Ted Bundy was described as charming, smart, good looking.
John Wayne Gacy used to throw block parties for his neighbors and dress up like a clown.
BTK was said to be efficient, friendly, and a regular nice guy.
Yet they were all serial killers. Which is why it always strikes a nerve with me that people can assume serial killers can seem like "normal nice people" but sex offenders should be nasty, easy to spot creeps. Especially sex offenders who prey upon children, and need the trust of others in order to obtain a victim.
Yet, once again- we've got a group of people just plain out dumbfouned that the whole "sex offender" picture they have in their head didn't match up with the "nice guy" in the neighborhood. I guess the new charges against him came as a shock... or would have if he was still live to be charged.
According to arrest records, Ballance was a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 1998 of taking indecent liberties with a child and served five years probation. Most of his neighbors were aware of the prior conviction.
"Everybody pretty much kept an eye on the kids around here," said neighbor Robert Holmes.
Neighbors say Hartsell moved out of Ballance's house about a week ago. Around that time, allegations surfaced of Ballance allegedly molesting Hartsell's young relative.
"He seemed like a pretty nice guy, the sex offender thing just don't fit," said neighbor Clarence Williams.
Everyone kept an eye on the kids... strange, since evidently at least one child wasn't:
Sheriff's deputies issued warrants for Ballance Thursday for sex-related charges, including first degree rape of a child.
The charges however seem pointless now, as a relative of the unnamed child shot and killed William Ballance. The relative had until recently lived with Ballance.
The killer quote in the story comes from another neighbor, and as much as I'd like to say its priceless... I know its the very sort of thinking that continues to cost countless victims every day.
Neighbor Clarence Williams says he never felt threatened by Ballance and even let his grandchildren visit.
He was shocked to hear about the shooting.
"I really don't know what to think at this point, it just don't fit what I knew of him," said Williams.
Seriously people, sometimes the only sign visible that sexual offenders are, well sex offenders, are court records proving their past actions. They can, and often do- look, act and seem "normal"... thats why they are so successful in convincing people to trust them.