Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 12, 2014

The stories that haunt us

(Continued)

I can’t speak to the man’s guilt or innocence.

Educated folks aren’t supposed to believe that evil is real. We talk about mental illness, bad upbringings, poverty, domestic abuse and other factors as reasons people do bad things.

That is how I saw the world before I encountered Jennifer Lewis on that playground.

She’d be 34 now.

Would she be a mom?

A teacher?

A waitress?

An astronaut?

We will never know.

Not only was her life taken from us. A piece of our own innocence is gone, too.

Hold your children tight. Love and reassure them.

But let Jennifer Lewis’ death be a reminder: Monsters are real.

Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse reporter and the journalist in residence at the Illinois Policy Institute. He can be reached at sreeder@illinoispolicy.org.

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