Florida is a lot of good things: Golden days . . . blue nights . . . orange blossoms . . . space shuttles . . . star fish . . . sun . . . sand . . . sex.
But the Sunshine State must also be the murder capital of the world. Ted Bundy, Eileen Wournos, Danny Rolling; these killers, among others, quickly come to mind. "Murder, Mayhem and More" is one of the tours Michelle and I will host this autumn. When I began exploring suitable candidates for this tour I was surprised by the degree of difficulty; no, not the difficulty in finding enough capital cases within a fifty-mile radius, but the difficulty of picking which crimes were most outrageous. Fact is, we live fifteen minutes from the car wash in which eleven-year-old Carlie Brucia was kidnapped several years ago, on camera, and later found strangled a short distance away. The "Hog Trail Killer's" wooded comfort zone is mere miles from where I now type. Hank Earl Carr's cop- and child-killing rampage occurred just up I-75 from here. And more. Many more.
I mentioned a few blogs back that I am working on a true crime book. Well, right now that project is creeping along; "hurry up and wait" seems the order of the day. Thus, I began snooping around last week for another possible project to fill the breech until the other gets rolling again. I think I have found it. At this point I am simply touching people and trying to familiarize myself with the case and those involved. But I must say, this crime seems to have all the components needed for a "good" book. Good is in quotes, of course, because there is not one thing about this story that is good. It was a beastly crime. The community in which it occurred remains to this day stunned. The randomness of the act as well as the innocence of the victim leaves every one feeling vulnerable. And history proves that when normally sane people--or animals--feel at risk they become extremely dangerous. After reading one particular on-line report of the murderer, I decided to scan some of the reader comments that followed. Here is a sampling:
I have my tool box ready. Leave this guy alone with me for a spell. Anyone else to care to join me for a teaching lesson? Apparently this guy never learned that you just can't do these kinds of things without serious repercussions. He needs to be schooled. After he's "enlightened", we need someone to drive him out to the Everglades. I have my kids this weekend, so I can't do it. Any volunteers?
Our hearts go out to [the victim] and her family, and may god give them the strenght to over come this sadness. [The murderer] is guilty as sin, and he needs to suffer a long drawn out painful punishment. A cruel and inhumane punishment and not on the tax payers wallet. No mercy for you [the murderer], just lots of pain and suffering. _______________________________________
Cover him in female cow pheromones and let him loose in a pasture with a horny bull. Then roast him (alive of course) on a spit over hot coals. Sounds like an nice "southern" way to dispense justice. I'll bring beer.
I have the lawn chairs. If that beer is Corona, I'll bring the limes, too.
May he burn in hell. No, that's to easy. May he be executed then his soul die after a long, tortuous death
take that oxygen thief out to the parking lot & put 1 in his balls & 2 in his skull.
As for [the murderer]……he should have done to him, what he did to [the victim]…..over and over and over. He should be made to feel everything she felt and then put to death in the most painful way possible.
I simply can’t believe how some men resort to this kind of violence just to fulfill their sexual fantasy’s. It’s a good thing I’m not a cop b/c I think I’d cut off any mans balls who raped a woman and killed her like she was nothing in this world.
I am so completely DISGUSTED by this COWARDLY NASTY HUMAN . . . and i believe his gonads should be knawed off by a scorpian.
The crust of civility covering modern civilization is paper thin. Understandable as such reactions are, is the savagery expressed above any less vicious than that of those who screamed for blood in the Roman Collesium while lions and tigers tore apart people and other animals? Are those above any more civilized than those of the "Dark Ages" who cheered and laughed when people were publicly skinned alive or had their bowels pulled out slowly by some fiendish torture device? I must admit that when I hear of such hideous crimes committed against living things (and I draw not an ounce of distinction between we and the animal world), visions of prolonged suffering and torture also dance through my head . . . for a moment. Then, I ask myself: "Could I administer this torture? Could I even squeeze the trigger that sends a bullet through the sick brain of anyone who commits such satanic acts?" The answer is always "No." If the crime victim were some one or some thing I loved deeply, perhaps. But my long term answer for the murderous beasts among us is generally a swift death if convicted of Murder One, or a quick castration with many years on a rock pile if convicted of some savage sexual assault (for this latter category, the convicted would have neither the time or tools necessary to commit more crimes against women, children or animals).
Still, just as with the writing of history, one must remove themselves from the picture when writing about modern crime; one must swim against their natural instincts and strive for as much objectivity as possible. After seeing the murderer's mug shot, I too thought he looked like the "devil's disciple," as one snarling commentator offered. All he lacked was horns, I thought. But I would ask this person (and myself): "Have you ever seen a good mug shot? Jesus himself would look like a serial killer in such a photo." The sad fact is, this individual had no trouble at all moving freely on our streets, shopping at our malls, or buying birthday gifts for his children, prior to the rape, torture and murder of his victim. No one noticed a thing, then. All this innate demon stuff is after-the-fact baloney. He looked "normal" prior to the act. Only after capture did we see in his face the monster that he truly was.
Photo of the Day