Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What would you do?

The murder scene in South Wales

Marc is a reader from Manchester (in the UK and home to world renowned footie players Manchester United) who has been following the Heroes in the Night blog.

In the comments section of the post previous to this one, he asks how RLSH might respond to a tragic story from Newport (in South Wales) of a pregnant 19 year old who was stabbed and left to die in a burning house. The murderer is still at large.
Marc's original comment follows:

This may seem a little extreme, and I only post it out of pure anger at the story, but I would like to ask what any RLSH would do in response to reading this story....


I feel that it relates to the RLSH community because of the following quote...

‘I can see vigilantes coming in if the police do not find who did this,’ said neighbour Christine Tovey, a mother-of-four. ‘I couldn’t blame them if anyone did.’

I also would not blame them, but how would the RLSH community deal with this?

Marc (and I) would love to hear what RLSHs would do if this terrible crime had happened in your neighborhood in the comments section below. I've posted a link to this entry on therlsh.net forum and on the Heroes in the Night Facebook inviting RLSHs to respond-

How would you deal with this?


  1. I'd like to tell myself I could deal with this (as in solve the crime), but I'd be fooling myself unless some incredible luck was involved. I'd try to find out what I could and pass it on to the police. If the police later identified a suspect and had a description/picture I would post it in the area and ask people to keep an eye out for the guy.

    When you say neighborhood... do I know these people? I would express my condolences and attend the funeral, as well, if that was the case.

    Wish I had a better answer for you.

  2. Marc, Manchester UKFebruary 9, 2011 at 4:36 AM

    Update: The police have arrested a 26 year old man on suspicion of murder. Apparently they removed the front door for forensic analysis. Looks like it paid off.


  3. Marc,

    Condolences for your loss truly, even if but a countryman. There appears with your recent post, that the wheels of justice have made progress. This never resolves the pain having been inflicted, but can help keep faith that crimes are punished, and that good people are kept safe to live their lives in peace.

    Stay well,

  4. Thanks for the condolences Lord Malignance. I never knew the lady, she was Welsh and I'm an Englander. This kind of crime makes me long for real super heroes, or morally ambiguous vigilantes like The Punisher. Maybe if Frank Castle had been in Newport that night the only person who would have died would have been the scum holding the knife.

  5. Well I am not a RLSH but as a RLSV here is what I would have done... absolutely nothing. And look at that the police did their job and found the suspect.

    What the RLSH should have done in this situation is go to a candle light vigil and offer their emotional support to the family and community.

    Going out and looking for the "bad guy" is absolutely stupid and makes you a vigilante who would incite a mob mentality most likely getting an innocent person lynched.

    Stick with charity walks and community out reach "Heroes". Let the professionals do their job.. you are not the Batman.

  6. I agree Poop Knife. You're right about vigilantes taking the law into their own hands and probably getting the wrong person.

    That said, I feel the vigilante in me wanting to do something about the shite I see, hear and read about every day.

    Would I give in to my feelings and do it? No, I wouldn't. That's what the internet is for, to vent that frustration.

    I still don't understand the moniker 'Real Life Super Hero'. Where does 'super' and 'hero' come into it? Forget the costumes for a minute and think about the actual name...what does it mean?

  7. @Marc: My guess? Culture expressing itself, that's pretty much it. Why do some country's militaries/militias/police dress up in some really unique costumes? Have you seen the clown suits Mounties get into sometimes for special occasions? Oh right, you asked not to focus on the costumes...

    Super ... hero ... the saying "Above and beyond the call of duty" comes to mind. Maybe its just a label of an ideal these people aspire to be? Might it be that RLSH are just one possible result of a culture's desire for a mixture of individual expression and responsibility becoming focused on societies short comings? Does that possibly make celebrities, who often are used to using public personas who are not them in private life, who have charitable organizations they focus heavily on bringing attention to RLSH?

  8. Marc,

    A very similar crime (including a fire to conceal evidence) occurred in my city of 100,000 a few years ago when I started out being an RLSH. I patrolled the neighborhood extensively and scoured newspaper articles and the Internet for clues. It remains unsolved and I've been abruptly informed to allow the police to do the police work.

