Happy Valentine's Day — a good day for spreading around a little love, cheating on your diet and pouring over the Valentines that come home from school. It was not a good day though, for the families of Rachel and Lillian Entwistle and Carlie Brucia.
It was hard to watch Joseph Smith in his prison suit, sniveling and pleading for his life. Quite a contrast to the strapping guy who grabbed little Carlie Brucia's arm and took her out of view, raped her, murdered her and left her in a shallow grave. She had taken a shortcut behind the carwash on her way home from a sleepover.
Smith begged the judge not to carry out the death penalty recommended 10-2 by the Florida jury. He said he didn't want to impose any more pain on his mother or his own children. He said he'd lost his job hours before his crime and had taken heroin and cocaine in amounts that he'd hoped would kill him. Unfortunately for Carlie Brucia, it did not. He blamed his heinous act on drugs and depression. Something tells me there is something worse than drug addiction at work here.
Rachel Entwistle's family must feel like they are living in a bad dream. Their daughter went to London to study in college. She married a British sweetheart, stayed there and had a child. Just a few short months ago, the whole family came back to the States. They must have been thrilled to have her back and to see little Lilly grow up close to home. Now they are waiting for their son-in-law to come back to face charges in their murders.
Prosecutors say it was financial trouble that led to the murders. Now it turns out Entwistle was not happy with his sex life. Lots of new dads probably feel that way. There is a lot of responsibility in being a dad and a husband. He was now far from home and things were not going well. I asked viewers today what they think makes the Scott Petersons and Mark Hackings — and maybe the Neil Entwistles — of the world to kill the people they loved. This e-mail sums up the responses best:
I feel that some men are just cowards and can't face the realities that go with family life. They look for ways out and a few go over the edge.
George Vreeland Hill
Los Angeles, CA
"A few go over the edge." Today we watched one of them plead for his life. Tomorrow, one who's been accused, arrives back home to face the music.
Here's an idea: This Valentine's Day, consider skipping the overpriced "Special Valentine's" menu and spend the evening at home with your children. Thank the dads in your life, who — like most fathers — likely had the courage to take on responsibility. And maybe say a Valentine's Day prayer for the families of Rachel, Lillian and Carlie.
See you tomorrow,
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