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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today on CNN the story of the Hill family has been repeated over and over as they are going to have a feature special on their case tonight.
Below is news of the incident with multiple links telling their tale...

A Murder Shakes Confidence in New Orleans

by David Koen

Helen Hill and her husband Paul Gailiunas returned to New Orleans last summer. Family Photo

Morning Edition, January 11, 2007 · Filmmaker Helen Hill was murdered in New Orleans last week. Her death has undermined hope for the city's future. David Koen, a writer, attorney and her friend, attended her funeral Wednesday.

My dear friend Helen Hill has left the city she loved.

Last week, Helen was shot and killed by an intruder. Her husband Paul huddled over their young son, saving his life, while the gunman fired bullet after bullet into him.

Helen was emblematic of New Orleans — a radiant bundle of energy, creativity and good cheer.

She was an award-winning filmmaker. Paul joked that he was probably the only doctor ever supported by an artist spouse. Before Katrina, he ran the Little Doctor's Neighborhood Clinic in Treme, an old Creole neighborhood. He served anyone who walked in the door.

He and Helen made a genuine commitment to New Orleans and its people — to take care of the poor, to put a little sparkle in someone's day.

Their house took on four feet of water in Katrina. They spent a year in exile in South Carolina. Paul had had it with New Orleans, with the violence and the terrible neglect that drowned the city. But Helen needed New Orleans, and New Orleans needed her.

Last summer, Paul, Helen, and their son came back to town. Last week, I stood in front of their home, before the altar that has grown by the front steps. Dozens of candles, bouquets and handwritten notes lined the walk.

I can't tell you how guilty I feel. I had repeatedly told Paul the violence of New Orleans was nothing to be scared of. Now Helen is gone, and Paul probably is out of here for good.

I found an old e-mail from Helen, written a week after Hurricane Katrina: "There's no other place I can imagine being... but what will New Orleans be like now?"

Helen, I'll tell you what it's like. Our friends are cowering in their homes, and they're asking themselves these questions: Should I get a gun? Should I get a dog? Should I leave New Orleans?

Because I've got to tell you, Helen, your death feels like the final straw.

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, the federal government left us to die like dogs in front of the Superdome and the Convention Center. Hundreds of thousands of people are still not back in their homes, partly because the state hasn't given out all the grant money to rebuild. We still don't have Category 5 hurricane levee protection.

There are signs everywhere that used to state, "Thou Shalt Not Kill." Now they've been reduced to the shorthand, "Enough!" New Orleans is dying, ya'll. Helen, do you think anyone is listening?

The story with audio can be found at;
Marigny victims worked to leave mark on city
Saturday, January 06, 2007
By Brendan McCarthy

After the flood, Helen Hill ached to return to her adopted city.

Her husband, Paul Gailiunas, resisted. The storm had destroyed the health clinic he co-founded in the Treme neighborhood to serve the city's poor. Gailiunas, a doctor, fretted about the quality of the air and water, and of life in general, for the couple and their baby son, Francis. Hill's parents in South Carolina, where the couple had retreated in exile, worried, too. They had seen the destruction on television.

"But she had New Orleans in her heart and imagination," her stepfather, Kevin Lewis, said Friday, a day after Hill was shot dead and her husband wounded inside their Marigny home. "She was idealistic. She wanted her family and her creative life fulfilled here."

Without telling Gailiunas, Hill recruited her friends in New Orleans to help put the hard sell on her husband. She mailed them dozens of self-addressed postcards telling them to mail them back to Gailiunas, calling him back home.

It worked: They returned on Aug. 28, settling into half of a white double shotgun home in Faubourg Marigny, on higher ground than their flooded home in Mid-City.

That decision proved fatal. Four months later, shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday, Hill died of a gunshot to the neck inside her home, where police would also find her husband, shot three times, clutching 2-year-old Francis near the couple's front door.

On Friday, as the couple's home turned into a spontaneous memorial and a gathering place for grieving friends, Gailiunas had taken the baby to a safe, quiet place out of the city, friends and family said. Meanwhile, new details emerged in the killing.

Officers had been working a bizarre burglary call at a bed-and-breakfast nearby when they heard loud noises -- apparently, the gunshots -- and soon got a call from dispatch. Four officers bolted out of the bed-and-breakfast toward the couple's home, said the owner of the guest house, who asked that his name not be used.

New Orleans police confirmed the nearby investigation, in which officers responded to reports of an armed man breaking into the bed-and-breakfast and knocking on guests' doors. The gunman apparently fled after a guest heard knocking in an interior hallway and opened her door to see a man with a gun standing in the hall, said the co-owner of the guest house. But detectives don't know if the incident is linked to the shooting, said Lt. Joe Meisch, commander of the homicide division...

The complete article can be found at;
Additonal news stories and reading about this sad case and the Hill family can be found at:
* Obituary -,,2022186,00.html
* Memorial website listing news & blog references -
* Wiki entry -

- Janq

Lessons Learned:
No where is safe, not even your home. Period, even if you don't's the plain as your face having skin on it truth.
Further NOLA is having problems right now with as reported by CNN murder at a count of 60, today, when last year they had 160 murders and that had doubled as a result of post Katrina mayhem.
Further, we Gunatics are IIRC 100% male. Some of us are married and others have children. It is our job as men, morality aside, to take care of and do best by our wives and children. That's just the way it is, like it or not.
Sometimes you just have to put your foot down and say no. No to your wife. Not to her well meaning friends and even yours. No even to your own dreams or fantasies. No if and when saying yes exposes you, yours, and your children to undue and real danger. Mortal danger. It's one thing to live in an area that goes to shit and be financially unable to move away. But to actually go into fire, knowingly and on purpose...with your wife and child (?).
That's just the way it is, like it or not.

"...She had New Orleans in her heart and imagination...She was idealistic. She wanted her family and her creative life fulfilled here." - Kevin Lewis, Helen Hill's stepfather

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3,136 Posts
thats a damn shame

but janq is right - sometimes my wifey doesnt see it that if it doesnt fit her ideal convience, but she knows where i would be if SHTF
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