I randomly found myself watching an old episode of Criminal Minds where a man’s daughter discovers that he was kidnapping and killing young boys since she was a little girl. To make matters worse the “presents” that she received after his mood swings over the years were actually trophies from his victims. While I continued to watch the episode with my dad I kept wondering how it would feel to discover to find out someone you loved that deeply could do something so horrific. How would you feel if you discovered your father was a serial killer? How would it feel to know that you had all the answers for most of your life?
Of course, I’m reminded of how every time the news reveals someone as a killer there is always someone there to say, “We had no idea George Glass was a serial killer. He was always so sweet and so kind that we never thought anything weird was going on in his basement.” And honestly, I kind of get why that would be the case. Why would you want to believe that someone you cared about that much, or even your neighbor, was a serial killer? I will admit it made me ask my father is some of my gifts were trophies, which is in poor taste, but my father wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s a man with the kindest heart I know, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that at all. My dad would help the entire world if he could.
But I sat there afterward thinking to myself, I understand why people would be blindsided by that. We all present ourselves a certain way. Most of us hide behind certain facades, especially online these days. We can all hide behind a handle and troll sites and make comments that we would NEVER in a thousand years say to someone’s face. There are places on the web that I will not, cannot, make myself venture into because I don’t want to know everything out there on the dark web. I think the scarier part is we are left wondering who has ventured down that path. I think the other stance we take on these matters of course is that we aren’t looking for these clues because we want to believe the best in people.
In fact, a couple of years back, I remember reading somewhere that the average person walks past a murderer thirty-six times in life. Granted, I don’t know if that is a real statistic or not, but it’s absolutely frightening to think about for too long. I don’t want to believe that statistic is real. In many ways, being naive on these topics is far easier. I want to believe that we live in a happy-go lucky world where the mice talk to us and make us dresses for the ball before believing I’ve just walked past a person who has brutally murdered someone or multiple people. Bring on the Disney fairy tale instead of the horrific reality that may or may not exist. No trophies for me, please. I don’t need to be a part of your sick desires is all I’m saying.
And ultimately that brings up the fact that I don’t think any of us want to be. I think part of the reason we don’t know these things are taking place is because we also don’t want to believe someone we know is capable of such. We don’t want to believe that someone living next door to us is up to no good. We are not like L.B. Jefferies with our binoculars taking in the apartment complex across the way. As much as we want to do the right thing, we also don’t want to know such horrid events could take place right under our noses either. Thus, we don’t look. I think that’s normal. I just hope as much as I want to believe the good in people that they confirm I have the right instead of being that person on the news one day saying, “Susan brought us fudge every Christmas, I’m shocked she had a room in her home to torture people.”