Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - Page updated at 09:06 AM
Man who survived assault as a boy dies in motorcycle wreck.
TACOMA — A man who was mutilated and left for dead as a boy, an attack that led to the nation's first law allowing indefinite confinement of sexual predators, has died in a motorcycle wreck at age 23.
The young man, of Roy, died June 9 when his motorcycle collided with a pickup near Yelm.
He was the victim of a grisly attack in 1989 that made national headlines. A convicted sex offender, Earl Kenneth Shriner, was sentenced to 131 years in prison for ambushing and raping the 7-year-old, cutting off his penis, stabbing him and leaving him for dead in a Tacoma park.
Legislators cited the case in adopting the nation's first state law to allow indefinite civil confinement of sexual predators, noting that Shriner had a 25-year history of perversion and violence against young people.
His victim enjoyed skateboarding, snowboarding and skydiving and recently got a flying lesson from a cousin while visiting Illinois.
"He survived something that was extreme and consequently he lived his life extreme," his mother, Helen Harlow, said. "You cheat death once, you figure you can cheat it just about any time you want."
Surgery to reconstruct his penis succeeded and her son was able to lead a full life, Harlow had said. She became a crusader for laws to protect the public against predators.
Now 55, Shriner remains in prison.
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company
I came upon this story while looking up capital punishment on wikipedia. To think of surviving that and to die in a stupid motorcycle wreck. Just plain sad. This really got to me.