The horrors of animal cruelty offend us in ways we often cannot fathom. I was glad to see the letter from Mr. Casey of Pawleys Island in Friday’s paper, because I had planned to write a similar one. As a licensed mental health counselor with over twenty years practice both in private settings, as well as a horrible stint as a prison ‘psychologist’ at Florida State Prison, where it seems the evil was tangible, I believe that looking for clues in people who have exhibited deeply disturbed behavior in the past should be one of the first considerations in finding criminals of this nature. I would be willing to guess that the suspect has a history of emotionally disturbed behavior, including cruelty to animals as a child, fire setting, trouble making in school, bullying, domestic violence, and other behaviors that are linked to sociopathic behavior of this nature.
I could not agree more with Mr. Casey that anyone who knew of an individual who exhibited disturbing behavior or who bragged of hurting others (as it turns out this man did) fits a certain profile of high-profile criminals. I can just think of the ‘Ted Bundy’ types of criminal I met at the prison, who tried hard to be charming, and who had murdered, raped, or assaulted others, and who would smile in what they believed to be a charming way. Viewing each inmate’s past records, all the way down to elementary school, were solid clues of just what the adult would become.
Thank God the Sheriff’s office has the suspect now. Of course, I know he must be proven guilty, but I would ask that an investigator look into this troubled man’s past — from childhood on up. I am pretty sure the proof lies therein.
Helen (Rennie) Manning, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
It was startling to me to realize that at last John Brock and I have something in common. Even though I intentionally ceased reading his columns years ago, [a recent] Wednesday's header caught my attention. His tongue in cheek remarks about the depth of pain he experienced by being called the "Y" word is precisely the reason he has logged so many detractors over time, and not solely for the geographic reference. I once likened him to a foreign worm in this newspaper over a piece he wrote about early American history. Apparently "Yankee" is a much more offensive label to him.
He also seems statistically very proud of the numerous times his name has appeared in print, and has the numbers to prove it. It's too bad his articles are generally more provocative than substantive. How many times has the moniker "professor" appeared in his brief bio? It hurts me deeply every time I happen to see it.
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