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Thread: Eric Smith: 13 y/o Convicted of the Murder of Derrick Robie, age 4

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    Eric Smith: 13 y/o Convicted of the Murder of Derrick Robie, age 4

    I saw this tonight on an episode of 48 Hours and I found it very disturbing. Eric Smith was thirteen when he lured four year old Derrick Robie into the wood nears his home as Robie was walking less than a block to a summer camp. Hidden in the trees, Smith strangled the child, battered his head with rocks, poured Kool-Aid from Robie's lunch bag into the wounds, and sodomized the child with a stick. After confessing to the murder, Smith was sentenced to nine years to life in prison. In a transcript of one of Smith's parole hearings, he was asked if killing Robie had given him a 'good feeling', to which Smith replied, "At the moment, it did, yes...Because instead of me being hurt, I was hurting someone else."


    Smith was denied parole in both 2006 and 2008.


    Eric Smith, age 13



    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in660314.shtml

    The question is, how much malice aforethought can a thirteen year old child have? Does a thirteen year old truly understand the ramifications of 'dead'? What caused Eric to kill Derrick, and is he able to be rehabilitated? Are some kids, for lack of a better description, born bad?

    While I don't know how much a thirteen year old understands the permanency and finality of death, I believe Eric Smith - (and kids his age who commit similar crimes) - absolutely understand that what they are doing is wrong. I think that while Smith obviously needed (needs?) serious psychiatric help, he is exactly where he belongs. To me, there is nothing behind his eyes. His face is a blank. That scares me.
    Last edited by Nessa; 03-07-2009 at 06:55 PM.
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    I agree. Do parents not pay any attention to their kids these days? Has the "giving them a better life than what I had" mentality overshadowed spending quality time with a child, making sure that they feel the love and all stuff that goes with it? I understand that parents do want better for their kids but looks at the expience its coming at. Kids these days are not like the kids of our parents and grandparents generation. And yet, parents of troubled kids ask themselves "where did I go wrong?"

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    Lock him up and throw away the key. This is not good. No thirteen year old is an adult, but what he did showed malice of forethought in my books.
    You can't "nu uh" death. That's bad debating.

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    I saw this eppy about a year ago. That kid is creepy as hell.
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    i have seen the episode many times~ the part how eric squished the banana & his aunt suspected him because he hated bananas was eerie~ i don't think this guy should ever get out~ he still shows absolutely no remorse~

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    I'll tell ya, if this kid ever gets out, I'm going to watch my kids like a hawk, even if he lives in another state. That kid just looks evil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DietCokeofEvil View Post
    I'll tell ya, if this kid ever gets out, I'm going to watch my kids like a hawk, even if he lives in another state. That kid just looks evil.
    as an adult, he looks more evil & totally disconnected~ he scares me~

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    I'd like to see a current picture of this guy. I've seen that interview, and that kid is creepy as hell. He seems very disconnected to what's going on around him. I didn't see any remorse, or understanding of what he did, as being wrong. I hope he never gets out. I think he could be a real threat to the public at large. He seemed to have zero sympathy towards his victim.
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    I have no idea what Trisomy mosaic is Thinkering. What is it?
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    This all happened about a half-hour's drive from here... remember it well! Every time he comes up for parole it's big news here. I don't think he'll get out of prison any time soon...

    Derrick:


    Eric recently:


    I remember after it happened and seeing the Robies on TV. They had a younger son as well, and he kept asking where Derrick was. It was heartbreaking. I don't remember seeing them on the news lately, though...
    Last edited by kelbons; 03-07-2009 at 12:45 PM.

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    New York has a Department of Corrections website with an inmate search feature, but I can't find him listed.



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    He's at Clinton Correctional, a maximum-security facility.

    http://nysdocslookup.docs.state.ny.u...0/WIQ3/WINQ130
    Last edited by kelbons; 03-07-2009 at 12:48 PM.

