Title The Lie


My son's story started recently on his 24th birthday. To him, that night seemed like the happy ending to a sad story of loneliness and disappointment. Instead, it was the beginning of a nightmare that now continues with promised horrors too terrible to imagine. He had found a kindred spirit, a kind soul, a pretty girl, a friend with whom to confide, a mutual love at first sight. Truly, his guardian angel had sent him an angel on his birthday. But a lie from that angel turned the gift into one of doom and damnation instead of happiness and ever-lasting love.

Jerry, like many teenagers, had married too young. A father at nineteen. A single father at 22. His divorced wife Wendy moved with their daughter from Pennsylvania to Florida . Even though he had always been close to his family, had many friends back home, and knew not a soul in Florida, Jerry packed up his things and moved with his dog Rocky to be close to the baby daughter he adored and loved. He found an apartment a few blocks from Wendy's, managed to work enough odd jobs on which to get by, and amiably shared custody of daughter Bekka. But when his mother Alice and I would talk with him on the phone our hearts would break because the loneliness could not be veiled by his more cheerful words. z,/pz.,pz. He knew he could not provide for himself and his daughter adequately with the type of unskilled jobs to which he was being confined. He had a plan to correct this and in the Spring of 1998, using school loans, grants and help from us he commenced full-time night studies in electonics at ITT. His mother and I were thrilled when he finished the first semester with a 3.9 grade point average. As a youngster he had excelled in sports but had been bored to the point of neglect by academics. To us and to him it appeared that he was on his way to a rewarding career. He saw and cared for his daughter frequently and Wendy remained a good friend, but he was still lonely.


Alice and I bought Jerry a computer as a early birthday present just before the second semester started. We thought it would help in his school work and we also wanted him to get on the Internet. I thought we could bring our scattered family closer together using E-mail since we and each of Jerry's three sisters were on the net. Internet access commenced about the first week in July.

CHAT ROOM ROMANCE: Jerry was a true novice on the Internet but the modern user friendliness of the search engines soon entice the new user into trying out the "Chat Rooms". For a lonely person, isolated in an apartment virtually alone in a town far away from home, these chat-lines must seem like the next best thing to being among friends. And to which chat-lines might any lonely young adult migrate? How about one with the title, "Romance"? That was the innocent start to a chain of events that has put the lives of all those who love him on hold and Jerry's on the verge of destruction.

I don't know how the conversation went and I doubt that Jerry could recall it in any detail. But I can imagine how the friendly chatter starts with multiple parties on the line; each perhaps telling only enough about themselves to arouse the interest of the others. Just like in real life, eventually the chatter of the group gives way to that of one-on-one of a pair. Did they use handles or real names? I don't know. It does not matter. One of those cyberspace messages directed to Jerry was ostensibly from a young lady. She invited him to a "private room". He was so naive that he did not even know what that meant and had to be given directions on how to get to the "private room". Who was the enticer here? Once in the private room, their cyberspace conversations were isolated to just the two of them, or perhaps to others who had sneaked in to eavesdrop. They shared their lives with one another. Or at least Jerry did. He told the truth about who he was, how old he was, that he was a divorced father sharing custody of his daughter, and that he was going to school. The young lady told a big lie. She said she was 18 years old.

Jerry was lonely and looking for companionship. That is why he was in the Romance Chat Room. The young lady was in the Romance Chat Room also. For what was she looking? For thrills? For romance? Or for a way out? The private room was not private enough, so they exchanged telephone numbers and the chat room romance graduated to a telephone romance. That soon led to the next step when the young lady told Jerry she was coming to Florida with a girlfriend and could he meet her? The meeting place was about a 45 minute drive for Jerry and they met in person for the first time at a movie theater. The young lady's looks did not belie her claim to be 18 years old. The following day she called Jerry again, told him there was nothing at home to stay for, and would he please come and pick her up? He agreed and she was waiting for him outside the residence of her girlfriends's grandparents with whom she had been staying. They spent the remainder of that night in his apartment. The next day was his birthday and they celebrated it together.

CRIME OF CONSENSUAL LOVE: Alice and I were attending a family party in Missouri that Saturday night. There were 17 of us on the host's deck when we called Jerry to wish him Happy Birthday. We caught him on his cell phone just as he was returning to his apartment from having been out to dinner. and the whole group sang the traditional song to him. "That's sweet but corny", he told us. The new love of his life was with him at the time. She was still the angel sent from above and they made love that night and Sunday night. Bekka joined them on Monday and Monday night Jerry left his new love to baby-sit Bekka as he went off to school. Jerry must have been on a life-high level far above any he had reached in years.

FURY OF HELL: When he returned home from school Bekka and his new love had been replaced by two policemen who took him into custody, questioned him, arrested him on two felony counts, and put him in jail. Not only had he had no intent to commit a crime, he did not even know one had been committed. The young lady had lied about her age and had run away from home. She was not yet even 15 years old, much less 18. Mother Nature, particularly in modern times, often matures girls to disguise them in ages far beyond their actual years. Society does not help. Fashion magazines teach them to dress and use make-up like adults; television and movies encourage easy and early sex. Highest political leaders set abysmally low moral standards. Parents, knowingly or otherwise, allow their underage daughters unmonitored access to the Internet to pretend to be someone they are not.


Mistakes have been made here by many people; Jerry is one of them. But the threat of extreme punishment hangs over only one of them, Jerry. His devout Christian mother prays with me for him morning, noon, and night. His three sisters pray and cry for their little brother because they cannot understand how society can inflict such severe punishment on one person who acted out of innocence based on the lie of another. Jerry is numb; depressed to the point of great concern to all of us. As for me, I still believe in Justice and Justice here will not put our son, our daughters' brother, Bekka's father in jail for such an unjust reason.

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Verdict--Resolved, Un-resolved, Resolved

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Copyright © December 1, 2017 Jerry Lee Walker Sr.