“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.”
– Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice
- Myl Dobson, 4 y.o. was hideously tortured by New York caretaker, Kryzie King, during the final months of his life . The youngster had been left with King by his incarcerated father, Okee Wade, whose custody of the boy was actually subject to court ordered supervision. Caseworkers visited the home 9 times without recognizing that the father was absent.
- In Pennsylvania, a 7 y.o. boy was nearly starved and beaten to death by his mother, Mary Rader, and grandparents, Dennis and Deana Beighley . Weighing only 25 pounds, the child was desperate enough to eat insects on the porch where he was sometimes kept. Dr. Jennifer Wolford of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Child Advocacy Center characterized the boy as “the worst case of medical neglect that I have ever seen…” Two of the boy’s sisters appeared healthy. A 9 y.o. brother was underweight, but not to the same extent.
- Raymond Frolander’s life was saved by the 11 y.o. boy he molested . The Florida boy’s father walked in on the sexual battery in progress. He beat the predator severely, then went to the kitchen for a butcher knife. According to the father, he would have killed Frolander, if his young son had not at that point intervened.
It is not unusual for victims to exhibit more concern – more mercy, if you will – for their abusers, than those abusers do for them.
What though are we to make of predators such as these? Our first instinct is to draw back in horror, to conclude that these were not human beings at all. These were wolves. Devourers.
Are they missing some quality that defines humanity – empathy or compassion, perhaps? A moral compass? Were their actions perhaps the result of a diseased mind? Some misguided religious fervor? Were they, themselves, so tormented in childhood that they are compelled to re-enact those events?
I suggest these predators affirmatively chose evil. They deliberately placed their own selfish desires above the welfare of the children whom they stalked, often children under their care and protection. Innocence was their elixir, power their aphrodisiac.
The Nuremberg war crime trials following World War II demonstrated the banal face of evil, and the rationalization on which evil relies to excuse away its behavior. The all too human fiends preying on our children would have felt right at home.
“And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat”(Exodus 25: 20).
 CNN, “Caretaker Now Charged with Murder in Torture, Killing of New York Boy, 4” by Lawrence Crook, 6/23/14, http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/19/justice/new-york-boy-death/index.html.
 CNN, “Police: 25-Pound Boy Nearly Starved, Beaten by Family” by Ray Sanchez and Morgan Winsor, 7/20/14, http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/19/justice/pennsylvania-boy-nearly-starved/index.html.
 NBC News, “Dad Admits Son Stopped Him from Killing Alleged Abuser” by Hasani Gittens, 7/22/14, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dad-admits-son-stopped-him-killing-alleged-abuser-n162156.
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