Kathy Reinhardt (8/2, Letters), calls Kelsey Smith’s killer, Edwin Hall, a “monster.”
Yes, Smith’s murder was a monstrous act, and Hall belongs behind bars. However, I want to question the label “monster.” Was Hall born a monster or a child of God? Hall was adopted at age 7 by a loving family. Eight years later, Hall’s adoptive parents severed their relationship with him because he was violent.
That small bit of information makes me ask: Prior to age 7, what were Hall’s life experiences? Was he abused, neglected or abandoned? Did he get lost in the welfare or foster care systems? Did he, in the first year of life, receive the loving, consistent care that lets a baby know he is safe, building the foundation for later development of a moral conscience? Did Hall’s family receive the community support that raising such a disturbed child requires?
Kelsey Smith’s murder is an unspeakable tragedy. It appears to me that Hall’s life is no less a tragedy, and the grief is no less in the Hall family than it is in the Smith family.
Mary Jo Steger