Prologue

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Benjamin Maresco’s family lived in a quiet suburban Midwestern neighborhood. The Marescos sent their children to private schools, attended Mass each week, and participated in Little League sports. Theirs was a comfortable, spacious two-story home that housed children, playthings, hopes, and ambitions. Traditions were time-honored and holidays were ritualized. In this house, birthday cakes, Halloween costumes, and memories were homemade. Yesterday’s artwork and today’s sticky fingerprints decorated the refrigerator, and fresh-baked bread sprang from the oven on cue.

Month after month, night after night, mother and child survived in their sleepless prison.

Ben was born into the family on a sunny Friday afternoon in May taking his position as the fourth of five children. His birth was a celebration, planned and orchestrated to take place at home. He was welcomed into the world by his parents, his siblings, and a handful of trusted friends and caretakers.

Benjamin shared a kinship with his siblings, who adored, indulged, and pampered him. His older brother, Rob, was serious, conscientious, and competitive—in contrast to Wendy, his older sister, who was artistic, creative, and environmental. His closest sibling, a sister two and a half years his senior, was his best friend, confidante, and constant companion. Stephanie’s gifts were devotion, spontaneity, and an intuitive grasp of the universe.

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