Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

A lost little boy gets his throat cut

posted by Rod Dreher

I spoke with my mother by phone this morning, as I always do, and she was shaken over the latest news: the murder of an eight-year-old boy, allegedly by a 16-year-old boy, just up the road from where they live. Here’s how the Baton Rouge newspaper reports it this morning:

ST. FRANCISVILLE — West Feliciana Parish Sheriff J. Austin Daniel said investigators do not know a motive for a Thursday afternoon attack which left an 8-year-old boy dead, allegedly at the hands of a 16-year-old boy, on a wooded trail in The Bluffs on Thompson Creek.
The younger boy was stabbed repeatedly in the front and back of his body and had his throat cut, according to the sheriff.


Daniel said deputies received a 911 call about 1 p.m. from a carpenter working in the development who said a boy covered in blood came out of the woods and told the workers to call 911 and “that he had killed another boy.”
“The construction guys more or less held the 16-year-old until we got there,” Daniel said.
Deputies recovered the knife believed to have been used in the attack.
Daniel said the victim, his mother and his brother were riding bicycles on the paved trail, but the victim fell behind on the route.
“They did not witness the attack,” Daniel said of the mother and her other son.

The little boy’s mother tried to save her son with CPR, but it was too late.
The mind reels. This is a story that is almost mythic in its details: small child falls behind his family on a bike trail, monster emerges from the woods and kills him. I should emphasize that the place where this happened is a well-off golfing and recreation development, not some sort of “Deliverance” bog. The identity of the accused murderer has not been released, and I didn’t recognize the name when my mother gave it to me. She did say that the teenager’s family used to go to my family’s church, and that the alleged killer is well-known locally. No idea as to the motive yet.
This story chills me to the bone, not only because of the horrifying details, but because it happened in a place known well to me. This is the kind of place people go to escape the violence of the city. And look what happened. I literally cannot imagine what the family of the murdered child is going through.
This is the sort of thing that makes one reflect on how fragile everything is, and how we simply never know what lies around the corner, in the thicket, waiting for its chance. I’ve written before about how the serial killer Derrick Todd Lee was a classmate of my sister’s, and how he had a record as a peeping tom. In the early 1990s, when my sister and her husband had just married, her husband worked shift work at a paper mill, leaving her alone at night often. She had a peeping tom problem, and the cops couldn’t catch the guy. One night, very late, he knocked on her door. She had a gun, and knew how to use it. She called out to the man on the other side, telling him that if he came through the door, she would kill him. He left. They never did catch the peeping tom — but when Lee was arrested a decade or so later, and sent to death row for killing multiple women, my family were convinced he was the peeping tom. He had this in his background, and he lived near where my sister and her husband did. It is terrifying to think what kind of fate for my sister stood on the other side of her thin door, knocking near midnight. Of course, I’ll never know how many times, walking through the woods as a child, my ankle passed near the nose of a rattlesnake, who chose not to strike.
UPDATE: The alleged killer will be tried as an adult.

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posted June 11, 2010 at 10:28 am

Enough of the Barney-fied fairy tales where no one is ever hurt and everyone spontaneously decides to love one another and eat healthy food. There really are wolves in the woods, witches in gingerbread houses, and trolls under bridges.

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posted June 11, 2010 at 10:37 am

“‘The Earth is a fine place, and worth fighting for.’ I agree with the 2nd part.” – Se7en .

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eccentric libertarian

posted June 11, 2010 at 10:42 am

Heartbreaking. Horrifying. I am hugging my baby and crying.
“including godsend”

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posted June 11, 2010 at 11:28 am

This is the kind of place people go to escape the violence of the city. And look what happened.
There’s nothing more jarring than having mythology meet reality.

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posted June 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

This is so utterly horrifying. As a parent, this makes my stomach churn.
capcha: hangs one. Appropriate, no?

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Matushka Anna

posted June 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

One of our parishioners from St. Francisville called last night in horror at what happened. It was not something good to hear right before bed.

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John E - Agn Stoic

posted June 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

This is the kind of place people go to escape the violence of the city. And look what happened.
My wife and I were under no such illusions when we left Houston to move to a small town in rural East Texas.
For example, we know several people on our county’s sex offender registry list by sight.

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posted June 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

‘The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.’

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Grumpy Old Man

posted June 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Flannery O’Connor could have written this.

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Janice Fox

posted June 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Amen Hector.
Darel, besides wolves in woods, witches in gingerbread, and trolls under bridges, the Bind/Torture/Kill serial killer was the president of his parish council.

