The Hunt: One Predator, Two Boys
Although social animals, predator wolves characteristically have higher success rates when hunting solo than when hunting with large packs. The predator wolf’s sense of smell is relatively weak when compared to that of some hunting dogs, but what it lacks in olfactory senses is balanced by its excellent hearing. Its auditory perception is acute enough to be able to hear up to a frequency of 26 kHz, which is sufficient to register the fall of autumn leaves in the forest.
So how do lone wolves hunt?
A hunt can be divided into five stages:
Locating the prey: The lone wolf searches for prey by listening, chance encounter and tracking.
The stalk: The lone wolf attempts to conceal himself as he approaches. As the gap between the wolf and his prey closes, the wolf quickens the pace, becoming excited and peering intently; getting as close to his quarry as possible without making it flee.
The encounter: Once the prey detects the wolf, it can approach the wolf, stand its ground or flee. Large prey usually stands its ground. Should this occur, the wolf holds back, as he requires the stimulus of weaker, fleeing prey to proceed with an attack. If the targeted prey stands its ground, the wolf either ignores it, or tries to intimidate it into running.
The rush: If the prey attempts to flee, the wolf immediately pursues it. This is the most critical stage of the hunt, as the wolf may never catch up with prey. If his prey is travelling in a group, the wolf either attempts to break up the cluster, or isolate one or two from it.
The chase: A continuation of the rush, the wolf attempts to catch up with his prey and capture it. When chasing smaller, weaker prey, the wolf attempts to catch up with his prey as soon as possible. Conversely, with larger, stronger prey, the chase is prolonged, in order to wear down prey that is capable of resistance. Once prey is brought down, the predator begins to feed excitedly, pulling and tugging at the body in all directions.
A child molester hunts in a similar manner.
My formative years were fairly normal. Yes, there were a few bumps in the road, but they were neither insurmountable, nor crippling events. My parents had their share of arguments and it was during those periods of melancholy that I was befriended by a Sunday school teacher.
One of my childhood friends, Billy, also attended the same church. We shared common ground as both of our fathers were in the United States Air Force and Billy’s parents also had their moments of disagreement; which was another reason that Billy and I shared our friendship. Safe to say, we were seeking solace in our moments of doubt and distress.
Billy and I saw each other frequently, both at church and during those occasions when we hung out together. Basically, we were just a couple of kids who happened to have unhappy parents. Our circle of friends was limited, because unless you have been raised in, or are living in, an environment where your parent’s marriage is headed toward its finality…you just cannot grasp the feelings of frustration that come to us. Most of the kids at church came from families where their parents had cohesive marriages; hence, birds of a feather flock together and misery loves company. Kids coming from unstable family environments always seem to find each other.
Sadly, there were times when I detested my father; Billy also had similar feelings toward his dad, but on the surface, our families seemed like typical, everyday examples of what family life should be like. Our parents went to work, we worshipped at church and we took family vacations. What happened behind closed doors was always another matter. I never remember any of the neighbor kids asking me if my parents were fighting. Maybe family feuds were more civil and proper during the 60’s.
Enter Mr. B. He was our Sunday school teacher and we loved him. Billy and I were regular guests at the home of Mr. B. Mr. B was married and had three daughters. The family atmosphere inside of their house drew us like a magnet; we craved the laughter, the fun and the games. Mr. B seemed like the prefect father to us; always smiling, always supportive and always a kind word. He treated us as equals; not as kids.
My parents eventually got divorced and I stopped attending that church. Billy and I drifted apart. It was about five years later, while driving down a street in town, that I saw Billy entering a house. I stopped the car, went to the front door and knocked. When the door opened I was standing face-to-face with Mr. B. He was not happy to see me. Mr. B called to Billy and had him come to the front door. Our conversation was short. Billy told me that Mr. B’s wife had divorced him and this is where he lived now. I stood there dumbfounded. The thoughts that began to run through my mind were as though I was rewinding a video and then replaying it over and over again. Billy said he had to go. As he closed the door I could see at least two other young men who were Billy’s age inside that house.
For years I chose not to think about that day. I mean, after all, Billy was my childhood friend; we had been pals. I did not want to believe what I was thinking. As I matured, I came to the realization that Mr. B was a predator; he had hunted us like a predator wolf and he had captured his prey.
Locating the prey: Mr. B. was a great listener as he would sit for hours, never saying a word as Billy and I rambled on and on. Mr. B. listened attentively to our conversations as we spoke of the problems in our homes, the fights between our parents and the lack of real friends in our lives. Mr. B. ears were attuned to our woes and he began to track us.
One must always keep in mind that any adult can be a child molester. There is no one physical characteristic, appearance, profession, or personality type that all child molesters share. Child molesters can be any sex or race, and their religious affiliations, occupations and hobbies are as diverse as anyone else’s. A child molester may appear to be charming, loving, and completely good-natured while harboring predatory thoughts that he or she is very clever at hiding. That means you should never dismiss the idea that any particular type of person could never be a child molester.
