Life Building) and a small population of basic American Westerners who had not yet been contaminated by Big City Life.

The biggest police problem was the anarchist influence of the rock music addicts who frequented Barry Fey’s early (and now historic) concert hall, The Family Dog. (Miss M knows this because she was there. Then. In Denver. And she was at the Family Dog, too.)

Somewhere along the way, this all metamorphosed into something completely different, and we can’t blame it all on Federico Peña’s imagination. Miss Management’s First Basic Law of Life (i.e., "Change Is Bad") has been violated, and look what it’s gotten us.

We have become the Gruesome Crime Capitol of the Western World. We have parents who kill their children, children who kill their parents, children who massacre other children, serial killers who tie up their girlfriends and execute them with an axe, serial killers who decapitate the helpless homeless, and we’re not even getting in to the serial rapists, murderous gangsters, football rioters, and militiamen-gone-bad.

Simultaneously, while Miss M is generally happy with our own Mayor Webb and Governor Owens, and would give them both high marks for intelligence, sincerity and positive leadership, she was a bit disappointed when it took not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN homeless murder victims in two months before the mayor publicly noted that perhaps we had a serial killer problem. The solution—calling in the FBI—is also of dubious validity, given the FBI’s handling of the militiamen-gone-bad.

(As you may recall, the Navajo Police thought they could quietly and efficiently track these guys down and sneak up on them, thereby effectuating a capture. In fact, they came within sight of them twice, while the FBI went rampaging around in a flock of noisy helicopters, which kind of messed up the "sneaking up" part.) See Waco.

If we ever locate our serial killer, we will doubtless be saved by 200 FBI agents firebombing him from all angles while 250 media representatives roll tape.

Meanwhile, our good Governor Owens is calling for more bans on guns, oblivious to the fact that despite the Second Amendment (which is not about duck-hunting, for those of you who have never touched a gun and don’t want to; it is about self-defense, defense of the nation, and deterring the wilder excesses of governmental tyranny) we already have 2,000-plus restrictive gun laws in America and they have done nothing to reduce crime. Besides, he left out the garrotes, bludgeons and carving knives with which our more creative Colorado murderers do their mischief.

Meantime, our CU Regents are considering a plan to charge CU students (and us, their parents and taxpayers) a "riot fee," on the assumption that since it is right and predictable to expect some drunken male students to riot at all football games, it is better to charge all students a damage fee than to embarrass the hapless perpetrators by arresting, prosecuting and convicting them.

Miss M will not even touch upon the exquisite fastidiousness of our own three-judge execution panels, which seem rather less than enthusiastic about their job of guaranteeing that the foul things that have perpetrated the most heinous of crimes should not be loosed again upon the community.

What the hey! Why not just give them a lecture and release them, and skip the couple of years that they might otherwise waste in jail trying to impress the parole board?

In short, while we have prided ourselves on becoming a model of Liberal Righteousness, we have also become a magnet for every Tom, Dick and Harry Demon looking for a good time in an easy town. Miss M might prefer a sense of personal security instead.

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