Son of Hope

The Invisible Kid

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from Hell to Heaven
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VOLUME a JUNE 2001 My Birthday, Another Miracle
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VOLUME c JUNE 2001 I'm Only An Example, God's Mercy
VOLUME a OCTOBER 2002 Lockdown, Sniper Shootings
VOLUME b OCTOBER 2002 Caught Sleeping, Larry King, Suffering
VOLUME NOVEMBER 2002a Three For Jesus, Getting Out
VOLUME b NOVEMBER 2002 Jailhouse Missionaries, Wendell Judd
VOLUME c NOVEMBER 2002 Weakness, Thanksgiving
VOLUME (a) DECEMBER 2002 Son of Suffering, Mack
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david wins lawsuit
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judge alexander testimony
The Invisible Kid
Jesus at the Door
Red Lake Massacre
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Torment to Salvation
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VOLUME AUGUST 2005 a Family Day
volume a May 2006 He's Always With Me
VOLUME b May 2006 1-800-BADADVICE
VOLUME c MAY 2006 Open Doors, God's Will
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (a) Birthday Move, Painting a New Cell
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (b) Prison Retreat, Larry's Coat
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (c) God's Presence, True Love
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (d)Betrayal, Surprise Good News
A Statement of Facts


    On February 13th a twenty-four year old man walked into a

mall crowded with Sunday afternoon shoppers and began to open

fire with his Hesse model AK-47 Soviet assault rifle.  About

sixty rounds were fired, said one roport.  Fortunately and

miraculously, no one was killed.  But two men were shot.  One

of them, a 20-year old National Guard private was seriously



     The Hudson Valley Mall where the shooting took place is in

or near the city of Kingston, New York.  This is not far from

where I am.  So the local newspapers were filled with stories

about the rampage.  As expected, in the days following the

shooting, the media began to look into the psyche of this

troubled man.  He was obese, socially awkward, lonely, and he

wore all black clothing to the mall that day, even down to his



     With his rifle in tow he must have looked like a Navy Seal

on a mission.  The report said he was also a high school



     In one article, Ulster County District Attorney Don

Williams was quoted as saying that Robert Bonelli Jr., had a

"lurid fascination" with the 1999 Columbine High School

massacre in Colorado.  And the same article said that a "cache

of news reports and other materials" about Columbine were found

in Bonelli's home.**


     While another report said that Robert Bonelli Jr. had two

friends, both in their early 20's, who had just been charged

with making and setting off pipe bombs, although this had no

apparent part in the mall shooting.***


     Nevertheless, in this case we have a troubled young man

who vents with a gun while his friends, although not

participants in the shooing, were obviously antisocial.  They

more than likely reinforced Robert's violent behavior.  After

all, these three made pipe bombs together for fun.


     From all the information that has been given thus far, I

could tell that this is clearly an unhappy man who probably

believes that he has no future.  Yet it appears that Robert has

a loving father.  His dad, heartbroken, was calling out to his

son in the courtroom during the Grand Jury proceedings.


     Expectedly, however, a newspaper article for February 17th

ended with the standard often used response.  Ulster County

Police Chief Paul Watzka said that various law enforcement

agencies will be looking into this matter to see if there

is anything else "we can learn" about what happened.***




     Learning of these senseless tragedies and the loss of

lives touches a nerve inside me.


     Jeff Weise and Robert Bonelli Jr. should have been living

lives filled with hope and promise.  Instead they ended up

destroying themselves and harming others.  Yet in the deepest

part of my being I believe that somehow, if I had only known

these young men, and if I could have befriended them, perhaps

these tragedies would not have occurred. 


     I also believe that, hidden beneath their pent-up anger,

frustration, and feelings of powerlesssness, was a spark of

hope that, somehow, life would finally make sense.  That their

plans for violence would not be necessary.  Unfortunately,

however, if there were periods of time when Jeff and Robert

felt this way, no one ever came to their rescue. They had no

one to fan those sparks of hope.  And their desperate cries for

help went unanswered.


     Eventually they would both drift down the wrong road, and

each would make the terrible choice to use violence in order to

battle the real or imagined wrongs that they felt were done to



     Jeff Weise chose death. The community he tried to hurt

will continue to exist, while he will be written off as an



     Robert Bonelli Jr. is alive, but he's facing his rampage. 

Yet he will have many years, however, to think about what he

did.  And his father, meanwhile, will have to watch his son age

in prison.


     Finally, there will be the various law enforcement

agencies, mental health professionals and social workers who

will spend countless hours trying to figure out what went wrong

with these two. But I do not believe there will be clearcut



     Without God in a person's life, anything can happen.



                               David Berkowitz

                               April 7, 2005


(c) 2005 David Berkowitz



*"The Invisible Kid" (front page headline from the Times

Herald-Record, Feb. 15, 2005, Middletown, NY.

**Times Herald-Record, Feb 15, 2005, by Ben Montgomery and Paul


***Times Herald-Record, Feb. 17, 2005, by Paul Brooks

****Times Herald-Record, Feb. 17, 2005, by Paul Brooks,

Middletown, NY.

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