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Opinion

The Left Coast


By Carl Langley
web posted September 21, 2009
GUEST COLUMN – Just when you think it can't get any crazier out on America's West Coast, along comes the tale of Phillip Paul. Paul, a state inmate now on the lam, has been judged by judicial authorities in the state of Washington as mentally deranged and criminally inclined.

 The judges who presided over Paul's incarceration, and the multitude of prison psychiatrists who examined him, came to their conclusions somewhat rightfully.
  Paul, according to police records, went off the beam about 10 years ago, proclaimed an 87-year-old woman a witch, killed her, doused the body with gasoline to throw off police sniffer dogs and buried the poor woman in her own garden.

He may have been crazy, but he did show some thinking skills in using gasoline to cover up the evidence although his efforts went for naught.

Paul was tracked down, arrested and hauled into court where a Spokane County judge found him criminally insane and ordered him to serve life in a state mental hospital.
 
All went well, or reasonably so, for a number of years while Paul, his attitude muted by medications, built up good conduct credits.
 
About a week ago he was taken, as a reward for being a blue chip inmate, to the county fair. He subsequently escaped and at last reports authorities have been looking for him for four days.
 
A member of a sheriff's department search team was on televison Saturday trying to assure shaken residents that Paul's medications should last for at least another 10 days, but there were no written guarantees.
 
I, for one, am glad Paul is on the loose on the West Coast, the home of fruits and nuts and everything in between, rather than around my neighborhood. Only out on the West Coast would people be so foolish as to take a deranged killer on a feel-good outing with some 30 others described as in similar condition as Paul.
 
In keeping up with Paul, I now await the news that California lifer Charles Manson, who orchestrated the killings of some six people, will be allowed to join in a songfest with the Campfire Girls, or if fellow California lifer Sirhan Sirhan, who shot to death presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, will be allowed to attend Democratic Party coffees.
 
If you believe it can't get crazy out on the West Coast, then you live in a different part of the world from me.
 
I have said many times that the touchy-feely liberal set will eventually be the death of us all. Phillip Paul is doing his part to enhance my forbodings.
 
Let us now pray that our state penal authorities, who are holding quite a few of our own citizens who are several bricks short of a full load, are never given copies of the Washington state prison operations manual.

 




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