A sobering thought

Maggie Thompson, the murder victim in my Executed Today post from yesterday, reminds me so much of Kathleen Shea who was never found. The girls were almost the same age and both of them vanished without a trace, like “the sidewalk might have opened and swallowed” them. Both times it was during their school lunch break (Maggie was walking home to eat; Kathleen had finished her meal and was walking back to school). Both of them stopped to talk to neighbors while en route. Kathleen disappeared in Pennsylvania, Maggie in the bordering state of Ohio. And, though we may never know for certain, I think Kathleen’s fate was probably much the same as poor little Maggie’s.

Obviously, the two cases aren’t related: they occurred some 70 years apart, and Maggie’s killer was caught and suffered the supreme penalty. I’m just saying, these kinds of crimes are timeless. Homicide committed by juveniles (Maggie’s killer, Otto Lueth, was only sixteen) is not rare or new either. I get annoyed when people talk about how “the youth of today are out of control” (Aristotle said the same thing about the youth of 3rd century BC) and also “how bad crime these days” and how “in this day and age, you have to be extra careful.” The good old days were terrible.

Still idling…

I have had NO desire to work on Charley lately, in case you haven’t noticed. Every time I think about it I groan inwardly and return to my books. (And those awesome Epic Rap Battles of History vids on YouTube.)

I don’t know whether to take an official vacation, or to grit my teeth and start daily updates again, hell or high water.

Years ago one of you warned me against burnout: “You are battling the tide here and you are doing it alone.” Certainly it feels like it now. There’s so much WORK. And there’s no option to quit. Partly because there’s no one to take my place. But mostly because, if I do, it’ll be just one more thing I’ve failed at.

God, I’m tired.

Life’s longest journey begins with a single step and all that. Carry on.

Got another ET entry: Otto Lueth, a sixteen-year-old boy hung in 1890 for the murder of a seven-year-old girl.