The Monster That Isn’t In the Closet by Peggy Bogaard-Lapp
This week a monster has been sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison for the horrific murder last year of a 10 year-old girl in my town. He himself is a teenager, and that is another sad, sad part of the story. The teenager, who completely admitted his guilt, with surprising details accounted for his actions that included the attempted abduction of a woman earlier that month, as well as the brutality that he used in killing Jessica Ridgeway after kidnapping her as she walked to school. The part of the story that you may not have heard is that the teenager was filled with guilt over what he did, and confessed it to his mother. She is the one who listened to him tearfully admitting that he was the one responsible for it all. And she is the one who called police to report her son, who sat next to her while she called, and she requested the police come to her house and arrest her son.
I can’t possibly understand what she was going through at that moment, when she heard from the son who she raised that he had done such a terrible thing. She may or may not have had a suspicion, or had thought that her son had “issues” and chose to ignore them. She may have known about his pornography obsession, but maybe not the necrophilia interest. Regardless if she had a bit of forewarning, the moment it came out, her world shifted. Think of when you hear bad news and you feel it, or get that flipping sensation in your stomach. Imagine the child you love more than anything in the world brings you such unbelievable news, and you realize that while you thought you knew your child, you didn’t know ALL of your child. And at some point they begin to think and do and move around without you. This mother has just lost her son. He may or may not survive prison, and it’s likely he will be moved out of state. How will she be his mother now?