    Which is why I concentrate on humanitarianism now. I had discovered the identity of, and nearly caught other perps before, but the police held the same clues and beat me to it and with a solid case. (Good for them, BTW.)

    I wish my cops would solve this one in my city... It drives me up a wall.

  9. @ Marc: Being upset at the human condition and wanting to improve the world around has been going on since the first caveman got stomped on by a woolie mammoth.

    It just depends on what your personal beliefs, and what your moral code is on how you want to change the world around you.

    To define the RLSH on a whole is impossible... there are way to many unique personalities out there to put them into one category. That is why I believe in a classification system on the 1 to 5 scale.

    The word defining this sub-culture "Super" and "hero" is just silly.... but then again you are talking to a class 3 Meta Villain with a minor degree in super science.

    There is nothing super going on.. and ya know if you ever get called a hero most of the time that happens posthumously.

    I understand the larger picture of the marketing and being a symbol to the community, but it is the wack jobs that think they will solve all the world's problems by going out at night to protect the innocent. RLSH is just a term they are stuck with due to the unfortunate system of labeling.

    @ Canuck Logan: Get a better name... phhhbtttt if you want to play in this sand box you need to evolve. I just looked around my area and "Light Socket Plug" it is even a better name then yours because it is unique (note to self Light Socket Plug would make a great name for a swing band).

    Otherwise I really like your insight on the sub-culture. But I will say a uniform is designed to bring respect and a position of authority to the individual wearing it... well if you are into that kind of thing. I tend to treat all people as individuals clothed or not. It does help to actually be involved in a real area of authority to make an actual impact.... some RLSH members rate even lower then mall cops to me.

    @ Geist: I really like you and think you are neat! I am so going to make you my next RLSH spotlight on my blog, when I get back from vacation.

    You have come a long way, have learned from your mistakes, and are now beginning to walk the path of the hero.

    I still would not mind if you loose the costume but.... you are now using the gimmick correctly so be the symbol of hope for your community and inspire others.... just don't get stuck down any walls ever again... LOL!!!!!

  10. PK -- re: "Going out and looking for the 'bad guy' is absolutely stupid and makes you a vigilante who would incite a mob mentality most likely getting an innocent person lynched."

    Not really. Being observant in the general area of your own neighborhood following a recent murder actually seems... I dunno, kind of like a common sense thing anyone would do.

  11. @Mega Rad: Keeping ones eyes open and knowing who your neighbours are is a personal choice.

    Yeah, if you think the person down the road is a "little strange" by all means tell the authorities. Just don't go out on a witch hunt... for all you know the guy down the road just likes talking to his Garden Gnomes in his yard because it makes him happy.

    It comes down to qualification and representation Look at what the Geist has learned in his experience as a RLSH.

    It is great that you want to help.... but there are only certain levels you can work with normally, let alone walking up in a spandex costume or spray painted hockey armor.

  12. I get your concern, but I do think it's possible to take an informed and responsible proactive approach that's a little bit more than just keeping your eyes open.

    Actually the "keeping your eyes open" way of life seems to risk turning people into pointless meddlers far more than objective investigating as far as I'm concerned.

    People tend to find what they're keeping their eyes open for even when it isn't really there. Or else they get frustrated, lower the standards for what they're looking for, and start hassling teenagers for making too much noise or going after harmless stoners.

  13. Well I believe you already have an informed and responsible proactive approach as stated in your first post. It just depends if you are doing this as your RLSH persona or alter ego?

    Let me rephrase that one as it may have come out wrong. When I said "Keeping ones eyes open" I was defining this more as being more self aware of your surroundings. As I am sure anyone who has moved several times in their lives can relate to what neighborhood relationships are like.

    Like any social outlet your relationship status may vary... sure I like Ole' Chuck but I just wish he did not feel the need to crank up his speedboat engine in his driveway every Saturday morning at 6am. This is more into a personal perspective on what you see and hear around you not being Mrs. Kravitz.

    Not to drift away from the original topic as what a RLSH would do.. and as I already gave my answer. Kinda feel like we are hijacking a topic thread. Shame there is not some forum or message group this could be continued in....