Elaine O’Hara:

2015-02-21_iri_7190826_I1 Here in Ireland, we don’t have the same tradition of serial murder that America and England boast. Our murders have always reflected our culture: back in the days of the Eucharistic Congress, people murdered family members so that the farm would fall into their hands. During the nineties and early 2000s, gangland wars left Dublin a bloody, grieving mess. But whether ’twas for a patch of muddy earth or a shipment of C-grade cocaine, Irish murders have always been grounded in the concerns and trifles of the physical world. Up until now, they made a twisted kind of sense.

The woman you see before you did not die because she owned a farm, and she certainly wasn’t a drug lord. Her death was violent, and did not take place in any context Irish culture could recognise. She was killed to satisfy a monstrous, selfish urge, and it was as gruesome as though she’d been eaten alive by feral dogs. And here’s the thing: her killer almost got away with it.

The Dublin mountains are beautiful, and a blot on our nation. Their closeness to the ugly gangland hub of the city, coupled with their remote location, make them a popular burial ground for murder victims. Once found, the bodies are often too decomposed for any evidence to be found. There are killers all over Ireland who drink alone in pubs, their minds far away on those gentle peaks.

On the thirteenth of September, 2013-it was a Friday-a dogwalker was rambling with their animal on Killikee Mountain. The dog bounded away from its owner to worry at something they found in the grass. The owner might have pulled them away from the old bones without a second thought, if those relics hadn’t been wearing tracksuit pants and runners. The remains, which had been worried at by so many creatures that thirty-five percent of the skeleton was missing, belonged to childcare worker Elaine O’Hara. She had been missing since 2012. She was thirty-six years old, and had considerable psychiatric difficulties. Her family believed that she had thrown herself into the sea. Yet there she was, quietly decomposing on Killikee mountain, too rotten for fingerprints or foreign DNA to be found. It looked like any other perfect Irish murder, the cud-bitter end to a story that no-one would ever hear. But God was being kind to us all on that luckless Friday. It was only the beginning.

Near to where Elaine was found, there lies a resevoir. Ireland is a temperate country, a sentence which in this context means that we are saturated. Soaked. We are like the halls of Castamere-the rains weep o’er us, continually and without end. Our fingers shrivel and crimp, and all the country smells like wet human. But our good summers are worth all that.

2013 was a great summer. The sun was so hot, it dried up the resevoir to the point where the detritus lying on the bottom was exposed. Some of the rubbish found belonged to Elaine O’Hara. A garda* waded into that resevoir on the sixteenth of September and pulled out Elaine’s life: her house keys, a Dunnes Stores loyalty card*, her inhaler, and several items related to BDSM. He brought these to the attention of his superiors, and shortly after returned to make the area off as a crime scene. The ball was rolling. The killer didn’t know it yet, but they were already doomed. Their life ended when, a day later, a pair of Nokia phones were fished out of the water.


Who was Elaine O’Hara? By all accounts, she was a very unhappy and lonely woman. A gentle soul, she loved children and worked with them professionally. She was very attached to her parents, and the loss of her mother when she was in her twenties shook her badly. Although her psychological difficulties were, in hindsight, immense, she bore them with the fortitude of a Viking. She was childlike-a psychiatrist placed her emotional development at fifteen-and yet had an uncanny ability to shock grown adults, even after her death, with the details of her private life. She had sexual proclivities which were frightening and extreme in nature, rooted in fantasies of self-harm and violence she had experienced as an adolescent.

Considering her naïve nature, she got on rather well-she met a couple of men on fetish websites, took them over to her apartment, had a few coffees, decided mutually that they had nothing in common, and they would break off contact. Elaine was not a sex-mad degenerate; she was an ordinary woman trying to navigate her desires, and her attempts were as awkward and futile as anyone else’s. She was by no means happy, but she was doing okay. Her life was on track. In 2007, she met a man on the Internet who seemed to share her interests. His name was Graham Dwyer, and his most cherished sexual fantasy was stabbing a woman to death. On the twenty-second of August, 2012, his wish came true. It was granted to him unwillingly, on a lonely mountain where no-one could hear the screaming.


The two phones pulled from the resevoir turned out to have one number each. They were used like walkie-talkies, if you will. They had been bought by Dwyer-one for himself and one for Elaine. In court, they were called the “Master” and “Slave” phones, respectively. He believed them to be untraceable. He was very, very wrong. The phones had been used to exchange a number of texts, the bulk of which were read out in court. They revealed a relationship built on coercion, sadomasochism, and manipulation.

Dwyer knew that Elaine was given to depression and self-harming, and he took full advantage of it. One of two promises he made her throughout was death at his own hand. In 2009, when Elaine was at her worst mentally, she took him up on his offer. Dwyer wasn’t ready then, though. You can’t just off someone and expect to get away with it. He tried to get her to help him to kill other women-a real estate agent he knew, for example-but Elaine held firm.

