Father, High on PCP, Eats Son's Eyeballs Out

A man in Bakersfield, California got high on PCP and ate his son's eyeballs out. Then the father attempted to hack his own legs off with an axe. The boy's mother, also a PCP user, came to the door just before the attack to deliver a pizza to their home, heard her son screaming for her to rescue him, but left anyway. We don't have a metadata tag that fits this story. It's been haunting me for days since I read it, even in dreams, which is why I'm finally blogging it now. Does PCP turn people into monsters, or do monsters simply turn to PCP? I can't figure it out. My god, that poor child. (Thanks, Chief Fulfiller of Needs)


    1. Punk, you’re missing the whole point. A post like this is supposed to make you squeamish so that you can do something about it. It is intended to open your eyes – no pun intended – to the horrors of the world instead of sitting in comfort with eyes wide shut. People like you ARE the problem with this world. You fear your pretty eyes being offended so that you can shut yourself down to the crying eyes of a child.

  1. Awful…what else to say?

    If you’re 80% crazy, PCP doesn’t make it better, that’s for sure.

    Whenever I give my “alcohol has a dark side” speech, I ask the kids if they know anyone who is no fun to be around when they’re drinking. Almost everyone does.

  2. No reflection on Xeni’s judgment, but I’m swearing off BB for a couple of days until this story is either deleted or pushed far down in the chronological history.

  3. Am I reading this? The father was already on record for cruelty to a child and the kid was still with him??

    And I’m not even going to start on the idiotic, criminally cowardly, sorry excuse for a mother. I can’t believe she’s not being charged with anything! The kid should be taken far, far away from these people.

    EVERYONE dropped the ball on this kid.

    I’m feeling angry and sick right now :(

  4. Does PCP turn people into monsters, or do monsters simply turn to PCP?

    Undoubtedly a bit of both, but I would argue the former is determinant factor due to the specific physiological effects it has in inducing psychotic-like symptoms and that prolonged use can lead to serious brain damage (Olney’s lesions).

    “Phencyclidine has also been shown to cause schizophrenia-like changes in the rat brain, which are detectable both in living rats and upon necropsy examination of brain tissue. It also induces symptoms in humans that are virtually indistinguishable from schizophrenia”

    See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phencyclidine#Effects – brain chemistry is a delicate and violent beast not to be underestimated.

  5. I was given PCP once when I was a young teen, maybe 14yo or so. Someone dusted some weed with it, and I smoked the weed without knowing it was laced with PCP. They used to call it “love boat” back then. It was the most terrifying drug experience I ever had. I did not consume much of it during that incident, and only did so once (as far as I can hazily remember of those years) — but it was absolutely terrifying. (* I do not use drugs at all now).

  6. “Does PCP turn people into monsters, or do monsters simply turn to PCP?”

    Yes, and yes. Sad, but very true.

  7. I really did not need to see that.
    Even the headline brought me to tears.
    Please put stuff like that behind some kind of “not for the squeamish, or people with kids” headline.

  8. Ever since I signed up for daddyhood, I can’t stomach these sorts of stories. I can’t read things like that without imagining my own son or daughter as the victim. I’m going to have to go hug something.

  9. This posts in BB are a good service for everybody. Unicorn Chaser’s feel more wonderful after you read stories like this. Reminding you that there’s beauty in such a crazy and obscure world. Unicorn chasers are a sign of hope.

    #9 is right in pointing out that everybody failed the kid, specially the parents and immediate family.

    So, don’t get upset, or angry at the messenger who posted this, try to do something proactive in your surroundings in whatever way you can.

    Be the unicorn chaser.

  10. I’d have to say that PCP brings out what you already have inside you, it just removes your inhibitions and danger sense completely. So combo PCP and the person using the PCP. Too many people want to blame the drug(s) for their behavior. I know for myself I take full responsibility for my self-destructive behaviors throughout my life. The only thing drugs do is accelerate the process, other than that, it is always myself at the heart of the craziness. Drugs are the excuse for the behavior, not the cause.

    As a person who has had the unfortunate experience of using PCP, I’ve never turned violent towards myself or other people, or done anything remotely self-destructive. I did find myself once with a beach chair in my hand smashing out the windows of my second story bedroom. I remember in the back of my mind watching myself not being able to punch out my windows, then the next thing I remember I had a beach chair in my hand repeatedly smashing the windows until they broke. In that same incident I kicked down several doors in my house, they offended me for some reason. Other than that I never liked the feeling that PCP gave me. I’d never do it again that’s for sure.

  11. Speaking as someone who has tried PCP, I can definitely see how someone who is already of a less than stable mind could have an uninhibited psychotic break under its influence. The high is like a cold disconnection from much of the world around you in addition to an almost methamphetamine-like sense of stimulation. Not something I would ever recommend even before having heard this story.

  12. This is certainly not the first instance of Phencyclidine related cannibalism.


    While most recreational PCP users aren’t out there eating parts off of their own children, they are still doing serious and irreversible damage to their brains. If any good is to come out of this horrorshow, hopefully it will come in the way of A) More people being scared away from recreational PCP use, and B) Reform of the legal system that let a child remain in the custody of a PCP user.

  13. Ignorance, in this case, would have been bliss.
    This does not fit the description of a ‘wonderful thing’

  14. We live a world where mass murder has been made efficient by applying the principles scientific management and you people whine about learning that a crazy man ate his son’s eyes?

    Welcome to reality. It is horrible. The more you wrap yourself in wonderful things, the more you need to be reminded.

  15. #17 I don’t need to be kicked in the balls to be reminded why it feels nice when my testicles aren’t kicked.

    I don’t begrudge Xeni for posting this, but I find your premise to be flawed. The universe is inherently full of great big and wonderful things that I can appreciate without the need for contrast.

