You nailed the issue completely JB
I do understand the small town aspect. I grew up that way I could not make a move that the next three towns did not know about.
It is that web that makes a predator strong as they have the ability to spread fear for very good reasons. The law system I think is the biggest issue and is what allows the criminal to stay empowered. How do you beat that?
It is easy as you indicate to sit far away and say not I but yes it would be a hard thing to do to report it and watch your family die. Also hard to sit and do nothing to have the same tug three weeks later kill us anyhow because he knew I seen the activity.
So perhaps I should be asking what is the likely hood of the criminal coming after me if I say nothing? Are these types using the strong arm tactic of letting witnesses live when they report nothing so the word passes and giving more power to the criminal element? If so then I might be agreeing on the stay silent as it might give the longer life expectancy for me and my family till I could get out.