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Dad Blogger Reacts to Sandra Cantu's Death

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Sandra Cantu's body was found just a short 4 miles from my house this evening... and although I didn't know her or her family personally, I can't get her out of my head.

Sandra Cantu

Guest blogger Charles Orlando: For those in the un-know, Sandra Cantu is the little 8 year-old girl who was abducted last week, killed and left in a irrigation pond in Tracy, CA... where I live. Her body was found just a short 4 miles from my house this evening... and although I didn't know her or her family personally, I can't get her out of my head.

Many readers of my blog know about my personal life based on my radio interviews and book, but you may not know that I have two kids that are not much older than Sandra was. My daughter is 10, and my son is 13... and both are scared. (Yes, I realize that most people have a better chance of getting hurt in their bathtubs than being abducted/killed, but that doesn't take away their fear.) As their father, I share their fear... but the fear of something happening to them is just the start... I also fear what I would become if something actually did happen to them (a thought I can barely type, let alone ponder on).

For all that I have written about men and their primal instincts, I find myself thinking about how I would--as a father--handle this type of situation... and the short (and Fifth Amendment) version of what I would do is: nothing good.

A long time ago in Asia (the exact country and time frame escapes me right now), convicted murderers were incarcerated for one year. At the end of one year, the murderer would be brought with the victim's family to a body of water (lake, ocean... I just can't remember the complete details; sorry), restrained and tied to a weight, and dropped in. The only people allowed to save the murderer were the family of the victim (or victims). The idea, of course, is that after a year, perhaps the family of the victim would find forgiveness in their hearts and rescue the murderer from death--lest they become what they beheld in the first place. If I were in that position, I'd like to believe that I would grow past the pain and mourning and rescue the murderer... but I fear that I would not. And not only would I not save them, I would be happy for the justice fate bequeathed.

Trite and stupid, but I have to ask: Where the hell do these people come? Is there one crazy couple living in the South Pole that keeps bringing these crazy, sick, twisted f*%k$ into the world and teaching them that little girls are easy marks because they can't defend themselves?

Burn. Them. All.

next: Olympian Dara Torres -- Killer Mom, Killer Bod
52 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristin April 7, 2009, 7:52 PM

I completely know how you feel. I have often wondered what state I would be in if anything would happen to my kids in such a horrific manner. I think my life would cease. There wouldn’t be enough strength or support to sustain me. And I too wonder who are these people who hurt children. How can they take away and entire lifetime from someone so helpless. Truly evil beings.

Lisa April 7, 2009, 7:58 PM

I have to agree with Charles 100% In my country they would allow the victims family to do as they wish with the person guilty of such a charge. Now I am not saying this should be the case in every single arrest because lord knows, and history has proven many times…innocent people are convicted all the time (of other charges.) BUTTT for these sick F*****! that can do this to an INNOCENT CHILD deserve to have their eyes pulled out and hands cut off! In the end the sad part is the innocent child is the victim in ALL OF THIS…and you have to ask…where were her PARENTTTTSSS?


Trena April 7, 2009, 8:10 PM

I agree with Lisa. The same goes for my culture…I’d let the family do away with him as they please. What boggles my mind is it’s almost always MEN who do sick things like this…raping women, molesting little girls and boy and then killing them. I know women do it too, but for the most part it’s men. Just really weird.

Charles Orlando April 7, 2009, 8:23 PM

Agreed, Trena… not sure what the malfunction/misfire in some mens’ brains are, as I’m clear that the vast majority of these kinds of violent crimes against women and children are perpetrated by men (save for a few cases of mothers drowning/doing away with their children publicized in the last few years).

Disgusting, sickening, and an overall feeling of disbelief has overwhelmed me, my family, and my neighborhood.

Thank you for your comments

scout April 7, 2009, 8:36 PM

It’s almost always men that rape and kill innocent victims. It’s probably due to the large amount of testosterone that men have during young and middle adulthood. Studies have shown that those with high testosterone levels are more aggressive and violent and have higher sex drives than those with lower levels of testosterone.

I believe that sexual predators who kill should get the death penalty and those that don’t actually kill (but who violently attack an innocent victim) should either be castrated or left in prison for the rest of their lives.

I can guarantee you that this would significantly decrease the incidence of these horrible and sadistic crimes.

Franz April 7, 2009, 9:25 PM

Where has humanity gone? Just a couple of weeks ago, a young man savagely slaughtered his two sisters, even beheading one. Shooting sprees are everywhere. And now, another victim was claimed. Over the past few weeks, really sick bast*rds has run amuck and people can’t really do anything about it but to fall on their knees, be stupefied and digest what has been happening. Even if the so called “Justice System” does something about the crime, the damage has been done. Innocent people have suffered, many are left dead. We can’t help but question the perpetrator’s sanity, but guess what, not all of them are insane. Their psyche are so twisted yet they have the ability to reason. This perversity is not bound to any gender and we can’t help but be wary, or rather be fearful for our family’s safety. I’m not playing the angel but it’s these times when you really wish you can believe in “poetic justice”. To the Cantu family, my sincerest condolences and sympathies. Honor Sandra by living and by being strong. Never give up because you know she will be in your hearts forever. Keep the faith. Justice will be served.

Jessica April 7, 2009, 9:31 PM

The U.S. Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment”, but times have changed since the writing of the Constitution, and I think that we, as a society, need to stand up and demand that the punishment truly fit the crime. If criminals knew that they would be put through the exact same torture that they put their victims through, they would think twice before committing such horrific acts.