  16. @#21: I guess I’ve always approached BB with a more literal view of “wonderful,” as in capable of eliciting wonder; astonishing. Surely this story does that?

  17. Agree fully with #21.
    Perhaps in the future the headline could instead be a warning to those who don’t want their day ruined or who aren’t in the frame of mind to read something so awful, and the actual headline could be after the jump?

  18. Welcome to rotten.com!

    #20 – sounds like the only good thing to come out of this incident would have been for the guy to have succeeded in removing himself from the gene pool.

  19. This made me cry. Literally. This is one of the most horrific thing I have ever read. I am devastated.

  20. …and yet I can’t stop reading these articles. So what is wrong with me that I can’t NOT hear “Mommy, mommy, I want to go with you. I’m scared” in my daughter’s voice?

  21. Terrible.

    If you take one thing away from this story, let it be this:


    I’ve honestly never heard a single good thing about PCP, ever.

  22. I hate every part of this and am nauseous but I am not opposed to it being here. I want to know that this happens (within 25 miles of my house) if it does.

  23. #24 Lester thanks, you said it much more diplomatically than I would.

    The appropriate tag is: WILL REQUIRE UNICORN CHASER

  24. I can confirm, from one horrifying personal experience, PCP will make you aggressively violent. I smoked it once as a teen with a friend of mine at a party. Later, a drunk tried to snatch our car keys. What I remember was like a montage from every drug film you have ever seen. Blurred and flashy, there was a struggle and then the guy disappeared. After, I remember vividly wanting to kill the guy. Never before or since have I ever wanted so badly to do something like that. I have always been a pacifist. I am against war and have been only in a few fights which were provoked by the rednecks I lived near.

  25. This is why custody of a child shouldn’t be defaulted to its parents.

    If these parents—either of them—ever see this child again (after guaranteeing he won’t see them), whoever runs CPS or the equivalent in their state should be taken out and shot.

    Metaphorically. I’m against the death penalty and torture. I am. Even for people like this. But in this case I don’t feel at all guilty for having fantasies of chggvat gurz va n ebbz fznyy rabhtu gung bar bs gurz, ohg abg obgu, pna trg bhg bs gur jnl bs gur veerthyne qevccvat bs pnhfgvp yvdhvq sebz gur prvyvat, naq yrnivat gurz gurer hagvy gurl’er pbzcyrgryl pbirerq. (Decoder here.)

  26. “No reflection on Xeni’s judgment, but I’m swearing off BB for a couple of days until this story is either deleted or pushed far down in the chronological history.”

    I haven’t come here in a month and I get this. It makes me want to weep. This is not a wonderful thing.

  27. Ah, the gift of sociopathy. Not having any empathy sure is helpful right now.
    Humans are sick, really. At least I can exert self control and restraint without the need of an external law system.
    Modern society is turning into a place to care for humans for what they are: Animals that will do heinous things as soon as someone is not looking.

    Of course, not everyone applies to this.

  28. #27: Buh-bye.

    For every Reefer Madness, perhaps we need a Requiem for a Dream to remind us that not all street drugs are the same, and not everything we heard about drugs in school was a lie.

    Gandalf said something along the lines of, “One who destroys a thing to understand it has left the path of wisdom.” Here, a man destroyed his own soul, leaving the wisdom, if not the understanding, to us.

  29. Thank you #27, my thoughts exactly.

    I personally come to BoingBoing because I don’t want to add more negativity into my psyche. I have been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and had just woken up from yet another dream where I was unsuccessfully attempting to save a dying child, only to read this. I wish I hadn’t.

    Yes, the world is a terrible place, and there are evil and hideous things happening everyday, but focusing on these certain horrors which we can do nothing about is not beneficial to anybody. Viewing these things just plants another weed into our subconscious. My day is utterly ruined. I feel so helpless and angry after reading this.

  30. There are a lot of things that BB posts that aren’t especially wonderful, and never before have I seen a request by the readership to take anything down, or an insistence that everything posted fall under the catchall category of “wonderful”, whatever that means.

    Nevertheless, when a story about someone eating out a child’s eyes is posted, it causes an extreme visceral reaction of utter disgust, anger, horror, sadness, in any decent person. It sticks with you, enters into your dreams, perhaps, ruins your day/week/month/year/life.

    I would hate to think that BB would start to cater only to those who want “wonderful” things as I have personally relied upon the site in the past to get general news about things I might wish to stay updated on–again, things that aren’t always so wonderful–like cops harassing kids, or institutions that use electrical shock on children as a form of behavior management. Those are things I want to know about because, presumably I can make calls to local authorities, senators, whatever.

    That said, stories like the one posted are just too terrible, especially if the act is done and nothing can be done about it.

    f crs, t lrg xtnt ‘v stppd crng bt ddng my tw cnts bt sch mttrs wng t th VB psd. BB wll d wht t wnts t d hdlss, t sms, f ts rdrs.

    s n sd, sm t rcll tht tht ncdnt ls nvlvd XJ.

  31. PCP really turns you into the classic image of a horror movie flesh-eating zombie. As a teenager, I had the same experience as Xeni of unknowingly smoking some weed laced with PCP – at least PCP was the best guess of what we consumed that my friends and I could come up with. All I remember is stumbling down a street in my town like a zombie, and later thinking that someone was playing “The Phantom of the Opera” on an organ somewhere as the world turned green.

  32. I second Lester’s first comments.

    Also, those saying “this needs to be here, you can’t shelter yourself from it, you need to be reminded” – no sht, the world is terrible. We don’t come here to hear about it. It’s not like we can’t hear bad news in every other place we go to.

    Congratulations on being steely-eyed supermen.

  33. Can we filter on tags? Like, post with “Unicorn Chaser” could be hidden from my page load?

    And in the greatest epnonymous captcha ever, it is asking me to spell “rattiest amphetamines”.

