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Who Gave Them the Right?

Mallory Grossman was 12-years-old when she committed suicide because of being bullied at school.  Her bullies weren’t just students, it was teaching faculty also.  Her parents are suing the school system because of the faculty being a part of the problem that caused their daughter to commit suicide.

Technology is awesome.  Today, I bet the reading ability for the average student is a higher than it was when I was in school and this is all due to technology.  When I was in school, I had a reading disability; today, I have yet to meet a student that has a reading disability and has to go to tutoring for it.  The students are still reading at school; but now they read text messages, Snapchat messages, and emails.  Some schools have even gone to computer setups where computers are a necessity and not a commodity and therefore they loan them out to their students … something like the way books were loaned out when I was in school.

In an average week, I use Email, Facebook, and Twitter.  I will gain access to these sites on 3 types of devices:  my cellphone, my Kindle, and my laptop.  Oh, by the way, I have 4 Email accounts (one for every walk of life).  I would imagine that the average student uses on any given week, Email (probably just as many as me, because Mom and Dad can only suspend one), Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, KiK, and Instagram (and probably a few dozen more since I don’t stay in touch with the daily trends).  Honestly, I have a hard time keeping up with Facebook and Twitter on top of work, reading and writing; I don’t know how school age teens have enough hours in the day to do it … but they do and that is where the problem comes in at.

When I was in school, I was bullied a lot … I mean, seriously, a lot.  I don’t know why … my guess is, I got on people’s nerves.  However, today, many of the people that would bully me as a teen are friends with me on my Facebook.  No, we don’t hangout or anything; but it goes to show, as adults, we do act our age.  I hold no grudges for the ones that bullied me.  As a matter of fact, today, I sympathize with some of them because they have had a really hard life in comparison to mine.

There was this one girl that used to bully me that I thought was the prettiest person.  Even though she obviously didn’t like me, that never deflected what I thought about her.  I just knew that she could have had any boyfriend she wanted and it was obvious that she had a lot of friends.  A few years ago, she committed suicide.  I didn’t find out until years after it happened; I was absolutely devastated when I found out.  I wished I had been given the opportunity to speak to her one more time.  I wanted her to know what I always thought about her … back then and today.  I always wondered what made her do it.  Some said a failing marriage … others said a terminal illness … I hate knowing that she would have done something like that because someone didn’t like her.  I would have been the first one to let her know, this was not the answer.

Back then, all I had to do was tolerate the class or bus ride that the bullies were on.  When that class or bus ride was over, I didn’t have to deal with the bullies again until the next day … on Fridays, I had a 2 day break from any bullying.  Today, our teens don’t have it that easy.  The bullying today takes on a deeper meaning than it used to.  Today’s bullying would be considered stalking more than it would be called bullying.  Sure, they are still calling them names, degrading their self-worth, and isolating them from everyone else … but they are doing it all day long.  That is all these people live for … taunting and making this person’s life a living Hell.  It doesn’t end with that one class and it doesn’t end when you get off the bus.  It starts with the texting, emails, and SnapChat first thing in the morning and that is where it stays all day … unless you are in person, of course.   They are able to do it in such a way that even the adults … the teachers and parents … get caught up in it.  As I sit here and write this, I am hoping that the adults don’t actively know what they are doing exactly.  I am hoping this teen is convincing them this is a prank and not bullying; thus their participation is supposed to bring a laugh and not a cry.

When I was in school, adults would tell me, “awe, they (the bullies) just like you”.  No, it was obvious they didn’t.  Even as I sit here as an adult myself, I don’t know what can be done about bullies; but I know something needs to be done.  Sure you can change there classes so they aren’t in the same classrooms; but that really doesn’t take care of the problem.  As I said, these teens today are texting them, SnapChatting them, going on their Facebook and posting things, and making videos on YouTube.  At this point, even changing their schools wouldn’t work.

Honestly, I think the only thing that would work is acting as an example for these teens.  No, maybe not after they become teens; but when they are younger, show them how to treat others.  Sure, you are going to have personality conflicts from time to time … I don’t think that is what bullying is.  I think these teens at some point in their life was given the right to be mean, and the one that gave them that right by example, needs to fix the problem.

