In Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty, Kenny “Killer” Kane has just been paroled from prison when he kidnaps his son, Max, from his grandparents' house on Christmas Eve. Kenny, who has been convicted of murdering his wife, Max's mother, claims that he has been the victim of a great injustice. He never killed his wife, he tells Max. All these years he has been in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Kenny even cries as he tries to get his son to believe him, yet while Max sees the tears on his father's face, he does not hear the crying in his voice. Kenny then gets up and brings a Bible over. He puts his right hand on the Bible and his left over his heart. Then he says, “I, Kenneth David Kane, do swear by all that's Holy that I did not murder this boy's mother.” Kenny will do or say anything to convince his son, not because he cares about the truth but because he wants to shape his son for his own purposes and therefore needs the boy to trust him.
Yet Max does not trust him. He knows that even with his father's elaborate oath, Kenny is not speaking the truth. Max saw his father kill his mother with his own eyes, and even though he was only four years old at the time, he has not forgotten. The image is as clear as if it just happened. Max tells his father that he is satisfied with the oath, for with Kenny hovering over him menacingly, there is nothing else he can say.