Jailhouse Tattoo of Revenge

On a more serious note… 

Besides being one of our most accomplished noir writers, besides being a single-minded force striving for the protection of our children, Andrew Vachss is also a visionary. Not in some mystical, magical way. But in a forward-scout or telescopic way. Quite simply, he sees things before you and I do.

In 1986, Vachss wrote about people using modems to traffick in illicit photos of children. Squeamish reviewers at the time called him sick but as we sit here now, with our high-speed connections and all the evils they can bring, we know the tragic truth.

Another example of Vachss’s foresight comes in Tag, a short story from 1999’s Everybody Pays: Stories. In the piece, a criminal’s forehead is forcibly tattooed in retribution for his crimes. The plot was slightly different, yet shockingly similar, near Evansville, IN recently when the words “KATIE’S REVENGE” were scrawled across a convicted murderer’s forehead according to a CNN report.

“If I had to guess I’d say it’s a statement from the inmates,” the slain child’s father said. Vachss often writes about how child abusers are considered scum, even amongst hardened criminals, and it seems the inmates of Wabash Valley state prison feel the same way.

I’m quite certain that Vachss takes no pleasure in this instance of life proving out his art. And although there might be some poetic justice to the murderer’s fate, we still can’t forget the poor child. To help serve the memory of Katie, and other children like her, visit PROTECT.org, America’s first political lobby dedicated to the protection of children, and do whatever you can to help. In fact, they even have a program that’s perfect for book lovers. With PROTECT’s Novel-Tees fund raiser, you can sport t-shirts from your favorite fictional businesses.