- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2007

Noble: MaryAnn Szatkowski, the good Samaritan who was murdered this week while helping an elderly neighbor.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Szatkowski told her husband, Edward, that she planned to help clean up the house of a hospitalized neighbor. She was known around her Chicago neighborhood for doing such things. But when Mr. Szatkowski returned from work late that evening, his wife was suspiciously absent. Just down the block, shortly before midnight, a fire engulfed two houses; inside one was Mrs. Szatkowski.

The medical examiner has confirmed that Mrs. Szatkowski was strangled to death before the house caught fire. So far, police have yet to make any arrests in the murder and they are still investigating the cause of the fire. The residents of the other burned house escaped to safety.

A distraught Mr. Szatkowski mourned the loss of his wife of 30 years on Wednesday. Surely the rest of the neighborhood mourns with him.

Good Samaritans like Mrs. Szatkowski are few and far between. She deserves posthumous acknowledgment for her good deeds.

For taking care of her elderly neighbors, MaryAnn Szatkowski is the Noble of the week.

Knave: Cheryl Rousseau, who filed a false police report claiming that a bus hit her stroller and injured her child.

After a string of pedestrian deaths involving Metrobuses, D.C. residents were shocked in February after learning of a heart-wretching accident: A bus struck the stroller Miss Rousseau was pushing, knocking her 3-year-old daughter to the ground.

This week the truth surfaced: Miss Rousseau had lied. On Wednesday, Miss Rousseau was arrested by Metro officers after an investigation determined that the accident never happened. In the wake of so many Metro-related tragedies, perhaps Miss Rousseau expected to receive some sort of payout for the accident.

Whatever inspired Miss Rousseau to fabricate the story, she deserves whatever punishment is meted out. This is a case of “the boy who cried wolf” and does a serious disservice to those who were actually injured, whether at the hands of Metro ineptitude or errant pedestrians and motorists. Public transit was criticized harshly, and rightly so, for the accidents. But this stunt only discredits the honest citizens who were injured.

For “crying wolf,” Cheryl Rousseau is the Knave of the week.

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