When the system lets you down

I know that Kathy Swanson is never going to read this. I just felt that I had to write this blog post.

 

I just watched an episode of Evil Lives Here.

 

For those who do not know it is a show where family members of people who were evil monsters tell their side of the story and what they saw. When someone is proved to be a monster the family is often blamed. This is why I love the show because it shows that the families are the victims as well.

 

I just watched season 6 episode 1 which is Kathy Swanson’s story. Her son Michael killed convenience store clerks really rather randomly. In this episode, I get so angry though. Not because of the family but because of what happened to the family. They saw the signs and tried to get help. They were absolutely terrified of their son and even had to implement safety measures around the house to keep them safe. They went to multiple organizations and said “we need help” because of their sons seriously disturbing behavior and they were brushed off every step of the way.

 

They had been told by their son he had thoughts of hurting them and still no one helped them. Well ladies and gentlemen this is how some of these evil people end up doing what they did.

 

Ted Bundy was able to hide who he was till the end when he started unraveling. The family would not have been able to ask for help if they didn’t see the signs. He came off as “normal” to everyone which is why his crimes were so shocking.

 

Michael Swanson’s family saw the signs and were given advice “give up your parental rights and put him in the system” or “give him Ritalin”. They were not taken seriously, and this is what happens. The courts stepped in only when Michael killed people. Someone should have done something sooner. Put him in for a psychiatric evaluation in a secure facility or something. Ritalin is not a fix-all solution and giving a child up to the foster care system is not an option because his behavior is not being dealt with.

 

I applaud Kathy Swanson for her efforts. I am sorry that people had to die before Michael was handled. I am sorry that instead of being helped he ended up in this situation. I am sorry that you lived in fear and had to build high beds for your kids and lock all your doors. You did everything that you could Kathy and the system let you down.

 

I pray you and your family find peace.

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