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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:45 PM
Original message
Survivor's 'Final' Message in Blood Stirs Hearts
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-message29jan29,...

Survivor's 'Final' Message in Blood Stirs Hearts

By Carla Hall and Solomon Moore, Times Staff Writer

He thought he was going to die.

He was having trouble breathing. As he lay wedged under a train seat and metal debris, he scrawled with whatever energy he could summon and a heartbreaking economy of words a farewell in blood on the seat. "I (heart) my kids. I (heart) Leslie," he printed. The blood ink seemed to be running out as he got to the second sentence.

Captain Robert Rosario, the firefighter who discovered that message, later choked up as he related the story for TV cameras. Of all the images, sad or brave, pulled from the mangled wreckage of Wednesday's Metrolink train disaster, few captivated people more than this finger-painted testament of love. And none was more mysterious.

Who was the message writer? What happened to him? Who is Leslie?

Everyone wants to know. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said the department has been inundated with inquiries -- "about 700 calls," he said Thursday -- from people who simply wanted to know who he was and how he was doing.

more:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-message29jan29,...
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patdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. If he is a survivor...he did not die...why was it his 'final message'..
to tug heart strings to want DEATH TO THE INFIDEL?
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's kind of a cynical take on the story?
To me it sounds like the guy was really under the impression he was going to die...I think it's a nice story, especially if you have kids.

Anyhow most people who want sad cases (like the guy who caused this tragedy) to die, are going to be at that conclusion pretty quickly.

I saw the man who caused this in court today (on TV of course) and was heart broken just thinking what he might be feeling at this time.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'm curious if you were heartbroken about the people who died
I don't mean that in a rude way (can't think of a better way to put it), but was left wondering why there's not a similar heart-broken feeling about the people who lost a brother or a lover or a mom? Or about the 180 who were hurt. (I also felt a twinge of pity for the would-be suicide guy, btw, after seeing his hang-dog shuffle.)

Two ironies strike me about this guy. First, if he didn't feel like he had a valid reason to kill himself before, he may now; second, I heard on the radio that prosecutors will charge him with murder and may seek the death penalty.

News coverage has a way of redirecting our feelings and sympathies; this story seems like a good case in point. The people who were hurt the most we don't even mention.
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prodigal_green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. why must it be a zero-sum game?
Why can't Truthpusher have concern and sympathy for all involved in this tragedy? It is stories about individuals in a mass tragedy that bring home the humanity of the situation. Remember that little boy in Iraq whom the entire Arab world was rooting for (but who eventually died)? Do you think that those people were any less concerned by the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. It doesn't need to be at all
If you read my post again, I was not criticizing Truthpusher, just honestly wondering if he felt similar feelings to those who were hurt or killed. I, too, looked at the pictures of the man who caused the crash, and felt pangs of sympathy...then realized that, although intellectually I knew the victims had suffered, without seeing their images and knowing about their stories, I did not have the same sense of sympathy with their plight.

My point was not that we must dole out our sympathies in equal measure (and frankly, no one's checking anyway), but that the way we learn about tragic events in the news shapes our responses more than we realize.

It's a good lesson to apply to other tragic news as well.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. it's conservatives who usally do that all or nothing crap
nt
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. The whole whacked out mess is heart breaking!
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. That's a bit insulting, don't you think?
What kind of heartless person wouldn't immediately empathize with the victims?

And here you are assuming that just such a cruel person exists on DU. Also. I don't see why you would post a statement that the victims aren't even mentioned in a thread which happens to be about one of the victims.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I wasn't assuming what you assumed I was assuming :-)
Seriously, my reply was to a specific post, not to the general thread.

I don't think anyone on DU would fail to empathize with the victims. Read my posts again, I was talking about a phenomenon that arises from manipulative presentation of the news, and was not criticizing anyone. I also noted that I was not immune to the effect, either.
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420inTN Donating Member (803 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. He wrote what he thought would be his final message, but survived. n/t
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subchicagogal Donating Member (48 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
4. Keep in mind.....
Leslie can be a guy's name too, so this could have been a woman who wrote this message! Just a thought......
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Except rarely is a woman named "John". The author of the message is
named John. :hi:
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420inTN Donating Member (803 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. There's more in the story linked...
"The mystery messenger was admitted to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, which received more than 100 phone calls from the public asking about him. "They mainly wanted to tell him that their prayers are with him," said hospital spokeswoman Adelaida De La Cerda.

He was discharged late Thursday and declined requests to talk with the media, she said.

This much is known: Leslie is his wife. And his name is John. And he may not want the rest of the world to know even that much about him no matter how much people crave that and more.

"I'm a private person," he said in a statement the hospital released for him, "and the message that I wrote was a private message to my wife and my kids because I didn't think I was going to make it."
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
14. knowing this much is enough for me... that he survived, and that he
put his last efforts into expressing his love.
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