More from "Bristol Stomp"
Contributor
Written by
Doreen McGettigan
September 2010
Contributor
Written by
Doreen McGettigan
September 2010
I was worrying about the trial. I was convincing myself I would feel better when at least some justice was served. I was so angry there had still been no other arrest. I also wondered what it felt like to be Jimmy Galione’s mother. To know that the son you carried in your belly and gave life to, loved and took such good care of, took someone’s life. What would it feel like to know your son took the claw end of a hammer and slammed it into a man’s head over and over while he was pleading for him to stop, begging for his life? I wondered what it would be like if it had been my son. What if I got that phone call saying your son has just been arrested, for murder? He grew up with these people. What if he still hung around with them? I would start to feel sorry for Jimmy’s mother and his father. His sisters Angela and Michelle, they did not deserve to have a murderer for a brother. I really did try to feel sorry for them but the truth was they were in denial. They were lying for their son and telling him to lie. That fact made me hate them. If it was me I would have told my son to be a man and tell the truth. I mentioned these thoughts to my son and he convinced me there was a difference. He said there was a reason he no longer hung out with them. He also said he just could never hurt anyone like that. I believed him. I also realized had anything like that ever happened with my son I would still love him. I would also have compassion for the victim’s family. On the other hand at that point I did not feel sorry for Jerry Reeves parents. I knew he had been in trouble before. He was definitely troubled. I heard he had hit his girlfriend’s father over the head with a heavy frying pan. That kind of anger does not happen overnight. Why hadn’t his parents done anything about his violent behavior? They had to have seen his anger escalating. Maybe it was because I didn’t know them. I didn’t know Jerry when he was a little boy. I thanked God my son was not a murderer. I thanked God my kids were all kind people. I made a mental not to never again complain about anything they ever did. At least they were not killers. I had to fight all this anger and hatred I felt because I did not want my kids to become consumed with hatred. I was forced to think about my opinion of the death penalty. I do not think I had an opinion at that time. It was not something I wanted to think about, ever. The owner of the Levittown News World, a little store in Fairless Hills that Dave and I frequented said if this had happened in his country they would march the guilty down the middle of the street and everyone would do unto them what had been done to Dave. What a pleasant thought if only for a moment. I tried to imagine myself with a hammer and a bat just pounding away at them. An eye for an eye it is in the bible, right? The truth is I could not do it. The thought of hurting anyone like that made me sick to my stomach. I thought about the atrocities in foreign countries. It was just not right. However, was the death penalty right? I concluded, in my mind it was. I also concluded it is not right the way it is in now, in America. It is a joke. It takes too long. Then there is the issue of mental competence. Should you be excluded from the death penalty if you are mentally retarded? Should you be excluded if you are mentally ill? What if you are a minor and you kill? I believe every legal step should be taken to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It should just be done faster. I must admit the thought of this whole gang sitting on death row was a pleasant one. Waiting day after day wondering if this would be the day. Would that be torturous? I hoped so. David was tortured. I hoped they heard Dave’s pleas in their sleep. I hoped they felt his warm blood splattering on their faces. I hoped every time they closed their eyes they saw baby Michael’s innocent little eyes. I wanted them to feel every pain David had felt. I wanted to know what David felt. How do you even imagine laying in a driveway and getting hit with the claw end of a hammer and kicked in the head with boots and punched all over your body? I tried to imagine his pain. I tried to imagine what was going through his mind. I couldn’t imagine. I still can’t. I just prayed that David lost consciousness quickly and was asleep. I remembered in the hospital the nurse telling me Dave’s kidney’s were smashed, his liver was torn, his leg was broken, his arm was broken, his hand was broken, his fingers were broken and he had several skull fractures. Dave was a big man. I tried to imagine how hard you have to hit someone to break a bone. To break a thick bone, like Dave’s. When I would have these thoughts, it was just for a minute or two. I couldn’t bare more then that. I would get nauseous then I would feel guilty. I wondered if anyone else in my family was being tortured by these thoughts but I could never get the words out.

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