    I could log in (I am roboton) but I won’t. I’ll screen cap this and type it.


    The last part of the file got wonkered, but the words are there as proof…

  34. I wrote something about blame the man, not the drug, but it sounds really trite in the face of ocular cannibalism.

    His EYES? Fuck.

  35. There’s an old adage, I think coined (or at least popularized – to me) by Spider Robinson: “Shared joy is increased, shared pain is lessened.” I tend to view that as the underlying truth of friendship.

    I don’t mind that Xeni chose to post this since it seems like something she obviously needed to get out of her head and this might be a place for her to do so, and to commiserate with people who might recognize and understand what a horror it is for that to be stuck on her mind.

    I’ll be absolutely blunt: there are comments I have read on this site, within the last week, in fact, which have offended me far more greatly than this or any other story boingboing’s contributors have posted.

    I don’t want to see this site become a series of real-life horror stories, but I can understand when one or another pops up. Sometimes you just have to share, to try to put your own mind to peace.

  36. Too bad the father failed in his attempt to cut his own legs off. Probably would have bled out fast, and the world would be a better place.

  37. Like Xeni, I was given PCP laced weed without my knowledge at about the same age. I went down that rabbit hole in awe of my distorted surroundings and it began a love affair with hallucinogens that helped define my life.

    But I realized even at that young age that I had flirted with oblivion and had walked away unscathed and wiser for the experience. For every story like mine, I have heard 20 that ended up in a much worse place. This article being the extreme example of that other end.

    Like religion, drugs are given a bad name by the people who misuse and abuse them. My heart hurts to know that a fellow human being, especially one so young had to endure such an awful experience.

  38. WilliamJ35

    Please remove this post and refrain from posting similar stories.

    While your opinion is most assuredly welcome, please don’t tell the Boingers what to post, nor tell them what “belongs on BB”.

  39. Xeni,
    I created this account because I’ve been meaning to for a while, having commented anonymously a lot over the years.

    I’m not attacking you, I’m just wondering why you felt the desire to share this. Is it because you feel we need to know about this sort of thing?

    Not trying to be inflammatory, just trying to understand. I personally felt sick when I saw the title. And the Unicorn didn’t do much to help.

    1. @fireinwiner, For the same reason I (and we) post a lot of the things we post. They fascinate, inspire, disturb, or remain in our minds and we need to think about them, expose them to conversation, I don’t know how to articulate it. But BB is more of a personal exploration, still, than a “publishing business.” So our reasons for posting things are sometimes subjective, or a kind of exploration of what won’t go away.

      For everyone who complains the post should be removed, you might want to tell the guy who wrote this work. BB is hardly classical literature, but that too was horrific, and involves a similar act of violence.

      I also posted it because I was trying to reconcile my own (frightening but non-violent) experience of having once taken the drug with the understanding that sometimes when others consume it, they commit horrible, horrible acts of violence like this. I really want to know: does the drug *cause* the violence? Or do people with an inclination toward this behavior gravitate to repeated use of this particular drug?

      Additionally: the child’s parents were repeat offenders. His extended family, community, and the protective agencies charged with preventing repeat abuse — everyone failed him. I think that’s worth talking about. How do we let shit like this happen? An escalating trail of abuse led to this incident.

      I am sorry that some readers had such a strong personal reaction to this story. I’m sorry it disturbed you so much.

      But to everyone whining about our blog’s tagline, give it up, that’s tired and lame. And the ad hominem attacks are inappropriate.

  40. Whenever people point to this sort of thing and say, “See? Man is a horrible animal, warlike and depraved, and devoid of morality.” – or some other broadly generalized misanthropic remark – I cringe a bit. The vast, vast majority of people are not violent or warlike – 90% or more. Strangely, though, only about 10% are wholly trustworthy. So if yer going to knock the human race for anything, knock it for greed and subversiveness, because there’s a lot more of that than there is eyeball eating.

  41. THis event was worthy of note, I think, as an example of the horror of drugs. Therefore I feel it was an appropriate post (not that it’s my place to say if it isn’t! Heh). Those of you who are all ‘ZOMGZ. I’m quitting BB’ need to lighten up just a little.

    It’s just a blog post on the internet, folks. And even if it had never been posted here, it still would have happened. It’s a rotten world.

  42. how much misery could be avoided by truth and education… as opposed to all the sorrow bred by lies and obscurantism through legislation.

    There are plants growing in the Amazon Rainforest that produce similar effects. Any small child there knows not to eat them. As they later learn the uses and possibilities of other plants.

  43. Pyros, probably not. Did it deserve to be deleted? Otherwise it’s probably just a glitch in the comment system.

    Post it again and see if it sticks.

  44. #50, I just posted that line as a defense of Xeni in the Unicorn Chaser thread. Great minds.

  45. This made me cry. I’m not even that sensitive, but I wish some one had taken this kid before this happened.

    PCP has really strong effects on the brain. I don’t know of anything like it, it can make people lose the ability to understand what “up” means in terms of movement, it can make people agitated and has the nice added benefit of completely obliterating the rational thought processes. Because of this though, even more than the drug, I sort of fear the kinds of people who are drawn to a drug like this and enjoy it enough to use it regularly.

  46. In this case, relate BB’s “Directory of wonderful things,” to just how much better your life and family (hopefully) are in comparison to this example of an absolute low. We all know there are monsters out there and as long as you don’t permanently imprint an image or video of such an atrocity into your head, the knowledge of this horrible thing can’t hurt you. While I hate that these things happen, I would like to be informed about these things. I doubt that I would’ve known about it if it wasn’t posted here.

