Norristown, PA– ..” My name is Salmon, like the fish..”
In honor of this Fridays premier of the film, The Lovely Bones; a screenplay adaptation of the New York Times Bestselling novel by Alice Sebold, I bring you an interview with it’s deceased heroine.
Fictional fourteen year old rape and murder victim, Suzie Salmon, spoke fictionally to blinkoncrime about her break out role:
“I would rather be attending my High School with Ruth and Ray, but Holly and I have infinity edition Cosmopolitan here..”
With regard to it’s subject matter, this is the single most emotion invoking book I have ever read. I am not talking about the many publications that I have devoured that have shaped my Blink Gumbie.
I am talking about my awakening as a new Mother, to the atrocities that I needed to protect my children from.
I had no idea.
I used Deft, had plastic thingies in all my outlets, an alarm system and obnoxious monitors in the nursery. I was good to go.
I read THE LOVELY BONES over a snowed-in weekend when it was released in 2002.
The effects of the jolt to my rural ignorance remain.
The story about the rape and murder of Suzie, and her subsequent observations of her afterlife and “realtime” observation of her families despondency in dealing with her loss, is, raw. Raw-est.
Luckily, and that is no play on words for Ms. Sebolds freshman offering of “Lucky”; her first novel in which she recounts her own sexual assault, is “raw– lite” in it’s movie form in comparison.
Peter Jackson, the films director, chose in the novels adaptation to exclude the specifics, or overt references to Ms. Salmon’s actual fate.
While I struggle with the comforting, lingering angst that perhaps allows me to suggest in some fictional way it did not happen; I think it blurs the message of the young lady who ultimately wanted to be called Susan.
Non-spoiler alert: That pedophile builds an underground hut to murder a child. She was too polite to refuse the adult who wanted to show her “his work.” She is not his first, or last victim.
They never are. The neighbors dog found Suzies elbow.
Although I think the film is brilliantly cast, I am not thrilled from an awareness perspective that the truth about Suzie’s demise is glossed over.
That said, I think there is enough hype surrounding this work that the message will get out to the same demographic it has now insured a ticket.
The fact is, over the last year I have covered true crime, I am sad to say I have many Suzie Salmons in our collective pocket.
Our Suzies to date, who are the reason I am doing this article, below:
Sunny Sandra Cantu
..” There was nothing anyone could have done. Nobody knew he was evil and would hurt young girls..”
-Suzie as conveyed to Blink
Everyone says that. In Suzie’s case, I would agree the resources may not have been available. For that, I will direct you to my editors choice reading selections:
The Gift of Fear… by Gavin DeBecker
Protecting The Gift.. by Gavin DeBecker
The Looking Glass ..The Lovely Bones Set, and donations to NCMEC !
In this limited edition boxed set, The Lovely Bones appears for the first time with a special companion volume, Looking Glass. This unique work integrates images of missing children with the opening chapters of The Lovely Bones, providing a powerful visual experience and honoring the thousands of children who go missing every year. Many of these children are recovered quickly, but others are still out there waiting, and the search continues. Alice Sebold is proud to support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an organization working to prevent child abductions, find missing children, and ultimately to bring them home.
A dedication: To Ken Lanning. The dedication you have shown in your career to our children is unprecedented. I am not sure I will ever publish our interview, I will however use the knowledge as best I can.
My profound thanks for your time and observance. That was the most haunting and enlightening time I have ever spent personally or professionally.
Resources for Parents to be better informed of your childs’ neighborhood:
Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Registry
FBI Site by State
I pray every time it will be the last for these babies. Anything you could do would be huge.