Panic in Loring Park

A spate of violent robberies near Loring Park awakens memories of a four-year-old killing in the cold case file

"It seems like these street criminals have some kind of informal communication about where the good marks are," Fossum observes. What's most disturbing, he says, is the gratuitous violence that accompanied the robberies. "In some of these cases, it's almost like the robbery is incidental, and the assault is half the fun."

For Chris Valenty, the news of recent arrests provides only a modicum of comfort. He thinks the police ought to keep a beat cop in Loring Park but acknowledges that budget constraints may make that difficult. And he thinks the police could work harder to make a case in his brother's killing. But there is something else he hopes for even more. "I wish Nick's ghost would visit me," Valenty says. "If anyone had a ghost, it would be him."

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