insanity

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Butterfield-e1444849098769?Honour Thy Father

A Father who Pushed too Far

Athlete son played and obeyed until he could take no more

?They seemed like the perfect team. Bill Butterfield was a former Texas high school football star, renowned for his speed and power. His son Lance, a gifted defensive back, was determined to follow in his footsteps. But in Lance?s senior year- his championship season- something went wrong. A story of youth and passion, obedience and trust, insanity and murder.

In the dead of the night, after everyone else in the house had gone to bed, he would pull out a small notebook that he kept hidden away in a table drawer. It was a journal he had started keeping, no more than fifteen pages, each page containing a sentence or two.

?I was harassed because I wasn?t someone else,? he wrote on one page, and then he stopped. ?I stayed civilized under primitive conditions,? he wrote on another page, then stopped again.

He sat for hours, the only sound in the house coming from the ticking of a clock. Outside, his dog pressed his nose against the patio door, hoping to be let in. Finally, he began to write on a third page, pressing down so hard that his pen almost ripped through the paper.

?I have to be able to express my hurt?my pain?my animosity toward you or I will die . . .?

The football arched through the air, travelling in a tight spiral, and the 2,500 fans of the Richland High School Rebels rose from their seats with a startled roar. It was 1995, an autumn evening in suburban Fort Worth, and the quarterback for the Haltom Buffalos, Richland?s longtime rivals, had flung a pass toward an open receiver halfway down the field. But Richland?s free safety, senior Lance Butterfield, was already racing for the ball, his head held straight up, moving so smoothly that his shoulder pads hardly rattled. At the last second, just when the football seemed beyond him, he leapt, stretching his body and pulling the ball away from the baffled Haltom wide receiver, who had no idea that Lance was even nearby.

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Joshua A. Miele, here in Berkeley, Calif., was 4 when a next-door neighbor came to the gate of his family?s home in Brooklyn and tossed sulfuric acid into his face, blinding him. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times.

Joshua A. Miele, here in Berkeley, Calif., was 4 when a next-door neighbor came to the gate of his family?s home in Brooklyn and tossed sulfuric acid into his face, blinding him. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times.

Joshua Miele‘s Sight Was Stolen From Him When He Was A Child

Forty Something Years Later, He’s Giving the Blind a Bright Future

A neighbourhood boy remembers hearing of a little boy blinded by a schizophrenic man who threw acid on him at the age of 4. Decades later he looks up the man that little boy has become and writes an article about him.

The subject of the article, Josh Miele, is the President of the LightHouse Board. In addition to heading the LightHouse with leadership and vision, Josh is an associate scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, where he has partnered with the LightHouse to create tactile-Braille maps of every station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART). The New York Times called the maps, ?exquisite things with raised lines of plastic and Braille labels. They elegantly lay out information that can be heard by using an audio smart pen?.

On an October afternoon 43 years ago, on a beautiful block in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a crime occurred in a split second that was as permanent as it was cruel. Grown-ups tried to make sense of it, even use it as a cautionary tale for their children, but in the end, many just put it out of their minds. How could they not? It was just too awful, its lessons too hard to fathom.

The victim was named Josh Miele. He was 4. On that day, Oct. 5, 1973, he was playing in the backyard of his family?s house on President Street while his mother, Isabella, cooked in the kitchen. The doorbell rang, and Josh sprinted to get it.

Standing on the other side of the heavy iron gate beneath the stoop was Basilio Bousa, 24, who lived next door. Josh unlocked it. Then he slipped his two feet into the gate?s lowest rung and grabbed hold with his hands so his weight would pull it open. But Basilio just stood there. Basilio didn?t move or speak. So Josh stepped out, into the open. And then, he couldn?t see. He didn?t know why. He felt around with his hands, grasping for the walls. He forced his eyes open and glimpsed the wood paneling in the vestibule. It was the last thing he ever saw.

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