Serial killers fascinate me. Not what they do or their modus operandi; not who they kill or why. While I feel for their victims and the victims’ families, I am interested in the perpetrators. Who they were as children, who their families were and how they interacted.
To me, evil has always been cloaked in the ordinary. Monsters are not ugly, with misshapen toes or boils upon their noses. Monsters speak softly and beguile you with a smile. They are not crazy lunatics wrapped in faded and dirty blankets self talking as they walk down the street. They comb their hair and iron their shirts. They befriend your parents or hand out papers for the teacher, then do bad things in the woods.
Eddie raped and killed seven girls by the time he was caught at age nineteen. If he hadn’t been caught in the act on victim number seven, no one would have believed it. Eddie stood five feet four, had short brown hair cut trim. He wore button up dress shirts and creased his pants. He spoke quietly and never got excited.
There were several missing girls who the authorities believed were Eddie’s victims and very little evidence in the cases, so a deal was cut. The authorities allowed a plea of guilty due to insanity (Eddie couldn’t remember his deeds) and Eddie agreed to undergo psychiatric treatment and participate in a serial killer study. Eddie agreed to take sodium thiopental so the bodies of the six other victims (if there really were any, as Eddie would say) could be found and the families could have closure.
Serving a twenty to thirty year sentence in a psychiatric prison, Eddie underwent many hours of interviews. He was questioned about his past which he said was normal. He showed the doctors pictures of a close knit family: father, mother, two sisters and Eddie between the two girls. He did well in school. He went to church every Sunday with his family. His father was a lector. His mother helped with charities.
The doctors spoke Eddie’s parents. They were shocked that Eddie was accused of these things and had a hard time believing it. He was such an ordinary child. They stood behind their son in spirit and in body at all of his trials. They prayed for him. They never found any dead animals when he was little. He never fought them over any of the rules and they considered themselves fairly strict. Eddie was very punctual.
Eddie’s mother would not speak to anyone except her husband about Eddie. When the doctors first requested a dialogue to see if there was anything in Eddie’s past that might have led his parents to think something might be wrong with Eddie, husband and wife tried to recall any incidents that might have been clues. They decided nothing about him rang any warning bells. Mother did tell Father there was that one time that Younger Sister told Mother that Eddie had forced her to have sex with him, but they were sure that was just something boys did.
The theme for Tuesday, April 27, 2010 will be My Favorite Martian.
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