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Homicide suspected in Md. death

A 52-year-old woman was found dead in her Glen Echo-area home, Montgomery County Police said Monday, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Police found signs of forced entry and a struggle at the home of Sue Ann Marcum, of the 6200 block of Massachusetts Avenue, after her boyfriend, concerned about her welfare, had gone to the home Monday morning to check on her, according to Cpl. Dan Friz, a police spokesman.

outside the home. (Dan Morse/Post)

The boyfriend also noticed that her vehicle, a 1999 tan or beige Jeep with Virginia tags YXE-1456, was missing, Friz said, and they are looking for it.

Marcum, listed as an "executive in residence" at American University's Kogod School of Business, appears to have lived alone in the house, according to police. "It appears to be a suspicious death," Friz said.

Sue Ann Marcum. (American University)

Officers were called to the house shortly before 11 a.m., police said. A neighbor reportedly saw the Jeep leave the house about an hour earlier.

Homicide detectives and at least one prosecutor from the state's attorney's office, along with forensic technicians, were at the house Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information about this incident or the missing vehicle is asked to call 240-773-5070. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  | October 25, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse, Homicide, Montgomery  
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The Washington Post continues to give exhorbitant attention to this case versus the 1000s over homicides in DC. Nothing justifies the disparate treatment -- at least nothing that the Post would acknowledge (lack of concern for poor, black crime victims). For information on most of the murder cases in DC, I have to to the Department of Justice website. As a general matter the WaPo does not consider black life important enough.

Posted by: darrren12000 | October 25, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. WP staffers research/write stories as if affluent white people were their only readers.

I wonder what WP's reader demographics actually are.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

As a general matter the WaPo does not consider black life important enough.

Posted by: darrren12000 | October 25, 2010 1:30 PM

Unless they can get a good money making story out of us.....STAMPED


This weeks guns article
SE Drive By Massacre

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 25, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

darren12000, don't you think this has to do with the fact that homicides that are criminal on criminal crime are not of interest to the general public?

This is interesting because it occurred in an area that might see 1 murder every 10 years(if that). When a gang member shoots another gang member in the same 5 block area that 100 other gang members have been shot, its not news its normal.

Posted by: cowpasture2 | October 25, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

why did her car have VA tags if she lives in MD?

Posted by: slim4 | October 25, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

As for the demographics of Post readership, 65% is white and 27% is black. Other demographic info can be found by clicking the link below.

Also worth noting is that there are 230,000 more readers in Montgomery County than there are in the District.

Posted by: cowpasture2 | October 25, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Prayers for all victims of violence and their families. It's true - stories about the murders of blacks and residents of poorer neighborhoods are not covered sufficiently. All human lives have a story. This story here is not just about a white woman in a wealthy zip code - statistically newsworthy - but of someone who was a teacher and member of a major academic community. Professors, black or white, being murdered generally will get some news.

Posted by: fenokey | October 25, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

cowpasture2, I appreciate the demographic stats. Interesting stuff.

"When a gang member shoots another gang member in the same 5 block area that 100 other gang members have been shot, its not news its normal."--cowpasture2

I'm sure there are a hell of a lot of black (and other non-white) DC-metro residents being slain who are not gang members. Granted, many of them may live in high-crime areas where murders are numbingly frequent.

Sure, the Post sometimes attempts special coverage of especially egregious crimes (e.g. the recent reprisal killing at a funeral, the indiscriminate drive-by slayings over misplaced costume jewelry).

But in the day-to-day shuffle of Metro coverage, murders of poor residents of color are often only mentioned perfunctorily, if at all. It's disturbing.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 25, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Professor Marcum was my professor at AU and this is a horrible, terrible loss for not just her students, but the DC Metro area in general. Sue Marcum was by far one of the most friendly, outgoing, and helpful human beings that anyone could possibly want to know or be associated with. Her loss will be felt throughout the community, and particularly by those she has helped most.

Posted by: icarus0720au | October 25, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Color it anyway you want. I am in law enforcement and have never seen anyone from the prosecutor's office at the initial scene of a crime.

Posted by: msdooby1 | October 25, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Ms. Marcum was able to injure her attacker(s) so he (they) will be easier to track down and ID.

Glen Echo is a beautiful area and the sort of place where residents (e.g. retirees) are more likely to notice things that look wrong or out of place.

This is also a fairly modest house; wonder what attracted the attacker(s) to this site, other than the obvious affluence of the area.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 25, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

This is unbelievable, how sick of a person do you have to be to have a race discussion on an article about someone who was murdered? This person was a professor at American University, she was well liked and I'm sure she'll be missed by many. Those having a debate on whether this article should be here or not BECAUSE SHE'S WHITE should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: tnrdogg5 | October 25, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I worked with Sue and am dismayed to see an article about her unfortunate death degenerate into a soapbox for people to share there thoughts on the politics of race. Please be more respectful.

Posted by: djtitoramon | October 25, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

As a student of Professor Marcum, I would just like to say that she was one of the best professors that I have ever had in my life. Whenever I had a question whether it was about class or my future, she was always there to lend a helping hand. She was a great professor, mentor, and person.

Posted by: cbrown8001 | October 25, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

tnrdogg5, you're right, this is is a bad forum to discuss the racial politics of local crime coverage.

Let's hope that some low-life didn't take advantage of Ms. Marcum's generosity and kind spirit.

It's happened before with other local residents with similar shining qualities.

Predators recognize what would otherwise be a strength -- e.g. a willingness to trust or see the best in others -- and then they'll turn it into a vulnerability to be exploited. It's awful.

