What should a parent do when confronted with a child who is a danger to others? In a popular novel, “Defending Jacob,” by local author William Landay, a couple faces just that situation: One chooses to defend the child reflexively, the other, wracked with guilt, goes in a different direction. In a recent New Yorker article, the father of Adam Lanza, the killer of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, talks about the fear of watching his son spiral into mental illness.
This was the situation confronting Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, whose son, Jared, had shown signs of violence from a relatively early age: Jerry Remy chose to provide his son with financial support and legal backing, even as Jared continued a pattern of violent acts, mostly against girlfriends, followed by probation and counseling. Peter Bella, the attorney who defended Jared and his two siblings in numerous cases, proved adept at persuading gullible judges to keep Jared out of prison. Thus, only Jerry and others close to Jared were in a position to know the full range of his offenses.