cut on the bias

keeping an eye on the spins and weirdness of media, crime and everyday life

Sunday, June 09, 2002

ANOTHER "NICE GUY" KILLS BECAUSE OF BULLYING: Providence, RI, newspaper production worker Carlos Pacheco killed two coworkers and then himself yesterday; his family claims he was endlessly "chided" and "taunted", and co-workers claim the management of the company causes such stress that not only did it cause Pacheco to kill three people including himself, but also caused another employee to commit suicide three years ago.

Management praised Pacheco:

''He was one of the nicest kids I've met,'' [Plant supervisor Bob Varin] said. ''He was a great worker. We never had a problem with him."

Anthony Minucelli, a former co-worker, agreed:

Pacheco, he said, ''didn't bother anybody. It shocked me that it was him.''

The family's characterization of "chiding" and "taunting" doesn't seem to mesh with the "work tension" identified by other workers; perhaps Pacheco personalized a generalized attitude on the part of management, or something else was going on. We'll be find out more, and probably will learn that Pacheco was a gun nut, and someone will conclude that if guns weren't so available, this wouldn't have happened because, after all, Pacheco was a nice guy. But regardless of what is said, the final truth is this: He could have quit the job. He could have made many other choices, none of which involved killing others. He wasn't shooting in physical self-defense. The blame for these deaths rests squarely on his shoulders, no matter what the provocations, no matter what the means.

And Bob Varin is one lucky man.

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