My Son Was Convicted of First-Degree Murder
I don’t know when it happened — that precise moment when I knew it was just a matter of time. That moment when I understood — to the depths of my soul — that I’d lost my little boy forever, and the heart of a killer had taken his place.
You would think there would have been a defining moment, a loud, screaming message saying, “Your son will be a murderer!” But there wasn’t. The “knowing” had simply slid into my life, quietly, insidiously, and along with it, a sense of it always having been there. Yet I know there was a time when it was not.
People are often quick to judge those who are violent, who break laws, who seem to thrive on the darkest side of life. And they’re often quick to judge the parents, too. “Where are the parents? Bet they didn’t give a rat’s ass! Gave the rotten bastard a terrible upbringing! Didn’t they see what was happening? Why didn’t they do something about it? What’s the matter with parents these days? No sense of discipline!”
I’m quite certain that sort of thing is true in many cases. But not in this one.
An Unusual Beginning
Before continuing with Jacob’s story, I must share a bit of relevant background information.
The first time I married, I was 17. I had a daughter 10 months later, and then another 10 months after that, I left the marriage. It had not been a happy or healthy situation for either my husband or me. He left the province later that year and I was on my own to try to raise our daughter.
We were in a terrible car accident when she was 3, and her behaviour changed drastically after that. The doctor did an EEG and other tests but results were all negative.
I don’t want to say too much about “A” other than what is absolutely essential to this story, and some of what has become fairly common knowledge over the years to anyone who knew us, personally or professionally, throughout her earlier years.
By the time “A” was 4, there were significant behavioural issues at home and at day care. I didn’t know what was wrong and began seeking professional help of various kinds. This continued for several years, with her behaviour…