Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

"Because We Care"

Lost among the avalanche of headlines on the government crisis last week was the heartbreaking story of Anjelica Castillo. For 22 years she was known only as “Baby Hope”, and the New York City Police Department continues to piece together the details of her short life and violent death. It’s a story that probes the depths of the human capacity for evil and our equally strong capacity for love – even the love of an unidentified four-year-old child whose decomposed body was found in a blue picnic cooler just below the Henry Hudson Parkway on a sweltering July day in 1991. Two years later, after an investigation in which every lead hit a dead end, the officers of the 34th precinct buried Baby Hope in a Bronx cemetery. “We are her family,” said Jerry Giorgio, the detective leading the investigation. “We are burying our baby.” But they never forgot her. They kept watch over her grave, which had a toll-free number for tips. They kept the investigation open. And this weekend they charged her cousin with rape and murder. No one ever reported Anjelica missing. No one who had seen anything came forward to report it. Even Anjelica’s body revealed no clue of her identity. I don’t think any other species treats its own kind with the malevolent cruelty that marked her life. But I also don’t think any other species has the devotion that drove Giorgio, now 79, and his colleagues all those years. Who else would have named such a child “Hope”?

A Dark Tan in an Empty Suit

White, Black and the Blues