Mugger Who Spots Victim on Facebook 34 Years Later Does Something Incredible

Inspiring 12

It's not unusual that people confess their crimes on Facebook, but one man not only confessed, he also apologized -- to his victim. It all started innocently enough on a Facebook thread about a bagel store closing. One man reading the thread, Michael A. Goodman, recognized the name of another man who had commented in the thread, Claude Soffel. The man's name had been seared in his memory since he was a teen -- and had mugged him. Realizing who it was, Goodman wrote a touching post apologizing for his crime 34 years ago.

Seeing the name, Goodman was flooded with memories. Decades before, he had been a tough gang member who was trying to prove to another teen how tough he was. So he robbed Soffel on the steps of the The Museum of Natural History. An undercover police officer witnessed it and arrested Goodman on the spot. Since he was a minor, his father had to leave work to come collect him at the station, and he was none too pleased.

The incident changed Goodman's life for the better. He straightened himself out and remained haunted by what he had done -- and by the name Claude Soffel. Seeing it on a mutual friend's thread about the bagel store, Goodman opened up, saying:

I have never forgotten the incident or your name (it has sort of haunted me a bit throughout my life) & then here I am on fb. reading about my favorite bagel store in the world closing down ... my brain was blown!

Finally I can say -- I'M VERY SORRY that you had to go through that crap that day long ago, I wish it had never happened but it did. Like I said I was trying to look tough to impress some guy who didn't believe I was in a gang, pretty frickin' stupid huh ? So once again I'm truly sorry for taking your bus pass back then - forgive me & thanks for reading this "strange" & very long message! Peace & love to you my brother...!!!

Soffel didn't respond for ten hours, but when he did, it must have been a big relief to Goodman. Soffel wrote back:

Michael A. Goodman, clearly [you're] 'bigger man' today. wow. Memory is a funny thing, I recognize your name now, as well. So, apology accepted.

He went on to say that he has dedicated his life to "helping other men be the man they have always wanted to be" and that this apology continued to "fuel my faith that the battle may be uphill but so rewarding." He concluded:

So let us now, jointly, put this in its proper place, behind us. With respect, Claude Soffel.

Aww. This is so touching. It just goes to show you that people can change. And that forgiveness is one of the most bravely human acts you can do. Goodman went on to say that Soffel's acceptance of his apology gave him "peace" and "dare I say it even JOY!"
 
Pat on the backs to both Michael Goodman and Claude Soffel for putting this incident behind them and getting closure. What a nice story for the holidays!
 
Have you ever seen someone on Facebook who did something awful to you years before?
 


Image via Tlaukkanen/Flickr

 

crime, in the news, facebook

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Gretchen Michero Luper

I'm friends on FB with a girl when we were juniors in high school would drive by me and yell out expletives at me, calling me every bad name you could think of. When I continued to ignore her and keep on walkingit finally quit and now either she doesn't remember or chooses to not talk about it.

Brenda McGhee Deal

that is so wonderful, so happy that he apologized and really, really happy the victim accepted the apology.

Amanda Breitwieser

ok, but i am seriously done reading these, u make it seem like a good read with the headline i read and im bored.


 

Beth A Schwartz

14 years ago when i was in high school (junior), this girl would bully me like crazy. called me beast, slam me in to lockers trip me in the halls. i was very depressed and suicidal because of her, but after i graduated in 2000, in 2011 i found her on FB and she apologized and told me that she was just immature thinking everyone owed her something and she apologized. we dont talk anymore, but just to hear the apology made me feel good

Shelby Jones

Yea, its called my ex

3brow... 3brown1blue

Yes...and he should drop dead...literally...don't think people like him should even have a FB!!!angry

queen... queenteej

Like shelby Jones my exes...

Pixie030 Pixie030

On the "people you may know" and I'm like uhm, yah, hell no I would never send nor accept a friend request from them. Don't hate them anymore, that's the power of growing up but doesn't mean I have to act all chummy years later with people I know I would still have nothing in common with.

nonmember avatar CDC

Like some others I have read here, there's a girl named Amber who bullied me mercilessly through 7th - 9th grade. she was not the only one but was largely responsible for driving rumors and encouraging others to be hateful towards me. She nearly drove me to suicide. the bullying only stopped because I moved 1000 miles away. I don't know what I would say if she apologized to me now (I am 26 now). It would make me feel good though. I still can't forgive her on my own, to this day. I would need to know that she was actually remorseful. then forgiveness would be easy I think. I can't just assume that she feels bad about what she did though.

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