In the movie The Addams Family, Christina Ricci played Wednesday Addams and, in once scene, arrives at an Addams family Halloween party dressed in her every day clothes. When a sweet old lady asks the young lady, only 11 years old, what she has come dressed as, Ricci replies, in a matter-of-fact voice, “I am dressed like a psychopathic serial killer…We look the same as everybody else.”
I was reminded of Ricci’s comment a few years later. I was once a member of a National Guard contingent in Athens, Ohio. The platoon sergeant was a man named James Trimble. I thought he knew his job quite well and I couldn’t help but notice he wore the 82nd Airborne patch on his right shoulder. Years before, he had seen combat in Grenada. One month, I noticed Trimble wasn’t around and I made some inquiries. To my shock and horror, I learned that he was in London Correctional Facility for having molested his own seven-year-old daughter. I enquired further and, with the permission of Trimble’s family, I consulted with his defense counsel. I actually read the confession he had signed. I even visited Trimble in prison. While he was evasive, he did not deny the charge against him. That conversation took place almost twenty years ago. I still cannot fathom how anyone could commit such a horrible act against any child, let alone their own. Perhaps Christina Ricci and the writers of The Addams Family had a point: sometimes psychopaths look just like everyone else.