If you've been following me at all here, you know I've written about the murder of Kelly Brumbelow by Terrence Sampson in 1989. You know also that I am a staunch advocate of victims' rights and have been known to crow mightily when some wife- or girlfriend-murdering scumbag gets his just deserts.
You also know, Dearly Beloved, that both the victim and the murderer in this case were 7th graders. They were neighbours. They were both home alone. The story is that Terrence asked Kelly out and she turned him down. He came unglued and stabbed her 97 times and hid her body in a woodpile.
Since then, he has been locked up, first in a juvenile detention facility, and, since he reached adulthood, in prison. He has been married and divorced, and has worked hard to get a Master's in English. He writes.
A friend recently sent me this link: http://126.96.36.199/viewmedia.php/prmMID/6591/prmID/1652, which goes to some of Terrence's writing. I hope you will read it and leave me a comment, telling me what you think about this.
In the time I have been writing about murder, my pro-death-penalty stance has softened considerably, and I no longer scream for it every time somebody is murdered. Mistakes are made, and sometimes the wrong person is executed, leaving a killer running free.
The fact that Terrence was only 12 or 13 when he did this heinous thing, and the fact that he appears to be genuinely repentant, leads me to hope that he can recover. When he is released, I think he can be a productive member of society.
I am hoping to have an opportunity to talk to Terrence and meet with him in person.
I think it does little good to go on and on about the fact that Kelly is gone and her potential was destroyed. I do realize that. I also realize that her family suffered a loss that will never go away. Every child in that school who knew either one of them suffered damage that will never go away. I fail to see what can be gained by continuing to punish Terrence, once he has done his time and paid his debt, and comes forth to deal with his future. If he can have one, at least something will have been salvaged from the horror that occurred that long ago December day.