Evil is Real, but so is Hope.
The ground was wet, the wind was strong, and the sun was bright last week when I traveled to West Memphis, Arkansas. If you have never been to a location that something tragic happened at, I will do my best to describe the feeling. Imagine you are a huge Elvis fan, and for the first time, you get to enter Graceland. There is an eerie feeling you may discover as you walk around the very place you know something and someone great existed here.
To the ordinary person, this exit I visited in West Memphis is merely that - an onramp to a generic interstate like thousands of others all over the United States. But something tragic happened at this very location - a young woman was dumped here after her life was stolen. Not unlike the feeling one may get while standing in Graceland - there was a very eerie feeling in the air because I knew something significant happened here.
Something that separates us from murderers is we find great value in this little thing called life. When Lisa Nichols' killer tossed her into this grassland, I believe the area was scared. Standing there I felt the presence of evil lingering in the background, but more strongly there was emotion. Sadness. I will never forget the first time I realized some people are capable of taking another person's life - and I relive that moment each time I visit places like this.
I can't cure pain, and I surely can not offset sadness. Hope is one thing I have learned to be an expert at sharing with others. I sometimes like to think after I visit a place so terrible as this one - that I add hope to the feelings scared to the area. Evil is real, but so is hope.
I have learned each time I visit sites like this one, that it is easier to breathe the further you travel away. It is kind of funny because immediately following these visits I always tell myself I shouldn't put myself through those emotions and visit any other sites. The truth is I know I won't stop - simply because I have the choice to stop. These victims that suffered at these locations did not. I can not prevent evil, but I sure as hell can spread kindness.
Share with me in the comments if you have ever shared a similar feeling when visiting a site where something tragic happened. At the beginning of 'Redhead Murders, Part 2' on my podcast I played a live video I recorded while I was at the location - take a listen if you haven't already.