Not all Criminals are Monsters
In my Leeward Files novels, I have truly horrendous monsters: murderers, pedophiles, rapists, sex and drug traffickers, and extreme racists, but not all bad guys are truly monstrous. Sometimes, a good guy can be pushed into doing bad things, other times, a good person will do bad in the hope of something good coming from it. The old adage, “The end justifies the means.” In fiction, as in real life, we know that someone committing a crime, even for the “right” reason, is still guilty. Murdering the men who raped your daughter or wife might be justified but it’s still against the law.
What would cause you to commit murder? We are often quick to say I would kill for this or I would never kill for any reason, but I don’t believe we truly know what we are capable of until we are faced with it.
As I am finishing up the Leeward Files series and moving into the next series, The Heroes of Leeward, I am delving into why Todd, Devin and Phil were so evil. It has been documented that too often, children of abuse become abusers. These men were emotionally tortured and sexually molested as children. Todd went from a sadistic little boy to a serial rapist and murderer. Devin is more of a manipulator. He preys on those he sees as weaker but runs from confrontation. Phil believes he is a hero and wants to rid the world of the monsters, but he doesn’t have the honor and guidance to aid him. He believes the ends justifies the means, and it is more important to stop the bad guys that preserve the good.
Not all criminals are monsters, some are coerced into a life of crime, like Dana’s cousin in White Gold. Family is everything but what if you come from a family of monsters, does that make you a monster too? After his father dies, Robbie JR is raised by his angry, racist grandfather who blames him,( sins of the fathers and so on), for the disappearance of his rebellious daughter and her biracial daughter. The grandfather feels it is his duty to rid the world of the abomination who shares blood with him. His sadism and anger drive him to attempt murder.
In the real world we see crimes committed in the name of religion and morality. People too often hate and fear what they do not know, they lash out and try to conform it, or erase it. Centuries of wars fought in the name of religion or country has seen whole tribes wiped out. We may have evolved in some aspects but we have devolved in others. People still hate, are still consumed by vice and greed, no matter how much we preach love and compassion, there will always be those who refuse to live in peace. But thankfully there are those who overcome prejudices, fight the battle for equality, heroes who keep the world safe, and give us hope for the future. I believe in hope and happy endings. Wishing you all your own happy ever after.