Arrow-right Camera

Community Comment

Thu., Sept. 30, 2010, 5:19 a.m.

Man beats baby to death…

Good morning, Netizens...

I am utterly aghast at James R. Cooley's murder of Santiago McCreight, a one year-old baby boy who was beaten to death by Cooley. Cooley has been arrested, which is perhaps “too little too late”, because according to various reports, he had already assaulted Santiago's older brother, beating him and throwing him into the bathtub before killing the baby. This doesn't include a previous instance of shaking a baby, on May 5 of this year that left his former girlfriend’s 6-month-old daughter blind and mentally disabled.

I suspect by now that many have seen the various television news interviews with the baby's mother, Rebecca L. McCollough, and although I do not like watching public displays of private grief, in this instance it serves a function of holding Cooley's life ending in the baby's murder up to the light of public censure. I feel certain most people, including the police officers who investigated this case and made the arrest of Cooley, would agree with me that Cooley is sick, depraved and revolting beyond words. He beat a one year-old baby to death for crying.

As obtuse as it might seem, there are some lessons to be learned from this horrific murder.

I feel quite resolute in my belief that Rebecca McCollough had no warning of Cooley's previous violence against children, nor of Cooley's extensive criminal background which came to light just yesterday. There has to be a middle ground here, between protecting the privacy rights of citizens and allowing women, particularly with children, to learn about potential boyfriends previous violent crimes, particularly against children and infants.

A single woman with children who wants to know more information about potential boyfriends simply cannot get any information from authorities. In the case of James R. Cooley and Rebecca McCollough the system failed miserably at protecting her children. How can we make the system better? Cooley should have been arrested back in May of this year, yet he was able to convince investigators then of his innocence.

That plus we have a profound need in our sick society to understand and treat the mental illness of such men as James R. Cooley. We need to understand the long-term implications of drug abuse since it seems in addition to being a sick, perverted child abuser, Cooley also had a drug habit. How do drug habits and child abuse “fit” with one another? That seems like a damned good question.

All the recriminations and outpouring of public angst will do no good if we cannot learn from the errors of our ways, especially when an innocent one year-old baby is beaten to death by a man who had previous to this time, beaten a baby.

Rest in Peace, Santiago.


You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Community Comment

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.