Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The mystery of darkness

Sometimes, the darkness just descends.

Sometimes, something just snaps.

Sometimes, atrocity happens, and we have no clue why.

It's a mystery. As a Catholic, I'm big on "It's a mystery." The mystery of the Godhead. The mystery of life. The mystery of death.

The mystery of evil. A darkness that, sometimes, just descends -- and consumes.

I SUSPECT that many of you are ready to scoff about now. Call me a superstitious Catholic religious fanatic. Go ahead, call me a religious fanatic. My wife and my priest probably could use a good laugh about now.

And after you do, you try and explain
this, the story that's consumed the pages of the World-Herald, and Omaha, so far this week:

The Andersons’ final day began with an early morning trip to Robert “Andy” Anderson’s hometown of Shubert in southeastern Nebraska.

Later Sunday, after visiting with Andy’s elderly mother, the pair returned to Omaha.

Neighbors saw the Andersons’ car in the driveway, and everything seemed normal until about 5 p.m., says a daughter. Then Karla Anderson failed to call her elderly mother, an important part of both women’s routine. Neither Andy nor Karla checked in with their daughters.

By Sunday night, family members were worried and police entered the couple’s longtime Dundee home, 112 S. 50th St.

Andy and Karla were dead.

Omaha police say it was murder-suicide. Andy shot Karla, then turned the gun on himself, according to police.

But nothing in the couple’s background or life together fits such a scenario, said Robyn Anderson, one of two daughters Andy had with a previous wife.

Her father and Karla were loving, caring people who liked to laugh and did it often, she said today.

“They had a normal family life and normal family pressures.”

To say that they died in a murder-suicide is completely opposite “of what everyone knows about their character,” Robyn said. “It’s as if something is white and they tell you it’s black "

That’s why Robyn doesn’t want police to reach a conclusion about the couple’s death until all the evidence — particularly forensic tests — has been gathered.

“I am only asking for the testing to be completed and then studied to prove, or to rule out, any possible scenarios or events,” Robyn wrote in an e-mail.

A ruling of murder-sucide has significant implications for the reputation of a well-regarded and much-loved couple, and shouldn’t be reached without scientific evidence, she said.

Andy was a 71-year-old vocational rehabilitation specialist for the State of Nebraska. He held a doctorate in psychology, had been a teacher and was considered a talented musician. Karla, 63, was a revered nurse in the intensive-care unit at Nebraska Medical Center.

Robyn said she speaks only for herself in calling for forensic evidence. The family also includes her older sister, plus two daughters from Andy and Karla’s marriage and nine grandchildren, one of whom preceded them in death.
I HOPE THE COPS can give the Andersons' children and family all the evidence they need. I hope forensics can shine some small light of comprehension on a dark mystery.

Some mysteries we can live with. Others, a body just can't.

Lord, have mercy. The darkness is closer than we like to admit.

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