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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
bb April 8, 2009, 10:13 AM

People do what they know. I contend that all the abusers were once victims. In the USA we have a practice of routinely defiling the most innocent and most helpless. Male infants are restrained, stimulated to erection, and then traumaticaly physically and emotionaly injured. This ritual is called circumsion. Recovery is painful, and the cleansing of the wound is painful, and done by the person this infant wants to trust most in the world. Perhaps this is what makes some men’s brains “mis-fire” later in life.

Jennifer April 8, 2009, 10:31 AM

I feel the same way. It is this Country s fault. I mean, they give drug dealers life sentences, but a child molester gets one or two years and are set free to do it again and again. Then they wonder why this is happening. every time they catch one of these sick people, they need to lock them up forever with no chance of getting out because obviously they are not right in their mind and WILL do it again! What is wrong with this Government!

concerned mom April 8, 2009, 11:19 AM

I feel the same way I had a fourteen year old cousin who was abducted raped brutally tortured and murdered and as things are happening you feel like your having an outter body experience, Like your in a dream (a nightmare) you just never think its going to happen to anybody you know I mean we see stuff on the news all the time. Just do whatever you can for your kids to keep them safe and away from sick f**** like that.

Robert April 8, 2009, 11:35 AM

I have an 8-year old daughter who looks very similar to Sandra. I also have a 6-year old son. I coach their respective softball/baseball teams, volunteer at their schools, and do everything I can to train them up in the way they should go. I see many similar horrific crimes in my line of work but my usual ability to detach myself has failed in this instance.

I cannot tell you what I would do to the individual who committed this crime. I cannot tell you because it would be viewed at the very least as unprofessional and at the worst, extreme, uncivilized, possibly even barbaric. In our watered-down, hypersensitive, and politically correct culture here in America, I could be placed on some sort of watch list myself for publicly posting such a detailed response. However, I feel compelled to post something.

Our society is far too tolerant of the individuals who commit these types of crimes. This story will soon pass from our nation’s conscience as we move on to worrying about what Obama’s favorite summer movie will be or what major league player will come out of the steroid closet next.

Spare me the “human life is sacred” mantra. I can tell you from experience these types of criminals are predatory animals. They are beyond rehabilitation, beyond the ability to control their impulses, and should be dealt with in the same manner as any predator is dealt with when it threatens you or your family. Spare me the elevated morality of our “civilized” and “advanced” society. While I have no detailed knowledge of this investigation, I am certain beyond ANY doubt that Sandra’s life ended in a manner few can imagine. I am sure she wondered what was happening and why and I am also sure she wanted more than anything the safety of her home and loved ones.

Please… wake up, educate yourselves, train yourselves and your children, arm yourselves (with knowledge if nothing else), take responsibility for your safety and the safety of your children. DO NOT rely on ANY other individual or any part of our government for this because when seconds count, the police are at best minutes away.

Nicole April 8, 2009, 12:24 PM

I think I agree with Charles. Except I would not want to just dunk the predator once. I would do it “Salem witch”style and tie him to a stick and dunk him over and over again torture style. Each time he goes under he should be reminded of his horrible crime against the most innocent and vulnerable among us. I personally do not care if this sounds harsh. I am tired of it. Maybe we need some sort of undercover vigilante to start preying on them and picking them off one at a time. Its been proven that you can’t rehabilitate a sexual predator and the world is much better without them.

Amy April 8, 2009, 12:48 PM

Thank you Charles! For expressing the spiteful feeling that most of us feel when we hear these stories, or worse yet, are part of. I don’t how I would cope with something like this and I am struggling with the thought of what these poor children go through before they die; that’s the part that kills me inside. I personally do not think the chinese method you mentioned is inhumane enough.

lam April 8, 2009, 12:49 PM

I believe that we are all suppost to forgive each other BUT in the cases of these monsters that prey upon young children …I believe that they should all be tortured and left on an island in the middle of the ocean someplace to die….no getting life, no death penalty -they get off too easily that way, they are monsters and should be treated as such…I know that is a horrible way to feel about my fellow human kind , God will surely not agree but…that is how I see it
May little Sandra RIP and my prayers are with her family and friends and all who care.

sandra April 8, 2009, 2:16 PM

she was a beautiful little girl it brakes my heart a monster did that to a innocent little child i hope they find the person and make him paid for his crime she with god in his arms safe little angel may god bless the family.

Colleen April 8, 2009, 2:37 PM

I speak as mother who’s son was hurt beyond comprehension to myself, members of my family or friends. This is something that you will never understand until you are directly affected. You can say what you would do, but you would probably be wrong. I thought my husband would be the avenger of our sons wrong doing but that wasn’t the case. I thought that the day would never come when I would look at my son and not see my pain or his. What would our lives be like today if we had let the horrible evil event that once broke our fortress of safety, determine our lives forever. Who would we be serving? Christ? My Children? The Perpetrator(s)? For the longest time I wondered what my son must have felt. I wonder would he ever think of anything else. I realize now. I was never meant to know that. That is how God protected me. That is how I could carry on for my family. The video of little Sandra Cantu skipping. I believe God did that for her mother and family. So one of the last memories is of her happy. I could go on. Instead I’m reminded of something I once heard. “We are what we do” So, ask yourself. What would you really do?

