Asking How Does It Happen

Fascination with the morbid…

I have a confession. I have a bit of a fascination with anything morbid.

For instance, if I see a dead animal on the side of the road I always have to look. Fortunately, depending on what side of the fence you’re on, I’m not the only one that does this. My stepdaughter and I have been known to stop the car in the middle of the road to go look at whatever critter lay dead and decaying. Funny thing is, we’re both animal lovers.

Whenever something morbid goes over and above the norm, my ears always perk up – especially if it is a crime case that no one ever saw coming.

Take for instance, the Sena case from Las Vegas, Nevada. Christopher Sena, described as a “loving and devoted” father, his current wife, and his ex-wife are accused of running one of the worst child sex rings in history. It blows my mind how a group of people, including a teacher, could have committed such monstrous crimes that involved incest and bestiality for years and yet no one had an inkling such things were going on!

How does that happen? The writer in me begs to know how does that kind of thing get missed?

This is not the only case that has made national news recently. There’s another case in Alabama that came to light only as the result of an investigation into a missing person report and an apparent suicide. Last month, Wendy Holland was sentenced to 219 years for her part in a sex ring that included incest and molestation of children in two counties. According to investigators, several families were involved and the case is so massive that they’re not even sure how many victims there may actually be.

Especially in a small town community where literally everyone knows everyone else’s business, you have to ask how in the world did they get away with such disturbing acts on such a large-scale for years?  The scary thing is if a murder had not occurred, this would have continued for no telling how long.


While you’d like to think these two cases are isolated incidents, they’re not, and apparently it’s not a new occurrence. By pure coincidence this week, I’ve been asked by two different people if I’ve ever read the book, Tragedy In Tin Can Holler by Rozetta Mowery.

The book takes place in the same area where I live and is a true account of a female serial killer during the great depression. Apparently, from the description of the book, there were also decades of child abuse and incest, and domestic abuse that came to light only as the result of an investigation into the murders. From what I’m told, the murders were some of the most gruesome in history – things that would make your skin crawl. Naturally, the book will be my next read.

Interestingly enough, one of the two people who asked me if I had read the book was a descendent of that family. I met him as he was out feeding cattle on the property behind ours. He works for our neighbor.

The writer in me couldn’t resist asking questions and surprisingly enough he had many interesting tales about his family in which he admitted his extended family had a very strong and colorful history of mental illness. Needless to say, I was all ears! With my over active paranoid imagination, I also wondered if he was guilty of anything that someone might be missing.

Why do you think such heinous crimes occur without being discovered for so long? Do you think the signs are there but no one wants to pry? Or, do you think they really have mastered the art of disguise?