Melvin Just was a father, grandfather, and by all accounts, an incredible mechanic. He was also a child molester and most likely a murderer, too. His grandson, James Ronald Whitney, decided to make a documentary about him and promises that by the end of the film, Just will be in jail or dead. Yes, it is filmmaking with an agenda, but it’s a story that needs to be told no matter how uncomfortable it makes audiences — and it will make them squirm.
Just and his family, including Whitney’s mother, are interviewed at length about the molestations they suffered through, their feelings on the man, and how their lives are now. As to be expected, Just is a little less than forthcoming about his family’s version of events. In fact, Just denies everything, including the allegation that he murdered a county nurse who walked in on him as he was in the act of having sex with his daughter. By some accounts, Just even had sex with the nurse as he killed her while the children listened in a room nearby.
Just isn’t a monster. Monsters traditionally evoke some sort of sympathy. Just is a beast, a beast without remorse and an attitude that shows he’d still be dangerous if karma hadn’t given him a stroke and confined him to a wheelchair. His disability doesn’t stop him from being somewhat threatening, though, as he demonstrates when the director asks him some very pointed questions. Just demands that Whitney stop his interrogation before he shows him just how nasty he can be.
The devastation left by Just is unbelievable. His victims are suicidal, homeless, and addicted to multiple substances. They are the perfect picture of why some people deserve to die; if ever there were a man who needed to be the victim of untold tortures, it was Just. Molesting a handicapped girl and forcing his family members to have sex with him in exchange for tampons only seals the deal.
“Just, Melvin Just Evil,” is not an easy film to watch, but it is important that you do so. It needs to be shown in every school in this country (and can currently be seen on HBO on a regular basis), and people need to discuss it afterwards. It puts a face on a crime that is far too often unreported, and it is our duty to at least understand what happened and how it occurred. There are more Justs out there, and if you watch this, you may know how to spot them.