Friday, December 26, 2008


Santa doesn't usually make early house calls. He doesn't come before bedtime, and he doesn't use the doorbell. So when the eight year old girl answered the door on Christmas Day, she knew it would be a very special Christmas day. And it was, one she will never forget for the rest of her matter how hard she will try.
He was a religious man, apparently. He volunteered at his Catholic church. His neighbors liked him, and no one could be found to say a bad word about him. So, it probably wouldn't have surprised anyone to see him in a Santa suit. maybe he was going to church again or was volunteering somewhere........
What they didn't know was, he was going through a very bad time. He had just gone through a bitter divorce after one year of marriage, and he was alone. He had made plans to make a fresh start of it. He was going to go to Canada. He had the plane ticket on him, along with $17,000.00 strapped to his body. But, before he left, he had a stop to make. So he wrapped up a present, grabbed his money, the plane ticket and the few other things and made his way for the car he had rented.....and headed over to his former in-laws for their annual Christmas party.
Trouble was, he wasn't invited. The in-laws were making a fresh start as well, with the divorce finalized and all the ugliness behind them, they looked forward to a holiday house party with over 25 guests attending. So when there was a knock at the door, the 8 year old girl ran to let in more guests, or at least she thought. And when the door opened and Santa appeared, all the better.
And at this very moment, Jeffrey Pardo had one last chance at humanity. One last chance at sanity. One last chance to let the bitterness of a divorce go and get on with his life. Instead when the door opened and the 8 year old girl answered the door, he shot her in the face. He shot her in the face. Then took two semi-automatic weapons and killed everyone he could.
Reports are the guests were scattering everywhere, upstairs, through the back, out windows, off the roof, where ever they needed to go to avoid the gun wielding Santa Claus impostor, and get away. Nine people didn't get away and died that night.
The only bright spot was the 8 year old girl he shot in the face was going to survive it. Pardo then took an incendiary device wrapped up like a present, and set the house on fire, burning himself in the process. He then took off for his brothers house and committed suicide.
He was a religious man, apparently. Volunteered weekly for his local Catholic church. People liked him. And yet deep down inside grew a deeply troubled man so enraged he would set out to commit a heinous crime, then skip town the next morning. All carefully planned and executed.
He was a religious man, apparently. People liked him. And when the 8 year old girl answered the door and to her delight, it was Santa Claus, he shot her in the face. He then went on to killing as many people as he could, and set the house on fire.
This wasn't rage. It wasn't a spur of the moment crime of passion. It was a carefully planned and orchestrated crime of hate by a man completely devoid of rational thinking and of any human feelings or compassion whatsoever. And when the door was answered, his heart was racing in anticipation of what he had set out to do, he looked down and saw the innocent face of an eight year old girl. And he shot her. He shot her in the face.
If I live to be a thousand, I could never understand what on earth he was thinking. I can't even fathom a human being capable of committing such an inhuman crime. He dressed up like Santa and set out to shoot as many people as he could. Even the innocent eight year old girl who answered the door.

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