Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sometimes a killer is not all he seems

I have decided to come back to this blog as a result of something I've been paying close attention to for the last year now in the Albany media. Certainly most people who watch the news have now heard the tragic case of the death of Neil Olsen from Lanesboro. This has been a particularly hard thing for me to come to terms with personally because of who the killer was.

Christopher Robinson and I were friends when I attended Mt. Greylock in Williamstown, MA for high school.. When I knew him, he was a funny, sweet boy who managed to cut off the tip of his finger in art class on the last day of school and laugh about it as he put the band aid on. He liked to be with his friends, and talk and relax, and I don't think I ever heard him say anything bad about anyone. He was probably one of the least aggressive people in our group. Sure, he messed around did some stupid stuff, as we all did in high school, but I never saw him act with ill intent and he was always a joy to be around.

I completely disbelieve Mary Olsen's denial of having put him up to the murder. I know he and his sister were not exactly in love with Neil, but I would find it very hard to believe that in a 5 year period Chris became a stone-cold killer all of his own volition. I don't believe that he is heartless even now- very misguided, perhaps, but certainly he still possesses a conscience, as he arguably demonstrated at some points during his trial. I truly believe that Chris would not have done this heinous crime if not for the consistent badgering of his mother, and I find it upsetting that she is not held as accountable as Chris. She didn't pull the trigger, but from what I know of it, she may as well have.

It saddens me to hear that Chris will spend at least the next 15 years in jail before possibility for parole comes up. He certainly made a conscious choice and should be held accountable, but I hope he receives some sort of therapy while in prison and can turn his life around when he gets out. I pray that people will not overly condemn him for what he has done- everyone has a breaking point, and that night apparently he reached his. The crime should not be excused, but I write this in hopes of showing readers the side of Chris that I knew. I'll never forget his smile, or his laughter.