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Old 12-15-05, 09:44 AM   #1
billh
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Court Documents: Man On Bike Slain For Fun

http://www.thekansascitychannel.com/...17/detail.html

Court Documents: Man On Bike Slain For Fun
Police Seek 'Person Of Interest' In Homicide
POSTED: 10:55 am CST November 23, 2005
UPDATED: 5:38 pm CST November 23, 2005
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man shot to death while riding his bike home from work early Sunday morning was apparently killed for fun, court documents reveal.
Rapheal L. Willis, 19, was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Robert W. Osborn, 43. Willis made his first court appearance Wednesday.
Osborn was on his way home from work at an Independence grocery store when he was shot near 47th Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard.
According to court documents, Willis told detectives that he was with another man and that his friend said he was bored and wanted to kill someone.
The two drove around the area of Highway 40 and Noland Road. About 5:15 a.m., the pair saw a woman driving by herself and Willis told investigators that he and his friend came up with a plan to rob and kill her, but then they saw Osborn riding his bike near 47th Street and Norfleet.
Willis said they stopped the car on the side of the road and fired one shot at Osborn with a 12-gauge shotgun. The shot missed Osborn. Willis told detectives that they drove a little bit further, stopped and his friend again fired at Osborn, but missed him.
The pair then drove ahead of Osborn and parked the car behind a building. Willis said his friend got out and stood behind a tree and when Osborn passed, the man opened fire, hitting Osborn in the back of the head.
Willis said his friend went up to Osborn and kicked him with his foot. When he got no response, they jumped in the car and left.
Investigators said it's possible Osborn didn't hear the first two shots because he was wearing headgear.
"You're relieved at that, but then when you do find out that it was strictly random -- I understand that they were just looking to kill someone -- that is just devastating," said Ron Osborn, the victim's brother.
Friends and coworkers told KMBC's Peggy Breit that they're not surprised this was a random shooting.
"I kind of knew it from the beginning because if you knew him, there's just no way you would ever do anything to hurt that guy," said Paul Hoppman, manager of the Hy-Vee where Robert Osborn worked.
Police are looking for a person of interest in the case: 20-year-old Fabian Brown, of Kansas City. Officials said Brown is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-8477.
Meanwhile, Willis is being held without bond. He is due back in court next month.
Previous Stories:
November 22, 2005: Victim's Brother Wants Answers After Shooting
November 21, 2005: Man On Bicycle Shot To Death
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Old 12-15-05, 10:05 AM   #2
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Any news article that describes people killing other people as a way to combat boredom passes beyond the limits of cycling discussion. My faith in humanity erodes considerably whenever I read stories such as this (stories that seem to be all too common in the news these days).

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Old 12-15-05, 10:06 AM   #3
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Thanks for the update on this.

Naturally this is a tragic event but can we not have the usual debate about how this was a cycling related incident. I appreciate that it was a cyclists that was murdered but the killers weren't looking for a bicycle rider and would have killed anyone.

Much as we may not like to admit it, even cyclists can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Old 12-15-05, 10:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Seldom Kill
Thanks for the update on this.

Naturally this is a tragic event but can we not have the usual debate about how this was a cycling related incident. I appreciate that it was a cyclists that was murdered but the killers weren't looking for a bicycle rider and would have killed anyone.

Much as we may not like to admit it, even cyclists can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Of course it was a cycling related incident. The cyclist was shot and killed. He was on a bicycle, that makes it a cycling related incident. Would you like everyone to say that the bike rider was on a horse instead?
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Old 12-15-05, 10:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billh
The two drove around the area of Highway 40 and Noland Road. About 5:15 a.m., the pair saw a woman driving by herself and Willis told investigators that he and his friend came up with a plan to rob and kill her, but then they saw Osborn riding his bike near 47th Street and Norfleet.
Willis said they stopped the car on the side of the road and fired one shot at Osborn with a 12-gauge shotgun. The shot missed Osborn. Willis told detectives that they drove a little bit further, stopped and his friend again fired at Osborn, but missed him.
The pair then drove ahead of Osborn and parked the car behind a building. Willis said his friend got out and stood behind a tree and when Osborn passed, the man opened fire, hitting Osborn in the back of the head.
Willis said his friend went up to Osborn and kicked him with his foot. When he got no response, they jumped in the car and left.
Investigators said it's possible Osborn didn't hear the first two shots because he was wearing headgear.
5am this guy gets shot at with a 12 gauge and doesn't hear it keeps riding gets shot at again, doesn't hear it or notice this same vechicle passing him again, then gets shot and killed...

that sounds kind of strange if you ask me
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Old 12-15-05, 10:56 AM   #6
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This is a follow-up on a previous account. The motive was unclear as to why the cyclist was murdered. This post tied up those loose ends.

