Some years ago, a man I knew was murdered. It's an event that shocks you into numbness, horror and fear. Then comes reflection. You need to answer the question "why?" so draw immediate conclusions. Life must regain its equilibrium, so you grab for anything that makes sense. That's comfort.
Unfortunately many murders are not random happenstances where people snapped and committed a terrible act. There are years and incidents leading up to the moment. If you are fortunate, you get all the information you need to understand.
It took a number of years for me to come to a place where I could explain the murder of the man I knew to myself. Then I wrote Bad Apple so I could present the important elements to others.
These books are not the only way it could have been done. I could have told about the ring of men who found the young boys to molest, how they were groomed to submit, how the man in the book enjoyed the life he lived and was anything but ashamed or regretful, but I chose to tell the story through Neal, who was collateral damage of the lifestyle choices of the pedophile.