Tuesday, June 28, 2005

When the Bad gets Badder

Leonard Cohen said this (among other things) just right:

Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.

Goddamn newspapers.

Read an article today about Witchita Kansas serial killer called BTK for what he did to his 10 victims - Bind Torture Kill - over a 17 year period (1974-1991).

What do you do with a guy like that, once you catch him? The prosecutors in this case are recommending a 175 year sentence. That's retarded on 2 levels: 1) He won't live another 50 years, and 2) There's an astronomical cost involved in incarcerating someone that long.

A bullet to the head is a lot cheaper, but carries monumental moral quagmires. The 'people' are all left with blood-stained hands.

We could study him scrutinously, see if we can figure out what makes him tick, maybe prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future. I used to be naive enough to believe that was the best option available in these serial killer cases. I've come to believe that as long as people can live in isolation, we can't know when they're up to such things until it's too late. The (godddamn) newspapers always go on about the most shocking thing being how ordinary and nondescript the killer looks. What do they expect? Hellboy? It's the very fact that they're nondescript that allows them to go unnoticed so long. That and the fact that the 'community' they're surrounded by is usually sprawling concrete nothingness, with other wankers and wannabes trolling around unaccountably, and perhaps blogging in their spare time. If there's no community there can be no community policing, no community security.

I'm pretty sure sadists with the capacity to kill en masse have always been a part of our species. But only recently have we created a system in which they can get away with it, where we can't, or just don't, prevent it. We can shoot every mass murderer we find but it won't bring the victims back, and it won't prevent the next BTK to come along shocking no one but the journalists. Nor will studying them or locking them up. The prosecutors at the highest courts in our lands are smart cookies, because at least this last option puts an end to one person's grusome reign of terror. But if anyone has any ideas on how to bring community, and thus true human security, back, I'm all ears.


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I've no idea how to construct community in the modern city. However I do know a cheap way to get rid of criminals like this without getting blood on the 'people's' hands. Send them all to an island, we'll call it Australia2. We could even pitch it to FOX as a new reality T.V. show....
Killer Island!
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