Photo & Text Copyright 2008 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.
On a clear New Year's Eve, on a safe street not all that far from a bus stop, busy grocery store, and just a few hundred yards from a medical center, 31 year old Sierra Club worker Shannon Harps was followed and suddenly attacked by a crazy man with a knife outside her very nice condo building. The man has since been arrested, linked by strong evidence to the crime including DNA evidence, and has confessed to the murder. He is a known mentally disturbed and violent criminal, was just recently out on parole, had a history of violent behavior, convicted of shooting a man randomly at a bus stop years ago. The community is staggered by this crime and appalled that such a dangerous man was free on the streets and unsupervised enough to do great harm.
In the last couple years I've walked past this corner frequently, sometimes camera in hand or heading to the store or to an appointment. When I walked past this assembled memorial of flowers and candles, all I could think of was what I had heard in news reports of her productive, positive life, how her hair, seen in news photos, was just like mine, and how she should have had so much good life ahead of her. I won't see the places where she lived her life, full of friends, travel, and meaningful work. I will only have seen this place where someone took it from her a month ago. The hearts of all Seattlites go out to her family and friends, her neighbors, and her Capitol Hill community. Other photos are here and here.