It is easy to rejoice in the death of a monster. It is easy to see Ariel Castro’s suicide as the final word on the life of an evil man.
But is that enough?
I don’t think so.
I think I must grieve.
Grieve for his countless victims.
Grieve for the irreparable harm of his years of sin.
Grieve for broken justice, in this case blind for too long.
Grieve because he was once a baby whose life, like all small humans, was once so full of potential…
Grieve because all he did to hurt, disfigure, and destroy was his choice.
And he could have chosen light instead.
Yes, something in Ariel Castro was broken. When did it break? Was it a slow, aching break? One thing’s for certain: He needed to be monitored, babysat, watched closely every single day. He grew up to be smart, conniving, convincing, and he used these powers for evil. He found a place in the middle of a big city where he would not be watched. We know there are others out there, in cities, in suburbs, in the countryside. Not to mention across borders.
The question is: what if he is my neighbor? My son? What do I do to prevent evil and protect others from a known threat?
There were plenty of warnings with him.