What would you do if you found out that your husband was a monster? This is the question Joanna Findlay of Maryland faced after she claimed she discovered a huge stash of child porn on her military husband's computer. She shot him.
If I found out that the man I married was anything other than the man I think I know, I would be shocked and furious, but she had it even worse. He was not only not the person she thought she knew, he may have been sick and twisted, to boot (assuming the porn was really there). This has to be a bit how Jerry Sandusky's wife must feel.
In Findlay's case, the shot didn't kill her husband, Gary Trogdon. He only died after he picked up the gun and killed himself, presumably wracked with guilt and shame over the photos.
It's sad, really. Men like Sandusky and Trogdon probably don't WANT to be pedophiles (assuming they are). Who would wish that on themselves? But they can control what they do. Even if Trogdon never touched a child, having those photos means someone somewhere exploited that child and he condoned it.
It's sick and wrong and I imagine I might want to kill my spouse, too. It's hard to know, in Sandusky's case, how much the wife knew or didn't know about the allegations against him, but this wife saw the evidence right in front of her. She knew her husband had a sickness and she couldn't avoid it.
Leaving a man is never easy and we hear stories constantly about the ways in which women protect and support abusers and pedophiles. There are women who know what their husband is doing to their own children and they do nothing. In many ways, Findlay is a hero. She shouldn't get 50 years in prison for doing what any one of us might have done in her shoes.
Vigilante justice isn't tolerated in this country. But crimes of passion earn lesser sentences. And in this case, I'd say it was a crime of passion. Even Trogdon himself would agree. Clearly he thought he deserved to die, too.
Do you think she was right to shoot him?
Image via mikejmartelli/Flickr