Thursday, February 11, 2010

James Trimble and Christina Ricci

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.

No comments: