Thursday, June 21, 2007

Outrage at school's silence on killing

Victim's parents and students question Eastern Michigan University's silence about homicide in dorm room.

YPSILANTI, MICH. — As most students at Eastern Michigan University were heading home for the holidays in December, the school put out a news release announcing that student Laura Dickinson had unexpectedly passed away in her dorm room.

There was no foul play, the school said. Staff members assured worried students they were safe. The campus fell into mourning, with candlelight vigils for the lanky 22-year-old member of the crew team.

Neither students nor Laura's parents knew that investigators had found a grisly scene in Room 518 of Hill Hall.

Dickinson's body was on the carpeted floor, naked from the waist down. A pillow covered her head and traces of semen were on her leg.

For 10 weeks, neither her family nor fellow students knew that authorities were investigating several suspects as part of a criminal inquiry into Dickinson's death. Then, on Feb. 23, Orange Amir Taylor III, an Eastern Michigan student, was arrested.

Only then did the university acknowledge that Dickinson had been raped and killed in her dorm room by someone who took her keys and locked the door when he left.

This from the Los Angeles Times.

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