Before the holidays, Marketplace, the public radio business show, aired a shortened version of the story on Philadelphia’s criminal justice debt collection. And the comments were… unexpected.
“Rufus Taylor sounds like he thinks everyone else is to blame, and I hear no remorse for his crimes,” writes “jeepinjoel” on the Marketplace website. This was certainly a concern of mine, that by shortening Rufus Taylor’s story to just a few minutes that I’d eliminate some of the complexity.
Judging by the comments, that must have been the case.
“He put a LOT of people through angst and anguish by stealing their cars,” continues jeepinjoel, “which interrupted their lives and careers while they had to sort it out…” That was without a doubt true.
I spent days trying to track down Rufus Taylor’s victims, and I did indeed find two. Unfortunately, neither were willing to be recorded telling their side of the story. I’m not sure why, and wondered about it a lot, but I came away from my conversations with both of them knowing clearly that when there’s a victim, there’s suffering.