Know your neighbor

October 11, 2013 

Do you know your neighbors?

The people we interviewed who lived near Justin Vangilder in Shiloh said they didn't know him. Had they met him along the street, they might have thought that he was a fine neighbor: a 24-year-old senior airman stationed at Scott Air Force Base who didn't like child molesters.

But prosecutors say a visitor to his duplex discovered that Vangilder had a big secret: He had three pipe bombs in his home and he fantasized about killing the molesters. Thank goodness the visitor didn't keep that to himself.

As despicable as child molesters are, pipe bombs obviously are not a way to deal with them.

"You never know what kind of ideas someone has in their head or what they're planning to do," one of the neighbors commented after Vangilder's arrest.

True enough. But maybe if we all got to know our neighbors better, this sort of thing wouldn't go undetected so easily. More importantly, if you know a neighbor who has that sort of secret, call the authorities.

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