What would you do if you discovered the man responsible for taking your child’s life could be released after having served two and a half decades? It reminds me of something my mom used to tell my sister and me, “If anything ever happened to either one of my girls, they’d have to bury me next to you”. It wasn’t until we were grown that we understood what she meant. And I can honestly say I would kill anyone who hurt my baby. Of course, he’s a few weeks shy of being 21, is a foot (at least) taller than me and can bench press…I dunno….some impressive number. So when I heard a man in Rhode Island made his intentions clear, I completely understood where that raw emotion came from.
John Foreman’s five year old son, Jason, went missing in 1975. It wasn’t until 1982 that his shellacked bones were found in a man’s bedroom and the mystery of what happened to the little boy was finally discovered. Michael Woodmansee was arrested for trying to strangle the neighborhood paper boy and as part of a plea deal, he was sentenced to 40 years for murdering Jason Foreman as well as the charges for assaulting the paper boy. Foreman thought for sure he’d serve the maximum sentence, so when he found out his son’s killer could be released this summer, he was understandably upset. So upset, he said, “If my son’s murderer is paroled, I’ll kill him”. To be more specific, he said, “If this man is released anywhere in my vicinity, or if I can find him after the fact, I do intend to kill this man”.
Part of the grief this father feels is because he blames himself for agreeing to the initial plea all those years ago. He didn’t want to put his family through more pain that a trial would surely cause. It’s a shame he must shoulder that burden. It’s not fair and my guess is it’s an overwhelming burden.
Turns out, the state attorney general is just as upset as Foreman. He says his office is “outraged” and is looking into ways to ensure he remains where he belongs: behind bars.
For me, I just keep thinking about my own son. Not an hour ago, he comes into the house, all smiles, with the Wal Mart bags and in his usual hurry. He forgot the Diet Cokes, runs back to his truck and returns with them, only to put his arms around for a split second and back out the door to go do his workout. The whole scene lasted maybe a minute, but for me, those moments in time stand still and nothing else in the world matters. God help anyone who serves as a threat to those moments.