Dwyer tried to wheedle her with his other trump card-if she consented to murder, he would concieve a baby with her. Elaine badly wanted a child of her own, but she still didn’t waver. She had a deceptive docility when it came to her own welfare, but when it came to the lives of others, she was as strong-willed as an angel of God. They went back and forth over the years. Dwyer cowed and threatened Elaine. He regaled her with tales of his exploits, such as when he stabbed the corpse of a sheep that he’d found at his model aeroplane club. He took a sick and evident pleasure in reminding her that she was “slave meat”. He terrified her, and she broke it off with him once, but he enticed her back.

Elaine was admitted to a psychiatric hospital during July of 2012, probably because of the immense strain the relationship with Dwyer caused her. She was brought in when she phoned the hospital to say that she had fashioned a noose to hang herself with. On the twentieth of August-soon before she was due to be discharged-Elaine recieved a text from Dwyer. It read: “You must be punished for trying to kill yourself without me.”


They found him guilty, of course-that goes without saying. He was convicted in the early months of this year. As I write this, Graham Dwyer languishes in a maximum-security Irish prison, and he will not leave it for the rest of his life. He will die there, and the flies that buzz around the flourescent strips will eat his eyes. He will leave this life with the institutional stink of mashed potatoes and bleach in his nostrils. I will not deny that the thought makes me happy. Elaine O’Hara’s reputation has been torn to shreds. Her life-story is now a cheap pulp novel, flipped through by hundreds of grimy Irish thumbs. It had to be done, of course-her browser history was State evidence. Her private texts brought her killer to justice. But even so, it was a monstrous thing. if you believe in any sort of God, pray for her. Let us be careful of ourselves, for she has shown us the consequences of believing yourself to be worthless. I will leave you now with an image of Elaine on her last day alive-witnessed by a passerby, inconsolate at her mother’s grave. She was “crying very loud”, according to the witness. Her last few hours of life were spent alone and frightened.

Elaine O’Hara, may you rest in peace.

*-Garda: a member of the Irish police force, an Garda Síochána.

*-Dunnes Stores: a chain of grocery/textile stores common in Ireland and the UK. Not unlike Walmart.

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Amanda Todd

Today I’d like to talk about someone you don’t like. She’s dead, of course, but that won’t stop you from hating her.

I’d like to honour the Internet’s least favourite victim of sexual abuse, Amanda Todd, who was born in 1996 and died at the age of fifteen.

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And now I must sing my usual mournful melody, and it goes like this:

A few years ago, Amanda was just your average prepubescent child bobbling around on the Internet. Like all prepubescent children who bobble around on the Internet, she made several mistakes which would haunt her for the rest of her life.

Her troubles began, as far as I can tell, when a much older individual flattered her via webcam into exposing her chest. This individual took a screenshot and proceeded to stalk the child. He set up an account on Facebook, befriended all her peers and then showed them the photo. They turned on their classmate, bullied her mercilessly, shared the ignomonious photo a few billion times….the usual, you understand.

Amanda moved to a different school (most likely with a scarlet letter still hanging from her blouse), but the torment continued. The same thing happened. Her life worsened considerably when a boy from her old school propositioned her via text. She accpeted his offer and had sexual relations with him, only to be attacked by his girlfriend and, from what I can tell, the entire population of her new school. When the fighting had stopped, Amanda was left lying in a ditch. She was found there by her father and driven home.

What a humble girl she was. Blessed are those who pay attention to constructive criticism! You see, those moral guardians had gently advised Amanda to kill herself throughout the various altercations, and she decided that they had given good counsel. Once enconsed at home, she drank bleach.

She was rushed to the hospital, where her stomach was pumped, and sent back home. However, her little jaunt through Hell was far from over. The catcalling got louder. Her stalker came back for her, repeatedly reminding everyone she loved of her folly. Her peers bayed for blood.

During the first few days of October in the year of our Lord 2012, Amanda Todd hanged herself like a sheep thief in her closet.

Do you know what people call her nowadays? They call her a slut and a coward-and cowards don’t get sympathy, apparently. People nowadays say that she deserved it.

In the video she posted a few months before her death, Amanda holds flashcards up to the camera to tell her story, pausing every so often to wipe away tears. She makes no sound, this brave, broken child standing up to the world. One of the first cards says, “Let me tell you about my neverending story.”

She was right.

It will never end.

Just you wait until the next kid listens to what the Internet says. You won’t have to strain your ears to catch the whoops and cheers. You won’t have to look far to see the jubilant celebrations.

I can tell you nothing else about Amanda. I can’t tell you what her favourite colour was. I can’t tell you what she liked in a boy. I can’t tell you which pop idol’s poster she had pinned to her bedroom wall.

I can’t tell you what she might have thought about for comfort as she lay there in that ditch, when everyone else had gone and she had only the filth soaking into her shirt to remind her that she was still alive.

I wish I could.

Rest in peace, Amanda Todd.

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Relevant Book Review: “Interrupting Infamy” by Inara Everett

Okay, so, I found a new book on Columbine. As a matter of fact, I found two-the one I’m reviewing today (or at least an excerpt I found on Amazon) and “Columbine” by Dave Cullen. I came across the latter in a small charity shop I was volunteering at in the earthier part of Limerick City. To put this wondrous find into perspective, it was as unusual as bumping into the shooters themselves standing next to the bookcase, poring over a map of the world in confusion.