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    I saw this show, as well. I agree with Nessa; his eyes are just blank. He said all the right things about being remorseful, but I just didn't see any humanity in him.
    Quote Originally Posted by stacebabe View Post
    The only reason I watched the entire thing was because I was wondering who the middle aged lesbian white woman was in the house full of Armenians. Then I found out it was Bruce Jenner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thinkering View Post
    Is it just me, or does young Eric look like he could have Trisomy mosaic?
    He definitely has the low set ears. And his eyes are fairly far apart. Makes ya wonder.
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    First of all, I'm the parent of a 4 year old, and honestly, I'd want this 13 year old to hang.

    Second, as the parent of a 4 year old, I would NEVER EVER EVER let him walk alone ANYWHERE. It's not his parents fault that he was killed, but damn, what were they doing let a 4 year old walk alone anywhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thinkering View Post
    It's a variant of Down's syndrome, but you have both normal chromosomes and the extra ones, so you don't have all the telltale signs & symptoms, but some.
    I have a friend who has Turner's Syndrome. She seems kind of disconnected like that. Isn't Turner's a click away from Down's Syndrome? I think my friend is minus a chromosome? Maybe, that little boy does have a birth defect. I never even thought of that.
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    Thinkering.... he still looks as detatched as he did when he was little. You may be onto something here....
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    Ive seen this story on many different shows- and I swear, this is the creepiest kid I have ever seen, he is the devil incarnate-

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    Another sad story, all around. For a parent to outlive a child, of any age...under any circumstances has to be the most horrific of human experiences. I also have no doubt that the family of a child who kills, for any reason, also has a personal hell to live through.

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    Didn't Eric say that he killed Derrick because he just wanted to know what it felt like to kill somebody? I remember a little bit about this but not much. At 13 I think you know that dead is forever. I was in 5th grade when my grandmother passed away and I knew that she wasn't coming back. I think if Eric got out of prison he would certainly kill again. I can see how Eric could say that it felt good to hurt somebody else especially if he does have a form of Down's Syndrome. Kids can be cruel and I'm sure he got a lot of abuse at school from other kids. However, that doesn't give him the right to kill anybody. I hope he never gets out of prison.

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    I don't know that I've ever heard of this kid. When did this occur? I would assume a long while ago since a 4 year old was walking by himself to camp.

    I know I was somewhat of a horror movie junkie by age 13 and I knew even on the movies, dead was dead.
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

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    This kid (young man now) is so creepy looking.

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    Eric M. Smith (born January 22, 1980) is an American criminal, incarcerated for the murder, sexual abuse and mutilation of four-year-old Derrick Robie on August 2, 1993, in Steuben County, New York. According to court documents, Smith, a loner, was often tormented by bullies for his protruding ears, thick glasses, and freckles. The murder case made national headlines, largely due to the young age of the killer, at 13 years of age and his victim, 4 years of age.
    While in jail, Smith wrote an apology letter to Robie's family and he read it on public television: "I know my actions have caused a terrible loss in the Robie family, and for that, I am truly sorry. I've tried to think as much as possible about what Derrick will never experience: his 16th birthday, Christmas, anytime, owning his own house, graduating, going to college, getting married, his first child. If I could go back in time, I would switch places with Derrick and endure all the pain I've caused him. If it meant that he would go on living, I'd switch places, but I can't." Smith was sentenced to 9 years to life in prison. He was denied parole a second time in 2006, and again in June 2008. If granted parole, Smith has stated an intent to return to Savona. He was held in a juvenile facility for six years. In 2001, he was transferred to the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, a maximum security prison. As of February 25, 2009, Eric Smith is still at Clinton Correctional Facility.
    .
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  24. #24
    From the age of 5 kids know right from wrong so it pisses me off when I hear people defending children that commit murder with the "they were to young to know exactaly what they were doing" excuse.

    I hope Eric never gets out of prison he is exactaly where he chose to be.Life is all about choices and he chose to murder no excuses warranted or accepted.
    Yes to me Eric looks a six pack short of a carton but still not an excuse for his actions,I can see this creep being a repeat offender if he ever gets out.
    Who dies with the most toys wins

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    kids learn what they live!

