She was raped in their home! They were tortured for hours. Then murdered! Much as it happened years back (October 15, 2008), I still have that… (for lack of a phrase that would exactly describe how I feel) bad taste in my mouth.
This gruesome ordeal happened to a young interracial couple – Jan Pawel Pietrzak, 24, Polish American and Quiana Jenkins Pietrzak, 26, African American, in their home located near the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (where Pietrzak worked), in Winchester, Carlifornia. The two were newlyweds of like two months … still honeymooners.
Lemme back up a little… paint the horrid picture for you…
Four African American Marines (Lance Cpl. Emrys John of Maryland, Lance Cpl. Kesuan Sykes of California, Pvt. Kevin Darnell Cox of Tennessee, and Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller of North Carolina) -two of whom worked under Pietrzak – force entry into this interracial couple’s home by pointing a short gun at him. After a short battle, they tie and gag the couple. Then these ruthless SOBs rape Jenkins and force the hubby to watch the defilement. Then they torture the couple for a number of hours before putting bullets in both of their heads. Oh! Did I forget to mention EXECUTION STYLE? Then the suspects set the house ablaze to destroy evidence.
Fortunately, the authorities still managed to collect evidence that linked these rogue marines to the murders. Each of the four suspects accused the other three for the rape with three of them ratting out Emrys John as the triggerman who put the young couple out the torture misery by shooting them in the back of their heads.
CNN television news journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell raised the question of the crime being racially motivated. In the report she mentioned: “The four suspects are African-American. The woman who was murdered is African-American. Her husband is white. Is there a racial motive here that authorities are looking into? Because you can’t just say it’s about money when there’s sexual assault.” Despite that, Riverside County authorities maintained that the main motivation was robbery and that the rape and murder (“with special circumstances” they call it), do not necessarily mean the crime was racially motivated.
In early November, 2008, the charges still stood as murder under special circumstances (murder during commission of a felony, murder during commission of a robbery and committing more than one offense) and rape.
Efforts by the media claiming the attack was a race crime bore no fruits. The District Attorney Rod Pacheco kept stressing it was robbery saying: “To burglarize their home and then to treat them in the way they did before they died and to murder them — it’s hard for our minds to comprehend this kind of savagery.”
Lets review some of the facts of the case:
- John posted on his Myspace page the caption “Chillin waitin 4 da killin” just before the killings which shows the murders were premeditated.
- The couple was murdered EXECUTION STYLE.
- On the wall near the couple’s master bedroom and bathroom mirror were graffiti racial remarks “Nigger Lover”.
Isn’t that enough evidence to prove racial motivation? Not according to the prosecutors. In April 2009, even after the above evidence had been presented in court, they still alleged that the motivation was financial… not racial simply because Riverside County investigator Benjamin Ramirez attested to having recovered the couple’s property (bank cards, a bracelet with the couple’s names written in Polish, and Pietrzak’s dress blue uniform) in Miller’s residence and that Miller had carried out other burglaries and home invasions before.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Judith Clark ordered the four defendants to be tried for the murders of the Pietrzaks on August 12, 2009.
But… sad thing – there will never be closure for the families of the slain, knowing too well in their minds that this was all racially motivated and not financial because according to the relatives, they were far from rich. And even if some of their possessions were found at one of the defendants residence, who can’t see he took them because they were useless to the couple dead anyways?
If the justice system that is supposed to protect us refuses to see things for what they really are, choosing to look ONLY at one side of the coin, who is protecting interracial couples then?