The Woodruff House gazebo on Mercer University’s law campus atop Coleman Hill in Macon, Ga. Photo by John Pierce.By John Pierce

Coleman Hill is the high point of downtown Macon with stately old homes and the towering presence of Mercer University’s law school. Due to the generosity of Mercer leadership, it is also where our publication offices are housed — in a historic carriage house.

The usually happy, scenic spot is a very sad one this week. Crime-scene tape wraps an apartment building just across Georgia Avenue. The apparent murder — a gruesome one — of a recent law school grad who was studying for her bar exam is under investigation.

Sadness is an understatement. Quiet outrage better describes any response to the unfair, undeserved and unnecessary destruction of human life — especially one so promising and so good.

The “who, what and when” will unfold as law enforcement does its work — and Mercer Law grad Nancy Grace jumps on the story. But the most nagging questions begin with “why” — or “how,” like: How in the world could someone do something so horrible?

Psychology will help get behind some of the answer. But the reality that many of us try to ignore is that evil exists — and can’t be explained away.

Even those of us who have moved beyond the oft-scapegoated boogeyman we feared as a child cannot escape the clarity of evil’s present force. All of the demythologizing in the world can’t remove the crime scene tape or sadness or outrage tied to such an evil act.

Evil exists in humanity. There is something from which we must be saved.

Our attempts at explaining evil always create debate — but its destructive force in our lives and in our larger world is undeniable. I wish there was a better answer — especially for a grieving family in Maryland and a law school community in Macon, Ga, this week.




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