    ... dunno maybe I have an over simplified view of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thinkering View Post
    You are very right, DJ. I'd like to recommend an excellent novel on the subject - We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
    Thanks....I'll check it out from the library. It looks interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lita View Post
    Didn't Eric say that he killed Derrick because he just wanted to know what it felt like to kill somebody? I remember a little bit about this but not much. At 13 I think you know that dead is forever. I was in 5th grade when my grandmother passed away and I knew that she wasn't coming back. I think if Eric got out of prison he would certainly kill again. I can see how Eric could say that it felt good to hurt somebody else especially if he does have a form of Down's Syndrome. Kids can be cruel and I'm sure he got a lot of abuse at school from other kids. However, that doesn't give him the right to kill anybody. I hope he never gets out of prison.
    Now he KNOWS.....and let us hope that he never knows how it feels to kill again.
    Quote Originally Posted by lolly89 View Post
    kids learn what they live!

    ... dunno maybe I have an over simplified view of things.
    I think that you summed it up quite nicely. Teach your children well.

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    Ecca looks like a spooky little bugger.
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    This reminds me of Joshua Phillips. Not sure if he's been brought up recently (I've heard some here are touchy about repetitions.)

    In 1998, 14-year-old Joshua Phillips bludgeoned his 8-year-old neighbor to death and hid her body beneath his bed. Seven days later, his mother noticed something leaking from beneath the bed. Joshua claimed that’s he’d accidentally hit Maddie in the eye with his baseball bat causing her to scream. In his panic he dragged her to his home where he hit her again and then stabbed her eleven times. His story failed to convince a Florida jury, who convicted him of first-degree murder. His mother is still appealing his conviction based upon the fact that he was given an adult penalty for his crime.





    I feel terrible for his mom, but if you check out a couple websites, she is still denying that his intention was to kill the little girl. What??? How could that not be his intention? There's a fairly recent interview of him on 20/20 (or a similar show) I can find it if you'd like ...no way should he be let out. This is sick...but it's almost like, once they do it and don't immediately run to mama or the police, then they want to keep doing it. So, so scary.

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    I can't imagine being that mom and finding a body under my son's bed. Especially when it's the body of a missing girl. You should start a thread for Maddie so the case can be discussed further. I'm not sure there's a thread about her yet.

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    I have to wonder why Chris has been turned down twice for parole. Doesn't speak very well for him, does it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cachluv View Post
    Eric M. Smith (born January 22, 1980) is an American criminal, incarcerated for the murder, sexual abuse and mutilation of four-year-old Derrick Robie on August 2, 1993, in Steuben County, New York. According to court documents, Smith, a loner, was often tormented by bullies for his protruding ears, thick glasses, and freckles. The murder case made national headlines, largely due to the young age of the killer, at 13 years of age and his victim, 4 years of age.
    While in jail, Smith wrote an apology letter to Robie's family and he read it on public television: "I know my actions have caused a terrible loss in the Robie family, and for that, I am truly sorry. I've tried to think as much as possible about what Derrick will never experience: his 16th birthday, Christmas, anytime, owning his own house, graduating, going to college, getting married, his first child. If I could go back in time, I would switch places with Derrick and endure all the pain I've caused him. If it meant that he would go on living, I'd switch places, but I can't." Smith was sentenced to 9 years to life in prison. He was denied parole a second time in 2006, and again in June 2008. If granted parole, Smith has stated an intent to return to Savona. He was held in a juvenile facility for six years. In 2001, he was transferred to the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, a maximum security prison. As of February 25, 2009, Eric Smith is still at Clinton Correctional Facility.
    Thanks, Cach! You rock, Sweetie!
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    wow..that kid looks like a freak!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lita View Post
    I can't imagine being that mom and finding a body under my son's bed. Especially when it's the body of a missing girl. You should start a thread for Maddie so the case can be discussed further. I'm not sure there's a thread about her yet.
    Good point, the Joshua Phillips case...where he killed neighbor Maddie Clifton already has a thread. http://www.findadeath.com/forum/show...maddie+clifton

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    Reminds me of the James Bulger case.

    His killers were let free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djdeath-hag View Post
    Good point, the Joshua Phillips case...where he killed neighbor Maddie Clifton already has a thread. http://www.findadeath.com/forum/show...maddie+clifton
    Thanks, dj. I hadn't seen it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tydtm View Post
    Reminds me of the James Bulger case.