For example, one day I was in the Wal-Mart and I ran into one the ladies that as teens was my biggest bully.  Not only did she bully me, in no uncertain terms, she would tell you in a heartbeat back then that she hated me.  In her shoes, I would have probably hated me too.  We were on the same softball team together.  This girl put her all into it.  I don’t know if she ever played for our high school team or not; if she didn’t, she sure needed to … she was just that good.  I really didn’t like softball.  I have never been the outdoor type.  I have always been happier indoors, either writing or reading.  So, imagine playing on a softball team with a player that didn’t want to be there and you were are a competitive player with an all win attitude … it probably made her angry on more than one occasion and yet she was stuck with me.

Anyways, we had not seen one another in years when we ran into one another at the Wal-Mart.  As we got to talking and catching up, my son, who was only about 2 years old at the time, asked me if she was a friend of mine.  Me and this lady both looked at one another and started laughing and the lady told my son, “not until now,” and she was so right.  Never in our history were we ever friends; but today, we may not hangout, but we do have a certain respect for one another.  I have told my boys several times about this lady and our history.  I have showed them that you can’t hold grudges and although you don’t particularly like someone, doesn’t mean you can’t respect them.  I could sit here and give you hundreds of examples of my boys paying it forward what they have been taught by example; but I won’t bore you with the details.  I will say this, they have never been called bullies and everyone that meets them will tell you that they have been nothing but a friend to them.  I tell people every day, once I meet you, regardless of our past, we are friends and my boys do the same.

We need to show our kids that people’s feeling do matter.  Even when we don’t have a particular interest in their life, we can be the one that changes everything for them.  All it would take is one time for them to be the one that changed someone else’s day by saying just what needed to be said instead of hating on them for being in the way.  Next time you get ready to say something mean about someone else or make a face that is unpleasant, think about your audience … you may be giving someone else the right to be a bully.

 

 

What Makes Them Think They Are Smarter Than Those Others?

Lately, it seems that over and over again, we are hearing where a wife of a high-end official has been killed.  The occurrence of such cases is to the point that you automatically assume the husband done it.  For example, a Fire Chief’s wife dies by a gunshot wound in their home and the home is burned down.  My first thought is that the Fire Chief done it.  I may be wrong and for the life of me, I hope I am … but this kind of case comes from experience.  Usually, a fireman’s family is very well schooled on the dangers of fire.  They live with a fireman and that fireman lets them know what he has faced and probably even goes into details about how to deal with it in the event they come up against it themselves … but this wasn’t just a fire that she died in, she was also shot in the head.

Then you have the Judge who’s wife was shot while they were in a car out with another couple.  By the way, he still says that it was an accident and that he didn’t mean to shoot her.

That’s why I like to study true crime and write about it.  I want to know why these people think they can get by with it.  Why is it, they think they are smarter than those that came before them and that they know what needs to be done to get by with it.  I am sure this could have been any number of family members; but my first guess will be the husband.

These men were so anxious to get rid of their wives that they attempted to do the impossible.  This Judge Tex McIver I am sure has seen enough of those type of cases in his court room and still, he thought he was smarter than the ones before him.  I want to know what gives them this mentality.

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They Finally Arrested Mark Redwine

Dylan Redwine went missing in November of 2012 and due to the contentious relationship he had with his father, Mark Redwine, Mark had always been a person of interest in the case.  In June of 2013, Dylan’s half-brother said that his father Mark told him that Dylan died of blunt force trauma and that it will be up to the investigators to find his body.  Well, Mark got his wish.  In November of 2015, Dylan Skull was found by some hikers on Middle Mountain.

Now, I ask Mark Redwine, is that really what you wanted?  I mean, sure, you have been free for almost five years, but where has it gotten you?  In that time, you probably seen your other kids grow a little longer; made a little bit more money that you can’t take with you; and entered more relationships that will always wonder how someone they know could do this.  But the end is the end and nothing ever makes it different.  It will be just as painful today as it would have been five years ago.

I am thankful for the investigators that never give up.  They keep searching until they get answers.  I think so many answers would come if we just wait.  I think in the case of Caylee Anthony, if we weren’t so rushed to a judgment and waited as these investigators did, would the outcome have been different?  I think it would have.

