Cultural Vigilantism

by Erik Rush

When Joseph Smith kidnapped 11-year-old Carlie Brucia in front of a Florida mall (and a closed circuit video security monitor) in February of 2004, raped her, killed her and discarded her body like a used condom, I responded with a column entitled "Give Him Death", in which I outlined my ambivalence regarding the death penalty, among other things.

"Officially" I am against the death penalty, because, as I said in the column: "I am personally against the death penalty for one reason: I don’t trust the state not to execute innocent people. I believe that if one innocent individual is executed, that’s one too many."

While I believe that most police and prosecutors take their duties in appropriately solemn fashion, we all know that there are those without conscience, those more devoted to career advancement than law and justice, and who reason that certain individuals "have it coming" whether or not they happen to be guilty of the crime at hand. Thus, I am in favor of life without parole for certain crimes, although I do worry about how legislatures, the judiciary and prison overcrowding can throw a wrench in that one.

My aforementioned ambivalence, and that for which I would make exception, are those crimes (like the Brucia killing) in which there was unequivocal guilt. Sadly, although there many cases of evident unequivocal guilt, there are very few methods by which the state can prove unequivocal guilt, particularly after a suspect "lawyers-up."

Which bring us to Michael Devlin, Missouri’s 41-year-old corpulent pizzeria pedophile accused of kidnapping Shawn Hornbeck 4 ½ years ago, and then 13-year-old Ben Ownby on January 8 in Beaufort, Missouri. A tip led authorities to Devlin's suburban St. Louis apartment, where on January 12 they found Hornbeck and Ownby. Devlin, now lawyered-up, has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping Ben Ownby, which I am sure is a major surprise to the reader. He is also charged with kidnapping Shawn in 2002 but has not yet entered a plea.

If one reads newspapers or watches television news at all, it is obvious that there are all manner of irregularities concerning these cases, from Devlin’s ability to maintain a double life to questions of why Shawn Hornbeck made no attempts to escape despite having contacts in the community, contacts with police, to his parents willingness to parade him in front of Oprah Winfrey’s audience less than a week after his rescue.

Although I do have some of the same voyeuristic, morbid curiosity as the rest of us, I’m not going to get into all that. My greater interest lies in our attitude as a society toward such events and our manifest lack of outrage. I say "manifest" because despite strong verbiage being thrown around, that’s about all that’s being thrown around – rather than, say, Michael Devlin being thrown from a window with a good strong chain around his fat neck.

Oh, yes, we have a system of (deteriorating) jurisprudence, and there’s the presumption of innocence and all that. Again though, as in the case of Carlie Brucia, we have unequivocal guilt. Devlin abducted the boys. No doubt. In all probability, Hornbeck was his sex slave, and Devlin planned the same fate for Ownby. An angry mob won’t have the opportunity to drag him from the jail and summarily execute him, but I’m here to tell you that wistfully regretting that fact doesn’t make you a bad person.

In a way, it was a week of happy endings in the realm of child abductions. In addition to the Missouri rescues, there was the case of Marissa Marie Graham, who, after being abducted in Oklahoma, leaped from the back of her kidnapper’s car and found aid in New Mexico after he stopped at a convenience store for gas. Leave it to a 10-year-old girl to save the day by her own wits, God bless her…

On a completely different (but, trust me, relevant) tack: Back in the ‘Sixties, my father, who was an absolute computer systems pulsing brain, worked for this little company called International Business Machines (IBM). The company, which was known for stringency and, of course, mega-success, had a motto: "think". My dad even brought home a plaque he got from work emblazoned with it. This motto became so popular, in fact, that marketers got a hold of it; plaques and posters began to appear in novelty shops bearing the spoofed legend: "think".

Whatever else IBM subsequently became, at the time, they reflected the epitome of American innovation and excellence. What did they need to do better than anyone else in order to succeed in their increasingly-competitive industry? "think".

Which is what Americans need to start doing, not only respecting existing domestic political and geopolitical issues – but right at home. While I realize that Nancy Pelosi and her posse are in all likelihood working on a bill right now to criminalize this controversial activity, I would admonish the reader to increase their regular participation in this particular activity. Not to be condescending, but it’s clear that Hollywood, advertisers, pervert activists, and socialist radicals (who now control Congress) are dedicated to the early sexualization of children – and have been, I maintain, since I was a child.

Between this and the subversion of the American family they’ve foisted upon us during the same period, it’s no wonder we have dead-eyed freaks like Smith, Devlin, and the increasing number of similarly infamous characters who’ve practically became household names.

Our PC lawmakers are never going to go for immolation of pedophiles, implementing castration via oxyacetylene torch, or hurling them from windows with good strong chains around their necks. So it’s up to us to do what we can – for the moment, figuratively speaking.

My kids are a tad perturbed at me right now because I installed a really cool parental control software package on their computer. In addition to filtering, monitoring and reporting, it even reports places my kids are thinking of visiting online.

"Dad – why can’t I get on this page?"

"Because I blocked it."

"How come?"

"Because it’s bristling with spirit poison."


They get over it. They’re not savvy enough yet to know that this is happening by design – but when my seven-year-old can get from to a clip of buck-naked Alyssa Milano having her breasts lasciviously fondled in three clicks or less, it takes a fool not to at least suspect there’s something decidedly sinister going on.

As an aside: I’ve got a big beef (no pun intended) with Alyssa Milano. This Hollywood-raised brat is a boob (pun intended) of the highest (or is it lowest?) order, and was the operative who, during the 2004 general election campaign visited our fair city with the mission of enlightening us folks as to how evil the Republicans are and which deviant-supporting socialist-progressives for whom we should cast our votes.

Give it a try! After all, it could mean one of your kids avoiding sex slavery or a gruesome death someday. Go on – I know you want to… "think!"

Erik Rush is a New York-born columnist and author who writes a weekly column of political fare. He is also Acting Associate Editor and Publisher for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. An archive containing links to his writing is at His new book, "It's the Devil, Stupid!" is available through most major outlets. His new book, Annexing Mexico, is scheduled for release shortly.

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