The Crime the Hassidim Call “Cataclysm”

Written by Bette Dewing on . Posted in Dewing Things Better, Our Town.


Maybe the logo of this column should include the words, “desperately seeking.” Desperately seeking national conversations on nights out against crime, including the traffic kind.
Of course, the primary national conversation should be against violent crime, above all. And there’s the desperate need for media to give priority coverage to every murder regardless of age or life position. Also, the Hassidim’s view that the murder of innocents is “cataclysm.” must be universally adopted.
And that’s how it was in the robbing and shooting death of 64 year-old Paul Setteducato whose rent collection job had him working at night in Flatbush. But, to my knowledge, only the Daily News gave this cataclysmic crime any coverage, and then only on page 16, with the too casual title,”Gramps Robbed & Slain.”
So it’s the coverage, the coverage, the coverage, that’s needed, including follow up on the ongoing suffering of Setteducato’s wife, “too distraught to speak,” and his three bereft adult daughters. And all his grieving brother could say was what a “beautiful man” Paul Setteducato was.
But those who so savagely, and let’s not forget, sinfully, inflict such terrible suffering and loss, should get little attention, other than an all-out effort to apprehend them (as they do, say, for abducted children) and bring them to swift and rightful justice. At this writing, no media word of the apprehension of this beloved family man’s killer or killers. But will it make the news when and if it happens? Ah, that is the question, and the problem when the victim is not a child or well-known individual.
Ironically, this good man’s so wrongful death occurred on the 30th anniversary of the National Night Out Against Crime. I went to the 19th Precinct’s event located in idyllic Carl Schurz Park. But of all the East Side elected officials, only Assemblyman Micah Kellner had a table of anti-crime information and crime-fighting whistles. And that took some courage, what with his being under the shadow of some sexual harassment allegations. I spoke at length with his chief aide, Tony Morenzi, about traffic threats still unsolved after all these years. On a personal safety note, Tony wished his mother wasn’t reluctant to use a walker, and was happy to see mine, which is especially needed in a crowded gathering. Indeed, consciousness among the able-bodied needs raising about these ever more commonplace vulnerabilities.
I so wished for more crime-fighting and crime-prevention talk from the podium where mostly a five-piece band held forth and rather deterred any type conversation. Maybe unplug the music next year?
But above all, media must give priority coverage to every case of, again, the crime the Hassidim so rightfully call, “a cataclysm” And we must never forget Paul Setteducato and his family.

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