Kari April 8, 2009, 5:11 PM

I know exactly how you feel I have kids
that are 15, 11, 8 and 3. It breaks my heart there is something very special about Sandra and I hurt for her family. I just hope her death wasn’t painful to her. That would just be the mosy awful thing. My chest started to hurt when I read that her body had been found. It’s horrible!!

Sara Jane April 8, 2009, 5:30 PM

The story of Sandra Cantu and all the stories of baby killers, molesters, and child abusers are beyond comprehension. Where has the love, kindness and innocence of our lives gone to? On the eve of Passover and Easter. May the promise from God to take the evil from this earth be answered.

Melanie April 8, 2009, 10:55 PM

I had prayed that this child’s body was not inside that suitcase. I feel terrible for her family! I 100% agree with Robert. This killer wouldn’t see his day in court if I had an opportunity to get to him first. My heart aches everytime I imagine what this child endured during her final minutes before she died. Stories such as this one, and also Hailey Cummings and Caylee Anthony makes me sick to my stomach. Did they ever find the teenage girl from California that went missing on her way to school sometimes in February? I’m afraid this will be another heartbreaking ending.

Maroon April 8, 2009, 11:46 PM

I live on the other side of the world, and I have followed the disappearance of little Sandra with great concern, and have cried when she was discovered deceased. I too have racked my brain trying to understand why humans commit unconscionable acts. Perhaps geneticists
could find a gene responsible. I don’t know. My prayers are with Sandra’s poor family.

Zak April 9, 2009, 12:45 AM

Thisis the weaiedest thing in the can u live every day knowing that u have just murdered this poor innocentlittle girl.. To the family I am soooiooo sorry and I hope justis come for u and hopefully the Nasty bastard comes forward

Zak April 9, 2009, 12:46 AM

Thisis the weaiedest thing in the can u live every day knowing that u have just murdered this poor innocentlittle girl.. To the family I am soooiooo sorry and I hope justis come for u and hopefully the Nasty bastard comes forward

rtb April 9, 2009, 1:02 AM

They are not predators. They are not monsters. They want you to think if them in those terms.
These are men of an unimaginable craven nature. They need us to believe that they are a force of evil or a monster, they are a mold. It does not make them less deadly. But the imagery which the crime provokes is part of the cycle they feed from.
Sexual crimes are about power not sex. How much power is needed to hurt a child? You can see that the power comes from our reaction, not from the act.

They are mold; foul and simple things, not suited for our world and need to be removed. They are not worth anyone’s emotion. Pray for the families, mourn for the victim and try to close your eyes without seeing the video of her skipping across the street.

Bill Parker April 9, 2009, 9:11 AM

As the father of a murdered child, I emphasize and do understand what the family is going through. It is impossible for anyone to know what Sandra’s family is going through unless they, themselves, have been where her family is now. We are praying for the family as they bear this unimaginable tragedy.

Our daughter, Melanie, was murdered in May of 2006 and it took almost 2 years to identify and bring her killer to justice and not through the dilligent efforts of the police department. In fact, the incompetence of the homicide detectives actually damaged the case against our daughter’s killer. Because of mistakes made in gathering evidence, the DA was only able to seek life in prison, without parole instead of the death penalty for a capital murder charge.

At the end of his trial, after he was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole, the jury questioned the DA as to why they didn’t seek the death penalty because they would have given it in this case.

We are approaching the 3 year mark of our daughter’s horrible death and I can personally state that I and my wife relive the events of that day every morning we wake up. For us, the pain, loss and often anger remain a daily part of our lives. Yes, our lives have continued and we have a wonderful family and support group of friends and as they say “life goes on” but for us in many ways, it continues to be a one day at a time journey.

The person who murdered our daughter was a serial rapist of women and young teenage girls. He stalked, assaulted, raped and then executed our daughter before dousing her body with a flammable liquid and setting her on body on fire.

So I hope you can understand that if given the opportunity, I would pull the switch with no reservation. At this point, I am struggling to be satisfied that the Texas prison system will make his remaining days before his eternal sentence in Hell. My God have mercy on his soul and ours as well. Our world can be such a hard place.

I hope that they find the monster who did this terrible thing and MAKE HIM PAY!

Heart Broken Father April 9, 2009, 1:15 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with Sandra’s Family and friends.
Please know that Sandra is with you, and always will.
Peace be with you

keilah April 11, 2009, 11:57 AM

please find this girl who killed her

michael April 11, 2009, 1:24 PM

what a mindset. (i came to the same conclusion, however) “the only thing wrong with women is men”. we see a lovely little girl, and the one responsible for killing her is a guy. kidnap/rape/murder. But then, she is found in a woman’s suitcase. fully clothed. “no visibls signs of trauma”. Finally the woman confesses that she killed her. (one news source said that) Perhaps the only thing wrong with people is people.

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