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Weighing evils

Friday brought to a close one of the most horrifying stories I've heard about in years. Patrick McMullen, 41, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, was convicted of several counts of rape and sentenced to 40 years to life.

McMullen had taken his family (wife, three sons, and three daughters) and barricaded them into a ramshackle shack built on a commercial property. The house was surrounded by wood and chain-link fencing. Behind those barriers, he repeatedly raped his wife and daughters, often in front of the rest of the family, for years. Finally, in 2001, his wife broke free with the children and sought a restraining order. He was arrested, and now faces at least 26 years behind bars.

I started to compare and contrast McMullen with the horde of Catholic priests who have been convicted of molesting children, and then realized I didn't have the stomach to do so. To compare such things is to judge one as less evil than the other, and I don't want to stick my foot in that sewer. I'd be content if they all got locked up in a single cell, all together.

And then it was walled off and left sealed for a couple decades.


Comments (15)

Death penalty is too kind f... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Death penalty is too kind for scum like that.

Male castation has to at least be looked at as an adequate punishment in my opinion.

I think the priests are far worse, morally, if you really want to compare them, since they are allegedly 'men of faith' yet they have commited such an act of betrayal on everythnig they are supposedly about. Nothing worse than a HYPOCRITE!

The other guy, while a scum sucking bastard, probably never took such vows in the first place.

They all deserve to be ass raped in prison for the rest of their lives of course. Maybe they'll all wind up in a cell with Michael Jackson, that other pervert.

And then it was walled o... (Below threshold)

And then it was walled off and left sealed for a couple decades.

Amen to that.

The other guy, while a s... (Below threshold)

The other guy, while a scum sucking bastard, probably never took such vows in the first place.

Uh, marriage usually has a vow. And while fatherhood doesn't -- being raped by your own father seems to me to be the worse betrayal of them all.

What drives people to do su... (Below threshold)

What drives people to do such evil? I really don't understand why anybody would do that to another human being, but especially one's own family!

I say castrate men like that, then seal them off for a few decades with some big, hairy guys named Bubba.

That's just horrible. I ho... (Below threshold)

That's just horrible. I hope the victims can recover some type of normal, happy life after an experience like that.

Julie, to RELIGIOUS FOLK, I... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Julie, to RELIGIOUS FOLK, I think a man spitting on his vow to GOD might be just as horrific as a MARRIAGE VOW being cast to the wind. I can only hope there aren't as many priests who break their vows as there are people cheating/raping their partners!

Jay brought up the whole comparison, not ME.

Both are HORRIFIC and SHOULD BE CONDEMNED. Castration, as I said, is the answer.

I think the issue with thes... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think the issue with these cases, is that men who should have been trustworthy, abused people entrusted to their care.

It is cases like this that just remind me that there are depraved people out there, and that evil exists.

Rob: You didn't wr... (Below threshold)


You didn't write "just as" you wrote "far worse." Jay made a comparison but you ranked them.

Put them in a concrete cell... (Below threshold)

Put them in a concrete cell, bed, toliet, bread and water. That is it. Period. I don't want them dead, I just want them to want to be.

As either type of father th... (Below threshold)

As either type of father they had a responsibility to take care of the ones they raped, neither is worse than the other. I think 26 years is far too long of a sentence though, 5 years in the electric chair set on medium seems about right.

Most kids live with their f... (Below threshold)

Most kids live with their fathers, therefore, in those situations, the offender has greater access to his victim. It also means kids growing up never feeling safe. Never being able to come home and feel safe. Never being able to go to sleep feeling safe because you will never know when he will sneak into your room in the middle of the night. We take those things forgranted but there are a lot of kids out there with really shitty lives.

Rape is a crime about viole... (Below threshold)

Rape is a crime about violence, not about sex. You can castrate rapists 'till doomsday, still won't stop their violent assaults on those they target...they'll inevitably find some other means to rape and violate if without male genitals, to put it bluntly.

Permanent separation from society seems the only solution for those who are so insane as to assault others as this.

Another thing: many people who resort to sexual abuse/rape as this are, themselves, earlier victims of the same behaviors. I think condeming them to forcible rape themselves is to miss the point of where and why they went bad in the first place. But isolating them with permanence....an expensive proposition but what else can society do with any effect about people like this? I mean, what ELSE? You have to arrest the cause of the behaviors and neither physical nor chemical castration accomplishes that with any certainty given that the insanity of the behaviors is the actual cause.

I also think it accomplishe... (Below threshold)

I also think it accomplishes nothing to attempt any comparisons between which type of sexual assault is worse...it's all the worse it can be to those who are victimized. There's no tolerable degree of rape or less offensive type of rape, is what I mean, to those who are assualted.

"Rape is a crime about viol... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Rape is a crime about violence, not about sex."

I don't know that you can say this about most pedophiles. Their crimes generally are about fulfilling the sexual desire, and in most cases they coerce kids into participating multiple times. There are definitely some pedophiles that are also violent, but most pedophiles see themselves as sort of being in love with their victims, or not really harming them. Still freakish, still wrong, and these guys should still be put away from life, but pedophiles don't neccessarily rape their victims for the same reasons an adult rapist does.

You know, I'm usually again... (Below threshold)

You know, I'm usually against bigger government on principle, but I think we can make an exception: we need a new federal agency dedicated to researching new, more horrible things we can do to fuckwads like this without violating the "cruel and unusual" clause. Something like taking off chunks of skin with a vegetable peeler and soaking the wound in pee, every day for three decades -- but, uh, not cruel, so we can get away with it. That's a use of my taxpayer dollars I'd be OK with.






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