This was a harrowing read. I worked for many years in Placer County, near Nevada County where Laura Wilcox was killed. One point that you did not explain was that the man who killed Laura and two other people was the brother of a police officer who was able to persuade his relative to surrender. The key point that you missed was that the closing of many mental health facilities was a financial decision as it is rather costly to provide 24-hour round the clock institutional care. The civil rights concerns fit perfectly with the goal of reducing public spending during the Reagan era (when he was California governor in the mid-1960s/1970s). However none of the community based services that “on paper” were going to replace institutions like DeWitt Hospital ever got off the ground, or at least not in significant numbers. Hence stories like Aaron’s, sad stories like Aaron’s.

Veteran Cat Servant