The Days were a clan that mighta lived long But Ben Day's head got screwed on wrong That boy craved dark Satan's power So he killed his family in one nasty hour
Little Michelle he strangled in the night Then chopped up Debby: a bloody sight Mother Patty he saved for last Blew off her head with a shotgun blast
Baby Libby somehow survived But to live through that ain't much a life
—Schoolyard Rhyme, Circa 1985
What's up with the epigraph?
The epigraph is a fictional schoolyard rhyme in the vein—the severed, blood-squirted vein—of "Lizzie Borden took an axe." It serves a couple of purposes. One, it sets up the crime we're about to see as a work of legend, a Midwestern murder like the one depicted by Truman Capote in In Cold Blood. It gives us a quick summary of the case before we read about in the text. And finally, it shows us people's perverse tendencies to turn murder into a game. Kill Club, anyone?