Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When the Children Cry

Over the weekend, I had the chance to watch the movie Changeling, a fact-based story of a child’s disappearance. To be honest, I knew nothing about the subject going into it, but found it a well-crafted, well-acted and poignant portrayal of a lone mother’s plight to find her child in 1920s Los Angeles. Not to give away spoilers, but the gross mistreatment by those in authority toward her and their ineptitude in investigating the case is nauseatingly disgraceful from a modern perspective. Of course, Christine Collins was not Charles Lindbergh.

Not surprisingly, I found the story resonatingly reminiscent of recent events concerning missing children. Naturally, I thought immediately of Shawn Hornbeck, but I turned distinctively more to Jaycee Lee Dugard. To put her case in perspective, I was a 19-year old readying to graduate high school when 11-year old Jaycee was abducted waiting for the bus to take her to elementary school. As I was preparing to start a positive, new chapter in my life, this little girl was beginning an unknown life of hell because of the actions of a loathsome, repeat deviant. Both their cases, along with the thousands still unsolved, really makes one reflect on the “hardships” one has faced and dwelled upon in comparison to what these abducted children have been through in their disrupted lives.

It also makes one wonder why we keep letting child predators, molesters and other such filth of that ilk continue to walk among society. As far as many are concerned, myself included, people like Michael Devlin and Phillip Garrido forfeit their lives the moment they touch a child. After all, psychologists consider these acts akin to murder – with the exception that the victim is left hollowly alive. However, we as a culture are too “civilized” to put to death the “uncivilized” for acts seen as rehabilitative, mental conditions rather than an extant, societal threat.

*Jaycee Lee Dugard Trust Fund*

(And yes, it is a White Lion song. It seemed apropos.)

©2009 Steve Sagarra

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