Member Rara Avis
Phaedrus, I would probably have been inclined to remove such a fictional account because I would have seen it as pure sensationalism. Immature writers often seek attention by "one-upmanship," trying to be grosser or more controversial than anyone else has been, and these forums were founded specifically to escape that behavior at another board. That this could happen in real life gives me slight pause, but probably doesn't change my mind about that kind of writing. Real life rarely makes good literature, and every rule needs an exception.
I think hush raises a valid point, but one not in the least limited to this story. Her point, rather, summarizes the history of war and violence. We always dehumanize the enemy. If we didn't, there could be no enemy.
I do think it's important to understand this women, and I don't mean just within the context of the Justice system. The courts will look at WHAT she did, with at best a cursory examination of WHY. As Brad suggested, perhaps there isn't always an answer to why. Certainly there can never be a conclusive answer. But I very honestly don't believe this story is all that complicated.
As others here have suggested, this is different from what most people do only in degree, not in kind. It is a horrifyingly extreme example of a very common situation.
When a little girl watches her mother comfort another child on the playground, not because she's in charge of the child, not because she even knows the child, but simply out of compassion, that small act sends a message to the little girl. Repeat the message over and over, then magnify it by several decades of maturity, and you just might end up with Mother Theresa.
When a little girl does something wrong and begs her mother, "Please don't tell Daddy," that little secret kept so harmlessly also sends a message. Repeat it, magnify it, and fear eventually becomes more important than responsibility. The grown woman need not do what is right as long as there's a chance she can hide what is wrong.
Human beings are enormously complex, and I don't mean to suggest otherwise. But I also think we're remarkably similar. The differences often arise only in where we draw the line between normal and excessive.
And, to return to my original post, I think the same can be said about anger.