September 18, 2000
[books] Crime Magazine asks if In Cold Blood is a dishonest book. Interesting look at the story behind the creation of the book — but be warned… the page contains some disturbing images. ‘However, early on I’d like to raise the question of Capote’s basic honesty in writing this book. He set out to write a masterpiece, yet he took no notes. He recounts lengthy, complex conversations – sans notes. Capote told Plimpton that he had trained himself to do this – that, for a year and a half prior to embarking on the book, he had a friend read passages from a book to him, for an hour or two a day, then he would write down what he had heard – and in his estimation he had a unique facility for accurately remembering interviews, with an accuracy quotient of 95 percent. Which any newspaper reporter can tell you is horse feathers.’
September 7, 2000
[lone nut] Following on from an earlier post… Guardian Unlimited’s Netnotes covers Mark Chapman. More from the John Lennon’s Murder Site: ‘Two days later, he is watching television, when the picture goes blank and “Thou Shalt Not Kill” appears across the screen. It is the sixth Commandment, as written in The Gospel of St. Mark – his Gospel, and Mark Chapman is shocked at the intensity of the experience, and sees it as an example of synchronicity, giving him a message to go back to reading the Bible.’
September 5, 2000
[murder] GuardianUnlimited profiles Tony Martin. ‘He described his thrombosis (responsible for the limp), his run-down farm, his closest companions (three rottweilers), his love of travel, farming at night, his love of solitude. This disconnected rambling ranging across his life often returned to the first thing he had said that day; what was happening to him was surreal, beyond his control, not his responsibility.’
[lennon] Guardian Unlimited reports that John Lennon’s murderer is about to apply for parole. ‘Chapman has said that he killed Lennon to be famous. “I had to usurp someone else’s importance, someone else’s success,” he said. “I was Mr Nobody until I killed the biggest somebody on earth.”‘ [Related Link: Lennon/Chapman website covering ‘the parallels, coincidences and strange synchronicities that brought together John Lennon and Mark Chapman on December 8th 1980.’]
August 11, 2000
[Mr Blue] Excellent Edward Bunker retrospective in Crime Time ‘But apart from his friendship with Louise Wallis, Bunker continued to hang-out with low lifes: pimps, whores, dope-addicts and boosters. He tried heroin and then began selling crudely-harvested marijuana. While out on a delivery a police pulled up alongside him, indicating him to stop. Bunker drove off but crashed into a car and a mail truck. Apprehended by the law, he was sent to LA county jail.’ [via Beesley]
July 19, 2000
[children] A father talks about his daughter’s reaction to the muder of Sarah Payne. ‘When I arrive home my daughter has more news about Sarah. “She’s dead,” she says. “It’s really sad isn’t it Daddy?” she says. Yes, I say, it’s horrible, and prepare for one of those painful conversations about why anyone could do this. But she walks off. A couple of minutes later she calls me back. “Daddy, have you seen the fairy house I made?” she asks.’
July 3, 2000
[murder] BBC News reports that murder suspect put plan to kill wife on Psion palmtop. ‘Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told the jury at Inner London Crown Court Mr Debruin wrote what looked like a macabre checklist for the killing on his Psion organiser which read: “Rubber gloves. Throat. Take telephone off hook. Purse out with contents spread about.”‘
June 22, 2000
[unabomber] Nice article on the Unabomber at Harvard — where he was psychologically tested (to destruction?). “When, soon after, Kaczynski began to worry about the possibility of mind control, he was not giving vent to paranoid delusions. In view of Murray’s experiment, he was not only rational but right. The university and the psychiatric establishment had been willing accomplices in an experiment that had treated human beings as guinea pigs, and had treated them brutally. Here is a powerful logical foundation for Kaczynski’s latterly expressed conviction that academics, in particular scientists, were thoroughly compromised servants of “the system”, employed in the development of techniques for the behavioral control of populations.”
June 21, 2000
[violence] Jeremy Paxman on football violence in This is London. “Perhaps he is as blameless as many of those arrested have claimed. But what seems to have shocked the British authorities is that so many of those accused by the Belgians do not fit the stereotype. “Some of those who have been sent back,” the Home Secretary gulped in a radio interview, “are barristers and engineers.” The shock with which Mr Straw – himself a barrister, as, of course, is our Prime Minister – had received this intelligence was audible in his voice.”
June 19, 2000
[crime] newsUnlimited on Identity Theft. “You, meanwhile, know nothing of this until – several months later – debt collection agencies begin to harass you. Life becomes Kafkaesque. You inform the police – but they can’t see that you are the victim of any crime. The law holds you liable only for the first $50 on the phoney credit cards and nothing on the other bills. The cops can’t get involved with working out who is the real you. There are drug dealers and paedophiles out there. Take it to Mr Visa and Mr AT&T, they say.”
June 4, 2000
[murder] newsUnlimited covers a nasty murder on a bridge in London last year. “‘We’ll never know what happened that night,’ she said. ‘It seems inexplicable. I believe there was a group dynamic which forced them to do what they did. Peer pressure and a boy shouting “throw them in the river” was enough to create an atmosphere in which there was no going back. It will have been one person who started it and the others would have followed like sheep.'”
May 27, 2000
[only in america] Texas prisoner attempts to sell seats to his own execution on ebay reports newsUnlimited. “Years ago Bob Dylan wrote in his song Desolation Row that “they’re selling postcards of the hanging”. Toney might concede that that still has more of a ring to it than “they’re selling tickets to the lethal injection”. “
May 17, 2000
[nasty] BBC News reports that anthrax has been linked to a spate of deaths in Europe of heroin addicts.
April 13, 2000
Two murders that won’t go away : Sam Sheppard is still a fugitive. Jeffrey MacDonald still protests his innocence… MacDonald’s pregnant wife and two children were murdered in Feb 1970 a month before I was born… over thirty years ago. Murders cast long shadows, I guess.
April 6, 2000
[uk] newsunlimited has an interesting profile of Charlie Kray [Text Only] who died recently. Here’s the Guardian’s Obit [Text Only].
March 12, 2000
The Sunday Times has a profile of Ian Brady. Why bother?
March 9, 2000
A life in Crime — Ian Rankin on crime novels. “Here’s the scoop: crime writing is sexy.”
March 8, 2000
Watching the Detective – interview with the detective leading the murder hunt for Jill Dando.

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