Mentored in Murder
If you’ve been following this blog for longer than 5 minutes, you know that among my (all-too-many) guilty pleasures, I have almost a fetish for true crime. So deeply shameful…but since loving me means loving all of me, I will completely cop to it, admitting my love of cheesy true crime shows such as “Wicked Attraction” and “Deadly Women.” I feel better for having shared that with you.
I bring this up, since last night I was reading about this case, http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/blog/2012/11/12/teen-craigslist-killer-sentenced-to-life-without-parole/index.html. Brogan Rafferty is the teenager who was just sentenced to life without parole for his (odious) role in the murder of three men, and the attempted murder of a fourth man. Mr. Rafferty, in fact, ate a meal with his final intended victim before attempting to kill him. So, listen: no quibble from me. Mr. Rafferty helped kill three people, and he deserves to spend the rest of his empty life sitting in prison, brooding about what he did.
But that got me thinking. Thinking that it would almost be better if Brogan Rafferty never realizes the enormity of his crimes…and by crimes, I don’t “just” mean taking the lives of three people, or leaving a hole in the lives of the people who love those dead men. I also mean, his active participation in destroying himself, in deadening himself, in quickening his path to prison. Many, oh so many teenagers in this country, in the world, in your neighborhood, for example, are lost, conflicted, isolated and frightened…but not many teenagers would so casually be able to participate in the luring and murder of other humans. For a fistful of dollars.
They killed men to sell their measly possessions…almost incredible. Brogan Rafferty was dead inside, and was on a path to prison long before he met his “mentor in murder*” Richard Beasley. Richard Beasley may have “recognized” Brogan Rafferty for the weak character that he is, but up until the last moment, Mr. Rafferty always had a choice.
And I also thought…what a shame. Because perhaps instead of an empty piece of shit like Beasley, an empty vessel of a “man” who can contribute nothing, but can only hunt down humans…imagine if Mr. Rafferty had run into a man or woman who could have mentored him to invest positively in himself, his education and his community. Perhaps then, three innocent people would still be alive and Mr. Rafferty would be learning a trade, or reading good books or realizing how glorious it is to wake up alive in the world…and not in a cage, up to his neck in blood. (By the way, shame on Beasley’s mother for saying her son has “a good heart.” Really? Did he misplace it? Did he leave it on his bedroom dresser, when he was luring humans to their deaths? Disgusting.)
I have the barest modicum of pity for Brogan Rafferty because of his age, because he allowed himself to be manipulated and made excuses for himself and because he will, deservedly, spend the rest of his (long) life institutionalized in a cage. And that’s why I almost hope he doesn’t start reading books in prison, and that he doesn’t choose to educate himself…since that moment of clarity, of understanding the cowardly, pathetic choices he made and the despicable acts he actively furthered, will necessarily be horrendous. As it must be.
Obviously, my truest, my deepest, my most sincere sympathies go to the victims and their families.
* Yes, “Wicked Attraction” producers, do feel free to use that awesome title when you profile this case. You’re welcome!