Naturally, detectives will be checking into all sorts of leads (disgruntled former students, anybody who worked on her house, any estranged family, etc.).

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 25, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cowpasture2 Said:
darren12000, don't you think this has to do with the fact that homicides that are criminal on criminal crime are not of interest to the general public? This is interesting because it occurred in an area that might see 1 murder every 10 years(if that). When a gang member shoots another gang member in the same 5 block area that 100 other gang members have been shot, its not news its normal.

Wow, I have to admire that you don’t disguise what you really are.

But, to the point of your comment: Yes, some of the homicides in the district are gang-banger on gang-banger murders, but most are not. According to the most recent DOJ stats, gang violence accounted for about 5% of black homicides and about 7% of white homicides. Most homicides in the district are black-on-black but they are not criminal-on-criminal as you claim. The victims are, as in white communities, most often innocent --- fathers, mothers, children and other human beings who loved others and were loved by others. As someone who has too often been a witness to the aftermath of violence, I can tell you that there is a tragedy behind every death, regardless of race. The wail of a mother who has lost a child does not know race. It only knows pain.

Despite how much I disagree with your remarks, I will not ask you to keep them to yourself because I know it is important for the world to read your words so everyone remembers that the struggle against ignorance and racism continues to be very real.

Posted by: MdLaw | October 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Advice to those who want to honor Ms. Marcum:

Set up a website or social media group with moderated content that you can control so that you can honor your friend properly. This is incredibly easy to do here in 2010.

Newspaper comment boards are a very poor place for heartfelt memorials, remembrances, tributes, etc. The people (e.g. news hags & trolls) who frequent them tend to mix in politics, idle and irresponsible speculation, inanities, etc.

This is honest advice; I'm not trying to be rude here.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 25, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Friday, 5 p.m.

The saying attributed to Charles Dana -- managing editor of the NY Tribune until he had a falling out with Horace Greeley, and later a co-owner of the Sun, which as I recall published the wonderful "Dear Virginia" letter that we resurrect every Christmas -- gives a comprehensive
definition of news, i.e., "If a dog bites a man it is not news, but if a man bites a dog it is." What more is there to say on this thread?

Posted by: Ouabache1 | October 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Ouabache1.
If a cop shoots a mugger it is not big news. If a cop throws a dog over a bannister rail and then shots the dog, it is big time news.

Posted by: warpop | October 25, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

incrediburgable, only a minute from my house

Posted by: | October 25, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The facts of how it happened are not yet known. Who it happened to is the focus of the news story.

To the family, friends, students and co workers of Ms. Marcum, I am so sorry for your loss and my condolences to all of you.


Posted by: 2belinda | October 25, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

tnrgogg5 ..if you think this is something.Check back if the doer is anything other than white. Say want you want, but if you read these blogs wopo is nothing but a festering ground for race baiting. And never as much as when President Obama came into office. But the good thing is, you always have the option of glossing right over the site. I do most days.

Posted by: msdooby1 | October 25, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

My original post was intended for the Chandra Levy thread -- but it applies here as well. Look at the other 100 homicides in DC this year. How many of them come with photos? How many even explore any background about the victims at all? Answer: very few.

To the person who said that people don't care about criminals killing each other -- that's ridiculous. Crime is a social problem, and vicious murders should concern all of us. Furthermore, there are many other people who are victims of crimes in DC -- who are not members of gangs. Certainly, a lot of gang beefs lead to murders, but this is not the only cause of homicides in DC.

It is quite obvious that the Post takes the murders of upper-class whites more seriously. But journalists -- including writers for the Post itself -- have already covered this ground.

Posted by: darrren12000 | October 25, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

First, I am an academic at a major DC university as well. Still, I do not place my life or the lives of my colleagues over poor persons of color.

Second, as I stated before, I mistakenly put my comment in this thread; it was intended for the Levy article -- which is a story that never ends.

Third, if you really want to see race discussions, look at the tiny little blurbs on DC homicides; readers always post about how terrible black poor people are.

Finally, this is a public forum. I am terribly sorry about this tragedy. I do not think it is more newsworthy because she is a professor. A person who drives the bus for 2 decades meets hudreds of people; a local teacher in a public school knows thousands of students; all victims have stories attached to their lives and deaths. It is shameful that the Post trivializes poor people in DC.

Posted by: darrren12000 | October 25, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Homicide is a social equalizer. A life stolen is a life stolen.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 25, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse


I prosecuted homicides in the midwest. In the county where i worked, which included a big (for the midwest) city, prosecutors always went to homicide scenes. In getting to know prosecutors throughout that state, it was obviously the norm there. Montgomery county is about the same size, with a similar crime rate, so having a prosecutor there does not surprise me in the least. What would be upsetting would be if they did not always do that here, but picked and chose which scenes to respond to. Whether they do that or not, i do not know.

Posted by: kellyanne1 | October 25, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Some of the comments on this thread are very upsetting. Whatever discussions on whatever issues people want to have, Professor Marcum was an amazing woman and professor. She shaped my academic career in a very positive way and I know she did so for many others as well. Let's focus on the passing of a great person and leave other discussions for the appropriate time and place.

Professor Marcum, you will always be an inspiration for me. Rest in peace.

Posted by: alicabachledova | October 25, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Sue was a wonderful woman and my good friend. She loved her students and took great joy in her work.

But she was so much more. She rolled up her sleeves and did significant volunteer work for many fine organizations such as The Perry School.(

If you ever needed a lead on a job or help running an errand - she was there for you.

She had talent, enthusiasm and a sense of fun. I miss her already.

Posted by: ceylon1 | October 26, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

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