The stalk: Mr. B. concealed himself quite well as no one at church ever suspected that he stalking us. Even my parents never raised any concerns about Mr. B. and everyone in the church liked Mr. B. He was able to get very close to us by taking our class roller skating, swimming, fishing, hiking and camping. He always seemed very excited when we scheduled an overnight camping trip. I remember him peering intently at us, observing our every movements and listening to our conversations as we would sit around the campfire.
Sixty percent of children who have been sexually molested were abused by an adult they knew…who was not a family member. In almost every case, the child molester turns out to be someone known to the victim through school or another activity, such as a neighbor, teacher, coach, member of the ministry, music instructor, or babysitter.
The encounter: Thinking back to those camping trips I now believe some of us harbored an uneasy feeling about Mr. B. Perhaps we rejected that pat on the buttocks or a passionate embrace from him. When the prey stands its ground, the predator backs off, as he requires the stimulus of weakness to proceed with an attack.
The majority of child molesters are men, regardless of whether their victims are male or female. Many sexual predators have a history of abuse in their past, either physical or sexual and some also have mental illness, such as a mood or personality disorder. Heterosexual and homosexual men are equally likely to be child molesters. Remember, Mr. B. was married and had three daughters, although after his divorce Mr. B. never remarried and lived out his life as a homosexual. Billy also was never married and followed in the footsteps of Mr. B. also living out his life as a homosexual.
The rush: If the prey attempts to flee, the predator immediately pursues it. If his prey is travelling in a group, the predator either attempts to break up the cluster, or isolate one or two individuals from it. During our camping trips Mr. B. had a system of reward points for those who completed their assigned duties. The boy with the most points got the privilege of sleeping in the tent of the camp counselor; a tent that was always set up some distance from the other tents. Mr. B. always chose Billy as the winner and we never questioned his selection, because we all loved Mr. B.
Child molesters often do not display as much interest in adults as they do in children. Mr. B. never invited our parents to his home. Child molesters often will have jobs that allow them to be around children of a certain age group, or contrive other ways to spend time with them by acting as a coach, babysitter or just a good neighbor trying to help. Child molesters tend to talk about or treat children as though they are adults. They might talk with a child as they would talk with an adult friend or lover. Child molesters often say they love all children or feel as though they are still children. Thinking back, Mr. B. did behave like a kid at times. I even remember my dad referring to Mr. B. as “Just a big, goofy kid.”
The chase: A continuation of the rush, the predator attempts to catch up with his prey. When chasing smaller, weaker prey, the predator attempts to overtake his prey as soon as possible. Conversely, while pursuing larger, stronger prey, the chase is prolonged, in order to wear down the selected prey. Much to the disappointment of the predator, sometimes the stronger prey is able to fend off the predator and escape the chase.
The child molester undertakes great effort to gain a child’s trust, and sometimes the parents’ trust as well. Over the course of months or even years, a child molester will increasingly become a trusted friend of the family, offering to babysit, take the child shopping or on trips, or spend time with the child in other ways. Quite often, the position of the child molester, such as a coach or a teacher, gives credibility to their supposed trustworthiness in order to justify the child molester being alone with the child.
Child molesters look for children who are vulnerable to their tactics; children that lack emotional support or are not getting enough attention at home. The child molester will attempt to step in as the “parent” figure for the child. A child molester will often use a wide range of games, activities and language to gain trust and deceive a child. These include: the keeping of secrets (secrets are valuable to most kids, being viewed as something “adult” and a source of power), sexually explicit games, fondling, kissing, touching, sexually suggestive behavior, exposing a child to pornographic material, coercion, bribery, flattery, and—worst of all—affection and love. One of the most penetrating lines spoken in the move The Green Mile was, “He killed them with his love.” Be aware that these tactics are ultimately used to isolate and confuse a child.
Two years ago, Billy contacted me through social media. To be quite honest with you, I had forgotten all of those negative images from forty years ago. We chatted a bit via instant messages and he indicated that he was considering a visit to my part of the world. In passing, I happened to mention the conversation with Billy to my now best friend. She was curious about this old pal from my childhood. Keep in mind that I had never mentioned Billy to her. After she looked at his page on social media she came to me and asked, “Have you looked at his page on social media?” I replied, “Not yet.” Her next words cut like a knife. She said, “He is a child molester.”
Imagine that! A woman, who had never met Billy and knew nothing about his past or Mr. B., could immediately determine that Billy had also become a child molester. I looked at Billy’s page and his profile picture was from his teenage years. He was that sweet, innocent looking boy; a boy that had been captured by a predator.
Predators are highly territorial animals, and generally establish territories far larger than they require to survive; they do so simply to assure a steady supply of fresh prey.
Apparently, Billy looked more closely at my social media page and discovered that I am a volunteer missionary. Remember, strong prey can often withstand “The Encounter” of a predator. Billy never came to visit me and he blocked me on social media.