“C. J. Whose Real Name Was Romoy Raymond”

This story, especially as it was reported – lurid in that tabloid style that minces facts to disseminate the squalid because the reporter is too dumb or lazy to plumb the facts – for days and days and days by New York Daily News, could be straight out of a Stephen King novella, novel, TV Series Movie of the Week, Cable Special, Hollywood cinema. Someone tell me that it’s not to fantastical to image that C. J. Whose Real Name Was Romoy Raymond hasn’t been crying out from his grave.

There was a period when I was interviewing kids who killed their parents and inmates on death row sentenced as juveniles and kids struggling with the consequences of horrific family violence.* I had been in Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Maryland.

When I wasn’t interviewing, I was reviewing news stories (not the best for facts) from around the nation, research studies, medical studies, trial transcripts, human sources. Trying to be a human vacuum cleaner of real facts and information. And, yes, I believed, a C. J. Whose Real Name Was Romoy Raymond, 14, diminutive, was capable of slittin’ loved-ones’ throats, torching their home, when the story first broke.

But the alarms went off when a news story reported that it seemed that the fire was set near the front door so that no one could escape. And that a few letters on some kind of note were found, expressing some kind of guilt. And I thought: That presence of mind couldn’t have been resonating in the mind of a 14-year-old. What’s going on?

So be it.

*It really bothered me that reviewers of my book, Unspeakable Acts: The Ordeal of Thomas Waters-Rimmer, mangled facts and truths. Sloth seems everywhere.

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