As John Wilson cooked dinner for his family in March 2010, an eerie silence filled their cozy Plantation home. Usually around 6 p.m. on a school day, the place was bustling. Four kids were asking about dinner or playingvideogames. John, a mild-mannered musician with salt-and-pepper hair and rimless glasses, figured his 4-year-old son and 10-year-old stepson were just watching TV on the couch. Hours earlier, his other stepson — a withdrawn, six-foot-tall, 200-pound seventh-grader named Brian — had been sent to his bedroom.
John looked around for his only daughter, 4-year-old Evie. She was nowhere to be seen. He patrolled the house, searching for the bashful little girl with blond bangs, and paused when he reached the hallway that led toward the children’s bedrooms. The second door on the right, Brian’s room, was slightly ajar. John could hear Evie’s faint, high-pitched cries: “Stop it! Please, it hurts!”
John barged in. Brian was kneeling over Evie on the bed. The preschooler was naked from the waist down, and her chubby thighs were spread open like a toy doll’s. Between them, Brian had inserted the dull wooden end of a meat skewer. John snapped and knocked Brian aside.