- Oct 4 2013, 11:49 PM
- Oct 4 2013, 11:20 PM
Quoting limited to 4 levels deep
Thanks for the history lesson! It's kind of mind-bending to see how differently the show dealt with rape from era to era. It sounds as though Bill was kind of allowed to "skate" because he was a)drunk and b)couldn't remember the rape. And because Laura told him nothing happened. But it doesn't appear that Bill was ever expected to feel shame or remorse, even when he did find out. Or that he spent any time as the town pariah for raping his ex-girlfriend/brother's fiancee. Quite a contrast to the Jack and Kayla storyline, which I guess represents something of a step forward by not glossing over the severity of the offense or the rapist's culpability. For the record, I've never much liked what I've seen of Bill, even without knowing the details of what happened between him, Laura, and Mickey. He always seemed stiff, arrogant, and a touch harsh.
I don't think you're getting the right picture about Bill and Laura. My mother watched DOOL from the beginning and Bill and Laura (Edward Mallory and Susan Flannery) were her favorite couple back then. They were always written as the star-crossed true lovers, with Mickey as the interloper. That's why Bill's rape of Laura was so very sad and shocking for its time. And it was old style soap at its very best. It had separated lovers, passion and secrets, repercussions and sacrifice and redemption. My mother loved it, and as a child I heard her tell the story in detail so many times that I still know it by heart.
So here goes....Laura loved Bill Horton. His brother Mickey tried to take Laura away from Bill, and the brothers fought about her. Bill and Laura were engaged, but Bill left Laura and Salem when he was diagnosed with a disease that affected his hands and prevented him from being a surgeon. Bill was in despair, but finally, at another hospital, Bill found a new therapy that helped him regain control of his hands. This was proved when he had to perform life saving, emergency surgery. (Sound familiar? It must have been done so much better the first time.)
Bill returned to Salem, but while he had been gone for so long with no word, Mickey had convinced Laura to marry him. Bill was very jealous. One night when he had lost a patient, a distraught Bill got very drunk and went to find Laura. He raped her and later passed out in a black out drunk. The next day, Bill remembered going to find Laura and was afraid he had hurt her. Bill asked Laura to tell him what he did, but Laura lied to Bill and told him she made him go away and nothing happened. No one knew about the rape until Laura became pregnant. Tom knew that Mickey was sterile from a medical report, so Tom talked to Laura and learned the truth. They both decided to keep the rape and Mickey's sterility a secret. Eventually, Bill saw the medical report and was horrified to realize what he had done to Laura. Bill also decided it was best to keep the paternity of baby Mike a secret and let brother Mickey be happy with his family. So Bill gave up Laura and his son and did not tell Laura that he knew he was the father.
HOWEVER, Tommy's meddling wife Kitty, the Horton bad girl of the day, later overheard and recorded Laura and Tom talking about Mike's paternity. Kitty tried to use her tape for blackmail, but Bill ransacked her apartment and took the tape from her. Later that night, Kitty was murdered, and Bill was tried for the crime. Mickey defended Bill, but Bill was convicted because he would not reveal the secret and tell anyone why he was in Kitty's apartment fighting with her. Bill served several years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. His cell mate was Doug Williams, who returned to Salem with Bill.
It was about four years ( real time) after Mike was born that Laura found out Bill knew that he was actually the father and had kept the secret and gone to jail out of his love for her and his brother. Laura and Mickey had not been happy together. Mickey had an affair, but he and Laura had decided to stay together for Mike's sake. Laura and Bill realized that they still wanted to be with each other, but they didn't want to break up Mike's family. Unfortunately, Mike overheard them and thought they were having an affair. Mike confronted them, telling his 'Uncle Bill' that he hated him, and ran off. Mike was hit by a car. Bill saved his life but stayed away after that so that Laura could do the right thing for Mike. Later Mike learned of Mickey's affair. He became more understanding about Laura and Bill and blasted his 'father' for hurting Laura. The confrontation caused Mickey to have a major heart attack. Bill saved Mickey's life during heart surgery, but Mickey later had a stroke and amnesia, and he disappeared from the hospital. Somehow, Mickey ended up on Maggie's Farm (There must have been a Bob Dylan fan among those writers back then.) and eventually somehow he was discovered (I think it was when he was seeking medical treatment so that crippled Maggie could walk again). Mickey, still with amnesia, gave Laura a divorce to marry Bill so that Mickey could stay with Maggie.
So it was some ten years after their engagement and eight years after the drunken rape that Laura and Bill could finally marry, still protecting Mickey and Mike from the paternity secret. That finally came out when Mike had a farm accident and needed massive blood transfusions. Among the family, only Bill was a donor match. After seeing the medical records, Mickey finally learned the truth. The shock made him recover his memory, then go insane. Mickey blurted out the truth to Mike, then tried to shoot and kill his brother Bill. Mickey was committed to an asylum for a while.
Somewhere about this time, Jennifer was born. Laura went into a deep post partum depression and pushed Bill away. Bill and Marlena tried to help Laura recover, but Bill had gotten involved with another doctor and finding out about the affair drove Laura over the edge. She tried to hang herself. Bill saved her, but she was committed to a mental institution for many years.
So that is the back story of Bill and Laura. There was a rape, yes, but before and after there was a very long, very soapy love story of two people trying to do the right thing for family.