Murder In A Silent Place

A freshman stands accused of killing two classmates at the top college for deaf people. The trauma is a challenge to the community's concept of itself

A DEAF OASIS

It is summer session at Gallaudet University. A few lazy clouds threaten to water the already green campus and bathe a modest statue of founder Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Off the main quad, an orange steam shovel dips, lifts and pivots, grumbling to itself. Few students hear it. Gallaudet is the country's foremost college for deaf people. When Jim Haynes, at work nearby, instructs his philosophy class that "Plato argued that the concept behind this desk is more real than the physical thing itself," he does so manually, in crisp American Sign Language (ASL). His 12 students watch his...

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