The story is being sold as “the boy who killed on a dare for a free breakfast” but I think that rather badly misses the point.
I went on the message boards to see what people were saying about all this and predictably there was a lot of disgust and desire for revenge, hangings too good for him etc. The victim’s family has come forward and asked for the reinstatement of capital punishment for which they have received much support. I can understand their feelings. Rebecca Aylward seemed like a lovely, smart and promising girl. Sadly, she fell for the “dangerous one” as so many females do, only in her case, there was more to it than motorbikes and ditching school.
But something else struck me, something that no one besides myself seemed to comment on. Below is what I posted. I’m interested in what others think, so do write in.
Um, I’m still having trouble with the part of the story where it was somehow considered normal by friends and family, including the victim herself, that the guy openly talked about various ways to kill her. Look, me and my friends did a lot o risky stuff when we were teens: group shags, LSD in the woods, shoplifting, shooting up drugs…. but we never, I mean NEVER joked around about MURDER. There was a horror show element to a certain strand of the underground punk and gay scenes (what eventually became goth and fetish) but that was all just fantasy theatrics, vampires and fun sexy nonsense. Anyone who showed a genuine interest in violence would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb.
I guess what I’m saying is, the most disturbing thing to me about all this is that everyone’s saying “We never saw it comin’! He was so sweet and charming…um, and also totally obsessed with gory murders, knives, death and um, yeah, frequently mentioned killing Rebecca in all sorts of different ways…but still we thought he was a lovely kid….”
Sorry, but it is only me that’s going WTF??? I’m the furthest thing from an old prude or fart someone of my 45 years can be but I’m genuinely scared of the REAL decline of Western civilization if nobody once suspected this kid had some unhealthy obsessions because his leisure pursuits were what, so mainstream? But then I think of the triumph of ironic consumerism, Manson girls T-shirts and serial killer collectible cards, Grand Theft Auto and movies like Kill Bill and yeah, I guess it gets harder and harder to tell because everyone’s so desensitized.
Calling for the death penalty though, rather misses the point too. Ted Bundy was right – we should’ve taken the opportunity to study his brain rather than just snuff him. We need to know what creates cold-blooded killers. Assuming one is not the product of abuse, as seems the case here, and ignoring the religious fanatics who speak of “evil”, we really have to look for answers in brain make-up.
Already strong causal effects have been proven between certain kinds of brain tumours and sudden onset of paedophiliac tendencies, for example. Something is clearly wrong with this kid and it would be good to get beyond the desire to annihilate him in retaliation for his hideous action and instead use him as a scientific subject in aid of increasing understanding about what kind of birth defect it may be that creates certain types of killers.