Video: The Famous Swing Where He Shot Himself

It’s time I post this video too. For those of you who don’t know the other ‘big’ story behind me: I was molested as a child from the age of 12 to 18, by my family’s attorney. It went on for so long because I was in love with him, and didn’t really realize that a crime was being committed against me, and – no matter how ‘normal’ it felt at the time – it was damaging my psyche in ways that would persist for years. I didn’t come forward about it for a number of reasons, the largest of which were humiliation, the fear of not being believed, having to explain my own complicity, and that I’d have to come out. The statute of limitations is 5 years for this crime. Which meant I had until my 23rd birthday to report what had happened to me. That day came, and passed.

When I began to hear about this happening to other boys, I decided to expose him. I filed a complaint which was picked up by the papers, and ultimately landed on the desk of Governor Jeb Bush, who called an investigation. In the course of the four year investigation, about 40 of us were discovered. All ages. Some of us were fine, some were a mess, some were institutionalized, some were incarcerated, a couple had committed suicide. The oldest of us was well into his 40’s. The youngest, a freshman in college. I was one of the luckiest ones.

An arraignment was scheduled, where he would face numerous charges for the crimes committed against the one remaining victim still within the 5 year statute, but before he could be charged, he fled to Yosemite, where he made a dramatic but ineffectual suicide attempt. They brought him back to Florida, and charged him.

Had he been convicted of his crimes, being in his 50’s, he would have spent the remainder of his life in jail. The court then determined that he was not a danger to himself or others, so he was remanded to his parents’ custody until he could be brought to trial. I firmly believe that the town knew exactly what they were doing by letting him go: allowing him to solve the problem himself. After a few days, his wife filed for divorce, and secured a restraining order against him. He took some time to get his estate in order and then took a pre-dawn stroll to a local park where he sat in a swing set and shot himself in the head.

Years later, this is the swing set, which I refer to as “The Happiest Place on Earth”. Of course it isn’t: a man died there, a father, and that’s a tragedy he brought on himself.

I happily admit, in this, I was a David, and there’s nothing quite like visiting the very spot where Goliath breathed his last.

Thanks to Sam for capturing this incredible experience on video.

5 Responses to “Video: The Famous Swing Where He Shot Himself”

  1. 1 Rod
    Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    As a survivor of molestation myself, it’s always encouraging to hear about others who have been able to move ahead past this horrible act that occurs in one’s youth. My period was from the age of 5 until I was 13 by older cousins who were my babysitters. I finally was brave enough to deal with it when I was 20 and tell my mother who, ironically was dating their father. She called my dad and they both gave me the “I’ll be there for you” speech and then proceeded to ignore it all together. I dealt with it on my own terms when I moved to LA through therapy. When I heard one of them had died after being hit by a car while hallucinating on drugs, I thought I would feel relief. Instead I felt like a chapter of my life had ending without a real resolution. I never got to deal with him directly as I wanted. I wanted my revenge in some way. Later a friend reminded me that you can never really give someone their comeuppance. The universe, karma, or whatever you want to call it will take care of it. And as I realized that my other molester has had many problems in his career and also has been married twice and that neither wife has been able to give him the children he’s so desired, I was able to be at peace with it. I’m glad to see that you have found your way as well.

  2. Monday, January 14, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I loved your post. Luckily I wasn’t a victim of molestation, but I find really encouraging to see this kind of writings on the web. I think it shows that blogging not only can be used for posting about hot guys, gossip and sexual encounters with strangers, but it’s also a very powerful tool for sharing more private, serious experiences with other people who might be in the same situation, and maybe helping them cope with their angst.

  3. 3 Anthony
    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 10:19 am

    We may not communicate with each other, but know that you and Sam are on my mind and in my heart. I think of you guys often, read every email and posting. In reading your story about the “Happiest Place on Earth” and watching the video, I was filled with such sadness and empathy. My heart is always stilled by stories like yours. The one consolation is that knowing you the little I do, it has helped make you who you are. And for that I am grateful. As painful as it was, it contributed to your being. I will never understand what you experienced and I wish that I had known you then and could have scooped you up and taken you away from it all. It reminds me to be more present around children, never knowing what lives they may be experiencing at that moment.

    Know that I love you and look forward to interacting more with you and Sam this year.

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