MURDER AND ACCEPTANCE
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that three-year old Marcus Fiesel was left alone in a locked closet, without food and water, while his foster parents, Liz and David Carroll went to two-day family reunion. When they returned, Marcus was dead. Some reunion.
The Carrolls spent the next two weeks telling authorities, the media, and anyone else that would listen that Marcus wandered off from a park after Liz Carroll fainted. In fact, according to the police, David Carroll took Marcus’ body to the ruins of an old house in the next county, burned the body in the brick chimney of the ruins, and then dumped the remains into the Ohio River.
Predictably, some bloggers are trying to relate this crime to the issues of acceptance of autism and autistics (please note that I used the plural of “issues” as I think accepting autistics is not the same as accepting autism, but that’s another topic). And I agree with that assessment to an extent. Obviously, the Carrolls did not accept Marcus as a valuable human being, but it was the Carrolls, themselves, who were less than human. Their obscene lack of humanity led to this crime.
What I can’t agree with is that their lack of acceptance necessarily had anything to do with videos by Autism Speaks, actions by pro-cure groups, or anything that has been said in the many debates that occur on a regular basis within the greater autism community. There is no indication that the Carrolls paid any attention to any of that. There is no indication that the Carrolls have any interest in autism at all. It is quite likely that the only thing Liz and David Carroll were interested in was the $1,000 monthly stipend they got from the state to “care” for Marcus. One can only speculate that the “care” was none too good.
Frankly, I am not too concerned what motivated these two wastes of DNA. All I care about is their taking the life of an innocent and defenseless child. No motive in the world can justify their acts.
The Carrolls have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and abuse of a corpse, pending the outcome of grand jury proceedings. Given the lack of evidence concerning what the law call “specific intent,” those charges seem technically correct, and yet it isn’t enough. Prison terms of 23 years are not enough. I’ll leave the punishment due the Carrolls to wiser souls, but I think it’s appropriate calling this crime what it was: not manslaughter, but murder.