Monday, November 10, 2008

A Killer Test: How sharp are your murder skills?

It's safe to assume the readers of Under The News are fairly conversant in matters of mass- and serial-killing. You know your Mansons from your Bundys, right? Well, it's Monday and you've got a tough week ahead, so here's something fun -- in a macabre sorta way -- to distract you from your nasty obsession with Dr. G.

In the next 60 seconds -- and before you read any further in this post -- list as many mass-murderers and serial killers as you can ... ready ... set ... GO!

How many did you get? 10? Watch more TruTV.

20? Not bad.

30? Impressive.

OK, here's another little test for you, and this one is a little harder: In the next 60 seconds, name as many victims of mass- or serial killers as you can. Ready ... set ... GO!

Oh c'mon, if every name you came up with was killed by the Manson Family, that's no better than the devoted readers of Mommy Blogs! Pre-schoolers wandering through the true-crime section at Borders can do better! UTN readers are the cream of the crop! What? You couldn't name a single victim of Bundy, Dahmer, BTK, Gein, Gacy or the Ripper?

OK, forget that test, let's try another one: In the next 60 seconds, name as many survivors of mass- or serial-killers as you can. Ready ... set ... whaddya mean you're not even gonna try?? C'mon it's just for fun. Please?

If some idle cybersurfer drifts through here, he's gonna think that we are more fixated with the killers than with their victims. That just doesn't seem right, does it? I mean, we know ordinary folks are fascinated by demented killers, but we're supposed to be ... I dunno ... extra-ordinary.

Our infatuation with the perverse sometimes leaves little room on our emotional hard drive for the victims of perversity. That's not to say we cannot appreciate the horrors faced by Catherine Eddowes, Nancy Fox, Bobby Piest or Debra Lynn Bonner -- but we forget their names and faces far quicker than the names and faces of the killers who ended their lives.

And when it comes to survivors of these monsters, barely a single name would kindle a spark of recognition in even the most devoted true-crime reader.

Talk to me, friends. What does this say about us?

(How did I do on my own test? Hey, I'm a true-crime writer and a career journalist who started his newsroom life in the cop shops and courtrooms of this great ... OK, I sucked, too.)

1 comment:

SingingSkies said...

I guess we tend to remember the victims we knew personally. I can remember Terry Walden, mother of two of the children at Baby Redbird Day School where I worked. She disappeared on a Friday and was found 3 days later, victim of a serial killer. Not one of the "big names", but no less despicable.

A wonderful, sweet woman who would have been an awesome nurse once she'd finished at Lamar. I still think of her from time to time.