In Loving Memory
Eve Helene Wilkowitz
born April 17, 1959
abducted and murdered in New York City
March 25, 1980
If you can help to bring this matter to justice,
it is time for you to do something.
SCPDINFO@suffolkcountyny.gov or call (631) 852-6396
"(She) was not a document. She was not a number or a photograph. Not an abstract idea or a madman's fantasy. She was flesh and blood," writes Susan Griffin of many powerful, alive young women in Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revenge Against Nature (Harper & Row, 1981).
Eve was on the verge of her 21st birthday that Spring: she was a smart, strong, happy, outgoing person moving into dynamic relation with the world, through a career in social work. This young writer of 25 hoped to make her his wife. Eve was full of energy and humor, and loved her Jewish family, home-cooked meals and stupid movies. Eve was still in grief over the recent death of her mother. Our favorite date was walking the streets of New York holding hands, and talking, talking and talking.
We said our first I Love You and made some plans to live together in the city. Then our six weeks came to an end. Eve was abducted on her way home to Bay Shore, Long Island, late Friday night March 21st—somewhere between New York City’s Pennsylvania Station and her town’s local stop. Her murderer(s) held her for 3 days, then killed and disposed of her, in what Suffolk County Homicide detectives call "a very brutal case."
Eve was my guide and strength every day through 30 years—starting that Spring with trips to the New York Public Library’s main Reading Room at 42nd Street and Fifth, where I began to shake my education upside-down by the ankles. The first thing that fell from its pockets was Minoan Civilization—the longest, most peaceful and human-spirited culture on Western record, and it was hardly part of the story at all. I visited Crete first in 1983 and never stopped, came to stay two years, and became part of a “second family” in Crete that goes on today.
Fifteen years produced Ariadne’s Brother, and Eve was with me from the smallest persistence to the grand, luminous, preposterous adventures a writer takes on to get it done. Every day, she was da-pu-ri-to-jo, or in Minoan, “a way to the light.”
History studies the forces that produced our world. Today it means looking before, below, between and among the great forces, where people had choices—more options than they admitted, or saw, or were allowed to see. The more we learn from things outside of books, the less we can show that “we have always been violent," above-all-competitive, class-bound, racist, sexist, and at war with nature and ourselves. That is no more true of the human majority than it is in the natural world.
The cosmopolitan worlds that actually preceded each of our main roots—in the Aegean, Palestine, Italy and America—were neither utopias nor amoral and disposable. Only history books say that. Minoans, their “Sea Peoples” cultures, Etruscans, and Native Americans endured far longer than anything familiar taught in schools, Rome included. Yes, they knew how to fight. More importantly, they showed what humans can build on the fact that there is Plenty For Everybody (and there still is) on this planet.
Simply put their facts where they belong. They are not there already because, in their lights, we see afresh what we thought was inevitable. We see the rule of men, the rule of profit, and the soul-crushing rule of religion (true idolatry) far more historically, for what they were – departures, all of them, from older norms that were healthier, and more free. In them we perceive a different way to be a Western man. You can see these things in Calendar House.
This also means that we, too, can choose to change the future.
We don’t need utopias. We need to find out (rather than exploit) what teaches and drives men to these crimes—in all their forms, individual to imperial. No doubt, people tell you it was always so. Nothing could be further from the facts.
It is always with me that Eve means Life. I hope my works add to the recovery of real historical moments of crucial opportunity, when things might have gone a wiser way. I hope they help to refresh our awareness that we live in constant possession of the same wiser options, however power tries to blind us to our power.
We need new choices. A giant step of ecological, economic and intercultural choices all at once. Do each what we can, and we will meet—in a civilization where what was done to Eve is no longer, as a detective said, “an everyday event.”