Border Lands

My friend Luis came down to San Diego a few days ago to pick up his wife from CBX. Before her flight landed we took some time to explore the San Ysidro border crossing area, and later we went to Imperial Beach. I had intended to bring him to Border Field State Park, but it was closed for some reason so IB became or plan B.

The Cara Knott Memorial

Melissa and I watch a lot of Forensic Files. Partly because it makes us feel like we’re on vacation and in a hotel room watching TV (because that’s about the only show that is ever on besides 22 channels of sportz), and partly to admire the comical backgrounds for their interviews. We recently watched an episode that was about Cara Knott, and it jogged my memory that I had seen a “hidden San Diego” post about there being a memorial where her body was found. If you’re not a San Diegan you may not have heard about her case, but this is the Wikipedia article:

I had never been to this memorial site, and I don’t have any connection to Cara Knott other than remembering her murder from my childhood. It was probably the first time I (as a suburban white kid) had been exposed to the idea that not all police were there to protect us.

The memorial garden was built by Cara Knott’s father, Sam, who planted a grove of oak trees very close to where she was killed. He sadly died in 2000 of a heart attack just a few feet from where his daughter’s body was discovered. 21 years later I expected very little to still be there, but the site has since turned into a memorial for several people who lost their lives to violence.

Being there definitely felt strange and surreal. Many of the trinkets and religious icons left at the individual memorials through age and decay had themselves further amplified the haunting feel of the place.

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