My Unpopular Opinion On The Seminole Heights Serial Killer

“Warren said that there is no evidence that Howell Donaldson suffers from mental illness.”

“We want the prosecutor to make it known if people want to do the same thing they will get charged with the highest possible,” Casimar Naiboa said. “We don’t want Tampa to become, Hillsborough County to become, a serial killer friendly town.”

[News Article Here]

I’m sorry, but you cannot tell me that a serial killer doesn’t have a mental illness disorder. You cannot tell me that someone who randomly killed people isn’t sick in the head. Let me tell you about a guy who was going around killing people a couple of cities over from where I live. A guy who was caught in a McDonald’s in Tampa’s biggest party city. The Seminole Heights Serial Killer.

A young black man, an older black man, a middle-aged Hispanic man, and a white woman were murdered in the streets. Just shot in cold blood. If it was all white dudes, I would be like okay this guy is angry. If it was all women, okay that’s normal for serial killers. But this is so random. That was the first thing that made me think, “Okay, this dude is nuts. He’s just finding easy targets at bus stops or at night on the street.” Right? Isn’t that what everyone was thinking?

And he handed his gun over. Saying he didn’t do it to the McDonald’s manager but here’s my gun. Maybe so he wouldn’t get caught with it, I don’t know. But it wasn’t something a sane person would do. A rational person, first of all, wouldn’t have randomly killed four people in the street, but they also would have ditched the evidence. He even had blood-stained clothes in his car, like people wash clothes. People burn clothes that are in crimes. Is he just dumb? I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that at all.

And now they want to kill him. Why are we so okay with discarding human lives? Yeah, I get he murdered people. And that’s like one of the main things you’re not supposed to do. We can’t just let people go around murdering people without consequences. I get that. I think that people who do something wrong should be punished, absolutely. But I don’t believe that every soul that commits a heinous crime is a lost cause.

I’m talking rapists, serial killers, pedophiles, child abusers, all of those people that make you sick to your stomach. I’m a woman, I have outrageous emotions towards rapists. I am also equally outraged by how sentences are carried out for the proven guilty. But do I want them to be hung by their toenails in the middle of downtown? Nope. I want them in facilities that teach them how to control impulses, how to treat other humans, learn empathy, become less power hungry, and fix the underlying issues that cause them to traumatize other people.

Do I think that every single serial killer can get help? Nope. Do I believe that everyone in jail will come out better if we improve the focus on mental health? Absolutely not. I don’t believe in absolutes for the most part. But what I do believe is that we are not trying even a little bit.

“We don’t believe he has a mental illness, so we are going to kill him to show what happens when you’re a murderer in our town.”

This is such a primitive mindset that I cannot believe people are standing behind. Stop throwing our people away. We are hurt, we are damaged, we are broken. For a lot of us, we didn’t make us this way. We just have to figure out how to deal with it. This dude couldn’t. His reality wasn’t the one we live in. I truly believe that.


And I’m going to get out of my comfort zone really quick. I’m going to appear as a butthurt for someone else self-proclaimed superior white feminist. I don’t really feel comfortable talking about race issues so much because I haven’t experienced the negative side effects of being not white. I don’t feel like it’s my place to speak for people going through something I’ll never understand. However, it feels wrong to see something that I believe might be unjust and not say anything. Would this dude potentially be on death row if he was white? A female? Older? I don’t know, but it’s just a question I have asked myself while this case has unfolded. Like, the Unabomber is still alive. He avoided the death sentence by pleading guilty, it was this whole thing. Maybe that could happen here, I don’t know this kid’s lawyer. But I just can’t help but wonder if circumstances would be different if the alleged murderer was different.


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