The mother of accused Highland Park shooter Bobby Crimo III was convicted of leaving her then-2-year-old son in a hot car for 27 minutes as a child, new reports indicate — and that’s just the beginning of her disturbing history of lapsed parenting.
The report comes after numerous sources spoke out about the toxic environment inside the Crimo home — and what role it may have played in creating a monster who allegedly killed seven people in an attack on a July 4 parade.
(As details continue to emerge about the Highland Park mass shooting, The Western Journal will be bringing you the latest news and analysis the mainstream media won’t — all from a Christian, conservative perspective. If you support independent media voices like ours, please consider subscribing.)
The report in Friday’s U.K. Daily Mail was the latest troubling revelation about Denise Pesina, the mother of the accused shooter.
In 2002, Pesina left Crimo III alone in a car for 27 minutes outside of a toy store with the windows rolled up on an 80-degree day.
She ended up being convicted — and it was far from the only brush with the law that Crimo’s parents had.
Police were called to the house a total of 10 times, nine between 2010 and 2014. Many calls dealt with alleged physical violence between Pesina and Crimo III’s father, Robert Crimo Jr.
“During one drunken altercation in August 2010, Crimo Jr. told police responding to a domestic abuse call that Pesina had struck him in the head with her shoe,” the Daily Mail reported.
“Crimo Jr. – who unsuccessfully ran for Mayor in Highland Park in 2019 – reportedly told officers that his relationship with Pesina was ‘failing,’ and that she was intoxicated.
“Pesina, meanwhile, told police that Crimo Jr. had ‘disrespected and belittled’ her by making disparaging remarks about her appearance. She said those comments spurred her to drink.”
During another call, Crimo Jr. said Pesina hit him with a screwdriver. Pesina told police that Crimo Jr. was “making mean statements to me like always, calling me names.”
Much has also been made of a September 2019 wellness check on Crimo III after he allegedly “made a threat in the household” that “he was going to kill everyone.”
Police determined Crimo III was a “clear and present danger” and “if granted access to a firearm or firearm ammunition pose an actual, imminent threat of substantial bodily harm to themselves or another person[s] that is articulable and significant or who will likely act in a manner dangerous to public interest.”
Yet, he was able to apply for a firearm owner identification card mere weeks later — all with the help of his father, who aided him in applying.
That 2019 visit by police has been portrayed as the inflection point at which Crimo III could have been stopped by denying him a weapon based on the fact he posed an identifiable threat. That, indeed, may be true — but the real problem that’s coming into shape is that Crimo III had two desperately broken parents who were toxic, self-absorbed and damaging.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the former football coach of Crimo III said the parents of the now-21-year-old accused mass murderer threw up numerous red flags. They were always the last parents to pick up their children, for instance — and sometimes needed a phone call to remind them to do so.
“Every week, the Crimos were the last kids there, and we’d have to call their parents to pick them up,” Jeremy Cahnmann told Fox News, adding that Crimo Jr. and Pesina were “a problem.”
However, he intimated Pesina was the bigger issue: “She got into it once with one of the heads of the program, she was yelling,” Cahnmann said.
“It seemed like her kids were a nuisance to her.”
Enough of a nuisance, it seems, that she left Crimo III in the back seat of a hot car unattended for 27 minutes when he was only 2.
Crimo III’s neighbors also described a fractious home environment.
“The signs were there for a long time,” an unnamed neighbor said. “There were always police cars at the house. The parents were arguing, fighting all the time.”
This wasn’t dissimilar from the home environment faced by many recent mass shooters. Alleged Uvalde, Texas shooter Salvador Ramos had “a pretty rough life with his mom,” a neighbor said, and a difficult relationship with his dad; the parents were divorced.
“He posted videos on his Instagram where the cops were there and he’d call his mom a b**** and say she wanted to kick him out,” classmate Nadia Reyes told The Washington Post. “He’d be screaming and talking to his mom really aggressively.”
Ramos’ mother was also reportedly a drug user.
It’s not that Crimo III’s upbringing is solely responsible for his alleged crimes. However, to the extent that anyone is talking about the role they played, it begins and ends with Crimo Jr. helping him apply for the firearm owner identification card that allowed him to purchase a gun.
And that’s because this is where our national conversation about mass shootings stops and ends: It’s the guns! Ban the so-called “assault weapons,” end the attacks. It’s that simple.
Except it isn’t. We’re a desperately fractured country, one where nearly 25 percent of children live in single-parent households, according to Pew Research numbers. Those who have two parents present often don’t fare much better, as Fortnite and Facebook are expected to act as babysitters for mothers and fathers who neither monitor nor care about their child’s digital life. God, long absent from discussion in the public square, has now left the household, too. Mental health issues are an epidemic among children and teens.
Yet, when a young man with a background like Crimo III allegedly kills seven people — it’s merely the gun. We must do away with the gun. As for whatever root cause may lie in how Crimo was raised, we shrug our shoulders, pretending there’s nothing we can do to reverse the disintegration of the American family and the damage wrought by the sexual and digital revolutions.
We can’t change our way out of this spate of mass shootings because the people who shout loudest are the ones most unwilling to make the changes necessary. We need to put God and family first, stop letting Big Tech raise our children and start healing a nation that’s been broken by a 50-year moral meltdown. That’s totally anathema to the left, though — so what we’ll get is useless piece of gun-control legislation after useless piece of gun-control legislation, all trying to paper over a hole in a sinking ship. Good luck with that.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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