‘Bad Guys’ have a name

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Maybe it’s been a coping mechanism, but as I’ve traveled the country speaking about my mother’s story, I never call the ‘bad guys’ by their names. Almost every session I find myself making some sort of apology for sounding like a 3 year old attempting to share a dramatic story about policemen and bad guys. It’s taken me 2 1/2 years to explore the question we’ve all been asking all along: WHY?

Who murders? Why do they murder? What life choices led them to a place where it seemed like a good idea to kidnap a person for ransom? Why MY MOM? I assume asking WHY isn’t all that uncommon for any of us. After all, crime-centric television shows are among the most captivating. Even the aftermath of terrorist attacks focus so much on the WHY of the bad guy.

For so long I’ve kept myself from saying their names, and I definitely never show their picture. Excuses I give, however valid, were that ‘I want my beautiful mom to be the focus’ and that ‘the ‘bad guy’ likes attention, and I refuse to give it to him.’ Either way, even now as I look at these faces, I’m so confused. I think there are many lessons in exploring these ‘bad guys’… you know, Aaron Lewis and Crystal Lowery. They were certainly an attractive couple, definitely not anyone that I would fear based on appearances alone. HELLO lesson in profiling. Then there’s that bit about their criminal history; especially Aaron’s. Selfishly, I’ve never cared much about programs to rehabilitate convicted criminals. However, as I explore all the WHYs, I can’t help but think about his ‘criminal’ journey, and what resources might have been (or not been) available to assist in breaking his cycle. As we know, his offenses grew with each crime. I’m not interested in any rehabilitative services for him at this point, but are we doing enough to help those that may be earlier on in their own criminal journeys?

It’s important to me that the Beverly Carter Foundation remains focused on preventive, proactive processes and tools. There’s so much focus on being reactive… and, as in my mother’s case, the bad guys had already considered so many of the reactive approaches.

This week my mother’s story will be told on “Web of Lies” on the Investigation Discovery (ID) channel. Thankfully it’s the last of the interviews that we conducted over a year ago. We initially did about 4 network interviews thinking that it would be great step in raising safety awareness. Our participation in these shows was strictly a labor of love. Each of these shows identify as “news shows,” so no compensation was made to anyone that participated. While it may have helped some in awareness, sadly I think it’s little more than entertainment for most. I cannot tell you how hard it is to keep my cool when someone says “OMG, I saw that your mom’s story is going to be on TV! I cannot wait to watch it… this is so exciting!” (insert eye roll) I should perhaps warn you that I remember being a little too candid about how I thought the interrogation process should have gone. Oops. I hope they don’t air that.

I hope you’ll join our mission. Join our mailing list, contribute your lessons learned, request training events, or make a tax-deductible donation through our website: www.BeverlyCarterFoundation.org

In the meantime, keep speaking your truth, friends. Love those you’re with, and stay safe out there.

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