The comments at the newspaper are particularly mean spirited, ignorant and troubling. From The News Telegram in Massachusetts. Please pop over there and read them.
— John Odgren stopped receiving invitations to birthday parties when he was a second-grader. As a child suffering from Asperger's syndrome, he was isolated and desperate to have friends, according to his parents, Paul and Dorothy Odgren.
While other children his age mingled easily with their classmates, their youngest son's social circle was small. His mother recalls having to intercede on his behalf.
“I begged the (other) mothers, ‘Please let your son come see my son,' ” Mrs. Odgren said. “He didn't know how to make friends.”
The ordeal of living with Asperger's, a form of autism, has been a lifelong companion for the Odgrens, who two months ago watched in a Woburn courtroom as their son was convicted of murder in the first degree.
A Middlesex County jury rejected John Odgren's insanity defense and he was sentenced in April to life in prison without possibility of parole for the Jan. 19, 2007, stabbing death of James F. Alenson at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury.
The 15-year-old angelic-looking freshman was stabbed in a school bathroom before the start of classes and his mother, father and two siblings never again saw alive the promising youngster they sent to school that day.
For the Odgren family, the loss of their son and brother has been a lifelong process. John Odgren, 16 at the time, and suffering from mental illness and Asperger's, took a kitchen knife to school and plunged it into James Alenson's heart. Fearful from the Stephen King novels with which he was obsessed, John Odgren believed that the 19th would be a day of doom — a fear that proved only too correct.
Two families will never be the same... Read the full story in the News Telegram.