Thursday 31 May 2012

When Life Imitates Fiction In A Bad Way

Every news outlet has been buzzing about the dismembered body parts mailed to various government groups.  It reminds me there's always a "ewww" factor when these things happen in reality versus on a fictional show.  But sadly, the writers of crime shows are not nearly as disgustingly creative as actual psychopaths.

One of the experts they were interviewing on CBC was insisting that this was a new kind of killer, one driven by media attention.  He was vague on how this constitutes a new class of murder and since I seem to recall the Zodiac serial killer had a very detailed interest in his press coverage, I don't see how adding Facebook and YouTube into the mix makes it any different.

I was a little disappointed to hear that several people had tried to alert the police to the alleged snuff video but were told it was likely only special effects.  I can't blame the police since I have no idea how many of these things are brought to their attention.  Hindsight brings clarity but rarely any useful insights.  If I had heard about it, I likely would have wanted to believe it was only special effects rather than someone sick and crazy enough to kill someone on film.

I almost didn't post about this because I believe the killer wants attention and I feel it's everyone's responsibility to make sure he doesn't get it.  The focus should be on the victim.  Yet at the same time, there's a terrible fascination for this glimpse into the depths of darkness in the human psyche.

It used to be assumed that humans were the only animal which killed solely for pleasure.  Not territory or food, but just to kill.  But chimps have been documented leading what can only be described as killing mobs, a group of chimps that move silently into another group's territory to find an isolated chimp and kill it.  Perhaps these unthinkable impulses have marred our evolution for longer than we'd like to believe.

I hope the killer is caught and brought to justice soon.  I hope this doesn't trigger a wave of copycats.  I hope that something catches the media's attention which can restore our faith rather than playing to our fears.

Because for every sick, twisted individual out there, there are lots of decent people.  I believe that truly and sincerely.  Humanity as a whole doesn't deserve to be defined by the worst of us.

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