I have been wanting to write a book or “something” for many years. I have always been afraid of people finding out about my mental illness, but something hit me right in the heart when I was watching a “Kids who kill” Special on A&E one night a few months back.
Eric Smith, a thirteen year old boy killed a 4 year old boy back in 1993. As I watched the interview with him, I could relate to how inadequate he felt as a child. As a child I did not have an angry bone in my body, I only had anxious bones. My anxiety was fear, Eric’s anxiety was anger, but as I listened to what the man was saying I felt so angry and frustrated that no one noticed he needed help, counselling, before all this happened, years ago when he was younger.
His anger did not happen overnight. There were plenty of signs that he needed help, counselling. His dad didn’t want him, his stepfather was a constant bully which resulted in Eric feeling inadequate. His stepfather said in an interview, Eric would get so angry, shaking his fists uncontrollably. I find it odd that a parent whether biological or adoptive would not realize this child needed help, then again, my parents didn’t know I needed help either. His step-dad would tell him to get a backbone.
I realize that name calling and bullying is not a license to kill but it probably could have been prevented. This is the problem. No one notices when a child is full of anger all the time or full of anxiety. I wonder just how much abuse he suffered as a toddler? How much did he endure to end up this angry? I wish someone had reached out to him as a child to tell him he was loved or to say I love you, or something. I wish someone had reached out to me as a child too, say something, anything would be better than the shameful, angry look I would get, “when I was bad. ” What could anyone have said or done to make things better for “little” Eric? If they said something to the parents it would probably have made his home life worse, if he told a teacher, what can they really do? Report it so he would then be put in foster care? Would that have been worse for him? If only an aunt or uncle or someone took him under their wing and made him feel worthwhile.
The poor child that got killed, the parents of both kids, the anguish they must have felt and I’m sure still feel today. There is no excuse for what happened, but I truly believe it could have been prevented.
If you want to see a bit of the interview with this guy it is on you tube, but please beware if you are in an emotional state, on the verge of a breakdown it may not be the thing for you to watch right now. I only share this story because people need to become aware of the signs of a troubled child, long before they get in to school. I did copy the link but I am afraid to paste it because if you are in a very emotional state I don’t think you should watch the interview or the whole show on A&E. If you feel up to it, it is easy enough to find by typing in his name and child killer. It is awful, it is emotional. To see a brief frame of this 13-year-old boy, in court, being tried as adult, sitting motionless, was almost too much for me to watch. To see the families affected by his actions were even worse.
He has been in prison for 24 years and has been denied parole. He says he is a changed person. How would he be able to function in the outside world after all these years? How would he handle his anger in the outside world? Maybe his anger is under control, maybe not. Do they get counselling on how to live once they get out. Not according to one blog post I read. There’s the gate, don’t let it hit you on the way out! Look for a job, a place to live. Good luck!
A middle-aged man kills his three children and he manages to get out on day passes after just a few years. I think it takes longer than that to get control of your emotions. The guy that cuts the head of a passenger on a grey hound bus is already out, living with the general population. A child kills a child and gets denied parole after serving 24 years. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to sentencing and parole but I guess there is, what do I know anyway? If I ever had a mental breakdown and killed someone I don’t think I would ever apply for parole afraid I might do it again.
This kid was 13 years old! Imagine having to live with that forever. I am getting so frazzled right now just writing about it. I thought I wanted to watch the show again but I don’t think I can. I feel like in my worse mental state 25 or more years ago, I might have been out of touch with reality enough to not know what I was doing. I don’t think I could have ever hurt anyone, but what if I could have? What if I had? Where would I be today? Surely, if I had hurt someone I would not want to take a chance on getting out, but who knows. I’m fine today, but would I be if I had done something terrible? Thankfully I didn’t. I’ve been on medication for at least 25 years and feel okay.
Do you think Eric Smith should have been granted Parole? Do you think it could have been prevented? Do you think he is exactly where he belongs forever?
I am interested to know your thoughts
I’m Frazzled Again.