Monday, January 26, 2009

Profiles in Crime: Murderers of the Week, Bay City Electric Light & Power

If there really is a hell, I hope to the goddess above that the "people" who turned out the lights and life on this 93-year old man burn in the Ninth Circle.

WWII Veteran Freezes To Death In Own Home

Bay City Electric & Light Restricted Power To Man's Home After Not Paying Bills
POSTED: 2:20 pm EST January 26, 2009
UPDATED: 6:33 pm EST January 26, 2009

Officials in central Michigan say a 93-year-old man who owned more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills froze to death inside his home -- where the municipal power company had restricted his use of electricity.

Neighbors and friends of Marvin Schur want answers as to how this could happen.

“Now that we do know it was hypothermia, there’s a whole bunch of feelings that I’ve got going through me,” said Jim Herndon, a neighbor of Schur’s. “There’s anger, for the city and the electrical company.”Bay City officials said changes are on the way in an attempt to not let another instance like this happen again.
An autopsy determined Schur, 93, died from hypothermia in the home he lived in for years.

Bay City Electric Light and Power sent Schur a shutoff notice through the mail a few weeks ago.Then crews placed a shutoff notice on his front door. A few days later, Schur was found by neighbors.

Bay City Electric Light and Power, which is owned by the city, said a limiter was placed on Schur’s electrical line.

The device limits the power that reaches a home, and it blows out like a fuse if power consumption rises past a set level.The manager of Bay City said the limiter was tripped sometime between the time of installation and the discovery of the man's body.

The city manager said city workers keep the limiter on a house for 10 days, then shut off power entirely if the homeowner hasn't paid utility bills or arranged to do so.A medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Schur told TV5 and that Schur died a painful death due to the hypothermia.

Dr. Kanu Varani has done hundreds of autopsies, and he said he’d never seen a person die of hypothermia indoors.

A neighbor who lives across the street from Schur is angered that the city didn’t personally notify the elderly man about his utility situation.

Schur’s neighbor, Herndon, said Schur had a utility bill on his kitchen table with a large amount of money clipped to it, with the intention of paying that bill.Right now the city said the situation is still under investigation. Marvin Schur was a World War II veteran.A memorial service for him will take place Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at the Gephart Funeral Home in Bay City.

There can be no excuse for this whatsoever. I am from the Midwest. I know how cold it gets this time of the year. They had to know what the consequences would be of turning off this man's power in near zero temperatures, with the kind of wind and snow ripping through that area in late January. This man suffered terribly and died a slow and sad to say painful death, probably taking hours to succumb to the elements inside of his own house. In any other setting, this would be prosecutable, the defendants (in this case, the city government) arrested, thrown in jail and, in a death penalty state, sent to the poison needle room. In today's society, of course, such punishment is only reserved for people too stupid or poor to afford real attorneys, or lucky enough to have the sponsorship of the state when murdering its elderly citizens, not the least a man who served this country in World War Two.

Rest in peace, Marvin Schur. You deserved a country that rewarded your service with some modicum of respect.

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