The Jury Got It Right

On January 11, 1999 David Temple, a high school football coach, found his pregnant wife, Belinda Temple shot to death in their home.  In his trial 9 years later, David was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.  I do not believe the jury got it wrong.  They were right to find him guilty.

In the legal world, the case is what they call a circumstantial case.    District Attorneys do not like to go to court on a circumstantial case because it means they do not have any evidence to back up their claim.  They do not have fingerprints, footprints, or any DNA.  They do not have anyone coming forward with a confession.  They have the contrary; they have one person that they has come up in their investigation repeatedly.  Kelly Siegler, the Prosecutor, has a saying, “if you take one wooden pencil (each wooden pencil represents one string of circumstantial evidence) and try to break it, most likely, you will break it.  If you take a second wooden pencil and add to the first, then try to break it, you might be able to break it.  But, the more wooden pencils, the more pieces of circumstantial evidence, you put together, the more unlikely it becomes to break it”  I happen to agree with her.  There comes a point when one has to come out and say, “oh, come on now, admit it”.

Let me review some of the evidence that they did have:

  • Shaka – David’s Chow that was ferocious with everyone except David, Evan, and Belinda Temple;

was in the home at the time of the murder.  The dog was not drugged.  When the police arrived on the scene, Shaka was so ferocious; they almost had to shoot it to get into the house the help Belinda.

  • The door that gave entry to the burglar (David Temple’s story … and he has stuck to it) was broken while the door was open.
  • Belinda only drove while wearing her glasses … her glasses were on when she was shot.
  • Belinda always pulled her shoes off at the door when she came in … her shoes were on her feet when she got shot.
  • Belinda had gone to David Temple’s mom’s house to pick up some soup for Evan because he was sick before she came home from work … the soup was sitting on the kitchen table after the murder. A caring mom usually would have fixed Evan a bowl and put the rest in the Fridge for later.  A bowl was not made for Evan and she never put it in the fridge.
  • David said that Evan had been riding his bike in the garage when his mother was murdered … Evan’s bike was hanging on the wall in the garage.

As with most cases, David Temple had the oldest motive in the book, a girlfriend.  David Temple told Heather Scott that he “loved” her three days prior to Belinda Temple’s death.

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Here are a few of my issues with David Temple and Heather Scott:

  • In his trial, David blamed the teen who lived next door for the burglary and murder.
    • Just like all the other students at Katy High School, that teen liked Belinda. Sure, he did not like the discipline that came from her for his lack of attendance, but he liked her as a person.
      • It kills me that he would try to put a teen in prison for life for something he did.
    • Soon after Belinda’s death, Heather and David started their relationship.
      • A year after her death, Heather and David got married.
        • I have to wonder, how can Heather live with a man that clearly murdered his wife?
        • How can Heather resolve the fact within her own mind that David wanted to blame a teen for what he done rather than take the blame himself?
        • Finally, what does Heather think he is going to do when he gets tired of her; or thinks she is getting fat, or David simply wants another woman, if he gets away with this murder?

No, these are not incriminating facts, but they are definitely some things to take into consideration.  One could say that means Heather has full faith that David is innocent and therefore we should consider those.  Some could argue that David has convinced Heather to help plead his case by remaining in the relationship with him.   Others might say that Heather is throwing caution to the wind and putting her life at stake for someone who never considers others himself.

Due to some mistakes made during the prosecution of David Temple, a Judge has granted him the right to a new trial.  He is gave a $30,000 bond and his family scraped every dime and was able to get him out of prison until his next trial.  Here is my problem with a Judge doing this.  After every high profile court case, the first thing people yell is the jury got right; or the jury got it wrong.  I worry about the juries coming to a point where they do not want to make decisions in court cases because the Judge may come behind them and rule against it.

I can understand granting him a new trial, after all, our appeals process would not be complete without one.  I do not think we should grant him a bond while awaiting that new trial.  We have juries for a reason and they play an important part in our judicial system.  We need to trust them to do their jobs to the best of their ability and not let a judge over rule that verdict.

But these are my thoughts, what are yours?

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