One surprise from The Last Stone, by Mark Bowden, is how successful low-income criminals are at meeting women and passing on their genetic personality characteristics:
At that point all they knew about Lloyd Lee Welch came from files. His criminal record sketched a rough time line before and after he had walked into Wheaton Plaza in 1975 with his bogus story—or so it had been considered then; now the authorities were less certain. Lloyd’s record traced a heroic trail of malfeasance. In Maryland: larceny (1977), burglary (1981), assault and battery (1982). In Florida: burglary in Orlando (1977), burglary in Miami (1980). In Iowa: robbery in Sioux City (1987). Then he’d moved to South Carolina: public drunkenness and then grand larceny in Myrtle Beach (1988), burglary in Horry County (1989), sexual assault on a ten-year-old girl in Lockhart (1992), drunk driving in Clover (1992). Then on to Virginia: sexual assault on a minor in Manassas (1996), simple assault in Manassas (1997). He’d finally landed hard in Delaware: sexual assault of a ten-year-old girl in New Castle (1997). After that the list ended. This was typical. Waning hormones or better judgment often overtook even the slowest learners by their mid-thirties, after which they avoided trouble. Either that or they got killed or locked up. In Welch’s case it was the latter. He was deep into a thirty-three-year sentence for the Delaware charge, housed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.
He started reproducing as a teenager, a set of children whose expenses would ultimately be met by taxpayers:
His most significant relationship had been with a woman named Helen Craver, whom he had met when he was just sixteen and she was twenty, a chubby woman who shared his appetite for drugs and drifting. They had stuck together through the 1970s, traveling and using drugs and making babies. Helen lost one child and gave birth to three during those years. After he was sentenced to a second stretch in prison in 1981, they both relinquished parental rights, and Helen went her own way. Lloyd had seen neither her nor his children since. “They’re all adults now,” Lloyd said. “I should have grandchildren by now. You would think. I mean my oldest daughter’s thirty-four years old. But do you have any idea where they’re at?” Dave shook his head. “No? And if they married, their names?” Again, Dave shook his head. “I would love to establish a relationship with them, let them know that I did love them and everything, but I thought it was in their best interest to put them in foster homes and get adopted out. Margaret at the time was six, and Amy was just turning five, and Tanya was a little baby.”
There was no shortage of would-be successors to Helen:
When released from the prison stretch that split him from Helen and their children, Lloyd went back to wandering, drugs, drinking, and petty crimes. He was in and out of jail. In 1985, during one of his periods of freedom, he got married, in South Carolina—he was then using the name Mike. He started his own landscaping business in Myrtle Beach in 1989, by then living with a different woman from the one he had married. Then came his three child-molestation arrests, the last of which had earned him his current lengthy term.
Do you know that you had a child that died, a female child? Does that ring a bell? Charlene? You knew she was pregnant when you left her and went to Baltimore with some fifteen-year-old chick. You knew she was pregnant.”
“I didn’t know she was pregnant! How could I have known she was pregnant?” “I mean, you have kids all over the place.” “I do?” “Yeah. I probably know more of your kids than you do at this point.” “Wow! How many I got?” “A lot, a lot.” “Yeah?” Lloyd looked proud. “Do you remember Charlene? Cici? She was very visibly pregnant when you left her. She was twenty. You told her she was too old and you were looking for somebody younger.”
Maybe he was super charming and treated women like queens?
Every single female I talked to said you beat the shit out of her. And every dude I met told me that you like to beat up girls. Why would everybody lie?”
He had a lot of money and women were availing themselves of the unlimited child support profits that Maryland family law provides?
He had worked for a traveling carnival, which explained the wide-ranging geography of his criminal past.
Humans are supposed to be animals in which sexual selection operates. Historically, polygamy has been the norm and fewer than 50 percent of men have descendants. Biologists would say that women have selected the best quality mates.
Why did so many women choose to mate and reproduce with this criminal? What was it about him that made them think he was fitter than average? One would think that being imprisoned is the very definition of poor genetic fit to current societal conditions, yet criminals apparently don’t have any trouble reproducing.