But yeah, back to the matter at hand. “Interrupting Infamy” is a very….special book. How special? You’ll see in a moment.

You’ll see.

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(Special thanks to Amazon.com for the cover!)

DISCLAIMER: The following story does not take place in the locker bay of the International Space Station.

“Dylan examined his appearance in the full-length mirror at the end of the hall. He disliked the spikiness of his newly cut hair, and thought for the millionth time about how he detested his large, rounded nose. But when he smiled at his reflection, to his surprise, he looked almost handsome.”

That’s right, reader. Your eyes are not deceiving you. The name and appearance of the character is not a coincidence. This novel really is about Dylan Klebold. Not a knock-off, pseudonymous, kind-of-but-not-really stand-in-it’s the real deal himself. And it’s apparently set eight months after he graduated from the school he tried to blow up. Eric, according to the Amazon blurb, has absconded to the army, leaving Dylan to navigate through the choppy waters of adulthood by himself.

….Let’s see how it turns out.

” ‘Good luck at your first day at work,” Jack said. “Remember – be polite.”

Dylan wondered what his uncle thought he planned on doing at work – telling his boss to shut up, or screaming at his co-workers for some minor infraction? Geez, he wasn’t a kid anymore. He was a man with a job.”

Actually, considering that Dylan was seventeen during his senior year, and the plot is set eight months after his graduation, he can’t be more than eighteen. Technically speaking, he’s a kid with a job, and-holy heck! He’s got a job at the age of eighteen?! I take my hat off to you, Klebold. There are people in my country who put a Ph.D. after their names when they sign on for welfare payments.

“Surrounded by commuter traffic, on his way to his first real job, Dylan revelled in his new feeling of independence – he was a working man now, not an unpopular kid in high school. Thank God the misery of high school was over – particularly the six months of probation he had suffered through for owning an illegal handgun. He would never forget the judge yelling at him to get his act together, and a cop telling him that if he didn’t watch out he’d be on his way to hell in a handbasket. What a jerk, Dylan thought, and just what is hell in a handbasket anyway?”

Oh, so they caught you on the handgun, huh? Never mind, Dylan. At least they didn’t find out about the double-barrelled sawed-off shotgun, the assorted crickets, the pipe bombs and the many knives you had about your person at the time.

Also, the handbasket is a metaphor. And the hell was inside you all along.

In the next few paragraphs, Dylan makes his way to work, parks his car, gives the place the ol’ once-over and introduces himself to the guard outside, noting that the guard doesn’t look too happy to see him. (And why would he be? You’re Dylan Klebold, Godammit. Maybe he’s a blow-in from that parrarrel dimension where you’re a mass murderer.)

Also, take note of Dylan introducing himself, for it’ll be the last time he says anything for a while.

“Doubts about his new job crept in. What if he couldn’t do it? He and his friends in high school had always mocked the idea of working in an office 9 to 5, and now here he was. What if his skills were all wrong for the position? What if no one liked him?”

Trust me, buddy, you’re probably doing a lot better than your friends at this moment in time. They’re probably all working off the after-effects of the frat party last night. And people may not like you, but they won’t loathe your very spirit like they do over here.

And now Dylan’s waiting in the reception for his boss, the unfortunately-named Larry Roach.

“Dylan sat down in one of the armchairs in the waiting area and picked up a magazine. Larry Roach, he thought as he leafed through the magazine, what the hell kind of a name is that? Sounds like he should have a carapace and pincers, for God’s sake. Or maybe he smokes a lot of joints – ha ha. He told himself to shut up and be polite as his uncle had advised.”

But….you’re not saying anything, Dylan.

My God, is this a sign of crippling mental illness? Does this guy spend his days having lengthy conversations with himself in his head, never once speaking aloud? Maybe he makes the appropriate facial expressions to go with his inner arguments. Perhaps other people stare at him as he grins and chuckles under his breath, thanking God that he’s not theirs. Heavens above, now that I think about it, this book is very depressing.

” ‘A word of advice,” Larry said. “You gotta work on that limp handshake. You don’t want people to think you’re a pansy, do ya?’ ”

No matter which universe Dylan runs to, he can never escape the spectre of bisexuality that hangs over him like a gay Grim Reaper.

Despite the exciting potential of the main character, the next few pages are pretty dull and lifeless. Dylan rattles a keyboard for half an hour, goes to a board meeting, accidentally proves himself to be more capable than his boss at said board meeting and manages to get on the bad side of said boss. A corporate picnic comes up. Dylan attends, meets a beeyooteeful lady, and almost immediately proceeds to have shy, rose-tinted fantasies of “making love” to her at dusk on a beach. She has a boyfriend, though. After the picnic, as Dylan daydreams his way back to his cubicle, his disgruntled boss comes up to him and spills greasy salad dressing all over our lily-livered heroe’s shirt. Dylan supresses his wrath and makes his way to the bathroom to clean up, where he punches a wall in anger. Now, here’s where things get interesting:

” ‘That guy’s an asshole,” the little voice said. “There’s no way he should get away with that. You should bash his fucking head in or something to make sure he doesn’t do it again.’
The Little Voice was his friend, L.V., or Elvie as Dylan called her. Elvie had always been attracted to violence. He hadn’t heard from her in a while.”