  47. all of you whining about how this is inappropriate for bb and it shouldn’t be posted, shut up please. this is a blog. the items posted are up to the discretion of the people posting. nobody is forcing you to read it. take some responsibility.

    for the record, yes, it’s horrifying and disturbing. but for me it calls to attention the legal system, the blatant disregard held for the protection of children, and the fact that i really do believe some people (the mother especially) should not be permitted the *right* to take on the responsibility of a child.

    i’m questioning society in all of this. if nothing else, we should be putting the rights of the young above all else. as cliche as it is, they literally are the future, and i’m afraid to see what the world will be like in fifty years.

  48. This is likely the most horrific assault you’ll hear about all year. It doesn’t possibly fit into the set of “wonderful things” but that doesn’t mean that complaining about how it made you feel isn’t massively selfish.

    The boy’s father ate his eyes, there’s not enough sympathy in the world for what he’s going through at the best of times.

    1. Moderator note: I appreciate that this has caused some readers a high level of distress, but the Boingers reserve the right not to be bullied on their own blog. No more yelling, insulting, threatening or ordering around, please.

  49. I too thought, “what is wonderful about this?” Then I looked up the definition of wonder to see if I was missing something. Ahh, eliciting astonishment, this certainly astonished me. That said, puppy chasers work better for me than unicorns.

  50. I do tire of people complaining about posts such as these (the boys in Russia killing people and videoing it as another example). You can tell from the headline alone it’s not nice, so no one forces you to go any further. I come to BB for the variety of stuff the Boingers find, and I would get bored pretty quickly if it was always light, fluffy things they posted.

  51. I vote this kid gets to be first in line for stem-cell regrown eyeballs when the tech is available.

    And MDMA therapy for the PTSD.

    I think that the article about the Russian sociopaths murdering complete strangers and filming it with their cellphones ties this for the most disturbing article I’ve read on Boing Boing. I ain’t mad, tho. Not at the messenger.

  52. Xeni, don’t worry about those who can’t handle reading about things like this with their chorus of LALALALA WONDERFUL THINGS, hands over ears. They seem to pop up whenever you post things like this or rape in africa or other accounts of brutality. But there are a lot of people that appreciate you being able to post what is on your mind.

    I was a dedicated dxm enthusiast for a decade. Still haven’t managed to stop entirely but at least its not 3-4 x a week. Even though not the same compound as pcp, it is still a powerful dissociative that is readily available at the grocery store no less.
    So, addressing your question – is it the drugs or is it the person – I’d say it’s the person. But not just people with psychotic/malicious tendencies are attracted to the dissociative high.
    I have known a few people who have used dxm and ketamine in an attempt to tap into stranger, more psychedelic lands and their underlying personalities have not changed. I have also known a nasty human being with a penchant for manipulation of others who began to use ketamine and after a few months of near-constant use became outright SCARY. I would not have been surprised to have found out that this person had it in them to harm someone in the way that this father did his child.

  53. @Daemon Well, from one point of view, Angel Dust is an ironically adequate name for a drug with such effects. In some religions, demons are angels. Fallen, but nonetheless, angels.

    That said, I was wondering why it is that this kind of crimes tend to provoke such an impassionate response, as can be surmised from the comments to this post. I mean, imagine you hear both this story and lets say, the story of a child shot during a bank robbery. While both crimes are terrible, this story seems to have that extra element that elevates it from A VERY TERRIBLE THING to something else: THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES.

    Perhaps these stories scare us so, because they are so inconceivable, so irrational, that there is no way we can explain how a father can actually eat the eyes of his own child. And perhaps, because of this very reason there is always the small, corroding doubt that if we cannot understand how it is that they happen, we cannot be sure that given the necessary conditions, (mental illness, drugs, whatever) we would not do things even more terrible to our loved ones………

  54. I live right next to Bakersfield, and it’s just *so* wonderful for this area to be know for stuff like this happening.

  55. I can’t unsee that headline. Boing Boing is where I go for news that’s NOT LIKE THIS – please keep this garbage where it belongs, in the mainstream media.

  56. I’m glad my girlfriend hasn’t seen this article, as I’m certain it would upset her deeply. I cannot say that I am completely unaffected either. A prayer may indeed be called for in this instance, if one is the praying type.

  57. I can state, with all certainty, that my life isn’t any better for seeing that headline. My mind did not seek out nor ask for this burden.

  58. Wow, talk about attacking the messenger. Give Xeni a break! A truly exceptional event, for good or evil, deserves a post. This one gives me another chance to practice channelling rage. I can’t imagine being first on scene to that tragedy. I’d need to pray for restraint.

  59. Life isn’t horrible and the world doesn’t suck.

    I took my son swimming today, he was top of the class and we had a great time. The world is full of that stuff, chock to the brim. But it’s a poor news story, you probably rolled your eyes reading it. Its mundane.

    “Guy high on PCP eats sons eyes” is, on the other hand, quite the arresting headline.

    And if you saw it on the evening news you’d probably just tut tut, tsk tsk, mutter about the world and then move on to the mass civillian casualties in Sri Lanka without a second thought. Network news is just a rolling death toll, a fear mongering, cortisol generating, misery lamp. It sucks the life out of you.

    But in the context of this blog this particular horror takes on a sharpness of focus that manages to penetrate the heavy information fog we find ourselves navigating.

    BB is one way through the fog that’s varied, interesting and engaging, but don’t assume it will always be pretty.

  60. Since we’re voting, I’d like to chime in with PCP being only the 2nd worst drug experience of my life. I found unexpected crack cocaine (in a “sprung” joint) to be much worse. I guess it was the gradualness of PCP as opposed to the “uh oh…I just ruined my life” sudden rush of crack. Also, the burning plastic smell of crack vs. the sweet taste/smell of PCP…there’s just something much more evil about it for me.

    All of these experiences were, of course, back when I was under 20. What the hell was I thinking?

