Authorities captured escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante on Tuesday morning, who was taken into custody wearing an Eagles t-shirt and sporting a mess of curls that made him look like the 6th member of Korn. Everybody did their football jokes, Governor Shapiro included, and then Delco comedian Mike Rainey walked into the press conference to ask whether or not law enforcement was concerned about Cavalcante teaming up with another small man to hide in a trench coat:

It was interesting to gauge the reaction to that. I laughed my ass off, because it was needed decompression following a sigh of relief. They finally got this guy, the threat is over, and now we can all share a laugh. Most of the people responding to our tweet, or Mike’s tweet, or any other Philly media outlet, seemingly felt the same way. But I noticed that when Barstool and other national outlets shared it, they got a lot of pushback because people thought it was not the time or place for jokes, considering the fact that Cavalcante is a convicted murderer who was on the run for two weeks.

Maybe they don’t “get” Philadelphia, where humor is used as a coping mechanism, because there is no other recourse.

First, consider the absurdity of the situation. Here’s a killer on the loose because he spider walked up the wall and escaped prison by jumping off the roof. Law enforcement couldn’t find him. West Chester University, Longwood Gardens, and entire school districts were shut down. Chesco residents had double digit days of worrying and wondering if this guy is gonna break into their house, carjack someone, and/or remain on the lam in perpetuity. We’re talking teachers and bankers and bloggers and delivery drivers. What do you expect us to do? Pick up a gun and jump into the woods looking for this guy? The fact that a murderer got out of prison in the same exact way another guy did (in May), then evaded authorities for two weeks is a massive security breach and total failure at multiple levels of law enforcement. That’s partly why you saw negative feedback when the border patrol agents took a photo with Cavalcante after his apprehension, because the optics were goofy after two harrowing weeks of this clown show.

But let’s be clear – nobody, not one single person on the planet, is making light of the murder of Deborah Brandao, the ex-girlfriend that Cavalcante killed in 2021. People say that her story was lost in this mess of a manhunt, but it’s the complete opposite that’s true. The average Delaware Valley resident did not know about Brandao or Cavalcante prior to the latter’s escape, which resulted in media outlets writing stories about Brandao and sharing the family’s story. We learned about her background and her children and her sister, who had not slept during the entirety of the chase. That publicity, be it unexpected and certainly not ideal, resulted in the creation of a GoFundMe benefiting Brandao’s children, which has now raised more than $17,000 dollars as of publication.

If you’d like to donate, you can click on this link here: Fundraiser for the victims of Danelo Cavalcante

There’s a line of demarcation here between the murder, which had already been litigated, and the manhunt, which continued for two weeks. People were frustrated with law enforcement. They didn’t know how long this guy was going to be running around Chester County. They had no way to assist in the search or help bring this guy in. They’re already stressed out and fearful, maybe raising young children, caring for a parent, or living paycheck to paycheck. So what do they do? Let all of that continue to pile up? No, they go on social media and joke. They laugh that the guy was captured wearing an Eagles sweatshirt. They’re relieved that this thing is over, and they share that relief through humor and community.

That’s all there was to it.

Debra gets the last word: