Nearly 20 years ago, a young boy named Rebel McMahon was murdered by his mother in cold blood. Though this case is undoubtedly tragic, it seems to be resolved. The woman responsible for the killing was arrested and convicted of murder and is currently behind bars. However, when a reporter named Jay Arrington contacted me about this case, something bothered me about it.
Though I live not far from where this crime was committed, and I was only a teenager when the crime occurred and I have researched many strange true crime cases over the years, I had never heard about the murder of Rebel McMahon. This bothered me.
Why had I never heard about this case, especially considering how strange and bizarre it was? Why had this case not received widespread attention, even though it was so tragic?
Jay filled me in on his ideas about why Rebel McMahon’s case seemed to disappear from the media landscape. In his words, the case was lost in a flurry of coverage of other tragic cases that received national media attention. I agree with this theory and, after conducting some research, it seems to hold up.
Still, I was troubled. I know that I’m not making a podcast with national reach and I have no pretensions about being an investigative researcher attempting to solve cold cases and right past wrongs.
As I’ve said many times, I am just a storyteller.
However, I feel that Rebel’s story needs to be told. There is nothing that can be done to bring justice to that young boy but maybe hearing his story will help you and help myself to do something for justice in the future, when other vulnerable people need help.
Yes, this case is tragic and has creepy elements that are the hallmark of many stories I’ve covered here on the Dispatch. However, I’m not just trying to shock or spook anyone with this episode. I’m simply doing what I think needs to be done, and hopefully with a bit of grace and deference.
Listen in and learn about Rebel McMahon. He never got the chance at life that he deserved but he deserves to be remembered and to have his story told. As Jay himself said, it’s just hard to believe that such a crime could ever happen. But these things do happen and, when they do, it behooves us to pay attention, that we may do something about evil when and if we ever come across it.