  61. @ dhalgren:

    “Too many people want to blame the drug(s) for their behavior.”

    Such an opinion is categorically unscientific.
    Using drugs like speed or PCP when your brain is still developing is part of the problem. Let’s assume that this S.O.B. started using hard drugs in junior high. It stands to reason that such a user wouldn’t be lying when they blamed drugs for their behavior.

    When you suggest that drugs merely “unlock” dormant psychological urges, you are revealing your ignorance of the basic science of brain chemistry. It’s not as if moral choices always come into play; crazy is crazy, and some drugs have demonstrated the peculiar ability of inducing schizophrenia, or something closely approximating it. Of course, this depends on many factors such as intake and a person’s psychological history, but many sane people have been driven insane by habitual drug use. It is absurd to deny that.

    Certain drugs taken over extended periods have less of an effect than the perpetrator’s personality. It’s a simple fact: prolonged use of PCP causes all sorts of nastiness in the brain. As has been mentioned, lesions on the brain are particularly troublesome, and schizotypal behavior is a common result. Amphetamine psychosis is no walk in the park, either, from what I hear.

    “I know for myself I take full responsibility for my self-destructive behaviors throughout my life.”

    And I’m sure you’d accept full responsibility if you happened to be a longtime PCP addict who feasted on his own child’s eyeballs and tried chopping his own legs off with an axe.

    “The only thing drugs do is accelerate the process, other than that, it is always myself at the heart of the craziness. Drugs are the excuse for the behavior, not the cause.”

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t understand a damned thing about drugs or neurophysiology.

    “As a person who has had the unfortunate experience of using PCP, I’ve never turned violent towards myself or other people, or done anything remotely self-destructive.”

    Plenty of other people have. It’s very well documented. Can’t really argue with that, sorry. And the point is: if you had begun using PCP at age 13, if you’d been a regular user, if you’d been anyone other than yourself, perhaps you’d understand that the self-imposed rules governing your behavior don’t necessarily apply to everyone else in the world. Furthermore, I can state with absolute certainty that if you took or were unwittingly administered the wrong (or right) drug combination, over a period of many years, your grasp of reality would be diminished considerably and your behavior would undoubtedly become erratic, if not violent, whatever your psychological history. Angel dust and meth do not discriminate.

    “I never liked the feeling that PCP gave me. I’d never do it again that’s for sure.”

    So, then, you’re no expert.

  62. won·der·ful – Capable of eliciting wonder; astonishing.

    I’ll admit, this post is astonishing.

    — MrJM

  63. When I was a young boy my father explained to me what drugs did what. When he got to PCP he kinda sighed and clasped his hands together. “Well,” he said, by way of explanation, “some time you will be in Washington D.C. and you will see a middle-aged African American man, burbling gibberish, buck naked, touching himself and urinating everywhere, while walking into rush hour traffic.”

    I didn’t fully believe him until, say, ten years later, when I was walking around D.C. myself, and me and a friend saw a very strange man stumble out into rush hour traffic, naked, muttering gibberish, and touching his evacuating genitals.

    “What. The. Fuck.” My friend said.

    “That,” I said, “is why you do PCP.”

  64. @24, It’s not based on shock/relief therapy. I do see your point that life is not based on contrasts. If you read back what I wrote : “Unicorn chasers FEEL more wonderful after you read stories like this.” I am not STATING that that’s how things are. It’s about experiencing that feeling ( we all do in different ways ) and DOING something about it, instead of complaining that it appeared on BB, and doing nothing about it.

    The story on its own is just a proof of how low the actions of a human being can be. I wonder, had you read this story somewhere else, like a newspaper who publishes this kind of material, if you would have felt the same. In my opinion, the fact that it was published on BB added more to that feeling of distress.

  65. @71 DRURANIUM They seem to pop up whenever you post things like this or rape in africa

    I agree with your opinion. However, since you mention it, I have to point out that the last 3 posts about rape in Congo each generated less than 20 comments.

    We have some very selective sensitivities over here.

    The account of a child neglected by protective services and brutally attacked is branded gratuitous, ‘mainstream’ news while the story of women getting short of disemboweled generates near-complete silence.

    The logic behind it? I have no freaking clue.

  66. There have been very few times in my life when I wished I could “unlearn” something. This is one of them.

  67. Everyone leave Xeni alone.

    IF you care to think about this for a second you’ll realize that she too is disturbed by this. Her sharing it is a means of her trying to work out some very serious questions about our society, The legal system, drug use and personal experience.
    All legitimate questions that I believe should be addressed.

    Neither she or BOing BOing are here for your sole entertainment
    (deal with it).

    IF you’re bothered by this crime. I suggest that you make up your mind to do something about it in your local community to help prevent child abuse or perhaps some other positive contribution VS just bitching and making threats and being part of the overall problem.
    Thank You.

  68. It’s hard for me to read these comments saying this is “garbage” or that they didn’t ask for this “burden.” The kid didn’t ask to have this burden, either, and he’s going to have to live with it every day for the rest of his life, which will probably never be fully functional. You will very likely forget about this in the next few weeks if not the next few days. This kid will never ever ever be able to forget this.

    The least we can do is witness his pain.

    Maybe if more people know the story, fewer people will do PCP, and fewer things like this will happen. Maybe this story being widespread will cause enough outrage to make changes to whatever Child Protective Services clearly failed to save this boy from his parents earlier.

  69. Is there any way to create a fund for this child? The medical treatments, the lifetime of assistance if only for the blindness is going to be staggering. So many people are in stories like this and everyone comments care but then they get out of the news and are left by the wayside of “use to be interesting” and still have the issue to deal with. Anyone have any information about a fund?

    1. Is there any way to create a fund for this child?

      If anyone has the ability to organize such a thing, or point us to someone who can receive aid on his behalf, please post it here. I will gladly blog, and contribute personally.