Okay, there we go. Ladies and gentlemen, let this be known to all; scribes, ready your pens, and note this in stone. Inara Everett has afflicted Dylan Klebold with schizophrenia.

There isn’t really much more to say for “Interrupting Infamy”-after all, I was only able to access the trial excerpt. It gets pretty heavy, though. We flash back to Dylan’s childhood, where it becomes clear that he’s been taking instruction from a sociopathic sex symbol before Eric was out of three-cornered pants. At the age of ten, he’s teased mercilessly in school by a gang of apparently British children:

“Dilly’s playing with his willy! Dilly’s playing with his willy!”

There's worse things they coulda said about you, Clayballs.

There’s worse things they coulda said about you, Clayballs.

In revenge for this slight, Elvie instructs her hapless, perm-headed host to tie a wire across the road. The bullies come biking by. Their leader rides straight into the wire and knocks himself out. I swear to God. Concussion and everything. The other kids leave Dylan alone after that, for even infants know when a young soul starts his journey on the left-forked path.

You know what? I really wanna read more of this book. Sure, Everett wasted some good opportunities-did you know that Dylan had a foot fetish and a thing for bondage? It’s true, look it up-but I’m suddenly desperate to find out what happens next. Does Eric come back into Dylan’s life to wreak havoc, like a tornado obsessed with its half-inch-long hair? Does our intrepid hero get the girl, or does he settle for someone warm to cuddle at night? And will he ever get to the root of why the imaginary voice in his head (upon whom he is later revealed to have a crush) has a name similar to the boy whose every order he once obeyed?

Also, what kind of legal trouble is the author facing right now?

Laters, Internet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Relevant Book Review: “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult

My interest in the topic of school shootings was piqued after doing research for the previous two posts, and I wondered about ordering books based on Columbine and its ilk from the library. Then, I remembered that my mother had one such book languishing on a shelf in the living room-the aforementioned “Nineteen Minutes”. I stole it from her like a thief in the night and dived right in.

One of the biggest rules every author must follow is “Never make up your insane murderers from scratch”. Hannibal Lecter was based on a guy Thomas Harris met on the wrong side of a set of bars in a Mexican prison. Buffalo Bill is a Frankentein’s monster, being patched together out of Ed Gein, the Green River Killer, and every outdated transsexual stereotype in existence. I was looking forward to seeing which Columbine shooter Ms. Picoult had gracelessly shoehorned into her work for personal profit.

A Note on the Author: Jodi Picoult makes her living by watching the Lifetime channel. Every book she writes has a plot so ridiculous, one’s suspension of disbelief is liable to snap due to the hypertension, yet she presents these situations as though they happen to everyone. Sometimes, however, she goes down the traditional route: she opens up a tabloid newspaper and takes down every headline she sees, then mixes them up to make them sound smart. That’s how she gets her synopses. Her stories are so freshly Ripped From the Headlines that blood sometimes leaks through the pages of certain first-edition copies.

[By the way, this is more of a sporking than a book review. Spoilers abound. You’re welcome.]

Here’s the cover:

 

 

NineteenMinutes

 

“A book based on Columbine? Just slap a pic of two young broads holding hands on the cover. It’ll open up a whole new demographic.”

I got this image off jhseiss.com, but it’s not the version I have. Mine shows a small child sitting next to a butterfly in a jar. Either whoever does Picoult’s covers got mixed up with another cover for a misery memoir, or the author knows some truly dark secrets about Harris and Klebold-secrets that man is not meant to know. The lesbierotic cover on this edition seems to think that the shooters were slender, fragrant teen girls conducting a secret affair, which is way too horrifying on way too many levels.

The blurb of the book talks endlessly about “Lacy Houghton”, whose wayward progeny has just gone all Rambo on his high school, murdering nine students and one teacher, a victim profile which is awfully close to that of Columbine’s twelve students and one teacher. It promises to delve deep into her struggle to realize that she never knew her son. The story starts off with a person called Alex getting ready for work.

“As usual, Alex Cormier was running late.”

The hell is Alex Cormier? If that’s the question running through your head, don’t worry about it. She is surplus to the requirements. The only person that matters in this book is  Shooter, the central character who sets the plot in motion. Quick, let’s go find them.

Nineteen pages later:

Well, that was some trek! Okay, let’s see. Is this kid Pseudo-Eric or Pseudo-Dylan? The introductory paragraph tends to give a lot of clues in these cases. Hmmm….

“….Peter Houghton was waking up.”

