Wilford Hamilton, 61 years old, was probably like most homeless people living on the streets of Pontiac, Michigan-- and the streets of every city in the country-- worried about his safety, but not expecting to be murdered. But on August 21, he was severely beaten by at least two youths and he died four days later at the Pontiac Regional Medical Center.
According to the Oakland County Press, Mr. Wilford was well-known for his friendliness and his signature beret. "Frenchie," as he was affectionately called, was also an artist. The graphic on this page is his self-portrait from the f/k/a blog, which also details other attacks made on homeless people by the same boys that week.
Last week the boys were charged with first degree murder in Mr. Wilford's deathnd are being tried as adults. They attended Jefferson Middle School in Pontiac.
Last year the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness counted 79,940 homeless people in Michigan.
The National Coalition for the Homeless has listed the number of documented (far more are undocumented) attacks on homeless people by the non-homeless from 1999-2006:
Total number of violent acts over 8 years: 614
Total number of deaths over 8 years: 189
Total number of non-lethal attacks over 8 years: 425
Number of cities where crimes occurred over 8 years: 200
Number of states where crimes occurred over 8 years: 44 states plus Puerto Rico
Age ranges of the accused/convicted: from 11 to 75 years of age
Age ranges of the victims: from 4 months old to 74 years of age
Gender of victims: Male: 359 Female: 48
What does it take to stand over a man and beat him to death?