There were some who, when they first read about this, speculated about why a cyclist would be targeted.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:34 AM   #7
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I would argue that there are many who view cyclists as less than human. How else could someone justify such a senseless killing. It's the same thought process that allows motorists to edge cyclists off the road or graze them with their mirrors when they perceive we are delaying them. Yes, there is a difference between passing closely and pulling the trigger on a shotgun, but both actions are on the same continuum.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
Of course it was a cycling related incident. The cyclist was shot and killed. He was on a bicycle, that makes it a cycling related incident. Would you like everyone to say that the bike rider was on a horse instead?
The fact that the victim was riding a bicycle is not especially relevent (if it is relevent at all it is only as a detail). If he had been riding a horse nobody would characterize it as a horse-related incident.

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Old 12-15-05, 11:39 AM   #9
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What galls me is that this was not only a random killing, it was HUNTING. And I don't think cyclists are in season.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treespeed
I would argue that there are many who view cyclists as less than human. How else could someone justify such a senseless killing. It's the same thought process that allows motorists to edge cyclists off the road or graze them with their mirrors when they perceive we are delaying them. Yes, there is a difference between passing closely and pulling the trigger on a shotgun, but both actions are on the same continuum.
These perps wanted to kill someone. They didn't set out to kill a cyclist but when one appeared, he was an easy target. To compare this reprehensible act to everyday cycling issues is ridiculous.

As an aside, I don't disagree with you that some motorists don't treat cyclists with the respect that we deserve as human beings. However, I see no reason to use this case of random, senseless violence (would the word "evil" be too strong?) as a talking point.

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Old 12-15-05, 11:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jalopy
To compare this reprehensible act to everyday cycling issues is ridiculous.
more so it lessens the degree of how truly heinous an act this was.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalopy
The fact that the victim was riding a bicycle is not especially relevent (if it is relevent at all it is only as a detail). If he had been riding a horse nobody would characterize it as a horse-related incident.

Jalopy
I expect that if this happened to a horse rider, that equestrian forums would be abuzz about it.

From the article, it appears that the cyclist was targeted because he was a cyclist. The suspect apparently told investigators that they changed their original plans when they spotted the cyclist. Apparently, in the minds of the killers, the cyclist was a more vulnerable/less risky target than another motorist.

The incident certainly raises cycling related issues. For one, there's the obvious question of how to avoid becoming the victim. Whether this is done by route selection, riding with others, or using alternate transportation at certain times of the day, there are probably steps that can be taken to reduce one's chances of becoming a victim of even random violence. Second, there's the issue about the headphones. Since the killers apparently fired three shots over what appears to be several minutes, it seems that the cyclist was unaware of the danger or he would have taken evasive action. While this may be an extreme example, it certainly appears that the cyclist was unaware of the situation around him.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Seldom Kill
Thanks for the update on this.

Naturally this is a tragic event but can we not have the usual debate about how this was a cycling related incident. I appreciate that it was a cyclists that was murdered but the killers weren't looking for a bicycle rider and would have killed anyone.

Much as we may not like to admit it, even cyclists can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I think there's an argument to be made that he died because he was a cyclist. After all, they had chosen a different target, but changed their minds when they got the opportunity to go after a cyclist instead...


That said, this incident obviously point up larger issues: there's some serious devaluing of human life going on in our culture, and cyclists aren't the only ones suffering as a result. I'm not going to speculate about exactly what causes that devaluation, because doing so is likely to get this thread moved to politics
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Old 12-15-05, 12:09 PM   #14
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I think there's an argument to be made that he died because he was a cyclist. After all, they had chosen a different target, but changed their minds when they got the opportunity to go after a cyclist instead...
i agree. it seems they found a "better" target (i.e. more fun for them) when the cyclist went by. but, who can say it wouldn't have been the same if he was jogging or rollerblading. basically the guy was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

it's just sick no matter how you look at it.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:14 PM   #15
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could someone post a link to previous thread on this topic, couldn't find it in searching KC, shot, etc.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by supcom
From the article, it appears that the cyclist was targeted because he was a cyclist. The suspect apparently told investigators that they changed their original plans when they spotted the cyclist. Apparently, in the minds of the killers, the cyclist was a more vulnerable/less risky target than another motorist.
I'll agree with the second and third sentences in your statement. However, I think it may be a jump to say he was targeted because he was a cyclist. It seems that he was simply an easier target (like you said). I could be wrong, of course since I have trouble reading the minds of deranged criminals, but the point I was making was that there is no connection between motorists' aggression against cyclists and this kind of act.


