He was born precisely one year after his mother's death. At least that's what the birth certificate read. His father wasn't around to notice the mistake, having vanished immediately after his fateful one-night stand. Nor did the orphanage pick up on the error; they simply treated him as the child of an unidentified itinerant mother, born on the day she died giving birth in one of Athens' worst public clinics.
He learned of the mistake a dozen years ago, slightly shy of what he believed to be his fourteenth birthday. The surprise came in the form of a copy of his birth certificate shown to him just before his lawyer presented it to a court along with a citation to provisions of the Greek Criminal Code absolving a minor under thirteen from any criminal responsibility for his acts. He stood expressionless as a visibly angry judge ranted on and on before ordering him to spend his next five years in programs alongside other minors deemed in need of reformative measures.
But he never spent a moment in confinement for the murders.
© Jeffrey Siger