Finally watching Making a Murderer and it is unexpectedly hitting home
  1. My mother's family are the Avery's of my hometown
  2. The name Gosnell is attached to images of drug addicts, thieves, delinquents
  3. I'm not gonna deny that there are plenty of Gosnells who are criminals
  4. But I come from a mother who didn't fall into the pattern
  5. My moms last name isn't Gosnell anymore, but Franklin is a small town
  6. They all know her maiden name, and we live on Gosnell Rd.
  7. Getting through a road block with an address on Gosnell Rd is stressful
  8. Handing them your license and getting the double take
  9. The sudden sternness of voice "Anything illegal in the car?"
  10. Once they realize where I'm from, it's like I lose a level of respect
  11. They walk around the car, peer inside with their flashlights
  12. "No, sir"
  13. I grew up on Gosnell Rd.
  14. I'd get the occasional friends parent saying "I used to party out there!"
  15. But most of the time they'd just decide it was better if Hailey stayed home tonight
  16. And I'd have to lie to my mom and say that Hailey got sick or that Hailey and I were fighting
  17. Anything to avoid placing the blame on her maiden name or our address
  18. I'm just glad we don't have the last name
  19. My uncle wasn't so lucky
  20. My uncle Ricky had his adventures with drugs and alcoholism
  21. He lost his kids, he'd been in and out of jail for years
  22. But for the last couple years of his life, my uncle cleaned up his act
  23. He got sober, he reconciled with his ex-wife, his children were back in his life
  24. But when he died of a heart attack in his sleep at 39, the rumors flew
  25. Despite his fathers history of heart problems
  26. Despite the fact that the autopsy showed no evidence of drugs in his system
  27. My moms own cousin brought her son to the funeral home and told him "this is what drugs do to you"
  28. All because his name was Gosnell, they only saw him as his young stupid decisions
  29. They only saw him as a bad example
  30. Before he got his kids back, my dad and Ricky got caught growing weed in the back field
  31. He told my dad that he'd take the fall because my dad had me and my sister to look after
  32. No one saw him for his kind heart
  33. No one saw him for the time he dedicated to getting clean and seeing his kids
  34. Or the time he spent playing guitar
  35. Or the flawed but truly genuine human being he was
  36. All because his name was Gosnell
  37. People aren't names, people are feelings and memories and relationships and mistakes and all sorts of equally important things rolled up into one
  38. My uncle wasn't falsely convicted of a felony but his legacy has been tainted because of his name
  39. If he isn't guilty, I feel for Steven Avery and his family
  40. Either way, may he get the justice he deserves as a human being, not as just a name