My thoughts following Greggette Guy’s Vigil

As residents of Beach Drive, who live not far from Emma Schmitz Park, we joined with others to take part in Greggette Guy's vigil on Sunday evening. After taking a stand to walk united in her memory and listening to her father's tearful plea to make the park safer, some ideas have been formulating.

Greggette's father would like the dark lower sidewalk of Emma Schmitz, often covered in graffiti and not in street view, to be closed at dusk and better lit. He would also like a memorial in her name.  What if we, as a community, come together to have a light installed to make the lower sidewalk safer and have it dedicated in Greggette's name

I'm reading on West Seattle Blog tonight that the Seattle Police Department state they feel the murder probably took place in that section of the park.  Representatives from the city have shared stats of how safe Beach Drive is…in my opinion, two murders in that park in that area in 20 years in the same area is not acceptable.  Pruning back and removing shrubs is not enough.  Even with ALL shrubs removed, a murder or other crimes could happen without anyone being able to witness from the street.  The lower sidewalk, as Greggette's father said on Sunday evening, is a "death trap". 

Via Facebook today, I noticed that Sally Bagshaw was promoting a "large public funds neighborhood match" program.  I feel that the city should have the responsibility of keeping that sidewalk safe and well lit to avoid crimes.  Perhaps our Beach Drive community can help raise funds to do something special to dedicate the lighting in Greggette's memory.  Funds may also be raised to help increase the reward for tips leading to the capture of her murderer.

Again, just some of my thoughts in light of recent events.

What can we do?

What can you do?

Who do you know?

I'm proud to be a West Seattle-ite and love my neighborhood. I'm so saddened about what happened to Greggette. Let's take action as a community to do what we can to make sure this doesn't happen again.

I would love to start fund raising and would appreciate hearing any advice or input from our readers who have experience with this.

Everyone and anyone reading this post CAN do SOMETHING.


  1. My ideas are to close the park at dusk, or around 7:30. As it’s open till 11:00 or 11:30 now depending on the area.
    The area down below is not very good for females to walk there at night alone. Also if you think about it there are too many hiding spots there even if one wanted to just walk above.
    Why is Mee Kwa Mooks across the street open till 11:30? It’s really dark there at night. I doubt it needs to be open then.
    Maybe they could consider roping off or closing off the following areas at night–at dusk:the two stairwells, and the path that leads down at the north area of the park. The stairwell across from Mee Kwa Mooks I think is right on the street. What could be done about that at night?
    A narrow sidewalk added next to the street on the north side of the park so one wouldn’t have to walk in the park at night if they are just walking down the street is an idea.
    These ideas could protect people that come there to walk or enjoy the area.
    I myself walk there frequently–or used to (at night).

  2. Shore lights are very problematic for wildlife. See

  3. I live a few doors down from the park, and sometimes I wish they’d never developed it into a park. During the summer months it is a magnet for teen drinking, drugging, and carousing. Now we have a murder committed on our doorstep.
    The factors that attract bad guys are the sense of remoteness, lack of lighting, and many places to hide.
    I don’t think we’re going to make it any less remote, nor take out all the hiding places, but we can change the lighting. I don’t like the idea of a park lit up like a soccer field, but how about motion sensor lights? Or sprinklers that come on periodically? I also like the idea of cameras. There is a robust drug trade that goes on there regularly, and I for one would like to see it end. I think it discourages all sorts of illicit activities if people know they’re being watched.

  4. Closing the park would be a great start. Presently, there are no signs at the entry points on that section of Emma Schmitz, where the murder is supspected to have taken place, stating the hours of the park.

  5. RKW, Our thought is to add only enough light needed to keep sidewalk itself from being pitch black.

    From the article you linked to:

    “Researchers Barbara Nightingale and Charles Simenstad of the University of Washington in Seattle write that studies in the Pacific Northwest show potential changes in fish migration behavior and the distribution of fish in areas lit at night. These changes could increase the mortality risks for salmon, herring, and sand lance. Juvenile chum and their predators appear to congegrate below night security lights, perhaps delaying migration”

    There are two or three existing street lamps that could be used to add the minimal needed to add a layer of safety to the park. I posted pics of the existing lamps on the Beach Drive Blog Facebook page.

  6. Hello Amy,

    I walked down there and posted a few photos on the blog’s FB page to back up your good ideas:

    I agree that a park with such late hours owes it to the public to be adequately lighted!

  7. Yeah, and I do think lighting would help.
    I have noticed the park hours same in some other parks. But the lighting would help at night for sure–more safety.

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