Anyone's Son
 


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Did anyone read the book?

August 7 2005 at 11:29 PM
pam  (no login)

 
Since I didn't know Harry or his family or any of his friends, this tragedy was only marginally interesting to me at the time.

Then I got that postcard, and I became a little more interested. Since I have no 'inside info', I read the book as as if I lived in Iowa and knew nothing about the people and place.

The thing that struck me the most was the complete lack of grief or soul searching or any other such emotion on Harry's part. A lot of the book is his own account, his own words. This was his family, and even if he was having his troubles with them, he knew them a long time! Since his story was that his brother Ron killed everyone else, then he killed Ron, one might expect some kind of bewilderment at the horror of it all, wondering why Ron would do such a thing, possibly some guilt that maybe they all missed signs that Ron was so troubled. No such words are there. Not a word of bereaved remembrance for his youngest brother, or his parents.

Instead, there are minute details about ordering flowers to be placed by his mother, some crucifix to be placed in his brother's coffin (that crucifix meant so much to him!), etc. In other words, Harry speaks only of Harry; so much so that the book gets quite tedious. He even includes the line: "I killed my brother Ron, and I have to live with that all of my life." That's a classic sociopathic statement. Not a thought or word for his grandparents, extended family, etc. (who presumably also have to live with this all of THEIR lives.) There's such a lack of empathy, there's not even an attempt to fake it. And this was written a scant 2 years after the murders.

There may be factual details misrepresented/excluded/etc., but reading Harry's words, he stands out as mighty cold.

So, if I was in fact someone in Iowa reading this book, I'd conclude that it's good that Harry's in jail, sounds like he would not have stopped with his family, but might have killed again if crossed.

Anyone else read the book? Anyone have other perspectives?

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Did anyone read the book?

August 8 2005, 10:00 PM 

I too read the book after the post card. In addition to being struck by Harry's detachment from the murders I was also struck by the paradox of the book's title Anyone's Son. Initially it appeared to me the author tried to portray the family as like any other. The book however then lists a number of unique factors (demanding cool father, detached mother, being unmercifully picked on, guns in the house, etc.) This is not typical of the Montavale I knew. I lived in Montvale on the same side of tracks as Harry did (for as long as Harry did) and I could not name one other family in the town that had hand guns.

I was not that close to Harry or his family and so I can't comment on the veracity of the family life portrayal. I was witness to an event of Harry's father's trying to build up Harry's esteem. It happened on the Montvale baseball field though I don't recall the exact year. Harry was on his fathers baseball team and coming up to bat. For some reason the umpire called time out as Harry stepped into the batter's box. A break was taken and it appeared the teams were ready to play again. The pitcher, I believe it was Gerry Sherlock, threw the ball and Harry hit it over the fence for a home run. Harry looked exuberant as he rounded the bases but the euphoria was short lived because after he passed second base the umpire negated the home run based on his never calling time back in. I remember Harry's father unsuccessfully trying to get the home run to count. I also hear Harry's father commenting after the game how it would have been so good for Harry for the home run to count (and it would not have influenced the outcome of the game).

I would have prefered some elaboration on a number of Harry's assertions like how he just gave back to the police what they wanted to hear. Had he been told that they found Ron's body prior to making his confession? I also find it inconceiveable that Ron would kill his whole family and not try and run away, or cover it up. I would have liked the author to get Harry to provide further detail about when he was talking with Ron. Was he wearing his glasss. Did he normally wear his glasses? I ask this because them being found on his wallet next to his bed would in my opinion be more consistent with being shot while asleep in bed.


 
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Duke
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You should've seen him during the arrest!

August 12 2005, 12:02 PM 


He was stone cold- He killed them all and Ronnie had nothing to do with it at all other than being
there.

 
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Duke's a Fluke
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re: You should've seen him during the arrest!

August 13 2005, 1:18 AM 

How do you know Ronnie didn't kill anybody that night? Were you in the house filming it? If so, why didn't the police ask you for the obvious evidence.

There is a reason the prosecutor tried for a plea bargain. Instead of re-reading the book, perhaps you should have someone that knows how to read explain the big fancy words for you. Because unless you were in the house night, you don't know for sure. No one does.

 
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Bob II (aka, Bob, too)
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Re: re: You should've seen him during the arrest!

August 22 2005, 9:58 PM 

Interesting perspective. A jury of 12 spent 3 weeks listening to lawyers on both sides presenting evidence. The jury weighed the evidence before finding Harry guilty of four counts of first degree murder. A guilty verdict is only possible if each of the 12 jurors believes that guilt was proven "beyond all reasonable doubt". Beyond that, there is that little matter of Harry's confession.

Are you someone who doesn't believe the sun rises everyday unless you are awake in the morning to see it?




 
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Gerry
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get your facts straight

January 26 2007, 5:29 PM 

If you are going to name names have the balls to use your own. I was the pitcher but it didnt happen like that. Here is my account:
I had never pitched before and was not used to looking to see if my fielders were ready before pitching to the next batter. Since I was rushing my pitches and not looking to see if the fielders were in position, the umpire called it back after Harry had hit it over the fence. This time I checked my fielders and pitched to Harry again and he hit a triple off of me which did count. I was subsequently taken out of the game and relieved by another pitcher as it was the seventh inning and I was the starting pitcher. We went on to win the game.


 
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G Roeser
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I was watching

February 2 2007, 8:54 PM 

I saw the whole thing from the basketball courts. Gerry is right.

George Roeser

 
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G Roeser
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Saw the whole thing

February 3 2007, 8:41 AM 

I was playing bball as always and saw the whole thing take place Gerry is correct.

George Roeser

 
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