Joshua Young has been acquitted of tampering with evidence and participating in the murder of his stepbother, Trey Zwicker. During his interrogation, Joshua Young told investigators that even though living in foster care was good, he would prefer to be with his father. “I mean I love my dad more than anybody in this world. And, I’d rather be with him than anybody in this world. My life is much better with my dad.”
“So, your life was better getting arrested in Alabama?” the detective asked. “Being with my dad, it’s all worth it,” Young said.
It is difficult to imagine why Joshua Young would prefer to be with his father, Joshua Gouker or “Big Josh.” When Big Josh was asked on the stand if he loved Joshua Young he could not definitively answer yes.
Big Josh is a monster. He killed a child because “it felt right. ” Few people could kill so easily, especially a helpless child. He is an extremely violent individual with a history of robbery, domestic violence, inappropriate sexual behavior, assault, and murder. He drank and smoked weed with his children. In the history of parenting, he would rank among the worst.
For many of us, it is unfathomable that Joshua Young could love Big Josh. Would you love him if he were your father? Probably so.
Until a certain point in our lives many of us see our parents as God-like, people who can do no wrong. We look up to them, we want to be like them, we worship them no matter how terrible they may seem to others. Children simply don’t know any better. It’s not until they mature and move away from their family of origin, that they realize just how terrible their parents might have been.
Joshua Young lived in chaos. His life was plagued with trauma and instability. He found his mother dead on Easter Sunday, in April 2010, of a drug overdose. His father is a psychopath who murdered a child and thinks it’s “no big deal.” But Joshua did not see what we all can see so easily; he does not possess that level of maturity. All he knows is that Big Josh, his only surviving parent, made him feel loved, cared about and protected.
Joshua Young will be returning to live with his foster parents. With intensive guidance and assistance, love and support, maybe–just maybe, he can turn his life around. There is still hope. He still has a chance. However, at the age of 17, it might be his last chance.