Cannibal Tributes Grow As People Honor him as a Hero!
As you already know Cannibal lost his life while trying to save a young woman and her child from being attacked Monday evening by a stranger who was trying to harm them. Cannibal lost his life while doing a good deed towards a stranger. Let’s all hope that the evil man who did this to this sweet man, is getting ALL the bad Karma he deserves! Let’s also hope that he rots in his jail cell and is tormented daily by the face of this innocent hero.
More than a hundred people including the members of Wilmington’s PeaceKeepers group gathered Thursday night at Rodney Square, holding hands in a circle to pray for Cottingham and his family.
A Facebook tribute and GoFundMe account were set up and Insane Clown Posse, a Detroit-based hip-hop duo, posted a massive tribute to the slain 27-year-old rapper. The group noted that just two months ago Cottingham won the top honor at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, as their fans are known, out-rapping the other contestants.
“He was the top MC at the contest.He was one talented ninja and … also an all around amazing person and Juggalo, exemplifying what the Juggalo Family is all about.”
Insane Clown Posse is planning a tribute to Cannibal at their upcoming October show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, Cottingham passed away at Christiana Hospital after being repeatedly stabbed at about 9:30 p.m. Monday. He had stopped Calvin Hooker III, 25, of Elsmere, from chasing a woman with a baby stroller around a bus stop at the square, court documents say.
Hooker, charged with first-degree murder and six other felonies, remains held without bail at Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Superior Court on Sept. 22. Hopefully karma and God will handle this evil man for murdering a man and harassing a woman and her child!
Cottingham’s sister Kieara Robinson of Newark said another vigil is being planned for 4 p.m. Monday at the site of his death to convince city officials to place a marker at the square to honor his heroism. So if you would like to join this event and you are in the area, head on over and light a candle for Cannibal.
Although friends and family said they appreciated Mayor Dennis P. Williams for issuing a statement by calling him a hero, his sister said, “There should be a plaque here.
“This is where he gave his life to protect people he didn’t even know,” she said. “That’s who he was.”
Fellow Juggalo Daniel “DJ Psycho” McJunkin of Elsmere, said everyone who knew Cottingham has a story of his generosity.
“One day, my wallet got lifted out here and he walked around for three hours helping me look for it,” he said. “We found it in the trash and the money was gone – I didn’t care – but the point is that he stayed and helped me find it.”
Among hundreds of posts and comments on the duo’s web and Facebook pages, one of the most poignant was by a man named Robert Tidwell, who said he met Cottingham at the Juggalos’ last gathering in Ohio.
“He came up to me and started telling me that being a Juggalo meant so much to him because it turned his life around,” Tidwell said.
“He made mistakes,” his sister said, “but he was a kind-hearted guy, he was a loving person.
“He earned his angel wings.”
Friends and relatives still smile when they talk about Cottingham’s “look.”
Cannibal will always be remembered as a hero! He will live on in our hearts and in our memories as a kindhearted young man, who was just trying to save a woman and her baby from a psycho killer.
His tattoos were plentiful, all designed and inked by himself, including on his arms and neck.
Cottingham’s look tied in to his Insane Clown Posse fandom, grown from his love of music.
“He was an original,” said his cousin, Alaina Reams of Newark.
“He started all this at the age of 15,” she said, adding his love of music began with “his little beat machine.”
“As kids, we did everything together,” she said, smiling.
“He grew up in Belvedere, Newport,” she said, and he graduated in 2007 from Alfred I. du Pont High School.
His family is “holding it together as much as possible,” Reams said. “As much as possible.”
Cottingham and his brother, Phil – brokenhearted by his death – attended the annual gathering of Juggalos together and were close, said friend PoJo Radcliff, who shared Cottingham’s passion for skateboarding.
Radcliff and other friends organized a memorial at Rodney Square.
At one point on Thursday, as friends and strangers who admired his heroism continued to leave tributes and sign a T-shirt, city personnel began to remove some items.
But after friends and admirers objected, much of the makeshift memorial remained. Friends took away some things, then brought them back to the memorial.
That memorial nearly included a special skateboard.
Radcliff, a sponsored skateboarder who had skated recently with Cottingham at Newport Skate Park, said his friend had needed parts. Because he got them free, Radcliff told Cottingham he would take care of him.
“We were supposed to meet at Rodney Square,” he said.
He carried the board there the night after his friend’s slaying and was going to leave it with the candles and other tributes, but friends said he shouldn’t because it would be stolen.
“So I broke it in half,” he said. “I left half and I’ll put the other half on his grave.”
Thursday afternoon, state Department of Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan presented a medal to a DART driver who called 911, then whisked the mother, baby and frightened bystanders to safety in his bus.
Cohan called Cottingham “a hero” and said she felt certain the loss of life would have been greater, had he not intervened.
Bus driver Renaldo Epps, 42, of Wilmington, accepted the DelDOT Challenge Medal, “on behalf of Thomas Cottingham, who is the real victim and the real hero.”
Given the medal at the opening of DelDOT’s annual legislative briefing, Epps pointedly addressed elected officials about the underlying issue in the deadly attack, which investigators determined was unprovoked and randomly targeted.
“Please send more money to mental health issues,” Epps said, his voice pleading.
Although he had seen crime at Rodney Square before, Epps said he had never seen such extreme violence.
“He was on top of him, just stabbing and stabbing and stabbing.”
Dedicating the medal to Cottingham “was just beautiful,” said Lillian Shavers, president and business agent for Local 842 of the Amalgamated Transit Union. What Epps did was important and probably saved lives, but Cottingham gave his life protecting strangers, Shavers said.
Epps, who nodded in agreement, added, “He is the hero.”
His funeral is 11 a.m. Sept. 24 at Congo Funeral Home, 2317 N. Market St., Wilmington, with viewing 9-10:45 a.m. and burial in Silverbrook Cemetery.