You’d never think he was a criminal . . .

Readers may remember the video clips I put up last week, showing two robbers trying their luck (and failing) against an armed, alert gun shop owner in Georgia.  One of them was killed on the spot, the other fled.

It turns out the deceased was one Donovan ‘Dula’ Chopin, from New Orleans.  His obituary doesn’t say a word about his prior criminal tendencies (although both he and his mother are featured on  You’d think it was describing an angelic youth who never put a foot wrong.  Examples:  “Donovan “Dula” Chopin was called home on Monday December 26, 2016 at the age of 30 years. Beloved son … talented brother … Donovan will be forever loved and missed…”.

The tributes on his guest book page at are similarly sanitized:  “I know for sure now because you will be guiding her steps from Heaven. I promise you your music, your spirit and your hustle will live in us forever” … “My star you don’t have to struggle anymore!!”  There’s even a GoFundMe page for him, claiming he was “called home on December 26, 2016. This is a very tragic and unexpected blow for the family. He was very loved by the community and family.”  It’s trying to raise $8,000 (presumably for funeral expenses), and has already raised $1.4K as I write these words.

Yeah. Right.  Whatever.  Clearly, the late ‘Dula’ was a dindu (do a quick search on the word if you’re not familiar with it).  I’m sorry for those he left behind . . . but the rest of us are probably better off without his presence.  By busting into a gun shop armed with two firearms, trying to rob it, he proved beyond any shadow of doubt that he was already a hardened criminal.  Amateurs, or those just starting to tiptoe over the edge of the law, don’t commit that sort of crime as their first effort.  That’s the harsh reality of crime.  I never met him, but I’ve met his type all too often.

Nevertheless, I’ll pray that, if it is possible, he may receive mercy from God for his sins and his crimes, and that his loved ones may receive what comfort they can.  I hope they, and those who attend his funeral, learn from his less-than-stellar example, and live better lives henceforth because of it.



  1. It's not unusual for obituaries to be misleadingly positive. Nobody wants to write that their recently deceased relative was domineering, stubborn, etc. It's not quite the same, but the inspiration for A Christmas Carol was a gravestone that Dickens thought said somebody was a "mean man" (he may have misread it; apparently it could have said "meal man"; i.e., a miller). Dickens tried to imagine how bad a person would need to be to have "mean man" on their tombstone.

    The fact the obituary is so short could be evidence that it isn't easy to write much positive aout the deceased ("Joe is dead. He will be missed.").

    It's a bit of a stretch to say he was "called home." That's what you say when someone dies of an illness. I'm not sure what would be better. I doubt the family would have approved of "suffered a sudden drop in blood pressure."

  2. Obituaries remind me of my visit to Graceland, where everything nice was said about Elvis and not one word about his drug use.

  3. I knew Donovan personally, and just ran across your this today. NO he was not a man free of sin. His life and choices caught up with him causing his death. My dear Tim you mention the fact that his family and friends didn't mention his life of crime in his obituary. Were they supposed to ? Is that normally what people do ? We spoke of the good things about Dula that we loved and knew about him. Not all criminals share all their criminal behaviors with their family. Did you ever stop to think for one scond that this young man had a side to him that people could love? Well Im here to tell you he did. One of the best lyricist to touch a mic. Go listen to the last cd put out after his death it tells alot about his life and where some of those negative choices came from. If it wasn't for Donovan my daughter wouldn't be so passionate about her singing career as she is. He encouraged her to never give up on her dreams. Put her on some of his tracks. Theres more to Donovan that a mugshot and that robbery. You only know apart of him.

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