Good Samaritan’s Death Will Make You Re-Think Helping Others

minneapolis This one will twist your heart. You know the saying, 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'? Sure you do. It's a truism everyone knows but few of us practice 100 percent of the time when it comes to living our daily lives. Minneapolis resident Thomas Sonnenberg, a nearly 70-year-old man, did. He believed in helping his neighbors. And it was doing this that got him killed. If there's a moral to this story, it's a deeply depressing one. 

But you don't have to be a saint to put yourselves in Sonnenberg's shoes. He was at home minding his own business when a neighbor came frantically banging on his door. He pleaded to be let inside the locked house because, he claimed, someone was trying to kill him. Even with a load of city smarts, if someone claims they are being chased by a murderer -- most of us would have let this man inside. Which would have been a mistake. 

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That's because the frantic neighbor was 20-year-old Devon Parker and he was lying through his teeth. His life wasn't in any danger, but Sonnenberg's was. Parker had targeted the house for a robbery. When he got inside and realized that the Sonnenbergs -- wary of their crime-riddled neighborhood -- had bolted him inside, he allegedly became enraged, killed Sonnenberg, and then attacked his wife, stopping only when the police who the family had called arrived to help.

How terrible to have your good nature cost you your life. It sends such a terrible message, practically encouraging distrust of our neighbors. I feel for Sonnenberg's wife who's left with her physical and emotional scars from this attack to contend with, but also with the loss of her husband. Just terrible. I know I'll never think of the mortgage crisis the same way: The Sonnenbergs knew their neighborhood was dangerous, but they were locked into it because of killer mortgage payments. This is just tragedy stacked upon tragedy. 

Would you let a panicked stranger into your home?

 

Image via PAVDW/Flickr

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