Today: Time to Move On, But Westport Unable to Remove Makeshift Brian Euston Memorial

It’s over, done, finished – the sorrowful lessons learned…

There’s little point in continuing to rub the public’s nose in the memory of deceased 24 year-old Kansas City man Brian Euston. Euston died five months ago after taking a single punch, falling, then hitting his head on a Westport sidewalk. And for three months a cloud of mystery and uncertainty hovered over his death.

Was foul play involved? Was he beaten by a gang of blacks as some speculated?

Answers to those questions lacking, Euston’s parents pressed Kansas City Police and media –  KC Confidential included  – to keep the story alive. To find out what went wrong that fateful night resulting in the death of their son.

To that end, a makeshift memorial sprang up in heart of the entertainment district, prominently placed along Westport Road.

And for five long months, weatherbeaten, dilapidated, now unsightly, it has stood. A monument to what? Every awful Westport stereotype is the unfortunate answer.

Irresponsible, drunken, disorderly behavior; black on white violence; the overserving of alcohol.

At best the so-called memorial is a reminder of a young man with a troubling drinking problem. A man who’s blood-alcohol level had placed him near death’s door and who’s foolish, boorish behavior, combined with that of another individual outside a bar around 3 a.m. resulted in his tragic death.

So why leave it up? What purpose does it serve at this point?

The questions – albeit sadly – have been answered. The individual who one-punched Euston – allegedly after he refused to get out of the face of the dude’s girlfriend – is behind bars. Case closed.

Now the latest on the memorial…

"I think the family really plan on leaving it there," says a source close to the situation. "Somebody from our neighborhood decided to call (Brian’s) mom up and see if we could take it down before St. Patrick’s Day and she apparently called some media and told them we wanted to take it down. So we decided just to leave it alone. She kind of sounded like she wanted to leave it up. She’s a mother that’s very distraught and she loved her son…And I feel for his parents, but if he was my brother, I’d be embarrassed if he was that drunk and that happened. I’d want to take the memorial down out of shame."

The question put to another mother – who asked not to be named – garnered this response:

"I’d probably thank (Westport) for leaving it up so long and for offering to let me have it. I mean, it can’t stay up forever. I guess it still provides some comfort."

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20 Responses to Today: Time to Move On, But Westport Unable to Remove Makeshift Brian Euston Memorial

  1. craig glazer says:

    Time For Maybe a Plaque In His Name
    Well maybe its time for a nice family permanent plaque in his honor and memory. I think if the family picked it out and paid for it, that might be ok. I know others have been killed in the area, but none have a memorial that is forever there. I don’t think Westport wants an area of “who got killed here’ plaques. But maybe in this case it works. Stanfords is now long gone and we have a plaque on the 504 building in our honor from the historical society.

  2. harley says:

    What ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT HEARNE….
    what better way to leave a message for the people who go to westport….
    just like we erect memorials for those who were killed/murdered/died in other
    parts of our city…this should stay up.
    It will be to remind us the dangers of drinking…the dangers of white/black violence
    not just in westport but throughout the nation…to remind us that life is precious and
    it can end without notice…..
    And hearne it can remind us to prevent further events like this. I see crosses on the
    highways where people died…regardless of his behavior he did not deserve to die
    like this.
    And also hearne…I’m suprised you found another photo to further blemish the
    murdered mans reputation. How many photos do you have to put on your website
    of him drinking alcohol. Theres plenty of photos of him living life to the fullest.
    There is a book put out in his memory.
    Maybe you should do a story on that.
    Maybe help raise some money for his memorial….maybe do something besides
    throw dirt on him and his family. Maybe do something positive in your life.
    Never met him nor his family.

    If that was your child you would want no less.

  3. Cliffy says:

    One of the local TV stations covered this the other night and managed to use photos that didn’t make the dead kid look like a total jerk. I guess that’s not your style though, eh Hearne?

  4. chuck says:

    I like Glaze’s idea.
    A Plaque, or maybe a monument. You know, like at the Little Bighorn. A monument. At some point, historians and archeologists will wanna know when the last white boy got killed in Westport.

    Instead of digging for bones, or looking at old pictures of Dodo Birds and Thlyacines, there will be a plaque. Westport’s last known white boy died here. Maybe a scroll could be hidden in that hallway by where Blaneys used to be describing the final conflct and eventual Dunkirk-like evacuation.

    I gotta believe the merchants would really get behind this one! “Hey, can’t we make that plaque a little bigger! Just move it over here by my front door. Don’t slip on those spent shell casings, haven’t swept up yet today.”