Congratulations, literature! It’s a boy! Which means, in the symbol-laden world of giving Columbine High School a different name, that the dominant influence is Eric. Generally, Dylan (the shooter popularly deemed to be the willing disciple) is cast as a girl-for example, in Uwe Boll’s “Heart of America: Homeroom” or the short online film “4/20/99”. But the fun doesn’t stop here. As a twin who absorbs their sibling in the womb will carry their DNA after birth, PeterEric may contain some traces of Dylan. Let us explore this text to look for clues.

“Two bodies lay unmoving at one end of the locker room. At the other….a slight boy crouched beside a bank of lockers. He wore wire-rimmed glasses….The boy pulled a pistol from beneath his thigh and held it up to his own head.”

Shooting self into the head instead of the mouth-classic Klebold. I like it. But glasses? Wire-rimmed ones?

Oh, no.

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….Kyle? But….I don’t understand. What could have driven you to this?

Oh, right. I see. For the good of humanity and so forth. I suppose they are pretty annoying.

Oh, right. I see. For the good of humanity and so forth. I suppose that they are pretty annoying.

Interesting. This is new. Incorporating minor details of the innocent real-life victims into the murderer-it’s a nice metaphor. It’s still lazy, though.

After that little snippet, which informs us that PeterEric is small, skinny, and wears glasses, there’s a foreboding title on the next page entitled “Seventeen Years Before”, a flashback scene that lasts for an entire chapter. Sure, we could be getting to know PeterEric, and piecing together his possible motives. Or maybe, just this once, we could meet one of the victims, and experience their hopes, their dreams, their fears. But nope, we gotta go back in time for an unneccessay sequence in which the pregnancy of the aforementioned Alex Cormier is discussed in needless detail. By the time little Josie Cormier is rudely ushered into her role as a completely irrevelant main character, we know that her mother agonised over whether or not to keep her, we know that the midwife Lacy Houghton loves her job but feels chafed at home, and that PeterEric-the CENTRAL CHARACTER-had a soft spot on his head as a baby, just like every baby in existence ever.

The mid-section of the book can be condensed into a few simple sentences: PeterEric and Josie grow up together as best friends. PeterEric is bullied right from the moment he first sets foot on a school bus. PeterEric and Josie are torn apart by a fight between their mothers over Mrs. Houghton keeping guns in the house, but secretly remain friends. Then, Josie joins the popular crowd at school and abandons her childhood pal (who is still relentlessly bullied).

Sifting through this mess, I can see bits of the shooters winking up at me, like sentient cantaloupes. Dylan, for example, actually knew Rachel Scott from preschool onwards, which is interesting as Eric shot her during the massacre. Neither he nor Eric, however, were bullied particularly strenously.

But hark! PeterEric has entered the hormonal bloodbath of puberty! And what is this?

“When he was around Josie, he didn’t feel anything-didn’t want to kiss her or hold her hand or anything like that. He didn’t think he felt those things about guys, either, but surely you had to be gay or straight. You couldn’t be neither.”

You actually can be, Picoult. It’s called asexuality, and about one percent of the population identifies like that. But hey, let’s not quibble her ignorance-that’s for part three. Let’s focus on this exciting possibility-that PeterEric might bat for THE OTHER TEAM!

I can actually see the thinking behind this one. Two guys who never had girlfriends plan an elaborate murder-suicide pact for the guts of a year, excluding friends, family and possible love interests. They make a video which features them taking turns screaming at the viewer, ordering them to “leave that kid alone”. As they rampage about the school, they buoy each other up with war-whoops and high-fives. Then, when the fun has waned, they kill themselves, their bodies lying close together in bloody solidarity.

Stating it explicitly, however, is dicey. I speak from experience here-people do NOT like it when you mistakenly out their dead relatives on the Internet. (Jamie Doxtator, I am so, so sorry.) The real Eric may not be around to seek vengeance, but his parents and brothers sure as hell are.

Later on, PeterEric visits a gay bar, and it is hilarious.

“Peter stumbled, falling against someone sitting at the bar. ‘Whoa,’ the man said, and then his eyes lit up. ‘what have we here?’….

“‘My name’s Kurt,’ the man said, holding out his hand.”

Just for fun, close your eyes and pretend that the guy in the above snippet is Kurt Hummel from “Glee”. Then, take the phrase “eyes lit up” literally. That’s how I’m picturing this-Eric Harris being hit on at a gay bar by Kurt “Flaming” Hummel. It makes the whole bigoted mess a little less awful, and I will draw a picture of it and post it here someday.

Picoult lets this interesting plotline (interesting for some, at least. You know who you are) stagnate until a little sequence later on, where PeterEric and Josie the Shoehorn are stuck in a lift and decide to play Truth or Dare. PeterEric asks Shoehorn to kiss him. Shoehorn complies.

“He started to smile so wide it hurt. It wasn’t that he didn’t like girls; it was that there was only one right one.”

Nice save, Picoult. Nice save. And that’s why I call her Shoehorn-the author just shoved her in there and hoped the the Goddamn best. Y’know, I can think of better things to read than this book, from James Joyce’s Ullysses to a Dahmer fan story I came across one time where Jeff falls in love with a woman. (It was a highly unlikely scenario.)

