Thank god these two boys are alive and physically healthy. Heaven knows, however, the emotional problems these boys will have for the rest of their lives because ofMr. Devlin. The horrific crimes Mr. Devlin probably committed on these two boys are almost impossible to imagine, as my mind will not take me there. Based on the kidnapping charges and probably molestation charges, Mr. Devlin will probably receive a life sentence.
Any criticism that may be made against Shawn Hornbeck for not escaping would be naive, as he was likely mentally shackled through terror and domination.
This case is both a success and a failure on the part of our law enforcement community. On one hand, the police work we observed after Ben Owenby was reported missing was excellent. A description of the suspect truck was broadcast to local law enforcement agencies, and shortly thereafter an alert officer saw the truck within an apartment complex. This illustrates how a quick and energetic response to a missing person complaint can produce good results.
But what about Shawn Hornbeck's case? It appears he was found by chance, and only after he volunteered to the officers his identity. Shawn had been held captive for two years, less than forty miles from where he was abducted. In this case, we can see how our society is failing to devote enough resources to locating our missing children.
This case also shows how we are not devoting enough of our resources in capturing child molesters. This year our legislatures have passed numerous laws that increase in punishment for child abuse cases. What is noticeably absent, however, is new legislation creating task forces to go after would be child abductors. Unfortunately, we are seeing too many cases like this one, where there have been multiple victims.
Written by Donald P. Schweitzer