    Unbelievable. Seriously fuckinunbelievable.

  5. anagitator says:

    Could this be about government and commercial interests wanting the story and memorial to just go away and be forgotten, rather than serving to remind others of the dangers that lurk in this area?

  6. smartman says:

    Nyet!
    People who have lived far more noble and productive lives get an obit and a tombstone or some ashes. Sorry the kid is dead. He was out of control drunk. He suffered the consequences of his actions. Shit happens. Move on. If family and friends wanna honor his memory go talk to high school kids or youth groups and tell the tale. Brian’s life may have been wasted but if his story can save one life the karma scale will be balanced. Also you gotta learn to roll your head with the punch.

  7. Ray Sutton says:

    I want a plaque too
    I was killed in Westport on Saint Patricks day. Lucy Sanchez stabbed me to death after she tried to steal my 1/2 gallon of Crown Royal. It was just down the block for Thirstys, so be sure to give ma a plaque too, at least my death was honorable. btw- How about that cunt, Lucy Sanchez, did not even go to jail for my murder, because her freinds would not bear witness to my murder.

  8. mark x says:

    A White Cross for everyone who died in Westport …
    … you know, white crosses like the ones they place on the side of the road for people killed in auto accidents.
    On second thought, nah.

    Can you imagine? A white cross at the location of every death in Westport? It’d look like a cemetary …

  9. Jay Bee says:

    Seriously? No I mean seriously…
    Alright. Yes, it is sad when a parent loses a child. Yes, we as a society do many different things to remember those who we have lost – crosses on the side of our highways, placing flowers at the scene of an accident annually, doing the ‘adopt-a-mile’ gig in memory of someone and the list goes on….though typically in the situations I just mentioned not so much attention has been brought to the person’s death – or maybe if there was a lot of attention it wasn’t in as negative tone as the attention drawn to the Euston debacle.

    You don’t see a cross in the median of 169 and say, “Oh yeah, remember that kid? Ran his mouth and got his shit knockedthefuckout and died while pickeled to the bejeesus…”.

    When I go by the Euston memorial that is exactly what I think of. Even though it is sad for his friends and family – I don’t immediately think of the sadness. I think of a weird story, long drawn out investigation that ended in a unsettling twist for all parties involved.

    When I see that memorial I think of all the pics I have have seen, which by first glance all seem to be of a snarky, douche-bagalow type asshat forever with a beer in his hand. To me, looks like the kind of guy that is always getting sheeted to the max and makes a total ass of himself, runs his mouth to everyone4, is a prick to all the women, ends up pushing buttons while being a total drunk ass until someone ends up just knocking-him-the-fuck-OUT….oh wait…that isn’t just a generalzation is it? We all know a few guys like that.

    YES, it is unfortunate that dude DIED from the combo of too much booze, big mouth and a killer right hook.

    Yes it is equally unfortunate that the guy who threw the punch ended up KILLING Euston becaue I am pretty sure that wasn’t his intent. Maybe it was, but I doubt it…

    I agree with those that say if you want something to be remembered, something positive, in Euston’s name and memorym then educate kids about the traps of drinking, enlighten them on positive things in his memory, focus on stopping violence – something like THAT…because it doesn’t matter how long you leave up that makeshift memorial to Euston, i will never think of any of things I just mentioned when passing it. Sadly I will always be reminded of a smart-ass kid who always had a beer in his hand, who was way tto hammered to be out, let alone running his mouth, who got his shit knocked out and died in Westport…aprt of the image portrayed by the media and mostly truth. If you want people to think something different – then do something different in his memory.

    Makes sense to me, but what the hell do I know.

    JB

  10. Gerald Bostock says:

    memorial site
    If the family wants to maintain a memorial site, why not put it in their hardware store, where they would see it and remember him in the way they want to and people could use it as a way to express condolences to the family if they were so inclined.
    Having it in Westport (especially if it looks as bad as people say–haven’t laid eyes on it myself) benefits nobody.

  11. Markus Aurelius says:

    Sorry, I see no point or reason for there to be a plaque or
    memorial for this young man in Westport. There are countless young lives tragically cut short each year due to car wrecks and other accidents but the tragic and untimely death of an individual does not grant that individual’s family the right to stake physical claim over the site of the unfortunate event. If he had been killed by a drunk driver while driving past Crown Center would we even be talking about putting up a plaque outside Crown Center to this young man? Would the makeshift memorial still be present? I doubt it. I have no dog in this hunt – I don’t goto Westport and have no sympathy for the business owners there, I also have no relationship with the young man’s family — but it seems a bit odd, a bit selfish and a bit macabre that the family still wants the makeshift memorial to remain in place in Westport. I cannot imagine the heartache the death of my child would bring, but I’m fairly certain that my comfort during such times would not come from maintaining a memorial 5 months after my child’s death at the site of the accident.

