Why did you choose to write about the horrific crimes committed by Wayne Lo, Lewis Lent Jr, and Nicholas Mangiardi?
My interest in writing HIDDEN DEMONS did not start out to showcase the evil deeds of Lent, Lo, and Mangiardi. My intent was to highlight the story of a father and daughter, Owen and Amy Boyington, who apprehended criminals on the same day. The Boyingtons related their story to me many years ago, but it was only after I retired that I thought to write a book about what happened on January 7, 1994.
The book took on a life of its own the more people I interviewed. I knew about Wayne Lo’s rampage on the Simon’s Rock College campus, but it was only through my interview with DA David Capeless that I learned his trial began on the same day. Now the story gets denser as the Lo trial proceeds, until this time the biggest that DA Downing faced, was overshadowed by the apprehension of a child serial killer.
I was asked in an interview how the crimes committed by Lent, Lo, and Mangiardi (particularly Lent) effected the community. I can only speak for myself. These crimes haunted me.
As the mother of young children, I was afraid to let my kids wait for the school bus without an adult standing there with them. I was afraid to let my kids ride their bikes off of our street where I knew there would be many other children out playing and neighbors keeping an eye on them. I maintained a sharper vigilance and reminded my children to be more vigilant. There is a fine line between preparing children and scaring them.
Life changed in our city. Adults, children, and institutions needed to face up to new, harsh realities.
Margery Metzger, a retired social worker and mediator, is a first-time author who felt compelled to tell the story of the loss of innocence in her hometown. She is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts with her husband Alan.