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Major Wootton

posted June 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Right, Hector. I can’t really read this and think the 16-year-old (assuming he is the killer, as I gather seems pretty certain) is a monstrous other, something radically different from me. For while to commit such a depraved act might never enter the minds of many, still … there is something in us that hates innocence.
It’s out of that heart that come evil thoughts and acts (see the words of Christ in St. Matthew 15:19).
So we have to get a new one.
“loutish Mr” captcha…

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posted June 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm

All of us are capable of murder, under the right circumstances.
When I was 12 years old I was riding my bike full speed down a steep hill in my neighborhood. At the bottom of the hill some younger brats (word used in place of a banned one) had strung a length of twine across the street. When I hit the twine, it cut open my shirt, sliced my chest and caused me to wreck. Even today I shudder to think what might have happened had the twine been at throat or face height.
The brats stood at hand laughing.
I got up with murder in my face and heart and chased those kids into their house, where they locked the door– on which I pounded so loud and long I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t come out to see what was the matter.
At all of twelve years old I was truly mad eough to kill that day.
(weird CPATCHA: youth clinking?)

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posted June 12, 2010 at 12:31 am

The trail that is in question is a 5 mile long,single car wide paved walking path. It is deep in the woods,unpatrolled and pitch dark at night.
Anyone who would dare to use this trail after dark would be a fool.Even during the day it is so remote that most anything could happen.
What suprises me is that just because it is in an exclusive country club enviroment that it must be a safe place because this doesnt happen in nice neighborhoods.
How those “Rose Colored Glasses” tend to distort common scense.
I do agree that the author of this story is quite Macbre in their own right by giving such personal opinions of this situation.
Yes it is a sign of the times for sure.

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posted June 12, 2010 at 10:20 am

From Steven Pinker’s book “The Blank Slate”:
Twenty years later, (Stephen Jay) Gould wrote that “Homo sapiens is not an evil or destructive species.” His new argument comes from what he calls the Great Asymmetry. It is “an essential truth,” he writes, that “good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one.” Moreover, “we perform 10,000 acts of small and unrecorded kindness for each surpassingly rare, but sadly balancing, moment of cruelty.” The statistics making up this “essential truth” are pulled out of the air and are certainly wrong: psychopaths, who are definitely not “good and kind people,” make up about three or four percent of the male population, not several hundredths of a percent.

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Janice Fox

posted June 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

While watching the Discovery Channel program wherein Dr. Stone puts evil into some twenty levels, I learned that one in every hundred people is a psychopath and that not all psychopaths kill people. However, in my 65 years, I have observed people who will say anything true or false, break any confidence, just in order to get advancement or just attention. These people also have no conscience and must surely be kept at an arms length. I warn my godchildren about such people all the time. Interestingly, I have also found such people to be very defensive of the religions they claim to practice.
When do people really develop a conscience? How do we aid that process?

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posted June 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Are you from this area (The Felicianas)? I am…and I know the family of the precious child that was murdered. This child was murdered at approximately 1pm in the afternoon, this group of family and friends were not on the trail after dark. Additionally, this crime was committed 100 yards away from a residence and 200 yards away from the first tee box of a very active golf course. Additionally, this is not the first time that this family has visited The Bluffs or that bike/walking trail…they have friends who live in the subdivision.

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Siarlys Jenkins

posted June 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Whatever happened, the perpetrator walked out of the woods and essentially told on himself to the nearest group of adults available. I have noticed this in news coverage of some other murders closer to home — the first thing the perpetrator did was to tell a close acquaintance “I killed her, I’m going to prison for the rest of my life.” In other words, these are people who know, at least immediately after the fact, that what they did was wrong, possibly even regret it, and have some sense that they couldn’t control themselves if they found themselves in a similar situation in the future. In fact, they couldn’t control themselves at the moment they killed. That is the key thing we don’t understand.

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posted June 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I never stated that this terrible event happened at night. I just stated that this trail is an area to be avoided.
Yes the boy was brutally killed within a short distance from the public view and this only supports my point that even in a neighborhood as the Bluffs, crime takes a back seat to nothing nor no one.
I am very familiar with every inch of the Bluffs property. The residents should be more aware of their surroundings and take every precaution to protect themselves as if they were in the inner city.
Instead, they live a life of false security simply because the Bluffs is an upscale neighborhood.
After the Nature Trail was completed most joggers still chose to run the neighborhood roadways for whatever the reason and I applaud them for making this decision.
My heart goes out to the family of both boys involved and hope that some good will come out of this heartless act.
The Trail was built for the exposure to Nature and to provide a track for different running events but now it has been ear marked as a dangerous place and its about time. It just a shame that a child had to loose his life for the negligence of his community—-when will the people of the Bluffs realize that they are not above this type of crime.

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steffen silvis

posted June 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

“The violence of the city”? What suburban nonsense. Having lived in many major American cities, and now living in a rural township, believe me…it’s more frightening out here amongst the good ol’ boys. I’d take Manhattan over any soulless suburban/exurban/rural existence any day.

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naruto kakashi

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While Giuliana celebrated she may perhaps undergo reconstructive surgery almost straight away bearing
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be situated insignificant if it preordained getting healthy again.
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