    His killers were let free.
    And given new identities so they wouldn't be "harmed". Ironic, isn't it?

    Screw the innocent; protect the guilty (from people like themselves).

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    All that money spent on rehabilitation of the murderers of James Bulger, one is a heroin addict and the other has anger managment issues.
    <a href=https://www.google.com/search?q=im+morrison+dragged+off+stage+by+police&client=firefox-a&hs=gxa&rls=org.mozilla:fr:official&channel=fflb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=NK07U4rgO6i70QWM4YCwBQ&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAw&biw=1525&bih=756&dpr=0.9#channel=fflb&q=jim+morrison+dragged+off+stage+by+police&rls=org.mozilla:fr:official&tbm=isch&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=1qGnBjEqV_QWeM%253A%3BBSppeR60eWUKgM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fi.imgur.com%252FYKAjpGC.gif%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fimgur.com%252Fgallery%252FYKAjpGC%3B500%3B308 target=_blank>https://www.google.com/search?q=im+m...GC%3B500%3B308</a>

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    Quote Originally Posted by anne View Post
    All that money spent on rehabilitation of the murderers of James Bulger, one is a heroin addict and the other has anger managment issues.
    This I believe is a long stretch, but I'll throw it in anyway for those who are interested.

    In 2006, in a mall in Australia, 8 yr old Sofia was raped and murdered (again, sorry if it's been covered). Horrific crime. In the comments that follow this article, someone posted about the possibility of this murderer, Dante Arthur, being Robert Thompson, one of James Bulger's killers, and talks about why.

    While I doubt it's true, it's an interesting concept...seeing how he's spent time in both the UK and that part of Aus during the "right" times.

    http://pysih.com/2007/10/02/dante-wyndham-arthurs/

    edit: more reading says, no, it's not him. But yikes! That would have been unbelievable. I'm weird.

    Last edited by Orleans; 03-12-2009 at 07:45 AM.

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    Well, LNO if you're weird... then you're in the same boat as the rest of us. Welcome to the marina where the weird launch their boats LOL!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessa View Post
    I saw this tonight on an episode of 48 Hours and I found it very disturbing. Eric Smith was thirteen when he lured four year old Derrick Robie into the wood nears his home as Robie was walking less than a block to a summer camp. Hidden in the trees, Smith strangled the child, battered his head with rocks, poured Kool-Aid from Robie's lunch bag into the wounds, and sodomized the child with a stick. After confessing to the murder, Smith was sentenced to nine years to life in prison. In a transcript of one of Smith's parole hearings, he was asked if killing Robie had given him a 'good feeling', to which Smith replied, "At the moment, it did, yes...Because instead of me being hurt, I was hurting someone else."


    Smith was denied parole in both 2006 and 2008.


    Eric Smith, age 13



    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in660314.shtml

    The question is, how much malice aforethought can a thirteen year old child have? Does a thirteen year old truly understand the ramifications of 'dead'? What caused Eric to kill Derrick, and is he able to be rehabilitated? Are some kids, for lack of a better description, born bad?

    While I don't know how much a thirteen year old understands the permanency and finality of death, I believe Eric Smith - (and kids his age who commit similar crimes) - absolutely understand that what they are doing is wrong. I think that while Smith obviously needed (needs?) serious psychiatric help, he is exactly where he belongs. To me, there is nothing behind his eyes. His face is a blank. That scares me.
    He looks evil. I hope his being seen by a psychologist. I definitely think a 13 yr old knows the difference between right and wrong. I think too he has a certainly understanding of death and the finality of it. He is a sick, sick boy and does not need to be in society. Keep him behind bars

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    I watched this case last night on Solved. He was denied parole....although he does have an attorney who is working on his case to get him released. Eric has serious problems, no friends, constantly bullied at school for his red hair and odd looks, a StepFather who seemed less then desirable as a dad, having molested Erics sister. I wish these children that get so horribly bullied at school could get home schooled before they get so filled with hate and reach a breaking point of no return.....at some other childs expense. Who knows maybe Eric would have turned out the same anyway, but we will never know. It is just a sad case all the way around. Poor Derrick Robie was an adorable child. My heart breaks for his parents.
    These child killers seem to be getting younger every year. Wasn't the last one 8 years old a month or so ago?
    This is a you tube video on the case:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNSxK-k9imM
    Last edited by Nicki; 06-15-2009 at 12:38 AM.

