Friday, April 17, 2009

What do you tell your kids?

I haven’t written about the Sandra Cantu case on this blog, but I’ve written plenty at Trials & Tribulations.

It’s so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the person arrested for this crime is a woman, who was known to Sandra (one of her best friends’ mom) and that Sandra was raped with a foreign object. Notice I did not say I have a hard time accepting the fact that Melissa Huckaby’s father and grandfather are Baptist ministers.

Mind you, I’m not calling out Baptists. I guess I’m calling out anyone who believes that a person of God is not capable of executing a sexual crime that leads to murder. Huckaby’s behavior at her first court appearance leads me to believe that sometime in her life, Melissa Huckaby was a victim, too. Watch the video that is available here, and pay attention to the way Huckaby’s lower lip quivers:

Huckaby in court

The quivering lower lip like Huckaby does is a very juvenile behavior, like a kid caught with her hands in the cookie jar who says “I didn’t do it!” but does not remove his or her hand from the jar. Yes, her demeanor shows a consciousness of guilt, but I can’t help but wonder just what is in Melissa Huckaby’s head. What is the “mental illness” she’s being treated for? She was already in the judicial mental health system, and was declared mentally fit to stand trial when she plead “no contest” to a theft charge back in January.

I don’t believe she’s criminally insane, but why was she living in Tracy, in a fairly small semi-rural county with no doubt limited mental health services? What was she hiding from? What was her family hiding her from? Who else living in her household knew Sandra was there that day? Did they not see abnormal behavior in Huckaby, or did they choose to ignore the signs? What has been done to check Huckaby's own 5-year old daughter Madison—what has happened to Madison thus far?

So much we do not know, and so much that will come out in the trial. This is a special circumstances case, and Melissa Huckaby could face the death penalty.

What do parents tell their kids? It's bad enough they have to be taught to fear strangers. It's bad enough you can't even smile at a kid who crosses your path at the grocery store. Sandra lived in a family-oriented mobile home park, where everyone looked out for everyone else. Now what? No more play dates, no sleepovers, no accepting cookies from your neighbor because they might be laced with something?

I'm glad I don't have a young child to try to explain this to.

Continued strength to Sandra’s family, because things are going to get ugly. No doubt the claims of “blame the victim” will soon pop up.


Fuzzywuzzy Knickerbocker said...

I was interested in you, as you think like me, from Sprocket's Blog. I think it's you anyway. Caligirl...? I too am a California republican who is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I like the way you think...Anyway, I've followed Sprocket since the first Phil Spector trial. I'm quiet though....

But, after reading what you just wrote, I had to finally speak up. YOU JUST SAID EVERYTHING THAT I'VE BEEN FEELING! And you said it so much better than I ever could have. Thank you. I do have custody of my two grandchildren. I was able to rescue my grandchildren and get custody from a situation very similar to the Casey Anthony nightmare.

My grandson is six and my granddaughter is three. These kids are so beautiful and so vulnerable that it terrifies me to death. I don't even leave them with babysitters. I struggle every day to remember that to grow and be healthy, I can't be hyper vigilant. I have to let them outside to play, to ride their bikes, to explore their world. I'm lucky though...I live in the country and there just aren't many people around here. They don't get very far from me, they are always within yelling distance.

Anyway..enough of a ramble...see what happens when I talk? I don't shut up.

Thanks again for expressing so well all that is in my heart about this case and about raising children in today's world.


CaliGirl9 said...

Yep, Terrie, it's me from T & T. I try to keep my more incoherent ramblings here at my blog, as the four of us at T & T are all very different politically and we try to avoid getting into politically-charged topics.

I was watching the movie "Doubt" today and it made me think of this case. A person of authority, working in the name of God. I still can't wrap my brain around this horrible act.

Killing a child is indefensible. Killing is wrong, but when I was working in the prison, I came to understand that not all killings are equal ... My inmate workers had killed drug dealers in deals gone bad, and they sort of looked at their crimes as a public service. Under normal circumstances, the two were harmless. Twenty years later, both are long paroled.

I don't think Melissa Huckaby has been harmless for quite some time ... and why did no one see anything? Her family has got to know more than they are telling.

Welcome to my blog and my rambling ideas!

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