Put his picture side-by-side with Lizzie Borden's and the bastard breaks out in a sweat.

Put his picture side-by-side with Lizzie Borden’s and the bastard breaks out in a sweat.

Hold on, we got another cribbed-from-the-FBI-report bit coming up. Okay, so, PeterEric is at his trial, and the prosecutor is detailing his massacre bit by bit, in the kind of excruciating detail usually saved for gestation flashbacks in overhyped novels. Here’s what he did when he got to the cafeteria:

“‘Then, as the wounded were sobbing and dying all around him, do you know what Peter Houghton did? He sat down in the cafeteria and he had a bowl of Rice Krispies.'”

Rice Krispies: They Go Really Well With Death Rattles!

In Real Life, Eric Harris had only a glass of water when he and Dylan stopped off in the cafeteria. This makes sense, as the sprinklers were going off at the time and soggy cereal is just the worst. However, I can’t see why having your breakfast would be considered especially diabolical. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day.

The trial passage is quite fascinating, as it shows us how Eric/Dylan would have fared had they had their own. So far, PeterEric has had to swallow his own vomit, which is…eerily accurate.

What next? What next?

Ooh, ooh, ooh! Here’s something! This guy is Derek, PeterEric’s bestest friend. He’s more of a Brooks Brown than a Dylan Klebold,though. Okay, so PeterEric’s just after pulling into the carpark of Colum-sorry, Sterling High-and he’s run into Derek. Here’s what he says:

“‘He said, ‘Go home. Something’s about to happen’.”

Again, that’s more or less a direct quote of the conversation that Brooks Brown is meant to have had with Eric Harris as the latter sauntered past him at Ster-sorry, Columbine High-resplendant in his cowboy duster and trying to look casual as he lugged his Bumper Bag O’ Bombs behind him. I know that original teenage murderers are verboten in the world of literature, but this is just lazy. I’m half-expecting Picoult to forget her few small shreds of originality and slot in a bastardized Dylan Klebold before the book is out.

But seriously, where the heck is Dylan? You can’t blatantly profit from a national tragedy and not do some service to the guy who, in a way, had a hand in writing your paycheque. What did you do to him, Picoult?

“I know you don’t think of me

And you certainly would never picture us together….”

Oh, that’s cold. So this was Klebold’s fate: robbed of his ability to stalk girls with poetry and left to die alone by the roadside. You’re a monster, Jodi Picoult. Your blood is as cold as that of a bluefin tuna.

"This is worse than when I typed my name into the search bar on deviantArt."

“This is worse than when I typed my name into the search bar on deviantArt.”

You see, ladies and gentlemen? Just as you can’t have light without shade, you can’t have shade without hidden furniture to bang your shin against. Dylan Klebold is that furniture. 

Hold on, friends, we’re nearing the the end of this abomination. Here it comes. PeterEric HoughtonHarris is giving his big speech on the witness stand. He’s giving the reason for his crimes. This next sentence not only explains his motives, but also what the author thinks the motives were for Columbine. Ready yourselves….

“‘They started it….The bullies, the jocks….'”

Heh heh heh. Do you guys remember when everybody thought that Harris and Klebold were just plaid-wearing sweethearts that were provoked into murdering their heartless, bullying classmates, and then Dave Cullen came along and proved that they were just assholes? Those were the days, dudes.

Picoult’s reasoning is also something of a fallacy, because if it held water then everybody who ever got picked on would stage a massacre of their own. Why, if I applied that solution to my own life, then all of the people in my class at school would be dead by now! Alas, I must be content with bursting into tears at life’s unfairness, making death threats that they laught at mockingly, and desperately begging them to let my play “John Wayne Gacy Jr.” on my guitar at talent shows. They never do.

I….I need a moment.

Part II is coming soon!

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Fun Post, Part III-Revenge of the Blogger!

I recall that, in the last post, I reduced Eric Harris’s postmortem reputation to rubble and ash. But Eric wasn’t the only Columbine shooter-hell no! He was aided and abetted by a rather strange young man named Dylan Klebold.

If Eric was God’s attempt at making a Tommy DeVito that Generation X could relate to, then Dylan was a short-term disposal solution for the chronic spine-and-forehead overflow that prevailed throughout the eighties. I’ve already used the drainpipe simile, so I’ll plump for saying that if Tim Burton had ever decided to remake The Nightmare Before Christmas with all the main characters as grunge fanatics, then Dylan would’ve won the part of Jack Skellington hands down. There is little doubt nowadays that Dylan couldn’t have facilitated the massacre by himself-in Eric’s journal, there are several passages that hint to him doing all the heavy lifting,things like, “I have to get Dylan some more guns.”

