Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Amish school shooter update

Like JonBenet and John Mark Karr months ago, a new crime story has demanded my attention, Charles Carl Roberts' rampage in an Amish schoolhouse. More information has come out about the shooter, including claims that he molested relatives years ago, and, around the time of the shooting, was having urges to molest children again. Equipment found in Roberts' possession hinted that he intended to molest the girls he held hostage and later killed, but didn't have time before the police showed up.
Roberts' letters to his wife about a daughter who died shortly after birth, that he had "lost faith in God," indicate a suicidal mission. Why he chose an Amish school is uncertain, and maybe it was just the first stop he came up on (he was driving a milk truck) when the urge hit. It was probably unintentional, but a man who lost faith in God hits a town that is sustained after the massacre by their faith in God. The end of the article shows one of the scarier aspects of faith, the emphasis of the afterlife over the current life, almost like it doesn't matter that their children are dead because they're now in a better place, but maybe I'm reading too much into it. The people of the town also pray they will be able to forgive the gunman, showing the kind of Christian mercy in short supply in America's "Religious Right." But Roberts' daughter died years ago, what made him act now? Was it the urge to abuse children he said he was feeling again? With Roberts dead, that question will likely go unanswered.
Yesterday I saw the New York Post's headline about the case, "EXECUTED" against a bold block background. Nothing like the Post for lurid headlines. Oddly enough, the Post was once a reputable newspaper, before Rupert Murdoch bought it.

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