No Creature Comforts For Jesse Dirkhising's Family

By Bonnie Chernin Rogoff
Rightgrrl Contributor
Founder, Jews For Life

March 26, 2001

Tonight, as I sit down to write, I have monsters on my mind. Real ones, and fake ones.

Let's start with the real ones. Our first monster, a homosexual named Joshua Macabe Brown, was convicted of raping, sodomizing and torturing to death a young 13 year old boy named Jesse Dirkhising. Slapping justice in the face, the jury decided on a rape and first degree murder verdict rather than capital murder, which could have allowed for the death penalty. In Arkansas, the penalty for first degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, or 10 to 40 years. A judge may decide the sentence. Meanwhile, the second monster, a subhuman creature known as David Don Carpenter, will not face trial until May 7.

The jury was presented with all the facts. The prosecution described in detail how the boy was drugged, bound, gagged and repeatedly raped for hours while he obviously endured agonizing and continuous penetration with a variety of objects. One monster stood by the door and masturbated while the vicious assault continued. The monsters went out for a bite, came back, and no surprise - Jesse was dead, from asphyxiation. The prosecution team portrayed Brown and Carpenter as cruel and inhuman to commit such violent acts against a child. The defense team went to work to convince the jury that Brown was guilty of manslaughter and statutory rape, while portraying Jesse as a drug user. The implication, of course, is that the sex may have been consensual, and perhaps Jesse was a willing participant in a sexual game gone awry.

The national press, aware of Jesse Dirkhising's murder, have remained conspicuously locked in the closet since 1999 when the crime took place. No mainstream news outlets cared a whit; there were no screaming pleas of justice for Jesse's life. When Matthew Shepard was murdered, the coverage was endless and his murderers condemned (as should they be)! Don't Jesse Dirkhising's killers deserve the public's wrath, too? Apparently, no. That two innocent people were savagely murdered does not mean they will receive equal protection or treatment in our perverse culture. The term "crimes against humanity" is a wasted designation to be stricken from the books, for "humanity" has now acquired a special status reserved for the chosen few. If you are a member of a liberal-approved special interest group, fine. All other victims, and their families, need not apply for justice.

Those media outlets responsible for hiding the story insist there is a difference between the murders. They want us to believe that Dirkhising's murder was a sex crime, whereas Shepard's murder was a hate crime. Is drugging a boy, stuffing his mouth with underwear, gagging him, strapping him down, brutally raping him, and leaving him for dead considered an act of love?

A glimpse at the following two sentences, extracted from the Fox News report, gives a glimpse into the courtroom drama: "Brown stood motionless, his head down and his eyes shut, as the verdict was read. Brown's sister hugged their mother, while Jesse's mother, Tina Yates, sobbed softly."

Is it comforting to know that the murderer's parents are the ones hugging after the verdict is read, while the victim's mother weeps?

Of course, crimes against children are nothing new, what differs is how the culprits are treated. Leopold and Loeb purportedly had a relationship. Although their "Crime of the Century" centered on the fact that they were Jewish, and geniuses, who wanted to prove they could get away with the perfect crime, there's the other part not repeated so often. Their victim, Bobby Franks, was a young boy who was savagely beaten, possibly sexually assaulted, his body then stuffed into a drainpipe. However, even in the 1920's, money bought Clarence Darrow, and the killers were spared the death penalty. Still, the media attention was endless and Leopold and Loeb were vilified, for what they did was unfathomable. That was a different world. Today they'd get off scott free. Like O.J.

Of course, Brown and Carpenter won't get off. But the chances are they won't complete a life sentence, either. Who knows? One day, they may be relaxing on a sandy beach writing their memoirs. Stranger things have happened. Arkansas is Bill Clinton's home state, after all.

Postscript: In my retrospective on monsters, I am reminded of two very famous beasts of gothic fiction. One emerged from a casket at night to seduce pretty women to swoon, so as to feast on their blood. Another emerged from a mad scientist's laboratory, a composition of reassembled body parts. That beast murdered at random, choosing the villagers as his victims. Both murdered innocent people, although one had extenuating circumstances (today he'd cop an insanity plea). In the end, justice prevailed and both paid for their crimes with their lives. More important, neither fictional creature got preferential treatment, and the public cried for vengeance. You see, in gothic fiction, monsters are what they are; they are recognized as bad and must be destroyed, without regard to their makeup, origins, circumstances, or sexual preferences. Pity is reserved for their dead victims.

So it was for Dracula and Frankenstein.

It's too bad real life can't be more like horror fiction.

Copyright 2001 by Bonnie Chernin Rogoff. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All rights reserved.