I must admit that Klebold’s journal was much easier to read than Harris’s-in a thematic sense, at least. Eric was apopletic twenty-four/seven; Dylan was thoughtful and morose (“Think….think….that’s all my life is….my mind never stops….).  Eric believed, quite seriously, that he was God; Dylan, although prone to the same grandiose fantasies, believed fervently in something more powerful than himself that he tried to bargain with (“What else can I do/give?….I’ve stopped the pornography, I try not to pick on people.”) Eric frequently went on racist tirades, whereas Dylan railed against what he saw as the conformity of his peers in general (“….Everything that the zombies consider real….”). Eric dreamed of-and wrote graphically about raping the girls he went to school and worked with; Dylan merely craved someone to love (“I want pure bliss….to be cuddling with [name redacted], who I think I love deeper than ever….”).

See, this is what I can’t understand. Klebold, although flawed, was what I like to call “salvageable”. He does, at one point, say that he would like to go on a shooting spree, but it’s mentioned two years before the massacre, and he doesn’t say anything of the sort again until five days before the shooting. If anything, his journal was a shrine to romance: hearts adorned the margins, he wrote a few love-letters that he was too shy to send, and he even did an acrostic in honour of a girl he was crushing on pretty heavily. To top it all off, he was clinically depressed. Two murderers couldn’t have been less alike.

How on earth did Eric convince him to go through with it? God, I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. Sure, Dylan was suicidal, but he wasn’t prone to daydreaming of hurting people, like Eric was. In fact, he seems to have started out as a fairly normal kid, who was slowly corrupted by his psychopathic BFF until he was a taller, blonder, whiner version of him.

But hey, I’m not here to dissect his mind, I’m here to mock him brutally! He shot a boy with special needs, for God’s sake! (That boy’s name, for the record, was Kyle Velasquez, and he was awesome beyond belief.)

To business!

“My existence is s***.”

Uhh….ooookkaaaaaaay….what else does the first entry say?

“….[I] go to school, be scared and nervous….”

Ahh….umm….err….

A few months later

“Yo….whassup….heehehehe….know what’s weird?”

No, I don’t! Keep away from me, you freakishly over-familiar dead guy!

[This next was apparently a dream he had:]

“Miles and miles of never-ending grass, like wheat. A farm, sunshine, a happy feeling in the presence, ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong, nothing ever is, contrary one hundred and eighty degrees to normal life.”

Dylan Klebold was not especially hard to please, it appears. Most people’s ideal paradises are completely unattainable. All Dylan needed for his was a cornfield, a sunny day, and maybe some cocaine for that “everything’s just dandy” feeling he sought so keenly. Heck, I myself can find at least two of those things in my neighbourhood-all three on a good day, in fact.

Here’s another thing about Klebold: he wasn’t as fond of Eric as Eric was of him. Harris’ journal contains many boasts of being one half of a two-man master race-only he and Dylan, his best pal, his bosom friend, had that self-awareness. Dylan, however, was rather cool towards Eric in the privacy of his journal.  In a rare moment where he wasn’t writing about wanting to kill himself, he scribbled that his friends were collapsing in on top of each other-Eric included-and that he didn’t mind. There are a number of interpretations for this interesting passage, my own being that Dylan and Eric briefly joined a cheerleading squad at some point, and that Dylan was writing that passage in the bleachers as the human pyramid he’d been the base of toppled every which way.

But then, ladies and gentlemen, he had a change of heart. Aftermore than thirty pages of going on about crushing hopelessly on a girl at school, he hits us with this curveball:

“….I know he and I are concieved from ourselves and each other. Every night of the self-awareness journey, every thought we concieved, we finished the race. Time to die. Everything we knew, we were able to understand it….The zombies were a test to see if our love was genuine. We are in wait of our reward, each other. The zombies will never cause us pain anymore. The humanity was a test. I love you, love. Time to die, time to be free, time to love.”

I, uh….I guess he was pretty fond of Eric, after all. This entry is written in the vein of the passages where he waxed poetic over a girl he mysteriously alludes to as [name redacted], but here he’s apparently talking about the individual he planned committing the massacre with. This leaves me, personally, with some interesting theories. Either Dylan would have preferred to have murdered with his female soulmate by his side, or-this seems more plausible-he was talking about Eric, thus proving the suspiscions of David Larkin, Gus Van Sant and a certain niche group on tumblr.

The whole thing’s kind of messed up, isn’t it?

How shall I finish this post? I’ve been surprised by this strange, lonely young man, with his bizarre syntax and fluffy drawings of lovehearts, his perhaps intentional homoeroticism and twisted loyalties. Maybe, if things had been different, I would be saluting his spirit as I usually do, with the words “Rest in peace”. But God damn it, just look at Kyle. LOOK AT HIM.

velasquez

 He….he looks so friendly and kind.

So, without further ado, allow me to play you out with this fine, patriotic phrase:

Dylan Klebold, you have a face like a set of dog genitalia sellotaped to a dinner plate.

That is all.

 

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Fun Post, Part II-The Blogger Strikes Back!

Okay! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, by the way. The year’s been rather full of things to be done. But hey, I had a spare moment, so here’s a fun post….sort of. It’ll have all the playful cruelty of one, but layered with the seriousness of a regular post, because what I’m covering today is, to borrow some sixties slang, heavy.

