Friday brought to a close one of the most horrifying stories I’ve heard about in years. Patrick McMullen, 41, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, was convicted of several counts of rape and sentenced to 40 years to life.
McMullen had taken his family (wife, three sons, and three daughters) and barricaded them into a ramshackle shack built on a commercial property. The house was surrounded by wood and chain-link fencing. Behind those barriers, he repeatedly raped his wife and daughters, often in front of the rest of the family, for years. Finally, in 2001, his wife broke free with the children and sought a restraining order. He was arrested, and now faces at least 26 years behind bars.
I started to compare and contrast McMullen with the horde of Catholic priests who have been convicted of molesting children, and then realized I didn’t have the stomach to do so. To compare such things is to judge one as less evil than the other, and I don’t want to stick my foot in that sewer. I’d be content if they all got locked up in a single cell, all together.
And then it was walled off and left sealed for a couple decades.