The face of evil changes as decades go by but the latest face of evil is that of convicted Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane. This blog contains a graphic sentence.
Sentenced to three life terms without the possibility of parole Tuesday after pleading guilty Feb. 26, he sat in the courtroom wearing a T-shirt that had the word "Killer" scrawled on it, gave the middle finger "salute" to the victims' families, and then made a short, graphic statement:
"The hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to their memory. (Expletive) all of you."
We can only surmise that he wants to be famous, he wants to be remembered as a famous killer whose last and most bizarre court appearance was caught on camera and is likely all over the world by now. He had one last chance to say something but no one ever guessed he would say something like that.
Even his attorney was appalled by what he said.
He wanted to make a lasting impression. Don't give him the satisfaction. His taunts will be forgotten in the weeks to come and he will fall into the abyss known as prison.
He may be able to collect clippings from newspapers of the last year and 21 days since Feb. 27, 2012 when he opened fire in the Chardon High School cafeteria.
But those of us who will remain on the outside should promptly forget him.
Victims' families addressed the court and described him as evil, a description echoed by prosecutors. Holly Walczak, mother of survivor Nick Walczak, told him she hated him.
The late Russell King Jr.'s sister referred to him as an "evil, disgusting animal." The mother of the late Daniel Parmertor told him he would "never be a fraction of the man" that her son was.
Forget his name and don't mention it again. I decided not to mention his name after the first reference in this blog.
Remember the names of his victims to honor them. Daniel Parmertor, Russell King Jr., and Demetrius Hewlin died. Nick Walczak survived and will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Joy Rickers and Nate Mueller also survived with less serious injuries.
What should live on is the spirit of the three boys who died too young and the three who live on with a memory that will likely never disappear but may fade with time.
Let us pray for them and the families of those who died that this horrific event will not define the future for them.