Less than four hours after the federal government asked the public for help tracking down a child rapist, "John Doe 2" was identified. The feds say Christopher Nixon is the man who made child pornography videos of himself raping a young child. The 20-year-old Louisiana man is under arrest and facing federal prosecution.
Serious charges. But after looking at photo after photo that reporters have pulled from his Facebook page, I have to say it's hard to believe this guy is a pedophile. In short: Chris Nixon is a good-looking young man; some would even go so far as to call the 2010 high school graduate handsome.
He is almost the polar opposite of what you expect when you hear words like "pedophile" or "child molester."
Now, that does not mean that the feds got it wrong here. As shocking as Nixon's arrest is to his small town and his mother -- the poor woman told reporters she "never expected" this from her son -- the Department of Homeland Security seems pretty sure John Doe 2 and Christopher Nixon are the same guy. As their public affairs officer said in one interview:
This is a person who we have video evidence has molested a child, and let's be very clear about what this is, this is child rape.
Still ... shocking, especially when you look at Christopher Nixon.
The two don't compute, do they? We tend to think of child molesters as skeevy old dudes who may or may not still live at home with Mom, people who can't function in normal society.
The fact that things aren't always how they look is a bitter pill to swallow, but if we really think about it, we know it's true.
Remember the story of Ted Bundy, the serial killer who confessed to some 30 murders? He used his good looks and charm against his victims.
Sadly, being good looking or even looking "normal" doesn't make you any less likely to be a sociopath. For that matter, being "ugly" or down on your luck doesn't make you any more likely to be a monster.
If anything, we tend to give people blessed with good looks too much credit in our society. And just look where it gets us?
Look at Christopher Nixon and tell us what YOU think when you see him:
What image comes to mind when you hear words like "pedophile"?
Image via ICE
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside