The Man in the Woods
California Sunday

This was a chilling story, which, had it not been true, would have made an exciting and a dark film. Brings back an event in my young life when a friend of mine (everyone knew he was off-kilter and angry) talked another friend of mine (an innocent reverend’s daughter) into taking a walk with him to the secluded baseball diamond at night. He raped her and strangled her with her pantyhose. Police found him the next morning, casually walking his dog. I had introduced them to each other. Another friend of mine and I loaned her “cool” clothes to wear to the dance that night. We helped her apply her first-ever make-up for the event. We saw as he paid attention to her at the dance — a first for her. We saw them walk off together. Some hint of guilt still lingers. What could/should we have done that night? He ended up in a mental institution and we lost track of him. Mental illness is a serious societal problem; always has been.

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