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    Keep him locked up forever.

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    I just watched this on 48 Hours a few days ago as well. I remember reading about it when it happened, but it was quite a while ago.

    It was mentioned that Eric's mother took anti-seizure drugs for epilepsy and that could account for some of his appearance; the lowered ears, for example. But it didn't seem like that could be tied into his behavior.

    Just looking at him, I get that Bad Seed feeling. There is nothing in him, just a blank. Although he expressed remose with his words, there was no emotion behind them. It was like he was reciting his multiplaction tables or something.

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    I saw this as well on 48 hours. I agree..he shows no emotion whatsoever for what he did. If he gets out he'll probably be like that other guy (cant remember his name but he killed one 3 yr old when he was a teenager, served a little time for it, then got out and molested and killed 2 or 3 other boys).

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    I also caught this episode of 48 hours. The thing that struck me was the letter Eric read. He read it with as much cold detachment in his voice as is on his face. He said he felt 'trapped' and that the world would be a better place with him out in it. He also said that he wanted to achieve "great things" such as becoming a counselor for children.

    Is it me, or is this a cold blooded fiend asking us not only to release him from his cage, but also to send more potential victims his way?

    I hope he gets the same treatment in prison that other child killers and molesters get, and I hope he rots in the cell he's 'trapped' in.

    What a death, what a chance!
    What a surprise: my will has chosen life...
    Still it has me spooked, and many besides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Watson View Post
    I just watched this on 48 Hours a few days ago as well. I remember reading about it when it happened, but it was quite a while ago.

    It was mentioned that Eric's mother took anti-seizure drugs for epilepsy and that could account for some of his appearance; the lowered ears, for example. But it didn't seem like that could be tied into his behavior.

    Just looking at him, I get that Bad Seed feeling. There is nothing in him, just a blank. Although he expressed remose with his words, there was no emotion behind them. It was like he was reciting his multiplaction tables or something.
    There is nothing in him because of his chldhood because of his parents and stepfather it seems who by the way are still out and are free and not being held accountable for taking a little boy like Eric and ruining his life. I am sure he was not always like this. Now we have 2 little boys one dead and one in prison and not normal. there has to be an explanation yet no one has really received one have they?

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    IMO..... the guy is just a whackjob. I can go a little on the abused child defense but not much. He had a bad upbringing but it still doesn't excuse what he did. He needs to be detained for life. There is no sense of right and wrong in him. I think if he was released he would probably kill again if given the chance. The best thing the parole board can do is write him off as a lost cause, and throw away the key. Some people aren't redeemable, and I think he is in that class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DexterKitty View Post
    IMO..... the guy is just a whackjob. I can go a little on the abused child defense but not much. He had a bad upbringing but it still doesn't excuse what he did. He needs to be detained for life. There is no sense of right and wrong in him. I think if he was released he would probably kill again if given the chance. The best thing the parole board can do is write him off as a lost cause, and throw away the key. Some people aren't redeemable, and I think he is in that class.
    Completely agree, DexKit. Lost cause.

    And his childhood wasn't that bad; he was bullied, yes. He looked funny and was teased, yes. His stepdad was a dick, yes. But he did have love and his parents tried to the best of their abilities, I think. Limited abilities, but I do believe they tried. He had a comfortable home, was well-nourished and cared for. I think no matter what his background, he would have turned out the same.

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    Yet another person that gives redheads a bad name (I know that's not really the case, but still)...

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    Oct 2007
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    5,446
    Whenever I've watched this story, I'm moved by how much Eric's grandparents seemed to love & nurture him, they are not to blame, imho. I'm not sure if anyone is to blame aside from Eric. Yes, I feel sad that he was, himself just a kid, at the time that he killed...but he DID kill another child. I feel bad for him but that he is right where he needs to be for the rest of his life.

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