It brought me back to the time I was a young journalist, covering an abuse case in San Bernardino County, California. In that case, the step-father of a 4-year-old little boy told the toddler to stand still and lift his arms so, he looked like a little letter "t."
"Make like an airplane," his step-father said.
He was convicted, I'm happy to report. He got 15 years in prison. I wanted to write that it wasn't enough, as I typed up my report on sentencing day. It stings today, as I think he's probably out on parole by now. Living his life.
I once wrote an entire book about two teenage boys who conspired to kill their mom, decapitating her with a kitchen knife. As I investigated the case, I discovered the boys had suffered extreme mental abuse all of their lives at the hands of their mother. The abuse didn't excuse the brutal slaying, but slowly, I understood where all that anger came from. I interviewed one of the young men in jail and he told me what it was like to be young, defenseless, and abused.