This message arrived today to this website, Diary of a Predator, after the Investigation Discovery episode regarding serial rapist Brent Brents and my coverage of his case apparently aired in South America:
Greetings Ms. Herdy,
My name is Eddie, I am from Costa Rica. I want to say first that you are my idol, how you don´t give up and keep looking the truth. Is very important what you did because you saw a human being with problems not a monster.
I want to ask you one question do you believe that Brent´s life could be different if he was raised with a better family?
He was not born with problems and dark wishes–a result of his breeding?
Thank you so much for your time, my best wishes in your life.
Thank you for writing, and for your kind words.
I will tell you what Brent Brents has often told me: Had he been removed from the home and not horrifically abused for years, he believes he would have turned out very differently. And that’s not to avoid his responsibility. He absolutely made the choices to inflict the great harm that he did. That being said, his behavior mirrored what was done to him.
Also, there are multiple accounts that indicate his father was a psychopath, and research has shown that a psychopath’s brain is different from brains that are considered “normal,” so it is possible he inherited a genetic predisposition toward a lack of empathy and impulse control. Plus, he suffered brain damage at the hands of his father.
Of course, we will never know–but I do think that had Brent Brents been raised in a loving environment, and not systematically abused, he would have had a much greater chance to become a healthy, productive person. I like to think there’s hope for every child, and he was a child once.
Thanks for writing.