Quote:
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could someone post a link to previous thread on this topic, couldn't find it in searching KC, shot, etc.
I think this is it... Bicyclist Shot To Death Just For Fun

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Old 12-15-05, 12:44 PM   #17
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I think there's an argument to be made that he died because he was a cyclist.
Some people with theories to prove may want to see it that way....

"Look, a cyclist!! Man, I hate those guys, always wearing spandex!! But I loves me SUV...but those cyclist are always in the way!! Pollute I say!!! Oil!! Kill the cyclists...I know those coppers won't prosecute...they never do!!"

Maybe not........
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Old 12-15-05, 04:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treespeed
I would argue that there are many who view cyclists as less than human. How else could someone justify such a senseless killing. It's the same thought process that allows motorists to edge cyclists off the road or graze them with their mirrors when they perceive we are delaying them. Yes, there is a difference between passing closely and pulling the trigger on a shotgun, but both actions are on the same continuum.
Very true. It is all part of 'dehumanizing the other'. In this case, the other is a cyclist and the dehumanization makes it easier to do things to them that you would not do to someone you considered fully human.
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Old 12-15-05, 04:27 PM   #19
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In this case, the other is a cyclist and the dehumanization makes it easier to do things to them that you would not do to someone you considered fully human.
Nonsense. These punks were looking for someone to kill. The fact that the victim was on a bicycle just made him a easier target. As I replied to Treespeed, it's true that some motorists don't look at cyclists as human beings, but let's not use this tragedy to try to make that point. It just isn't there.

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Old 12-15-05, 07:07 PM   #20
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One could argue that some of the cycling related violence is done for fun and nothing else. People I know have had bottles chucked at them in some "bad" areas. One person I know almost had a metal folding chair chucked at him in a bad area for "fun." The point being not that this is cycling related issue, but there is a strong American cultural proclivity to engage in violence for fun. We do have to watch out for that, as cyclists are an easy target. The only thing which made this unique was that these people would have taken out a car driver for fun. That is less common.
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Old 12-15-05, 08:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalopy
Nonsense. These punks were looking for someone to kill. The fact that the victim was on a bicycle just made him a easier target. As I replied to Treespeed, it's true that some motorists don't look at cyclists as human beings, but let's not use this tragedy to try to make that point. It just isn't there.

Jalopy
I wasn't talking about this particular tragedy. I was talking to how the process of dehumanizing others who are different from the norm happens (and lets face it, in the U.S, cyclists on the road are not the norm). However, Treespeed made a good point, as far fetched as it seems, it is all on a continuum. In order to harm another, you have to dehumanize them first.
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Old 12-16-05, 12:03 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jalopy
Any news article that describes people killing other people as a way to combat boredom passes beyond the limits of cycling discussion. My faith in humanity erodes considerably whenever I read stories such as this (stories that seem to be all too common in the news these days).

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Old 12-16-05, 12:33 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
...

The incident certainly raises cycling related issues. For one, there's the obvious question of how to avoid becoming the victim. Whether this is done by route selection, riding with others, or using alternate transportation at certain times of the day, there are probably steps that can be taken to reduce one's chances of becoming a victim of even random violence. Second, there's the issue about the headphones. Since the killers apparently fired three shots over what appears to be several minutes, it seems that the cyclist was unaware of the danger or he would have taken evasive action. While this may be an extreme example, it certainly appears that the cyclist was unaware of the situation around him.
Seriously. To a large extent, situational awareness is safety. Leaving the headphones off in traffic is a good idea. Using a mirror (which might also have helped this poor guy) is a great idea. Paying as much attention as possible to everything going on around you is the good idea.
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Old 12-16-05, 05:43 AM   #24
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Tookie-fy their azzes.
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Old 12-16-05, 06:12 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
Of course it was a cycling related incident. The cyclist was shot and killed. He was on a bicycle, that makes it a cycling related incident. Would you like everyone to say that the bike rider was on a horse instead?
It's not a cycling related incident because riding a bike wasn't the reason he was murdered. He was murdered most simply because he was there and it was easier to shoot him than for the killer to carry out their original plan. I really doubt that it would have made a difference what he was doing.
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