This is an update to an earlier JMBzine post

This last week I’ve been thinking a lot about the murder of Jamie Rose Bolin that has been on the news so much here locally. About 6 or 7 years ago, I would have dismissed this crime as the sick act of an evil evil human being who doesn’t deserve to live, but today it just isn’t that simple.

I must believe that Kevin Underwood (the alleged murderer) is a human being made in the image of God. I do not understand how any person could commit such a horrendous and unfathomable crime, but I don’t think this lack of understanding is a reason to deny even this man’s humanity.

Tonight though when thinking about this and the enigma of it all, I was reminded of a song by Sufjan Stevens, ” “John Wayne Gacy Jr.” (you can hear it for free at NPR.org)

The song tells the story of the notorious serial killer (click here to read the Wikipedia article about him), but then closes with what some might say is crazy, but I think is better a realization that all human beings have a dark side and are capable of doing evil…

. . . And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floor boards
For the secrets I have hid

I know that for Sufjan (who I think identifies himself as a Christian), this paragraph also says that even those who commit the most horrible of crimes are not pure evil (just as those of who don’t commit such crimes are not pure good), and the truth is that we as human beings have more in common with each other than we might think.

So, what does all of this mean? You got me. I guess I’m just trying to make sense of all of the conflicting emotions I’ve felt in hearing about this case.

There’s just too much to fathom. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be the father of Jamie (this NewsOK story is so horribly sad in telling of the father’s grief) with that gaping hole in your heart. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be her classmate or her teacher. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be the family of Kevin either. It all is just too much to understand, and I frankly am angry with God that He let it happen. I know, I know, there’s a lot of ways to explain evil (C.S. Lewis did a pretty good job of it), but all of the explanations just seem like crappy excuses to be able to sleep peacefully at night.