Victims


I have read that by discussing serial killers and not using the victim’s names we are somehow making the killer into a public figure and forgetting those that they killed. I have to disagree.
I do think we often forget the names of those killed, but it is because we are horrified by their deaths we remember the one that did it. The names of the dead might not be screamed daily but we never forget them.
I also have an issue with what the general world and more so the media, considers a victim in these crimes. We forget that not only the dead are victims.
Those dead often have family. They suffer greatly. They not only lose a loved one they are dragged through years an years of court proceedings. They have to keep facing the person that destroyed their loved one. The press sticks cameras and microphones in their faces asking how the feel about the case, the killer, the dead, and so much more. No matter what the people say, how they say it, these family members are scrutinized and remembered for a moment in time when they where in pain, reacting to wounds that are not being allowed to heal.
The ‘victims’ of Dahmer will forever be burned into my mind by Rita Isabell. She is the sister of Errol Lindsey. She is the one that showed Jeffery what ‘out of control’ looks like. Do you think she wants to be remembered for that day? Not that she did anything wrong, but she will always be seen as the lady that “freaked out” on Dahmer. (Google it)
Sometimes they also have to deal with that loved one’s name being dragged through the mud. Fingers point at them even though they could have been a perfect family. If they were not the perfect family they end up defending the dead and themselves.
The killer often has family. They are scarred by the killer’s actions as well. There are many cases where the family was loving and tried their best yet the killer’s actions have now thrust them into unwanted and unearned spotlights and headlines. They did nothing to earn the shame, confusion and scorn but they get a lot of it.
Imagine being Ted Bundy’s mom for a minute. Or Dennis Rader’s kid or wife. How many times have they been asked how did they not know, how does it feel to have lived with a monster, what was he really like? Accusations, insensitive comments and the fact that you now have to live knowing that you loved a “monster”.
I have never contacted a serial killer and I have never spoken to the family of one. I do not think I want to.
I have been in contact with the son of a man that was killed by a serial killer. I am not going into too much of his information, I do not think he wants to be known as a victim. I will say that his life and the life of the others in his family have not gotten any better since then. “S” (what I am calling him) is a drug addict and so is his mother. I am not saying that either of them would be on the straight and narrow if S’s dad had not been killed in a very public serial killing case I am saying that it made life much much harder.
He wrote briefly about the fact that his mom >kind of< used this incident as a reason to delve deeper into drugs and alcohol. He also writes of how it affected him and his relationship with his mother.
S also wrote about the shame of having his dad connected to the drugs and seedy places and possibly things that allowed the predator to get close enough to him to kill him. Some true, some possible, some outright lies.
Imagine growing up with the shame of everyone knowing your dad was an addict, hanging out in seedy bars, being lured to another man's place for who knows what and then murdered. Not only did dad disappear when he was found everything bad that he did (or did not do but could have done) was public, front page news.
Yeah, the dead are far from the only 'victims' in serial killings.

Sorry for the rant.

  1. January 2nd, 2012

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