The reason I made this topic sticky, is because it is one of those cases that go almost no attention by any media. I think the reason is, they just assume the kid was a gang member.
With due respect, Chris, I have personally written nine articles about this case over the years -- and I have never assumed Aaron was a gang member.
I just searched the Infomart database and the case has been mentioned in 75 articles in the Herald and the Sun alone. While Aaron's case wouldn't be the focus of every article, certainly the majority of them would be primarily about his murder.
Additionally, I've mentioned Aaron's case several time on my crime blog -- often with details about the case not known or reported by other media outlets:http://jasonvanrassel.wordpress.com/unsolved/
and here: http://jasonvanrassel.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/trial-reveals-killings-gang-links/
I don't think you meant to specifically pick on me, Chris, and I don't mean to pick on you because I respect what you do on this site. However, it just seems in many instances people unfairly accuse the media of "paying no attention" to a case based on their own hazy recollection of the press coverage. Yet time after time, I search the archives and turn up dozens of articles. I was on Facebook recently monitoring a group devoted to the unsolved killing of a Sikh man, where someone alleged the case received "no attention" and would have been on the front page if the victim was Caucasian. When I checked the media archive, I found out the story was
on the front page. Again, I respect what this site is doing -- it would be nice if our efforts in the media were similarly recognized.
I've pasted below one of the many articles I've written about the case. It's not the best or the most lengthy -- in fact, it was a sidebar to an article about another unsolved case, the murder of Mark Poovong -- but it contains clarifying information regarding the role of John Pheng. Contrary to the Sun article from 2005, Pheng is NOT considered a suspect in Shoulders' killing, but was instead suspected of stabbing one of Aaron's friends.
'Does anybody have a conscience anymore?' asks grieving mom
Wed Apr 29 2009
Jason van Rassel
Steffi Stehwien knows the pain experienced by Mark Poovong's family all too well.
Not only was her son, Aaron Shoulders, likely killed by gang members, the crime also remains unsolved despite dozens of witnesses.
Shoulders, 18, was mortally wounded in August 2003 as he stepped in to protect a companion who was being attacked by a group of men outside the now defunct nyla nightclub on the 1st Street S. W. bar strip.
Like Poovong, Shoulders wasn't a gang member, but he fell victim to the violence that is all too common in their world.
"Aaron hated violence and would always step in. But that night was not a good night to step in," Stehwien said.John Pheng, a member of the FOB Killers gang who was murdered two years later, was suspected of stabbing one of Shoulders' friends, but he was never charged with the crime.
A war between the FOB Killers and their rivals, FOB, is responsible for at least 25 homicides since 2002 -- 23 of them remain unsolved.
The death toll illustrates the gangs won't hesitate to use deadly violence against each other, and Pheng showed they also have little regard for the lives of anyone who crosses them.
In addition to being involved in the melee that led to Shoulders' death, Pheng stabbed and killed 18-year-old Jason Dang, who was dating his ex-girlfriend.
"Gang members in Calgary have a greater propensity for violence, and there are other families out there who are suffering like the Poovong family," said acting staff Sgt. Gord Eiriksson of the organized crime operations centre.
Pheng was never charged with killing Dang, but investigators linked him to the crime after he was shot and killed in 2005.
Shoulders' attacker, however, has never been identified, despite the crime happening on a crowded street as the bars on 1st Street S. W. emptied out.
the fact no one has ever provided investigators with information that could implicate shoulders' killer is doubly painful to his mother.
"It sickens me. It outrages me. I can't live in a society like that," Stehwien said.
"Does anybody have a conscience anymore?"