Thinking about what I wrote about serial killers the other day, I remember something Dennis Nilsen said when asked to comment on Jeffrey Dahmer. He said that the term “serial killer” is inaccurate, because it implies the intention to continue to kill. “It’s like calling Elizabeth Taylor a serial bride,” he said.
“Graham has a visual style and writerly voice that are all his own: timely, urban and powerful.”
Imagine this scenario in a T.V. show:
A man and a woman are kissing. We see the woman reach into her pocket and pull out a knife. They continue to kiss. We now see only their faces, but the woman makes a sudden, violent movement, the man cries out in pain, and it is clear that she has stabbed him with the knife.
Now imagine this scenario:
The first of these could easily be shown on broadcast T.V. in the U.S. The second could not.
I just watched the documentary Cropsey. M.V. Moorhead has already reviewed it, and I agree with his assessment of its quality. I don’t share his certainty that Andre Rand is guilty; the evidence against him is entirely circumstantial, and (though I think he probably is the killer) it’s possible that the only thing he’s guilty of is being mentally disturbed and extremely creepy.
I remember the run up to the first Gulf War, when certain newspapers carried fictitious reports of Saddam Hussein ripping premature babies out of hospital incubators just for the fun of it. To justify the war, it was necessary to create a monster to be chased with burning torches. Hussein’s real status as a local thug whose weapons had been provided by the U.S. wasn’t enough.