When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have… a whole laundry list

Main Street in Nashua

Main Street in Nashua

Nashua, New Hampshire, is one of those cities that has parts that have seen better days, a segment of the population that has substance abuse and welfare dependency issues, and more crime than most of the largely rural state — which is not a lot of crime in absolute terms. Nashua, which nestles along the Massachusetts border, has occasionally cropped up in “best places to live” cities. But the criminal element exists. Some of the locals call it Gnashua for that reason; you can find “gritty, urban” experiences like prostitutes without teeth. But it’s not very funny when the small city (pop. about 87k) is setting a record for murders this year. Last year there was a pretty typical total: one homicide for all of 2012 inside the Nashua limits.

Unlike many riverside mill towns of New England, Nashua managed a transition to high tech center and bedroom community well.

Unlike many riverside mill towns of New England, Nashua managed a transition to high tech center and bedroom community well. So where did all these murders come from? Must be the guns, right?

But this year there’s a murder riot, comparatively. True, it’s not a Chicongo level of mayhem. But at least five, and perhaps as many as seven, Nashuans have assumed ambient temperature — involuntarily — this year. (We told you not Chicongo level. That’s an average summer Saturday night there, as opposed to January 1 through the end of August, inclusive). The number’s not locked down because two suspicious deaths have not been ruled homicides, yet (one almost certainly is, another is doubtful).

Now, New Hampshire has fairly loose gun laws. Anyone who’s not a felon or wife-beater can get a pistol permit that’s good forever, has a one-page application, and costs $10. The very idea is enough to make Massachusetts politicians’ stools go all runny; they have much stricter laws and hundreds of murders annually. They imagine that NH laws must contribute to staggering levels of gun crime. So, let’s look at the seven murders and suspicious deaths in Nashua to date.

# Date Victim Weapon Perp/comments
1 1/19/13 Judith Rolfe, 66 blunt object Duane Rolfe (brother, bipolar, criminal record) http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1010403-469/accused-murderer-found-incompetent-to-stand-trial.html http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1001826-469/nashua-man-accused-of-killing-elderly-sister.html
2 4/25/13 Devon Gould Parr, 2 hand & fist Unique Gould (mother, mentally retarded) http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1012329-469/bail-lowered-for-mom-charged-with-killing.html
3 6/17/13 William Grant, 83 knife Shawn P. Burne (neighbor/burglar, committed suicide by overdose) http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1014025-469/dead-neighbor-blamed-in-june-double-murder.html
4 6/17/13 Eleanor Grant, 78 (Mrs. William) knife same crime as above, same criminal
5 7/13/13 Mary Danboise, 63 knife Dr. Reginald Danboise, DDS (husband, committed suicide by hanging).
6 7/10/13 Alfred J. “Jim” Demeusy, 65 smoke inhalation from fire/ explosion unk, not confirmed homicide http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1010603-469/nashua-police-join-investigation-of-wednesdays-blast.html http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/obituaries/1010674-466/alfred-j.-demeusy.html
7 7/13/13 Christina Hill, 52 not released not released (body found decomposed on incident date). A homeless, mentally ill friend of the decedent is a person of interest in the case. http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1011700-469/authorities-identify-woman-who-was-found-dead.html

So: in one of the easiest locations in America for people to legally gun up, a homicide and questionable-death wave has produced 6 deaths of known cause; in none of the six was a firearm the instrumentality of death. Of the 4 known perps, 2 committed suicide without using a firearm either, one is in pretrial criminal custody and one in mental-illness confinement.

Knife 3, bare hands 1, blunt instrument 1, fire 1, unknown 1, firearm 0 so far.

(Incidentally, for those inclined to count racial beans, all victims and perps on this list are non-Hispanic whites, not surprising giving the city’s demographics, nearly all white).

8 thoughts on “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have… a whole laundry list

    1. Hognose Post author

      Could just be that the body was sufficiently decomposed to be a “challenge” to the ME. Homicide is highly probable as the body had been wrapped; suicides, and people who find accidental deaths, don’t do that.

      My guess is that the fire guy the evidence isn’t clear between accident and suicide, but they’re keeping a slot in the homicide stats open just in case. If I had to pick one or the other I’d say accident, but I don’t know what the investigators have learnt.

  1. Y.

    Yeah, above norm for the place. Gnashua? I went there once to visit a friend, struck me as a nice place to live. Except for the McMansion blight in places.

    US has something like 4.4 per 100k per year, out of which gangbanger gene pool chlorination is roughly half. So these 6 homicides in 8 months per 87k is something like 5-6 times what one should expect..

    There was one fairly colorful neighborhood, west? of the old factory complex.
    Still, just picturesque compared to places like Lunik IX. That ‘hood makes Detroit look well-maintained.

  2. Matt Walker

    It looks like NH doesn’t require a permit to own a handgun, just to carry one concealed. Lotta people do call it a “pistol permit”, though, which doesn’t clarify matters. But here’s one source – late for work, no time to find a better one, mea culpa:


    1. Hognose Post author

      Matt, you’re quite correct. NH does not register firearms nor license their owners, only requires a license for concealed or automobile carry of handguns. That’s the $10 one-page license we refer to. (Auto carry of loaded long guns is illegal, in a perhaps century-old law aimed at game management rather than gun control per se).

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