Posted by Bill Stilwell at April 08, 2000 12:00 AM
"But Mamie," I said, "you don't have any proof that that's even
what happened, that the leak had anything to do with it. Why
didn't you guys call in a coroner to examine the baby's body?"
At this, Mrs. Ludwig, horribly distressed, cried out, cackling with
manic laughter, "Proof! You people always want proof! We know!
We don't need proof!"
"But you might have had it, if you'd had an autopsy," I said. "Or
do you think the coroners are in on the conspiracy too?"
Mrs. Ludwig only continued to sob. By now, I was also surrounded
by a half-dozen other members of the clan, including Mr. Ludwig
and Mr. Boonstra, and a little while later, gave up the ghost and
This is the phenomenon Brian Peterson describes as the families'
collective refusal to consider that there may actually be easy
answers to some of their questions, that for instance, if they did
what Mrs. Everton does when a child of hers develops a rash --
that is, take the child to the doctor's -- they too just might find
the explanation lies in a certain kind of laundry soap, or eczema,
or an allergy.
"They don't want to look for those simple kinds of solutions," Mr.
Peterson says. "They don't want solutions at all."