  70. The headline was horrible. Some of the comments aren’t too much better. Every one seems to be falling over themselves not to offend Xeni (I wonder for fear of verbal reprisal?) But there doesn’t seem to be very much consideration or concern for the valid objections of the readers.

    Shock and awe. Blah. I’m going to go reread my copy of The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders.

    My husband says, “Let it go! Don’t post! You’ll be wrecked for two weeks! She is free to post whatever sensationalist headlines she wants. That’s her role. Please. Don’t drag the whole family through this…”

    Can’t stop myself…hitting post… armchair child protective service agents be damned…

  71. I did time with a guy who under the influence of PCP had killed his girlfriend’s 10 year old son with his hunting bow. He said that he and his girl were both into watching TV evangelist and smoking PCP. Popping out of a drug induced coma one night he had the revelation that this child was the Anti-Christ, needing to be executed. I was with him in a drug rehab cell block for about a year and can’t remember him ever smiling. He apeared to be crushed by the guilt of having committed this horible act against someone he loved. My vote is that it’s the drug. I believe that all drugs have a negitive effect on one’s sanity.

  72. Paul Maub-Did said

    I believe that all drugs have a negitive effect on one’s sanity.

    Better tell that to everyone on anti-depressants. Or anti-psychotics. Or insulin.

  73. I would like to add
    from the articles:

    “Mendoza and the child’s 23-year-old mother were charged with being under the influence of PCP in 2006 and pleaded no contest to child cruelty charges in that case, court records show.”

    LA Times

  74. Personally I was neither shocked nor disgusted by this post (I’m familiar – although not by personal experience – with what PCP can do). I was however both saddened and angered, in particular that the child was left with the father for this to happen.

    Disclaimer: I do not have children, and probably shouldn’t have.

  75. For Robulus. I went through a period of clinical depression and was fortunate to have anti-depressants to keep me out of those deep dark holes where I could not function. However I noticed that not only did the drug deaden the lows it also killed the joy. I can relate to individuals who go off there ‘meds’, they want feel a little more of life. Moreover I am grateful that after a couple of years my brain was once again able to produce the chemical that allows me to come out of the saddness. It is not that drugs aren’t necesary at times but there is always price to pay when taking ‘mind or mood altering’ drugs.

  76. Hi Paul, well I agree, but that’s a much more careful and qualified statement of your opinion!

    Bi-La Kaifa!

  77. how is this any LESS horrendous than gang raping a month old baby? or marrying a seven year old to a 50 year old man? or taping a puppy’s mouth shut, tying him up and baking him alive in an oven? (look ’em up – shit like this happen EVERY DAY!) you want a unicorn chaser? Sorry NO DICE – We are an evil evil parasitic species who have done NOTHING that has benefitted/contributed to any other species but ourselves, to the detriment of all other things living on this planet (i DARE you to give me ANY example that has not been to the detriment of some other living thing) i say screw it – bring on the bird flu, every other organism on this planet would benefit from our destruction.

  78. Paul, PCP + Televangelism binge does not seem like a good idea. If you start believing that the fantasy land of dissociative drugs is real, you’ve got trouble. a lot of us lack the wisdom to be able to somehow pull ourselves back from the edge. Some also lack the desire. ‘The edge’ being a completely subjective and arbitrary thing of course.
    Drug addled nutters bearing and attempting to care for kids is always going to be a problem in this world, this being another extreme example. admittedly, it is very very sad.

  79. I live in freaking Bakersfield. I didn’t know about this until I read it on reader right now. I was just cruising through and “oh? a guy eating eyeballs? wtf?” Then I read the first five words and was like, “Oh sh…”

    Bakersfield sucks though and this is the result. Our police department isn’t very good.

  80. @92 Paul: Schizophrenics are kept away from extreme religion for the same reason, and rightly so.

    It’s a little morbid, but I can’t help thinking of James Joyce’s weird oedipal ocular-castration terrors at the beginning of A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man. I quote:

    –O, Stephen will apologise.
    Dante said:
    –O, if not, the eagles will come and pull out his eyes.

    Pull out his eyes,
    Pull out his eyes,

    Pull out his eyes,
    Pull out his eyes,

    Gruesome, but a Jungian theorist might have a thing or two to say about this case.

  81. Well that’s cool if you want to delete my comment. But I still think The Braindead Megaphone is essential reading for everybody in the media, including us commenters, too.

  82. Dear Xeni: I have re-read and considered your stated question in #57. Is it the question you really wish to ask?

  83. I have seen and read about many gruesome acts of violence in my life. I watch Hellraiser in marathons for laughs. Yes, I laugh at gore, I’m a sick person, I know. I think I’m desensitized to it, having trolled rotten.com and FYAD forums at SA too long.

    But this headline- this story, makes me sad. Very, very sad. I can’t laugh at this. Thank god. Some part of me is still human.

    The guy fucking ate his kid’s EYES. I mean, how do you do that? How do you bite deeply enough with the facial bones in the way to actually eat someone’s eye? Can you imagine what he must have been thinking? Did the kid’s eyes become oranges or something to him? WTF? I want to hug this kid and tell him he’ll be ok or something, jesus christ, no child or anyone deserves this.

    Over 100 comments, and plenty of Gaiman fans here, and no Corinthian comments? I’d almost wonder if the guy was mimicking The Corinthian here. Of all the fictional serial killers, I was sure I’d never see a real example of what he did to people, but this is as close as I can imagine.

    And is it just me, or is the whole “unicorn chaser” thing completely useless? I never feel better seeing those, maybe it’s because I’m more screwed up than normal normally?

    This is the worst story I’ve ever seen here, worse than the Ukrainian killers even, based on headline alone. And yes, both were “wonderous”, evoking wonder. Not the good kind, mind you.

