Throughout human history there has been a ceaseless war between the forces of good and evil. I believe that Ghost Burglar represents a part of that eternal conflict. In the scale of world events, this story may seem minor, but it was significant to those involved, especially those who had the misfortune to encounter Bernard Welch.
On the side of good was Dr. Halberstam. He is best described in an excerpt from the “Memorandum In Aid of Sentencing,” written by Assistant United States Attorneys Alexia Morrison and Jay B. Stephens. This memorandum was submitted to Judge Moultrie after Bernard Welch was found guilty of Dr. Halberstam’s murder:
“Dr. Michael Halberstam derived his vitality and joy from saving and brightening the lives of others. In his role of physician, he was committed to bringing quality medical care and caring to all whom he could be of help. His conscious goal, to do more than merely reap the profits of his medical training and skill…In his role as citizen, Michael Halberstam had a keen sense of his own part in the community of man. Far from centering on his own wants and needs, he was quick to see the needs of others, even total strangers. Perhaps the best, most oft-cited example of this is his concern over the sufficiency of the playground facilities in his town, Washington, which manifested itself in his devoting precious free time to purchasing and hanging nets at basketball courts in public recreation areas. A singular activity and one of a man who cared about the quality of others lives.”
In that same document Bernard Welch was characterized as a much different sort of man:
“In contrast we have the man who took his (Halberstam’s) life—a man who did not even care about life itself for anyone else. This man has deprived not only family and friends, but has taken from society a skilled and caring physician, and from a troubled world the precious resource of love and humanity.”
Both men devoted their lives to their chosen pursuits. One took the bright road of good by study, compassion, healing and sharing. The other traveled the dark road of evil through theft, rape, violence and selfishness. When those two roads crossed, Dr. Halberstam died, but even as he bled to death, the good doctor made one last contribution to society. He enabled the capture of Bernard Welch.
This maybe a small example of the triumph of good over evil, but its meaning is great and should not be forgotten.