Editor’s Note: Katlyn Sweet is the daughter of Detective Gary Sweet, one of the main investigators whose quest to catch serial child-killer David Penton is the subject of BOGEYMAN: He Was Every Parent’s Nightmare. This blog involves one of her reactions to reading the book about an investigation that impacted her family directly.
Imagine … dreaming of a man every night. The old nightmare. You can still see his face after all these years. He’s creepy, cold, and smells of death–a bogeyman.
As a child growing up, you wanted your parents to check your closet, take a peek under your bed, and make sure there were no monsters or bogeymen hiding in the shadows. They kept a sharp eye out at the playgrounds and told us not to talk to strangers. It made you feel safe. But so did those children and their parents.
Then the stranger appeared in neighborhoods around Dallas, Texas, and tiny towns in Indiana, and God knows where else. He was looking for young girls. On sunny days they would be outside playing without a care in the world; after all, childhood is our brief period in life when we should be free from worries, stresses and any other great barriers life may throw at us in the future. He offered them sweet treats.
I can just imagine their innocence, their mouths watering for the candy and ice cream and cookies. Little did the children know that the offer was an invitation to a nightmare. But I know more than most, my Dad was one of the detectives who took it upon themselves to stop The Bogeyman.
“For twenty-five years Tiffany saw his face and heard his voice in her nightmares. Yet she had twice summoned the nerve to identify him to police detectives, and bravely prepared to face him in court. Doing so she exhibited far more courage than the vile and evil creature who stole her innocence then murdered another little girl in her place.”–Epilogue