It took all day to get this written.
After yesterday I wanted to say more about the case of Autumn Pasquale. But the way this whole case has turned out, I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it.
At first I was intrigued by the story. Here was a 12-year-old girl missing on her bike. First I thought she must have run away. Then I thought maybe she had an older boyfriend. It happens. But then I saw the TV video of her family and her neighbors and the like and I realized that this was a story that wasn’t going to have a happy ending.
I hoped I would be wrong. But I wasn’t.
The worst sort of animals allegedly killed this typical 12-year-old girl. She was a pretty little thing, played sports, was a good student – just your everyday nice kid from the neighborhood. But for her, a passion for bikes – BMX bikes in particular – would be the means to the end of her life.
The two charged with her murder knew her, were friends of a sort by all accounts. It didn’t seem like she had any reason not to trust them although published reports seem to indicate that at least of them had been in trouble with the law before this.
But one of the suspects allegedly lured her into the house where he and his brother allegedly beat her and strangled her to death. And then they simply tossed her body into a recycling bin. And the bike was apparently stashed inside the home.
How savage are these boys charged with her murder? One of them supposed “Liked” a Facebook page dedicated to finding the girl when she was simply missing. Now the two of them are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposal of the body, theft and tampering with evidence. The only thing that didn’t happen was any sort of sexual assault. Not that that’s any consolation but that as a dad would have made it even more unbearable.
Now I’m sure most of us get filled with hate and rage when we hear the details of this case. How could they do such a thing? Over a bike? What was going through their heads? I get it and at times I feel the same way.
But we all need to have courage and realize that there are monsters like this all over the planet.
What I really feel is sadness for the mother of these boys. Let’s give her credit for having the awful decision to contact police when she evidently read a post on one of the boys’ Facebook page. She knew something wasn’t right and contacted investigators.
That led to their arrests.
How sad for this woman? We don’t know much about her as a parent and I have read the nasty comments directed at her but since we don’t know the real circumstances of her situation it’s not fair to tear her down. After all, if it wasn’t for her, there may not have been an arrest in this case.
The woman is a mother so I’m sure she felt sadness, terror, rage and all sorts of emotions as she came to realize that her two sons may have been responsible for the death of the child of a neighbor. How will she ever show her face again in the town she knows as home? It must be a horrible feeling.
Not only that but now she was giving up her own sons, likely for the rest of their lives, as if they are convicted they are looking at decades of time behind bars. And they deserve it if convicted.
But Clayton would have been Exton, West Chester, Kennett, Downingtown or Coatesville. We’ve seen the violence before and we’ll see it again. And that’s a shame.
The other night hundreds attended a candlelight vigil and sang “Amazing Grace” in the town of Clayton.
The prosecutor’s office is considering trying the boys as adults. I highly recommend that decision. Meanwhile the prosecutor has asked for calm and has asked the residents not to “turn on each other.”
That’s a tall order. The stress levels in the town of Clayton are likely higher than ever in its history. This is a crime that likely will never be duplicated there again – ever. Good thing.
Here’s what I would ask of everyone: resist the temptation to lash out. These boys will be punished the correct and proper way in the system of justice. Try and forgive their mom. The woman never did anything and actually brought the justice to her own sons – a move that will probably keep them in jail for the rest of their lives. No hugs, no kisses, no family gatherings ever again for her and her boys. And that’s a pity. No parent deserves that.
But no parent deserves what has happened to the Pasquale family either. Their baby girl is gone forever. All they have are the memories. And those will have to suffice. Everyone will move on – but no one will ever forget the “fall of Autumn…”
— Andy Hachadorian