  84. “If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.” Isaac Asimov.
    This quote isn’t quite in the context that Asimov was referring to, but I think it suits my point. The world isn’t always fluffy kitten and rainbows. I for one didn’t know that PCP could cause someone to experience a reality disconnect of that magnitude, so I count myself as being the wiser for this post. Painful, yet necessary at the same time.

  85. if it makes any easier; visit Erowid etc. and scan the pharmacology of PCP. Even with pure substance the range and cascade of effects makes it obvious that a mind under the influence is no longer what can be called a mind. You must discard normal frames of judgement and reference. Any actions by a person who has ingested a significant dose of PCP are not the actions of a human. The derangement is so extreme that you could make reasonable analogy with a software program running on a computer that has been dumped in salt water and liquid mercury and then been shot-gunned a few times.

    Remove the normal emotional component of your thinking when looking at cases like this. At least in terms of seeking rational or even irrational cause. It is a random, physical event.
    Might as well get angry at an earthquake. No matter how horrendous the particulars, they are no help or use in understanding.

    The judgement you make may apply to the individual before and possibly after, but I would save my emotional capital for the child.

  86. Hey – is there a fund to help the kid?

    This is true horror.

    Awful as it is, I think it’s useful and important that BB show this to us – in fact, prior to reading this, I had this very conversation.

    The unfortunate thing about human beings is we are capable of atrocity, and we practice it under certain conditions. We have to remember that, keep an eye out for it. Then we can live in a civilisation.

  87. …save my emotional capital for the child.

    20 years later:

    – How did you become blind?

    – My father ate my eyes out when I was a kid.

    How can someone ever overcome such an experience?

  88. Blurgh. The Sandman. The Residents did a radio play of that name, from the E.T.A. Hoffmann story. I’d just finished reading it.

    Poor kid.

    Unicorn for me too.

  89. The problem with unicorn chasers is that unicorns aren’t real, whereas people who eat their children’s eyes ARE real.


  90. Xeni, you have my support on posting this. It’s not like a horror blog posting where you simply uppped a gory image for the shock factor. The role of drugs in this story really does provide additional information in the debate of legalization. What I mean to say is that although I’m for the legalization of marijuana I can’t comment on other drugs as I haven’t used them. This story educates people like me and others who haven’t ventured down that path as to possibilities that PCP offers.

    As for the ‘ignorance is bliss’ people, your one and only blog should be http://cuteoverload.com/. In my mind, BB holds the promise of blowing your mind on a regular basis, and this story has indeed done that.

  91. ref post #25 i laughed my a off. you’re a funny guy.
    i was playing wit my daughter once and i told her i was gonna ‘suck her eye out and eat it like a grape’. I said it just to come up with something off the wall. I never considered someone would actually do such a thing. I wish a vivid memory in his head of it popping in his mouth for the rest of his life. couple this recollection with uncontrollable nausia and vomiting. And that still won’t give that poor kid his sight back. As for the mother not coming to the kid’s aid…(that’s f’d up that he couldn’t depend on his mother) she was probably frightened out of her wits.

  92. I have tried PCP, on two occasions, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In moderate doses PCP produces a delightful dissociative state wherein one comes to a deep intuition (or just “strong belief”) that one’s consciousness exists quite apart from one’s physical body. It can thus, as one might imagine, be quite a spiritual experience, since the realization of a separate “thinker” tends to imply that your consciousness will persist no matter what happens to your body, which of course is a joyful idea. All your fears of mortality temporarily evaporate. Whether it’s an illusion or not, I’m not prepared to say, but it can be a very pleasant effect.

    It is possible, I think,to see how this phenomenology can lead to the kind of atrocities with which PCP is often associated: If what happens to the flesh truly doesn’t matter, one is at least going to be indifferent to bodily injury, and it’s not so far a leap to get to the idea that *the flesh is imprisoning the mind/soul* and should be destroyed to liberate consciousness from suffering. The eyes, in particular, have old associations as “the windows of the soul,” and their destruction might, in a dissociative state, be interpreted as an act of liberation.

    All of which may be a desperate attempt at rationalization on my part. I do believe that “all men have their reasons,” and that we must attempt to understand even the most stomach-churning acts of evil as decisions taken for definite reasons, however deeply flawed or malevolent they may be. None of it should be construed as an excuse or a justification, because obviously there is none.

  93. Innocent: one of the compensations for being human is resilience. Occasionally. You know enough history to know that.

    Yezzer, they both are real.

    Chaser: dose is everything, it makes the medicine or the poison. Everyone is different and enough data exists to discard PCP in almost 100% of proposed cases of use.
    Also remember that purity of street drugs, thanks to the well-intended as well as the malicious, is a joke.

  94. I second the comment “BE THE UNICORN CHASER!”

    I am sickened, yet now am reminded that a small part of humanity is filth.

    Hug your children. Remedy the small wrongs that you see around you. The knowledge of evil will help you see the good.

    The sun is out, I am going to go try and see some good in humanity now.

  95. I think what you do on something like PCP is partly a reflection of yourself. It is a chemical which alters the function of the brain — it doesn’t inherently make you do any of the things people do on PCP, they are the result of what is already there in combination with the altered functioning from the PCP.

    Many people, who otherwise seem like good people, and can even have a genuine desire to be good, can still have problems buried deep in their mind. To say nothing of people who have more obvious problems. In these cases, PCP can be very dangerous, as is unfortunately shown here.

    I highly doubt a truly content person would ever do such things on PCP. Plenty of people have done PCP and not done anything violent. Although, even then, you may still do something dangerous, even if it’s not violent.

  96. PCP isn’t some toxic bad-guy serum that gets pumped into you and turns you into Bebop or Rocksteady. Like most drugs, it will simply enhance whats already festering there.

