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Redemption or War?

Ebenezer Scrooge was the antagonist in The Christmas Carol, a story about the relationships that we foster or destroy and about punishment or redemption. Scrooge's business partner came back as a ghost to warn Scrooge of his fate should he not change his ways. Scrooge was a miserly old man that pushed everyone who ever loved him away from him. If he didn't change his ways, his path was clear.

In the City of Santa Ramona Valley we have our own Ebenezer Scrooge. Max Mactavish, by all accounts, should be the antagonist in our story. A man who spent over twenty-five years in a super max prison for attempting to blow up his former precinct where he was a Police Lieutenant. His actions left his daughter, Alexia Rousseau, to be raised in a broken foster care system in Louisiana. He then kidnapped his grandchildren, putting his daughter and her husband through an emotional roller coaster of fear and worry.

One might believe that is the end of the story, especially since Mr. Mactavish admits to having taken the children. His case is heading to court where he will likely be sentenced to more time behind bars. We all can breath a sigh of relief and be grateful that justice will prevail. Except looking into the scruffy, desperate eyes of a man who kidnapped his grandchildren I noticed a look in his blue eyes to be understood. For others to listen to his plea because this story may not be as simple as it seems. When asked why he kidnapped his grandchildren his response was surprising, "I took them to be safe-away from that man- Dimitri Rousseau who has my daughter brainwashed."

He asked me to repeat his words, unedited so that others would understand why he was driven to make such a choice. Would you make the same choice if you believed your family members might be in a dangerous situation? Mactavish went on to say, "He's a domestic abuser who plays Svengali with his wife. My dear daughter was raised in foster homes and while that is largely my fault, she has been impressionable and vulnerable ever since. She fell for this man, a true conman. He's a dangerous criminal and I just wanted to keep my grandchildren safe from his unsavory associations! I couldn't save my daughter from his clutches-as much as I tried, she wouldn't leave him-so I took them! Yes, I did." When asked if the abuse extended to the children he stated, "He doesn't hurt the children-but they're exposed to a violent and toxic environment. That is abusive!"

Many would say that Mactavish's actions were justified, if there is any truth to his statements. We reached out to Alexia Rousseau for comment on this article. She was naturally upset by the allegations of her father. She had this to say about her fathers statements, "You say my father's calling my husband an abuser, you gonna post that in your paper? I'm the one that's supposed to be the victim here. Listen real close to me, Ms. Carter. If you post that in your paper, you will be lying. My husband ain't never laid a hand on me to physically hurt me. That's the truth."

There have been no reports of domestic abuse made to the Rousseau's home or business address so Mr. Mactavish's claims of abuse can't be verified by the newspaper. The Department of Children and Families also states that they have no cases against the Rousseau family.

So does that mean Mactavish is a liar? A conman just spreading lies to try to muddy the water before his trial? What can be proved through the Freedom of Information act is that Dimitry Rousseau's projects, namely the Race Track and the TV Studio do indeed have known criminals as investors.

The Race Track has two investors listed in public records, Laila Knight and Frank Castle. Ms. Knight's only crime was several DUI's in the state of California which caused her to have her license suspended. Ms. Knight is a Mexican-American, born and raised in California. Her father is Raymond "Ray-Ray" Knight, a record producer spending time in jail for dangling a man from a fifty story building. While Mr. Castle was a former mayor known to have many legal problems. He was convicted of multiple assault charges, many being reduced to misdemeanors from felonies. His most notable assault was of the then District Attorney Evelyna Stone.

The TV Studio has four investors listed in public records. Ms. Knight is also an investor for the TV studio. So are Joseph Styles and Serina Styles. Neither of the Styles have a record that we could find. The last was Jade Aura, a known serial killer. She was arrested for several grisly murders and then escaped from prison. Inexplicably she was released from prison and has now returned to SRV. One has to wonder did the City Council know when they voted on his proposals that some of the money for these ventures was coming from criminals? Is there not any standards in place for accepting money for city ventures?

In looking at this situation, one has to ask if there can be redemption from an act of war? A family is at war with itself. Each calling the other side liars and criminals. And caught in the middle of this family war are the children. When Ebenezer Scrooge was confronted with his selfishness and his cold future, he vowed to change. Some believe that he found redemption by making the lives of those around him better. Others believe that he was still a cold, selfish man that was only acting like he was redeemed to avoid the punishment that waited for him. Is Max Mactavish a hero trying to save his grandchildren from living in an abusive home or is he the villain, hoping to save himself by appearing to be righteous and justified in his actions? That, my dear readers, is for the courts to decide.