Crimes against the handicapped are unforgivable but John Odgren is no victim

John Odgren

This is an article from Miller-McClune Magazine by Jack Levin called The Invisible Hate Crime which is basically about how violent crimes that target the handicapped are hate crimes and do not receive the attention they deserve from media or law enforcement.

For the most part, Mr. Levin is dead on however there is one part of the article that I vehemently disagree with and it’s about John Odgren who stabbed and killed James Alenson at random in the bathroom of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.

Here’s what Mr. Levin had to say about Odgren…

On Jan. 19, 2007, John Odgren stabbed to death his 15-year-old schoolmate — a random victim — in a restroom at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts. The 16-year-old killer had been diagnosed, early on, with major depression, Asperger’s Syndrome,attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Because of his disabilities, Odgren had a long history of having been bullied and having sought to retaliate violently. In third grade, he threatened to shoot some girls who had harassed him. In fourth grade, he jabbed a pencil into another student’s chest. He was bullied repeatedly as he bounced from school to school and finally got even with his mainstreamed peers by killing an innocent victim. For taking the life of his schoolmate, Odgren was tried, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole eligibility.

What Mr. Levin fails to note that Odgren not only had an obsession with knives and allowed by his parents to stockpile a large knife collection, Odgren also planned out his crime meticulously and often bragged to people about how he could pull off the perfect crime. Also, I don’t see how Mr. Levin can call this a tit-for-tat crime since James Alenson not only didn’t know Odgren but I believe that James Alenson was probably a victim of bullying himself.

Mr. Levin does a disservice to people who truly have Asperger’s as they do know right from wrong and anybody who does should know that stabbing and killing a random victim after planning it for months is definitely wrong.

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