From The Sunday Times
August 30, 2009
HOW did he manage to get away with it for so long? The people of Antioch, California, will be asking themselves this as details emerge of the horrific alleged crimes of Phillip Garrido that have been unfolding in their midst.
It is the same question still being asked in Amstetten in Austria more than a year after it emerged that Josef Fritzl had raped and incarcerated his daughter and fathered seven children with her, all in the cellar of his home on a busy road in the town centre. And perhaps in Gloucester, where Fred and Rosemary West murdered at least 12 young women at their house in the 1970s and 1980s.
In Garrido’s case, some commentators have attempted to put the community’s lack of suspicion down to a modern sense of alienation from society or, alternatively, to California’s traditional tolerance of unorthodox behaviour. In a culture whose perception is satiated by the excesses of reality television, goes the argument, the reality of one’s own backyard blurs into insignificance.
The phenomenon is not rooted in any one culture: crimes ranging from those of the Wests in the UK to those of the paedophile Marc Dutroux in Belgium and similar cases in Japan, Russia and Brazil testify to that.
What many of these cases have in common is the apparent failure of law enforcement agencies to exercise basic scrutiny. The California police — who are calling Garrido’s pathetic makeshift prison a “compo... More click here: How evil goes undetected in our midst - Times Online