So, who shall I be mocking mercilessly today? Which evil, heartless monsters are in my crosshairs?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold! Nice smiles for the twenty-first century, boys!

srpic

THOSE AREN’T NICE SMILES.

eric_harris_and_dylan_klebold

That’s better.

Okay, so, here’s the lowdown on the two assholes you see before you. Harris (on the left in the above picture) and Klebold (on the right) were two kids who walked into Columbine High School one day and shot thirty-seven people, killed thirteen (twelve students and a teacher) and then wandered around the school for a bit before blowing their heads off. You may wonder why I’m not doing my usual thing where I honour the victims post by post, and the reason for that is because I just wanted to lighten the mood for a bit. Also, acolumbinesite.com did a way better job.

I didn’t even plan for this post originally. I was writing a story with a school shooting in it, and I was looking at the boys’ journals and stuff for research, when I suddenly realized that it was high time these racist, boastful, big-headed idiots were taken down a peg….with humour. I’m not going to dissect their motives or anything-that’s for people older and wiser than I to fight over-I just want to make fun of them.

So, here goes.

On Eric Harris: Eric Harris was what happened when God decided to make a person out of nothing but toothpicks and impotent rage. He had the physical proportions of a (short) length of drainpipe and the mind of a psychopath. He was charming on the surface, but a mammoth anger seethed underneath his “normal” exterior. He planned the Columbine murders for over a year, collecting guns, bombs, and a loyal sidekick….and recorded every second in his various journals, because if you’re going to commit an atrocity, you might as well leave your blueprints lying around for your folks to find. Heck, he was planning on killing himself, after all-what’s a little grounding compared to the eternal flames of Hell?

Ladies and gentemen, here are some choice extracts from just one of these records (with my commentary):

“As I said before, self-awareness is a wonderful thing….”

Damn straight it is! How insightful!

“….I know what all you f*****s are thinking and what to do to piss you off and make you feel bad.”

Ugh, I hate it when people use the wrong word. You see, when little Eric said “self-awareness”, he meant “being such a huge asshole that astronauts can see my douchebaggery from outer space”.

“Everyone should be put to the test. An ULTIMATE DOOM test.”

Heeey, I remember the ULTIMATE DOOM test! I think it was this playground game I used to play with my friends back when I was seven!

Seriously, how old was this guy again?

“Ever wonder why we go to school? Besides getting a so-called education.”

Gee, I dunno, Eric. I thought that that was the whole point….unless you were going to sniff the felt pens on the teachers’ desks? That actually explains a lot.

“When I go NBK and people say things like ‘Oh, it was so tragic,’ or ‘Oh, he is crazy,’ or ‘It was bloody!’, I think, so the f*** what, you think that’s a bad thing?”

Well, your parents said it was unforgiveable….and here’s me saying that it was stupid….so where does that leave you?

And yes, Eric. I do think that it’s a bad thing that your tenses are so screwed up.You may think you’re God, but even God has to take the time once in a while to sit down and learn his grammar.

“It has been confirmed: after getting my yearbook….the human race isn’t worth fighting anymore.”

Dear God, your yearbook was that bad? Also: wait, you mean that the above passages were from when you actually WERE fighting for the human race?

“….And the majority of the audience won’t understand my motives either! They’ll say, ‘Ah, he’s crazy, he’s insane, oh well, I wonder if the Bulls won.'”

I just don’t get why this kid thought he had to shoot up his Goddamn school to get his point across-whatever that point even was. This journal reads like Eric paid a monkey high on glue to ghostwrite it. I just can’t understand his motives. Then again, he WAS later proved to be a sociopath with an anti-personality disorder. Oh, well.

Hey, did the Bulls win that match I missed?

Stay tuned for Part III!

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Closing Thoughts on Henry Lee Lucas

Henry Lee Lucas….man oh man, I could devote an entire blog to just making fun of him. But this blog isn’t about him, so I’ll merely devote a few sentences to his shortcomings.

Henry Lee Lucas had so few teeth that paying people to chew his food for him was a major debit. Such a stench came off him that flies considered him carrion. He was so cowardly that the Cowardly Lion from Oz thinks about him to feel better about himself. The movie version of him is scarier than the man himself.

He was a psychopath, but he wasn’t a very good one. After being caught and incarcerated, the authorities wanted to find out his final body count, and so they sent a few investigators his way. They took with them a file on just about every disappearance, every unsolved murder that had occured throughout Lucas’ adult life. They questioned him about the deaths the files detailed. Apparently, he ended up confessing to over three thousand murders. A skeptical investigator decided to feed him a file for a murder that had never been committed. He set it down in front of him and said, “Henry, do you know anything about this?”

And Lucas drawled, “Oh, sure! I killed her, alright.”

He wasn’t good at anything. He wasn’t even a good liar.

But God bless those poor people he really did kill. They were good souls, just trying to get by in less-than-pleasant circumstances.

To them, I say, Rest in peace.

To him, I say, Rot in hell. Burn while you’re at it.

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