- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 2, 2001

The capture on Thursday of suspected mass murderer Kikolay Soltys reflected the best in law enforcement and in citizen cooperation with the police. A 10-day ordeal is over for the members of Ukrainian and Russian communities in the Sacramento area of California, who had lived with the fear of a mad killer. As they now try to come to grips with the awful crimes committed in their midst, at least they have the satisfaction of knowing they themselves helped bring an end to the nightmare.

What happened is remarkable for several reasons. Immigrant communities, like the one in Sacramento, often find it hard to trust police officers enough to offer their cooperation. Carrying the scars of oppression or secret police brutality from their country of origin, they understandably tend to be highly mistrustful of police authority. They also tend to close ranks against outsiders in defense of their own.

This time, however, was different. The actions of the suspected killer were so atrocious and his instincts obviously so dangerous, that eventually his own brother turned him in. Furthermore, religious leaders had taken the step of asking the entire congregation at the funeral for the victims to pledge their support for the police, a gesture which ensured that indeed the killer had nowhere to go. In the end, he was captured hiding under a desk in his mother's garden, filthy, disshevelled, animal-like.

As to why anyone would commit such actions of savagery against six members of his own family including children, infants and an unborn child is beyond normal human beings to understand. What we can appreciate, though, is the goodness of spirit that brought the people of his town together to corner the evil in their midst.


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