actions of the four youths and begannblasting away at a group of essentiallyninnocent people who had done nothingnto him and intended to do nothingnto him.nLillian Rubin, for one, has nondoubts that the intentions of the fournyouths were essentially innocent andnpeaceable, and that their actionsnwere — at the very worst—only mildlynprovocative (but enough to set off, ofncourse, Goetz’s “Five Dollar” ragenfrom a quarter-century before). ThusnRubin presents the subway car as onenin which a sense of peaceful normalcynprevailed before Goetz arrived; shen”knows” and constantly repeats thatnTroy Canty merely “requested” fivendollars; she “knows” and constantlynrepeats that Goetz shot two of thesen”kids” in the back as they were runningnaway and one of them (DarrellnCabey) while he was seated and tryingnto hide.nShe should have waited for the trialnbefore publishing this book. Detailedntestimony at the trial has shown thatnmost of the above assertions are opennto question, that one of them (aboutnTroy Canty’s behavior) is probablynfalse, and that one of them (the crucialnfirst one) is certainly false. It is unclearnwhere Darrell Cabey was locatednwhen he was shot and whether he wasnsitting or standing. The prosecution’snmedical experts were firm that one ofnthe youths (Barry Allen) had indeednbeen shot in the back; this was denied,nwith equal firmness, by the medicalnexperts of the defense. And even thenprosecution’s experts were uncertainnwhether a second youth (JamesnRamseur) was shot in the back as welln(this too, of course, was denied by thenmedical experts for the defense). As fornCanty, it’s true that in the courtroomnhe testified that he very politely askednGoetz for five dollars. But it came outnthat this contradicted his own statementnto the grand jury, where hentestified that what he said was the morenthreatening “Give me five dollars.”n(This was after two preliminaries:n”How you doin’?” and “What time isnit?”) Moreover, in rather a surprise,nJames Ramseur testified that Gantynwas “up in Goetz’s face,” i.e., wasnconfronting Goetz in a pretty hostilenmanner, when Goetz pulled the gunn{NYT, May 20, 1987). Most importantly,ntwo witnesses from the subwayncar testified that they themselves werenapprehensive and fearful about thenbehavior of the youths as the trainnheaded downtown. “I was concerned;nI was afraid,” said Mary Grant (NYT,nMay 7, 1987).nIndeed, if Rubin had only thoughtnabout it more clearly, she would havenrealized that something untoward wasngoing on in the car — for she notesnseveral times in passing (and with noncommentary) that when Goetz got on,nthe four youths were at one end of thencar and all the other passengers werendown at the other end. Now whynmight that be?nIt’s a question Rubin never asksnherself. But Goetz’s misfortune wasnobviously that he got on at then”wrong” end of the car; thereafter,nthings happened very quickly (withinnabout three minutes). The testimonynof Goetz’s fellow passengers concerningntheir own fear of the four youths isncrucial here, because it strongly suggestsnthat Goetz’s perception of thensituation he had stepped into was notnthe result of some unique paranoidndelusion on his part. On the contrary:nif other people were frightened, too,nthis strongly suggests that Goetz’s understandingnof the scene in the car,nand of the intentions of the fournyouths, was rooted in a harsh NewnYork reality. (Part of that reality is thatnan unbelievable 13,800 felonies arencommitted in the decrepit and illpolicednNew York subway system everynyear — a number, by the way, whichnRubin considers of little importance.)nBesides the fear that Allen, Cabey,nCanty, and Ramseur inspired innGoetz’s fellow passengers, there’snplenty of other evidence to suggestnthat Goetz was perfectly correct to benafraid of these four people. They werenhardly children: They were all eithern18 or 19. Each one of them had beennarrested or convicted at least twice. Innfact, each one of them was facing antrial or a hearing on criminal charges atnthe time of the December 22 shooting.nLet’s take these people one at antime. Barry Allen had been arrestednfour times in the past three years —nonce for attempted assault. At Goetz’sntrial he took the Fifth Amendmentnregarding the events of December 22.nHe is currently serving a prison term ofnone to four years for robbery. DarrellnCabey, the man Goetz wounded mostnnngrievously, was under indictment fornan October armed robbery with a shotgun.nTroy Ganty, the evident leader ofnthe four, was a dope addict and apprenticenburglar who had been arrestednfour times since 1982. Even LilliannRubin found him a “frightening” personage;nshe also suspects that he wasnblasted out of his mind on cocainenwhen he accosted Goetz. (Nevertheless,nRubin — what a surprise! —nchooses to believe the “polite” versionnof that scene, as Canty told it to her,nrather than Goetz’s version; apparentlynshe is unaware that Canty had told ansignificantly different story to thengrand jury.)nJames Ramseur seems at first glancenthe least threatening of the four. He’dnbeen arrested several times, but onlynfor petty larceny and criminal trespass.nHowever, six months after the Goetznincident, Ramseur and an accomplicenrobbed a pregnant woman at gunpoint,nbrutally beat her, and then raped andnsodomized her. He is currently servingnan eight to 25-year term in prison. AtnGoetz’s trial he was disruptive, snarlednat the defense attorney, refused tonanswer questions on cross-examination,nand cursed the judge; henended up being surrounded by armednguards, and his testimony was finallynordered thrown out. The judge laternfound him in contempt of court onnseveral counts and told him that he’dndemonstrated such viciousness thatnhe’s played right into the hands ofnGoetz’s defense. The judge was correct:nAfter the trial, one of the jurorsnsaid that Ramseur had terrified them.nIt is typical of Lillian Rubin’s use ofnstrategic silences that she fails to subjectnthese four obvious sociopaths tonthe kind of devastating “psychologicalnanalysis” she inflicted on BernhardnGoetz. One can only wonder what sortnof grotesque pathology Rubin wouldnhave come up with if she’d applied thensame standards of behavior to them asnshe imposed on him. But of coursenthat’s precisely what she does not do.nBut, people say, at the time of thenincident Goetz couldn’t have knownnany of the facts you’ve presentednabove: He had no idea who thesenpeople were. True enough. But ourntask is to attempt to determine whethernGoetz’s on-the-spot assessment of hisnsituation — that he was surrounded bynvicious thugs who were about to beatnMARCH 1988 j 29n