This story is haunting, the worst case of child abuse that I’ve heard of, but how can we compare abuse, it’s not a competition. Warning, some people may regret knowing how sick and evil monsters can be, this story is graphic, horrifying. You will get triggered so don’t watch it unless you can handle the burden of knowing what happened to this little boy. Matthew Shepard’s death was not a hate crime, Gabriel Fernandez’s death was.
Gabriel Fernandez was a hero because he didn’t become a monster, he was murdered before the change happened, it was in process. He was pushed to his limits, at only 8 years old. He was a first grader when his mother and her boyfriend murdered him. This was after torturing him for the 8 months he was trapped with them. They used him for the welfare checks, they kept him locked in a cupboard, beat him with bats. I don’t know how he survived for 8 months and went to school, the system failed him. They knew and didn’t rescue him. They are liable for his murder too. When you know abuse is happening and you do nothing, you are part of the problem. This story reminds me of Dave Peltzer’s story too, he survived horrendous abuse from his mother and his father did nothing to help him. I don’t understand this at all.
I thought of my brother when I watched the Netflix documentary. What he experienced was on the level of a wartime atrocity. But he forgave our father genuinely. He even brought them a Mercedes Benz, a better car than the one he drives. He’s humble, the anonymous hero. I’m not like him, I wish I was and hope my son can be, but without the trauma. Life will take you until it’s done, it’s your choice how you respond.