March 19th 2012 01:05:55 AM
On 5-year Anniversary of Trolley Square Massacre, Salt Lake Tribune Checks in on Primary Victims: The Killer’s Family, ApparentlyPosted by Julia Gorin
On Valentine’s Day, Salt Lake Tribune revisited the 2007 Valentine’s week massacre. And guess where the article starts in laying the foundation for the crime. It doesn’t blame the American victims, but neither does it blame the Bosniak perpetrator. It blames people who weren’t even there: Serbs, of course. This is five years after they’d tried it in 2007, when they (and other newspaper clones) at least waited until mid-article to fetch so far and lay blame where it’s politically and physically safe:
Talovici, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Only a few families live in this village two decades after its homes were blasted to rubble by the Bosnian Serb army.
The remains of a mass grave are visible along the road, and, up a steep hill from his childhood home, Sulejman Talovic’s body is buried in a family cemetery.
It’s a landscape that Suljo Talovic, the father of the Trolley Square killer, longs for, even as he, his wife and four daughters live an hour away in another town, where he can find intermittent work.
Talovici and its bleak reminders, he said, would suit his life of “shame and sorrow.”
Five years later, the horror inflicted in Salt Lake City by his 18-year-old son continues to shadow Talovic. He has never learned his son’s motive. The FBI and Salt Lake City Police Department issued final reports a year after the massacre, but the answers weren’t there.
Here the man is, just waiting for the FBI to tell him what he already knows — jihad — but our government will give him no satisfaction.
“Only God knows why he did that, but if I could bring back my son and the five people he killed by burying myself alive, I would gladly do it,” said Talovic, 47, his shoulders hunched and eyes filled with tears.
“I keep replaying in my eyes the sadness, the tragedy of the parents of the 15-year-old girl he had killed,” Talovic said, speaking of Kirsten Hinckley, one of the people shot by Sulejman Talovic before police shot him dead.
“We carry on our soul the lost lives of the five people [Sulejman] killed in America.”
One certainly appreciates the man’s uncharacteristic-for-Muslims remorse, but at the same time one must address the family’s typical ’shocked’ reaction to their boy’s actions: I think that if my family and I were Muslim, by now I’d at least partially expect that people around me might start dying, possibly at the hands of at least one relative — especially if, on top of it, I had a problematic son. Further, maybe if Suljo Sr. weren’t fooling himself into believing the “Serbs started it” fiction that Bosnian and Western leaders spawned, he might have had a more objective view o his Bosniak family and expected some signs of aggression, especially given that he himself had been a fighter in the war. But back to blaming the Serbs:
The Talovic family had seen much suffering even before moving to Salt Lake City. They fled Talovici in 1993 as invading Bosnian Serb forces “cleansed’’ eastern and northern Bosnia of Muslims and Croats. The Talovics are Muslim; they and their neighbors hid in the hills and went without food for days at a time. [Here The Tribune neglects to mention that the men weren’t exactly “hiding” in the hills.]
The family, which had already lost an infant son, saw their baby girl die for lack of medicine during the war. They emigrated to Utah in 1998 because other family members had settled there.
Neighbors described them as a generous, devout family, even as they regarded the oldest child, Sulejman, as a loner.
Now wait a second. This is the first we’re hearing that the family was “devout.” In all the 2007 coverage and the 2008 follow-ups at the conclusion of the “inconclusive” investigation, no one ever mentioned that the family were devout. In fact, at the height of the coverage in 2007, the opposite impression was given. As we know, the more pious a Muslim family, the more likelihood for violence.
In the weeks after his son’s rampage, Suljo Talovic thanked Salt Lake City residents for their compassion; donations helped the family travel home to Bosnia to bury their son.
Indeed, at his son’s funeral in Talovici a month after the Trolley Square shootings, Suljo Talovic said he was so touched by Utahns’ support that he would never leave Salt Lake City.
Shame, grief and the never-ending public spotlight, however, led the family to move back to Bosnia in the spring of 2008. […]
So again, the article was written with the perpetrator counted among the victims; the only people mentioned in absolute terms, without sympathy or shades of gray, are Serbs — who weren’t even involved in the story. They’ve again been brought in so as to have an unequivocal villain at whom to direct any outrage. And never mind that Talovic relatives admitted at the time that toddler Talovic was too young during the war and exhibited no scars. (And never mind forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner’s expert assessment.)
One also has to ask: How often after a mass shooting are the parents of the shooter checked in on five years later, to see how they’re doing and generate sympathy for the family of the offender? Off-hand, I can’t think of any. But then, we’re dealing with a Privileged Class in America and the West in general, Muslims. At least this Muslim family had enough shame to leave the country. The same can’t be said of Salt Lake Tribune. I believe the word I used for newspapers like The Tribune and Deseret News is fanaticism.
There were three notable comments at the bottom of the article:
He does [know] his sons motive, dont even believe this guy’s sob story. Suljo is a Bosnian mojahadine fighter, which is anti-american, and his son Sulejman was shouting Allahu Akhar, which is a traditional Jihadist cry of war and Martydom. Sulejman often attended friday prayers at the All Noor Mosque about a block from the shootings. Suljeman was also Rumored to be in the KKK and had a Nazi Swastika tattoo and later cut it off himself. And there is a whole lot more to this story than what is being told, Just stay alert people and dont let your guard down. one thing they are right about. There is sleeper cells amongst us.
“Shame, grief and the never-ending public spotlight, however, led the family to move back to Bosnia in the spring of 2008.”
Good God. So the poor guy flees SLC because of the never-ending public spotlight…and now you’ve tracked him down in Bosnia. Way to go, Trib. Way to go.
Crap like this makes me ashamed to be a member of the media myself.
Why is this on page A1? First we re-live our 10-year-old Olympic glory, now we wallow in our 5-year-old tragedy. Isn’t there any news?
And the three comments below were notable for the totality of the brainwashing that their authors have happily absorbed:
Thanks Tribune. Excellent story. I feel sorry for that man. He doesn’t understand; we don’t understand. That was an extremely sad day for everyone. The victims are resting in peace; and I wish this father can find peace.
Such sorrow crosses the world. There’s no answers for what happened, but the horrors seen by Sulejman Talovic may have evolved into PTSD as he grew up.The shame of his parents caused them to leave their safe haven in Utah.
Maybe our community needs to look at how we embrace others, of different ethnicities, religions, and languages. Look at how young people are treated in schools, if they are different.
AND most importantly, find ways to support mental health issues.
(We already do support Islam.)
It is impossible for me to not feel a strong sense of compassion for the Talovic family. We, who live here, have absolutely NO idea of the horrors families like this go through in their home countries. Then the horror continues when the are almost forced to live elsewhere in the world where they obviously feel ‘different’. We then make it hard for many of these people to feel comfortable. Then, due most likely to mental disorder because of memories and being treated differently, a child goes off the deep end. We blame it all on them, of course, because Americans are so perfect… right? Then the media relentlessly hounds the family into feeling forced to move back to the place where the horrors all began. And now… they can’t even let them alone from thousands of miles away. What must this family, and other families like them, do to find peace? Must we perfect Americans continue to destroy the lives of others for nothing more than our own self-gratification and monetary benefit? We are, in many ways, an absolutely horrid lot.
Yes, I read the story… because it is here and printed. It does re-address my feelings of compassion for the Talovics. BUT… if the story wasn’t here… and wasn’t printed I wouldn’t have missed it or felt a longing to be nosy about how the family is doing. AND the Talovics wouldn’t be feeling invaded about this subject once again. THAT should be the most important thing we could do for them. But alas, the media just can’t allow people to get on with their lives.