I heard a blurb on the news this weekend and now I can’t find it anywhere. Typically, I was listening to the news while I was doing other stuff, so I missed details. But the gist of the piece was a father who turned in his son for murder.
This weekend, we were watching a DATELINE rerun about Alex Kelly which is the story of a rich and privileged young man who was accused of rape and his parents helped him flee the country to avoid prosecution. Eventually he was caught and convicted. But what was interesting was his parents adamant and continued denial that there son raped those women.
Truthfully, I understand it. I have three sons and it was take a hell of a lot to convince me that one of them could commit rape or cold blooded murder. I KNOW my sons, or more accurately, I know the men I believe my sons to be. Just like the Kellys’ know the man they believe their son to be, and so they cannot allow themselves to believe the truth—that he’s a rapist.
This brings me back to the man who turned his son in for murder. He’s not alone. Look at David Kaczynski, who turned his brother, Ted Kaczynski in for murder by mail bombs (Unabomber). It’s not exactly the same as a parent, but I think I can say with total confidence that David didn’t want to believe his brother was the Unabomber. I have to believe that his desire to stop the injuries and murders was more compelling that his need to believe his brother wasn’t a killer. That takes a special kind of courage I think.
Alex Kelly’s parents don’t seem to have that kind of courage, but obviously the man in the news clip I heard did.
Would I have that kind of courage? I don’t know. I hope to God I never have to find out. I am 100% sure I won’t ever know how tough that decision is because I believe in my sons. However…I hope I could do the right thing if someone I know and loved turned out to be a killer or rapist.
LINK UPDATE: Here’s an interesting interview from Tina Engler founder of Ellora’s Cave, who has a totally different perspective on crime and punishment. It’s a little off topic from my blog, but fascinating. I don’t agree with her, but I was interested in how she came to her conclusions. Let me know what you think.