Sweet sixteen not my theme: Reflections on a 1920s serial killer.
Disillusionment started around this time in my life. 16!
What inspired me were the mysteries of life. The dark places of life. I kept it to myself. I was young and wordless, quiet, and impressionable. Times were dull and I was asleep in the world around me. I did not study or read much.
I innocently walked home on my own from school. I had close friends and life was easy. I had a boyfriend who watched over me. I thought he loved me. Well, he enjoyed my body. Last night I watched a documentary on Carl Panzram.
He is a serial killer. He wrote his memoir in prison and when I compare my life growing up to his, I become sick. He went to reform school and prison at an incredibly immature age. He was a cowboy-hobo. He did not live a glorious life.
His was not an easy life. Mine was. I am sure I went through the normal psychological changes of a youth becoming an adult. I was safe and made the transition through a few years, or a generation of the fifties through the eighties.
Carl Panzram was not so fortunate. He grew up in a different generation during the Great Depression. Yet his youthful rebellion as a boy pushed him into being brutalized by a system that creates killers.
I am not justifying the unspeakable acts he did as an adult; I am comparing my life to his. Maybe to my own two boys who I protect like a mama bear hawk. Some sort of paranoid mythological female mother figure. They are extremely fortunate indeed!
Serial killers, gangsters, and the cruelty they inflict on society is terrible. I am not afraid to look at them. I wish I could change how this shadowy part of our human nature manifests in our society. Sometimes at night I find it hard to breathe when I think of how many people are locked up, especially our youth.
One cannot fight the shadow with more shadow because it only makes a bigger shadow. If I could go back to being sixteen, I would inspire myself to wake up! I would study and apply myself to life. I would learn, learn, learn!
I would take back my body and go to college at a youthful age. I would study criminology, psychology and get my degrees. I have my regrets and so did Carl Panzram!!
Our penal system is wrong. I would try to change it from the inside out starting with our youth!! I know that Carl Panzram made the same analogy in his memoir.
Carl had a remarkable ability to reflect. A friendly prison guard inspired him to write his memoir. This guard was a rare bird because he treated criminals as human beings. Carl’s revealing memoir is one to ponder, a remarkable confession from a terrible and angry soul.