The Miami case of an alleged murder by a 14-year-old boy raises troubling questions about how parents can recognize a propensity of their children to commit violence. The Miami Herald says that when Kathy and Manny Hernandez saw the pages of their son’s journal with descriptions of violent acts and plans to kill family and friends, it was one of the only tangible glimpses they had of a Michael they say they had no idea existed. Like many things she’s learned about her son since investigators charged him with killing a middle school classmate, Kathy Hernandez has a hard time reconciling the boy who wrote the journal and the son she knows. “I don’t understand it,” she said.
After watching their son’s psyche dissected in the media, the Hernandezes embarked this week on a round of press interviews. Their message: Their son is not a monster; he’s a child. Said Kathy Hernandez: “If he did this, it speaks of a very disturbed mind that we don’t know. This was not the Michael we knew.”
Manny Hernandez said he couldn’t remember anything unusual about that night before the youth was killed. He sent Michael to school after making the boy’s favorite lunch. The next time the Hernandezes saw their son was about 5 p.m. at a police station being questioned.
They know everyone has the same question: Didn’t you see any signs that your son might have a troubled mind? “We wonder all the time,” Kathy Hernandez said. “What did we miss? What should we have seen? Should we have seen anything? Michael was doing well in school. By all accounts, he seemed happy.”