  12. Chet Gristler says:

    Sounds like a good place for KC’s own Mannequen Pis….
    Seriously, rather than place a permanent memorial to the young man – perhaps a permanent memorial in memory of ALL those that have died in KC in alcohol-related deaths would be fitting. It would be Westport’s equivalent of the beer industry’s “drink responsibly” campaign, and actually I think a KC-version of Brussels Mannequen Pis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manneken_Pis) would be great. It would add a bit of levity to a serious issue while acknowledging that the (over)consumption of alcohol comes with risk. I wouldn’t put any names on the plaque but just make it a general memorial to all of those whose lives were cut short far too early due, at least in part, to the abuse of alcohol. MADD and AA could participate in the dedication — this young man’s family could participate if they were so inclined — and you can turn a bad situation into a landmark that both draws tourists to the Westport area and attention to an important issue.

  13. Jay Bee says:

    Seriously? No I mean seriously…
    Alright. Yes, it is sad when a parent loses a child. Yes, we as a society do many different things to remember those who we have lost – crosses on the side of our highways, placing flowers at the scene of an accident annually, doing the ‘adopt-a-mile’ gig in memory of someone and the list goes on….though typically in the situations I just mentioned not so much attention has been brought to the person’s death – or maybe if there was a lot of attention it wasn’t in as negative tone as the attention drawn to the Euston debacle.

    You don’t see a cross in the median of 169 and say, “Oh yeah, remember that kid? Ran his mouth and got his shit knockedthefuckout and died while pickeled to the bejeesus…”.

    When I go by the Euston memorial that is exactly what I think of. Even though it is sad for his friends and family – I don’t immediately think of the sadness. I think of a weird story, long drawn out investigation that ended in a unsettling twist for all parties involved.

    When I see that memorial I think of all the pics I have have seen, which by first glance all seem to be of a snarky, douche-bagalow type asshat forever with a beer in his hand. To me, looks like the kind of guy that is always getting sheeted to the max and makes a total ass of himself, runs his mouth to everyone4, is a prick to all the women, ends up pushing buttons while being a total drunk ass until someone ends up just knocking-him-the-fuck-OUT….oh wait…that isn’t just a generalzation is it? We all know a few guys like that.

    YES, it is unfortunate that dude DIED from the combo of too much booze, big mouth and a killer right hook.

    Yes it is equally unfortunate that the guy who threw the punch ended up KILLING Euston becaue I am pretty sure that wasn’t his intent. Maybe it was, but I doubt it…

    I agree with those that say if you want something to be remembered, something positive, in Euston’s name and memorym then educate kids about the traps of drinking, enlighten them on positive things in his memory, focus on stopping violence – something like THAT…because it doesn’t matter how long you leave up that makeshift memorial to Euston, i will never think of any of things I just mentioned when passing it. Sadly I will always be reminded of a smart-ass kid who always had a beer in his hand, who was way tto hammered to be out, let alone running his mouth, who got his shit knocked out and died in Westport…aprt of the image portrayed by the media and mostly truth. If you want people to think something different – then do something different in his memory.

    Makes sense to me, but what the hell do I know.

    JB

  14. MrOlathe says:

    WTF Hearne?
    WTF is wrong with you??????

  15. BarKeeper says:

    I Think Sly Promised
    The big (two bands and FREE BEER no less!) Sly James “pre-victory” party is a direct result of his vague promise to fix the the No Smoking ordinance and perhaps take down this memorial. These goofy Westport gin mill and hash house owners are doing some early payback.

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    Most of the photos on the Facebook page put up by Euston’s friends mirror the ones that have run here. I think there’s a lesson to be learned and a picture tells a thousand words, right?

  17. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well H Man, there is that…

    It does serve as a ragged reminder of the dangers of self abuse.

  18. Hearne Christopher says:

    FYI: The photo with this column is of the memorial site

  19. Hearne Christopher says:

    Now here’s an idea with some merit. And the Euston family could help fund sponsor it in memory of Brian. Not sure how area bar owners would feel about it is the wild card

  20. Merle Tagladucci says:

    A memorial is an albatross around the neck of a family who doesn’t know how to move on.

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