  97. I don’t believe ignorance is bliss.

    I don’t believe “wonderful” is an adjective limited to things that make me happy.

    I don’t think Xeni is a horrible person.

    I DO support the creative freedom of Boingers and all blogers to “explore” (as Xeni said) publicly and without limitations.

    I DO feel deep sympathy for the child and am FULLY aware that my discomfort in reading about him is in no way comparable to the pain he has suffered and will suffer for the rest of his life.

    I DO know I’m not in charge of this site and am in no position to tell anyone what the can and cannot say or where to say it.

    All the same, I would rather have read about this somewhere else. In other words, this post was dramatically out of sync with my personal desires for this site.

    I’m NOT trying to make myself out as a victim of this post, and I DO take responsibility for my own reading habits. It is up to the Boingers to decide whether or not my desires and the desires of people like me will influence their future posts. It is up to me and people like me to decide whether or not we will keep reading this blog.

    I would be willing to speculate that, since there are so many readers like me, the Boingers might want to think twice before exploring such dramatically horrifying material on this site. But I could be wrong. It may be that freedom of expression is, to them, a higher value than maintaining a fanbase or allowing their audience to form reliable expectations of the site. More power to ’em.

    But those values are not mutually exclusive, and so, presuming that my experience as a reader is of some (if very limited) value to the authors of the site, let me say only that when I used to visit boingboing, I did so with a sense of expectant pleasure, confident that the site would offer something of interest. Now I hesitate to load the page, wondering if it will make me feel awful again. I’ve even been considering deleting the bookmark. The only reason I returned at all today was to participate in this conversation.

    Question for the Boingers to consider: Do you want BB to be the kind of site where this type of post is acceptable to your readers? If so, no hard feelings, but be prepared for a change in audience to accompany the change in content.

  98. I think we need a designated, low profile link to a concerns section, where people can ask questions and comment on the site itself. Think of it like a letters-to-the-editor section. If you felt the need to write a letter to the management, so to speak, you’d have a place to do so without disrupting the flow of ongoing wonderful things.

  99. #126, yeah, exactly. They could put a link to such a place on the top of every page, right next to their names.

    oh, wow man, look up at the top of the page… it’s like they can read our minds.

  100. WilliamJ, if you hang around here long enough the words “Go Pound Sand” won’t be nearly as offensive as they likely seem now.

  101. #125 POSTED BY WILLIAMJ35, MAY 19, 2009 3:19 PM

    Nobody can go through this world with rosy colored glasses on.
    While we all wish for a unicorn filled world
    it does nobody any good…. avoidance is just a behavior “drug”.

    While I don’t like the fact that this happened.
    I view it as a “good thing” to bring it to the attention of the readers of this site.

    Hopefully, people will be motivated to keep in mind that all of this could have been avoided if someone (anyone) intervened.
    It’s a sad fact of human behavior that people will ignore such situations on the spot unless they’ve already have made up their minds beforehand as to the proper course of action.

    I’ve seen many people drive past others laying in the streets dying from car accidents. I also did that, as a young driver until I realized that I could make the difference by simply helping.
    Now I can be credited with saving others lives vs ignoring the blood and keeping my blinders on.

    PLEASE STOP bitching over your ruined day… can WE PLEASE start thinking about how to go about prevention and intervention in the future.
    Another child’s life will depend upon it.

    Thank You Xeni.

  102. William, simply deleting the bookmark may not be enough. To maintain vigilance you will need to enter the entire *.boingboing.net into your routers domain blacklist lest you accidentally click on to this dramatically horrifying site again.
    To be certain, the publishers are crying into their beers tonight over all 5 of you who made a big stink about yourselves.
    Fascinating, really it is.

  103. If people are really interested in addressing the issue of child abuse and neglect they might consider going into social work. My folks have worked 40+ years each in the field of child welfare. I overheard way too many snippets of cases involving delusional parents and the brutality that they inflicted on their children over the years. The damage that results from removing the child from the home suggests that children are in the vast majority of cases better off with their parents than in the foster care system. Social workers constantly wrestle with choosing the least bad option and it is not an easy thing.

    For the record, this is the second time today that one of my comments has been deleted or rejected. I’d take it over to the mod thread, but trying to load that page consistently results in a total system lock/computer crash.

    I think I’ve mostly said what I need to say, so I’ll let it rest.

  104. Thank you Xeni for posting this. I have never been to this site before. I had already heard this as “news” and was searching for a place that would help me make some sense of it. It still makes no sense, but the discussion has helped. Thank you everyone.

  105. How come people who live in trailers can afford PCP, crack, heroin etc..but they can’t afford to buy a house?

  106. Perhaps because they are ADDICTED TO PCP, CRACK, HEROIN, etc?
    oh, that was supposed to be hard hitting and rhetorical. apologies

  107. yea… It’s been haunting me for days since I read it too. I can’t imagine having something worse happen to me. I really hope that little boy is adopted by the most loving family and is able to have a better life. I don’t understand why someone would want to even take PCP knowing that you really have no control, especially with a child in the house. I hope that the father is miserable for the rest of his life knowing that he’s a complete piece of shit..

  108. What is it about PCP that makes people hate their own eyeballs and those of other people? They seem to fixate on eyeballs a lot more than other body parts. The eyes are the windows of the soul… I don’t know…
    they don’t chew peoples ears off or their noses. Did they ask THAT GUY WHY HE ATE HIS SON’S EYEBALLS? does HE REMEBER A THING?

  109. wow. get over it. it’s not like there are photos for heaven’s sake! I just came across this story today. Can’t believe it…but am I shocked? Uh…no, you hear things LIKE this related to PCP use all the time. How about not reading things if you are OH SO DISTURBED by a headline…?

    I think it’s quite interesting and I hope the boy is ok. I hope he has someone to love him.

Comments are closed.