Brock Turner, Jan. 2015 mugshot (Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office)
Charles Manson orchestrated one of the most horrific crimes of the 1960s, yet today he constantly receives “fan” mail, including supporters who believe Manson should not have been held accountable. The majority of the people who support Manson were not even born in the 60’s.
When serial killer Paul Dennis Reid (the subject of one of my books, When Nashville Bled) was apprehended in 1997, he received dozens of letters a day from women professing their love and proposing marriage, and people pledging support despite the evidence. After his death in 2013, he continues to have support in the guise of claiming he was innocent, or not the sole perpetrator in his crimes.
People who, sometimes viciously, defend the killers in my books have bombarded me with emails and messages: mostly about Doug Sims, who murdered a child in 1990 (The Devil You Know). They will post numerous bad reviews on the book (using a variety of identities) in an effort to discredit the story.
And if you want to learn the true meaning of die-hard support, consider the case of “The West Memphis 3” (2011). If I were to post “Those arrested may have been guilty” I would be blasted with everything from a list of “facts” to outright hate mail.
For every criminal there are groups of supporters who use the same excuses throughout history: the criminal is innocent. The investigation was a botched job. Bad decisions. Drugs. Child abuse. Uneducated. Framed. Politics. Associates and accomplices. Mental health history. Media.
So we should not be shocked a Facebook page exists to support a convicted rapist. Despite what their crime may be, the criminal still has loved ones. Social media has become the mecca of gathering places for the world; what better way to gather and support than Facebook, Twitter, or Gofundme?