An instant classic of the “law and order vs. justice” genre. The crime itself is gruesome beyond belief: Not only was a little boy murdered and (possibly) cannibalized, his skull and bones were found in the killer’s home — shellacked, presumably to make them more attractive for display. That was 1975; the killer was caught in 1982 after he tried to lure a second boy into his home. He copped a plea to second-degree murder — which, ironically, the D.A. offered in order to spare the boy’s family the ordeal of a trial — and now he’s eligible for parole due to good behavior. And not only hasn’t dad forgiven him, he’s willing to tell anyone who’ll listen what will happen if he finds out where this guy lives.

Reminds me of the James Bulger case in Britain, where the public’s bloodlust for Bulger’s killers was so intense that the UK had to give the killers new identities before releasing them to avert vigilantism. (They were children themselves when the murder was committed so life sentences weren’t available.) Presumably that’s what’ll happen here too, although I wonder if the D.A. will take extra steps now that there’s a specific and very credible threat against the killer. Will they surveil the father once the killer is released in August to make sure nothing happens? Will they arrest him for making a threat? If he hunts the guy down and kills him, what sentence will they ask for? Realistically, what kind of sentence could they even expect to get from a jury?

The obvious exit question: Why is this monster being set free?

Accused cannibal to be released from Rhode Island prison early: MyFoxBOSTON.com

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Tags: Rhode Island