I don’t even know what to say. He was a friend. He wasn’t “crazy Will”. He wasn’t a monster. He was Willem.
*No, that’s not real blood in the picture. It was Halloween.
He was different, that’s very true. But he was a sweet guy. I never saw him mad, never saw him instigate anything. Never saw him be crazy in any way, other than just not thinking the way everyone else did. Never violent. He stayed at my place many times. He went from a sweet guy to a murderer. He killed people. Now he’s been killed by our legal system.
I know a lot of people are happy he’s dead and would rather he have been shot years ago than have spent this much time in prison to die by lethal injection. I want to know how he went from Willem, a dude who would happily bum out his last cigarette, to a controversy. What could have possibly been done to prevent this whole sad sorry mess? Maybe nothing.
I write a lot about mental illness and how there needs to be less stigma attached. It’s hard to convince yourself that getting help is the best idea if it’s likely that everyone will treat you differently because of it, and not in a good way. Please, for the love of all that is holy, be kind. It costs nothing and may mean the world to someone struggling with problems you’ll never be able to comprehend.
Close to 1 in 5 adults experience some form of mental illness within a year, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. What does that mean? Basically, even if you don’t have any symptoms of mental illness, odds are strong that you know someone who does. It is estimated that almost half of all mental illnesses go untreated. So for every person who decides to face society’s judgment of them for having issues beyond their control, another person either chooses not to or isn’t able to.
I want to be clear that I’m not making excuses for William. He shot and killed 2 men.
All I want is to be able to make sense of this. And I’m not there yet.