A MUST READ: Detroit Free Press' Jack Kresnak writes major series on what happened to murdered 7-year-old Ricky Holland
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Detroit Free Press series on the life and death of 7-year-old Ricky Holland seems disappointing at first blush

I've read the first two parts of the Detroit Free Press series by reporter Jack Kresnak about the life and death of 7-year-old Ricky Holland who lived just a few miles east of Lansing with his adopted parents, Tim and Lisa Holland.

My first reaction is disappointment.  I'm looking for answers about how this could happen. Almost instinctively my head seems to focus at the state of Michigan and it's foster care and child protection services system.  But, then I reflect about what Kresnak writes and have to change my conclusion.

The story, first, has to be about the people who murdered him, his adoptive parents.  They did it.  There needs to be understanding about how people could be driven to that point.  As hard and as tiring it is to read, we must be able to understand how this happens.

But, so far in his series, I see a tacit acknowledgment that the state's child protection system has big wholes and he doesn't write about those.  My question would be whether the state is powerless to be effective when parent's lives are askew and when their kids are at-risk.  Perhaps, parents who fit this description can too easily slip by the gaze of protection workers and others.

There's still part of me that wants to know how the system worked or didn't work in the Ricky Holland case.  This is worthy of Jack's attention to detail.  The Michigan Legislature should provide this kind of oversight, but they don't and they show no motivation to do it.

What's the answer? 

I have no idea.

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