By Scott Tibbs, January 23, 2004
Lionel Tate, who savagely beat Tiffany Eunick to death, was released from jail yesterday. (This brutal murder has been unfairly blamed on World Wrestling Entertainment.) Tate, 18, has the rest of his life ahead of him. The little girl he kicked, punched and stomped to death will never have that chance, and her family continues to grieve.
As bad as it is that this monster is free to kill again, the smirk on his face is sickening.
Update: January 24, 2004
Follow up from a post yesterday: I'm more than a little tired of watching professional wrestling take the blame for the brutal murder of a 6-year-old girl by Lionel Tate.
The severity of the "violence" in the wrestling ring is well below the shootings, killings, etc. in a movie by Jena-Claude Van Damme or Steven Segal. But nobody would use a "Segal" defense the way this kid's slimy lawyer used the "wrestling" defense. That's because professional wrestling ("lowbrow" entertainment) is an easy target, a convenient scapegoat. Critics of World Wrestling Entertainment ignore the fact that Tiffany's injuries were as bad as what she would have sustained in a car crash. This was not play-wrestling. This was a brutal beating. Swinging a 6-year-old girl into a set of metal stairs, then jumping on her from three stairs up are not wrestling moves.
But it's WWE's fault. I suppose it doesn't matter that Lionel Tate changed his story more than once on what happened? That his slimy lawyer came on the "wrestling defense" after the first couple "explanations" were tossed aside?
So why don't we blame the NFL? The violence in an NFL game is real, not scripted. Unlike professional wrestlers, some NFL players have admitted to trying to hurt other players on every play. What about flagrant fouls in the NBA, or fighting in the NHL? That isn't scripted violence that is "sold" by the person on the receiving end, it is real.
WWE critics are scapegoating pro wrestling for the actions of a little monster and the non-actions of his "mother", a HIGHWAY PATROL officer who allowed a brutal murder to happen in her own home while she was there. Why did this witch leave her son with the little girl, if he was having a hard time separating fantasy from reality? Why did she yell downstairs to Lionel & Tiffany to "be quiet" while the brutal beating was going on, instead of investigating the noise? She should have been charged for negligence. At the very least, she should have been fired from her job, because she clearly doesn't have what it takes to be a highway patrol officer.
But it's not her fault for leaving her child unattended and it's certainly not her fault for not actually being a parent and monitoring what her child watches on television. It's Vince McMahon's fault.