Now it's Andrew Conley, who is alleged to have killed his ten-year-old brother to satisfy a craving to kill.
Alyssa is fifteen. Andrew is seventeen.
There will be a host of psychological theories to explain these two cases. But the one that makes sense to me is this one, from the prosecutor in the Conley case:
"Sometimes people are just evil," Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said. "This is an evil child."We surround our children with evil. There are evil books for them to read, evil music for them to listen to, evil movies and television programs for them to watch. Andrew Conley says he identified with the serial killer "Dexter" on this program. It's a mark of our society's debasement that a serial killer could ever be shown as a sympathetic character in the first place, but then again, Dexter is not the first time that's been done.
In addition to surrounding our children with evil, we negate or neuter any idea of good. We fill our children's heads with moral relativism, we tell them to do what feels good (as if mere feelings have ever been an adequate guide to morality); we sneer at virtue and tear down innocence as if it were something only worthy of destruction. We laugh at the practice of religion as something unenlightened and superstitious; our children beg for bread, for the Eucharist of salvation, and we give them stones, the hardness of unrepentant mortality.
And in the void we have created, they turn blindly away from the light that hurts their eyes and wounds their self-esteem--for they have been taught that all is good, that every impulse which satisfies their own sense of self is righteous and noble--and toward the darkness, which does not challenge them, which affirms them in their okayness, and which holds up models of evil for them to emulate and admire.
And so they choose. They choose darkness. They choose evil. They choose death.
And we stand back, and wring our hands, and say, "How can this be?" But we know. For all the psychobabble and sensationalized news coverage and analysis which substitutes for its morally deeper cousin, reflection, we know. They choose evil, because we have never permitted them to choose good.
If we are bent on tearing down every moral law, if we are so set upon our own destruction that we think in a purely secular society everyone will continue to do what is righteous, if we think that the dark and savage impulses to murder and terror and violence and the infliction of pain upon our fellow men have been "cured" by a godless Enlightenment that sets men up as gods and worships them in the smallness of their flawed and fallen nature, then we should expect to see many more children like Alyssa and Andrew, children who kill for the thrill of it, because they want to know for themselves what murder is like. They are the vanguard of the coming darkness.