Posted BY: Jan Yager

Unfortunately, I know firsthand what secondary victims of homicide deal with since my 23-year-old brother, Seth Alan Barkas, died from the injuries caused by a stabbing during a mugging several days before by a teenage gang. I was 20 years old at the time and majoring in fine arts at Hofstra University.  I know it sounds naïve, but back then, before the Internet and social media, I thought violent crimes like that only happened to other families, not to my upper-middle-class family with a dentist father and a kindergarten teacher mother. Seth was an aspiring playwright, film critic for Baltimore magazine, and freelance theater critic for a major national theatre newspaper. It was on his way home from reviewing an off-off-Broadway play that the stabbing occurred in Manhattan’s East Village.

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There is such widespread coverage of crime today that it is hard to remember a time when there was maybe just a brief mention in a newspaper if. Crime victimization was not played out in the public eye the way it is today. Today, few are unaware of the tragic stabbings of four college students in Moscow, Idaho on November 13, 2022, the weeks of fear and conjecture that followed, and the arrest of the alleged suspect, who is in jail awaiting his next court appearance in six months.

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