I have some brand-new, great news. But first, an old, tragic story.
When I was young & living in the suburbs, a little girl in the Dallas area was kidnapped from her front yard and later found murdered. Her name was Tyra. Tiny me became obsessed with Tyra: Who was Tyra? What had happened to her? Who took her? And why would someone do that? Around that same time, my uncle was murdered in Odessa, Texas and the case quickly went cold. While I didn’t know Tyra (or my uncle, really, whose case is still unsolved), a clear marker exists between who I was before and who I was after these events. My interest in criminal behavior and violence was sparked, and I began asking that eternal question: Why do people do what they do? I was not yet 10, and already I wanted answers.
That craving for answers and obsession with crime, violence, and human motivation has never waned; in fact it grew into an Interpersonal Communication class dedicated to the prevention of interpersonal violence. It is this course of which I am most proud and, as many students reported, truly saved lives.
But, even while I was still teaching, I never kept it a secret that my “next life” would involve Psychological Criminology. Recently, I realized that that “next life” is now.
My next life.