Thursday, January 5, 2012

Facing the Perpetrator

"My name is Jon Van Horne," Jon said to the perpetrator across from him. He had imagined a number of ways Eugene Hackett might respond to his surprise visit in jail but the kid's response was immaterial to his purpose for being here. Hackett flashed a glimmer of recognition. "Yeah?" he challenged in a so-what tone.

A sudden flash of vengeance within Jon begged for expression. This arrogant, unconscionable jerk had come within inches of killing a nine-year-old boy and his mother. Hackett's only regret, he had boasted during a confession to police, was that he had not wasted someone in the process of shooting up the house. You are an incorrigible young thug who should be locked up and forgotten, Jon wanted to say. But I sure would enjoy knocking some of that attitude off your face before they throw away the key.

Again he corralled his hostility and forced himself back to the point of his visit. Delivering these words was even more difficult for Jon than formulating them. But he knew he had to do it.

"Eugene, I have a couple of things I need to get off my chest. First, I want you to know that I was very angry and upset by what happened to my wife and son on April eighth."

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