Mikhila April 7, 2009, 10:27 PM

I’m so sorry for your lose. Sandra looked like a sweet girl, and i bet she was.I hope the find the horrible person that did this to this girl. Once again i’m very sorry.

Real Tech Mom April 7, 2009, 11:06 PM

Well written, and I agree completely. I don’t think i could ever forgive someone who murdered my family let alone my child.


Anonymous April 7, 2009, 11:07 PM

Why doesn’t our “modern” society put a curb on all the sex and violence in our media, and on every form of pornographic perversion available everywhere, especially on yonder good old www? Years ago I saw jail interviews of child molesters/killers on TV. Every one of them proclaimed himself to be a heavy user of pornography.

K&C's mom April 7, 2009, 11:37 PM

This is one of my biggest fears!!!! I remember waking up one morning and my daughter, who was about 3 at the time, wasn’t in her bed or in the bathroom, I was painicking and ran into the living room ready to call the police, and there she was sleeping on the couch! I hope they find who did this, and they suffer as I’m sure this little girl did!!!! May God bless and keep this family in this most difficult time!!!

Nene April 7, 2009, 11:59 PM

Although I live deeper in the Central Valley of California I feel deeply for the family suffering from this tragic loss and have realized that I have an obligation to the children in my community. I saw a little boy walking in the parking lot today and told him he needed to go back with his mother…the situation could have gone badly with the mother being offended (although it did not), but either way I did not care. I feel that as a member of any community it is our duty to make adjustments in life when tragedies such as this one become so prevalent. No one deserves this, especially not children

Anonymous April 7, 2009, 11:59 PM

Support the Chris Barrios law

Melanie April 8, 2009, 12:48 AM

This story is just another reminder of the sick world we live in. Too bad the surveillance camera didn’t get a shot of the sick bastard that took her which could have possibly led to her rescue before it was too late. I feel terrible for her family and also for the family whose house she left from who may could have prevented this if only they had walked her home. I also live in a mobile home park and every day I see small children walking around way far from their homes. There is a large subdivision right behind where I live and I also notice daily the small children that roam the streets alone without any supervision or a parent nearby. It’s sad! I can assure you my duaghter who is only just 3 months old right now will NOT EVER be anywhere by herself without me or a relative with her. How sad!

Lightwarrior April 8, 2009, 3:39 AM

You pose an interesting question. I will say this, I was given a situation that brought me to this very question. Fortunately, unfortunately, dependent upon how you look at it, I turned the other cheek and forgave the trespassers. It was an ugly, hard, nasty road that I would NEVER wish upon anyone… Something such as this will change your life forever, you will never see the world the same way. My prayers and condolences to this beautiful girl’s family, may God watch over them in the days to come… Peace.

vikki April 8, 2009, 6:30 AM

Fortunately the USA has laws that protect incarcerated folks from immediate death sentence so the innocent have a chance to be set free. AS FOR THE GUILTY, when the appeals process has been completed, the Asian drowning method sounds okay to me.

Concerned April 8, 2009, 6:34 AM

After thinking about this, one has to ask why the kids are scared. Just exactly HOW have the parents and teachers handled this? Four miles is a very long walk - hour and half - or a good 15 minutes on a ten speed bicycle. That’s not so close to a house in a neighborhood and in the countryside, it’s down the road and probably around the corner again just as far. What I’m reading is personalization and getting overly emotional. Kids pick up on vibes, so the adults in this community need to get a grip and behave in a manner that is educational but not instilling fear. Kids are easily afraid and from what this guy writes, while he has all my sympathy, is not helping the situation at all.

Leslie April 8, 2009, 9:38 AM

One has to ask why the kids are scared???? really??? overly emotional??
I can’t believe you’r for real, I live in the middle of the united states and this story effected me, this is a horrible thing and if you are a parent you can “almost” imagine how horrible you would feel. Also, I really wish people would quit saying things like “where were the parents” you cannot watch your kids 24/7-if you claim that you can then you must be sleeping with them, taking them into the bathroom with you, making them sit in the kitchen as you are cooking dinner, so please, kids go outside-kids play with other kids, if you try to restrict your kids from doing normal things then they might as well be in prison.

Vanessa April 8, 2009, 9:55 AM

I have two kids. My daughter is 12 and my son will be 3 this May. I could not even imagine what I would do if ever something like that happened to either of them. I know that my husband would take justice in his own hands. I can’t even let my kids out in our backyard for fear that someone will snatch them. We have to lock our children because of these perverts. I say we castrate them once they have been proven of being guilty of a sexual crime against Child/Women. We should not have to live in fear because of these perverted people. I can’t stand it anymore…almost every night I hear about a child being killed,kidnapped,molested etc… and it just makes me angry.

Doug April 8, 2009, 9:58 AM

I may come across as a bit extreme, so if you’re a “we can rehab these people” and don’t want to get angry, please move on. Define “cruel and unusual punishment”, is it what these animals do to kids not “cruel and unusual punishment” for being a kid??? I think the writer actually downplayed his true feelings (pleading the 5th, great move) and I get the feeling he and I see things pretty much the same. The best way to deal with this is to put these animals in “general population” when they are in jail, the ones in there will decide their fate. If they live and get out, then they would not want to harm a kid again and go back into that system and if they don’t get out, well consider it safer on the streets for kids all over America. That or when they person admits to doing the crime, allow the police to put a bullet in their head, save tax payers money and for you out there saying “what if they have mental issues” if they are crazy enough to admit to a horrendous crime like this, then all the shrinks in the world will not fix them, there again saving the kids from going through this cruel and unusual situation. People forget that the kids that live will have to get help for the rest of their lives and never be a innocent kid again.

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