Thursday, April 28, 2005

Denial is Not a River in Egypt...

What a relief--the police have finally a suspect in the serial arson cases! The thought of that prowler creeping around setting fires to folks' home while they were asleep gave me a few shudders and sleepless nights. Who knew where he would strike next?

Predictably, some of Sweatt's acquaintances and neighbors can't imagine that the man whose "demons told him" to set fires, did just that. In today's Washington Post [free reg. req'd.], an acquaintance is quoted as saying, "Don't they have to prove it? I don't think it was him." Well, police arrested the guy because they found evidence, and Sweatt then confessed to setting at least one of the fires. What sane person can fathom that anyone could commit such crimes until they happen--they're almost unimaginable by nature. More denial of depravity occurred recently, after the alleged killers of a stripper were arrested. Not only did they kill the woman, but police found a pipe bomb (or two) in their home. Nevertheless, camera crews managed to find someone to vouch for her dangerous neighbors' "niceness." Why not simply keep quiet when so confronted, or at least admit that you didn't know the person as well as you thought?

The frightening and frustrating reality is that many criminals are "nice, nonthreatening" types, at least some of the time. (Prove this yourself by perusing your jurisdiction's sex offenders' web site, and note how many of the offenders appear normal and nonthreatening, even in those relatively unflattering mug shots.)

People still are often not what they seem to be.

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