Obsession by John E. Douglas & Mark Olshaker

Obsession by John E. Douglas & Mark Olshaker

Author:John E. Douglas & Mark Olshaker [Douglas, John E. & Olshaker, Mark]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: True Crime
ISBN: 9781439107409
Google: 4TUbsH5QJ8EC
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: 1998-10-31T11:00:00+00:00


“Why?” is a question they grapple with over and over in the meetings of the homicide survivors support group.

It is one that is ultimately unanswerable in any way that makes human, moral sense, and one that has so many other questions agonizingly buried within it, perhaps the most sublime of which is, Where was God the day Meredith Mergler was murdered … or Dana Ireland … or Robin Anderson … or Tommy Neu … or Rosie Gordon … or Laurene Johnson … or Suzanne Collins … or Destiny Souza … or any of the others—so many others that the enumeration of their names would require many pages of this text.

Various members or veterans of the group might offer differing possibilities. Jack Collins, whose brave and lovely nineteen-year-old daughter died at the hands of one of the most horrifying and sadistic murderers I have ever had to deal with, is a devoutly religious man. He would tell you that the most significant gift God has given man is free will, and that once it is given, He cannot, or chooses not to, take it away. This is not an indication of indifference, Jack believes; God is always present, even at the moments of horror. He was there weeping and agonizing over Suzanne’s pain. Yet He cannot stay the hand or stop the bullet. But then, afterward. He is forever available as a source of empathy, compassion, and strength. Jack, a tireless champion of the victims’ rights movement and advocate of judicial reform, will also tell you that even with his strong faith, he and his wife, Trudy, have ached in sadness for Suzanne’s loss every single day since July of 1985.

Carroll Ellis would say, simply, “I’m angry with God from time to time, and I would love to talk to Him about it. Because if you’re talking to a mother whose eight-year-old is gone because of mankind’s in humanity to man. I need an answer that lasts a little longer and does a little more than what I’ve come up with.”

What both Jack’s and Carroll’s beliefs underscore for me, though, is that power of choice. We can debate and deliberate about where it came from, but all of my research with repeat offenders has led me to the same conclusion about the free will to commit—or not to commit—violent crime.

The Fairfax survivors support group was begun a year after Destiny Souza’s murder, as a means of providing a “safe and trusting place where survivors are free to express their feelings.”

Katie Souza, who had been serving as a consultant to the unit in defining what their long-range plans should be, was one of the first members. Carroll remembers, “She had a specific agenda of what she wanted to get from the group, in terms of something that would help her toward resolution of all of her feelings of anger and guilt at not being able to do anything for her daughter.”

So the group became a journey of sorts, with


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