Say What Philadelphia???

Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life? Following the sordid tales of one Linda Weston, age 51, I couldn't help but ask myself that question over and over again.

In case you don't know who Linda Weston is, she is a convicted murderer that recently was found in Philadelphia, PA, to have four mentally handicapped adults chained to a boiler in the sub-basement in an apartment house that she resides in. As investigation goes forth, they discovered that her daughter, Jean McIntosh, age 32, was involved in a ring going from Philly to Florida and reaching into Texas. The ring would take mentally handicapped adults and children, imprison them and then fake documents in order to receive Social Security.

I kept asking myself why does this story sound so familiar. Then the answer hit me like a light bulb being turned on. It is almost the exact story of a movie I had seen called “Family Sins” staring Kirstie Alley. It too dealt with a woman who took another woman, chained her in the basement and then would teach the woman's daughter how to shoplift. Kirstie Alley's character also portrayed herself as a foster mother who would teach the foster kids all kinds of crimes, from arson to shoplifting.

Both the movie and now the real life incident in Philly have me wondering how and why this could be done. What makes a person so uncaring that they could scam not only the government, but also innocent people by making the people think they are competent caregivers?

Obviously Weston fell through the crack of justice. The reports are coming out that Linda Weston violated parole. Is our parole system so backlogged and underfunded that they cannot follow through on a convicted murderer that has violated their probation? Which brings another question to my mind, if the NATIONAL unemployment rate is at an all time high since the Great Depression, why can't the government take people that have no criminal record what-so-ever and train them to become parole officers? Why do innocent people have to be at risk when there is an obvious answer to the problems? With the unemployment rates soaring, crime is soaring, and no one seems to want to go into the criminal justice field. Instead of holding out for a cushy job, why can't people that don't have a job take training to become parole officers and social service workers? Not glamorous enough? Is being broke and not able to feed yourself and your kids more glamorous than trying to not only earn a DECENT living but also trying to protect the public at large?

I guess for some people it's just easier to sit on their hands and whine about not having a job, rather than swallowing pride and do something that not only feeds them but saves the community from people like Linda Weston..

Published on 11/10/2011 in