17 February 2010

A personal story

In 1992, I started into university in the Faculty of Education - was gonna teach that there English, I was. That's where I met Mr. FCS* (first class, first day, even). In our class, there were about 6 other men. One of them was the most annoying person on the planet: Brad Hanaback. We called him Hanaback. Never Brad. Never Bradley. Hanaback was a hanger-on. He really glommed on to Mr. FCS. To the point where Mr. FCS would try to ditch him by getting out of class and taking an odd way to the next class. We'd hide from him during breaks because he would just attach himself to us and then dominate the conversation with annoying Hanaback things.

He was so annoying that when we were doing practice lessons, I did a lesson on self-defense simply so that I could toss his ass to the floor and humiliate him. Succeeded too. He acted as though he were smarter than everyone - especially me, with whom he seemed to be competing (We thought he had a thing for Mr. FCS). I remember how utterly infuriated he was when he brought a fibonacci puzzle game to teach, set it down in front of me and I figured it out in mere seconds. He was LIVID.

Now, I dropped out of Education after year two and switched over to Linguistics (STUPID. I'd have a job now. Mind you, I'd hate it...) Mr. FCS stayed in and got his degree, but that meant two more years of Hanaback because they were both majoring and minoring in the same fields. They had almost all the same classes. Mr. FCS is a NICE guy. I mean, he'd never be actively an asshole to anyone, but Hanaback drove him to the brink a few times. He'd come home from classes and just rant and rave about him for hours. It got to the point where I had to institute a 20 minute limit after which there was to be no more Hanaback talk.

After Mr. FCS graduated, he mercifully lost track of the guy. But yesterday something made both of us think of him, and we thought we'd Google him and find out what he was up to. Well, he's been up to no damn good. "Travelling with the intent of having sex with a minor". EW. And as an aside, you can't have sex with a minor - you can only rape one. That's kinda what that whole age of consent thing is about.

I'm sickened. I feel bad that we treated him so poorly, because I have this stupid delusion that maybe if he'd had an adult friend he could relate to that maybe he wouldn't have become attracted to children that way. I feel bad because I wonder if he was an abuse victim too, and maybe could have just used a bit of compassion. On the other hand, I remember all the times we put up with him and how hard we tried to be decent to him (before we started ditching him, that is). And I also remember that this man paid to rape a child - and I don't feel so bad. And it just makes me sick. Sick. I had to bathe hard last night.


Ciara said...

I sympathize with you, really I do. My guess would be that the reason the guy was so unable to socialize with his peers in college was that he was already twisted. And therefore nothing you could have done. Yes, there are probably crimes in his background, which have now repeated themselves in his own adult life.

fester said...

OMG! I worked with this guy about 9/10 years ago and had a similar impression. We were kinda situational friends due to the workplace scenario. He could be very helpful and friendly but also insufferable. I recall frequently pitying him and yet wanting to chase him out of my office.

At first I presumed he was gay due to some stereotypical mannerisms and later I just thought he was somewhat socially stunted or asexual. There were a few times when he seemed overly interested in things that were childlike, like stuffed animals. At the time I found that stuff atypical for a man his age but innocuous enough. He also seemed to have a bit of a fixation on a childhood friend of his who is gay. His friend was partnered and lived in a different city. I got the feeling it might be a "Chuck and Buck" (obscure movie reference) situation ie. they were close friends as kids but his friend grew up and moved on while Brad was still stuck in childhood. I think the friend was still kind to him but kept him at arm's length.

Anyway, after I changed jobs we did not keep in touch, but a couple of years ago his name randomly popped into my head and I searched him out on Google, only to make the same discovery as you did.

It really threw me. I spent a lot of time wondering about the case - hoping that there was a glimmer of possibility that Brad was not as guilty as it appeared. Perhaps he'd never acted on this proclivity before and maybe he never would have if he hadn't been enticed by the sting operation. I do not have much faith in the American justice system either, so I wondered also about entrapment and trumped up charges. Brad always struck me as having absolutely no street smarts and as someone who believed himself to be more clever than he actually was, so I can see him being an easy target.

Whatever the actual scenario is, it is sad and shocking. All the times Brad had a big grin (which was most of the time), I wonder what internal struggles he was having. And I wonder what his future holds.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons database, he was released in August.

Luna said...

Hi fester,

I sure wonder if that big grin is still around after doing hard time as a sex offender. :(

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean about him and his utter lack of street smarts. Your entire description fits him perfectly. I wonder about him so often. It's weird how some people jump into my psyche and stick around.

fester said...

True, I doubt he's grinning much these days. I can't imagine how Brad would cope in prison - he seemed kinda soft. Then again, he was always pretty good at ingratiating himself with those above him by helping them with their computers (he did a computer course post-Education degree), so I could see him getting by doing some sort of office support or even teaching adult ed classes while doing his stretch. Probably the real challenge will be the rest of his life.

Luna said...

Yeah, he always was good at computers. That'd help somewhat, but still... Child rapists do NOT do well in prison. I feel for him. I don't condone rape of ANYONE.

Anonymous said...

I know Brad Hanaback as well as I am from the same small town. In August of last year he wasnt actually released, just released from the American justice sytem. He was sent to PA to do more time and was actually just released recently. As I said, I am from the same town so I do know his parents and I can say with 100% certainty that they never abused him, but that's not to say someone else couldn't have. His family is all really nice, normal people. It's crazy to see what can happen to people.

Luna said...

Oh Anonymous. You cannot say that with 100% certainty. There are lots of things that happen and no one knows. All you can say with 100% certainty is about your own personal experience.

Trust me. There are plenty of people who appear to be nice normal people who aren't. Plenty.

That being said, of course, it could be someone else. Cadets always struck me as a possibility. He seemed weirdly stuck on his cadets experience.

Anonymous said...

Same smile:

I was thinking about him today with the headlines about Subway Jared since I always thought they looked alike.