Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tales on Tuesday – All in the Family

Serial killers fascinate me. Not what they do or their modus operandi; not who they kill or why. While I feel for their victims and the victims’ families, I am interested in the perpetrators. Who they were as children, who their families were and how they interacted.


To me, evil has always been cloaked in the ordinary. Monsters are not ugly, with misshapen toes or boils upon their noses. Monsters speak softly and beguile you with a smile. They are not crazy lunatics wrapped in faded and dirty blankets self talking as they walk down the street. They comb their hair and iron their shirts. They befriend your parents or hand out papers for the teacher, then do bad things in the woods.


Eddie raped and killed seven girls by the time he was caught at age nineteen. If he hadn’t been caught in the act on victim number seven, no one would have believed it. Eddie stood five feet four, had short brown hair cut trim. He wore button up dress shirts and creased his pants. He spoke quietly and never got excited.


There were several missing girls who the authorities believed were Eddie’s victims and very little evidence in the cases, so a deal was cut. The authorities allowed a plea of guilty due to insanity (Eddie couldn’t remember his deeds) and Eddie agreed to undergo psychiatric treatment and participate in a serial killer study. Eddie agreed to take sodium thiopental so the bodies of the six other victims (if there really were any, as Eddie would say) could be found and the families could have closure.


Serving a twenty to thirty year sentence in a psychiatric prison, Eddie underwent many hours of interviews. He was questioned about his past which he said was normal. He showed the doctors pictures of a close knit family: father, mother, two sisters and Eddie between the two girls. He did well in school. He went to church every Sunday with his family. His father was a lector. His mother helped with charities.


The doctors spoke Eddie’s parents. They were shocked that Eddie was accused of these things and had a hard time believing it. He was such an ordinary child. They stood behind their son in spirit and in body at all of his trials. They prayed for him. They never found any dead animals when he was little. He never fought them over any of the rules and they considered themselves fairly strict. Eddie was very punctual.


Eddie’s mother would not speak to anyone except her husband about Eddie. When the doctors first requested a dialogue to see if there was anything in Eddie’s past that might have led his parents to think something might be wrong with Eddie, husband and wife tried to recall any incidents that might have been clues. They decided nothing about him rang any warning bells. Mother did tell Father there was that one time that Younger Sister told Mother that Eddie had forced her to have sex with him, but they were sure that was just something boys did.

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tales on tuesday

The theme for Tuesday, April 27, 2010 will be My Favorite Martian.
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28 comments:

  1. There's almost nothing you can imagine that's too extreme for someone, somewhere to have normalized it, is there?

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  2. Since I could not imagine ever doing the things to people that serial killers do I too have always been fascinated by them because they are such a polar opposite of the way I have always been. I have always tended to turn my anger against myself rather than against others.
    Another odd phenomenon is the women who become obsessed with serial killers. Richard Ramirez actually had groupies, for instance. Can you imagine?

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  3. I know a mother who, when the authorities asked if she knew her son forced himself on his sister almost nightly, responded that she did, but since the child was too young to conceive, she thought it better than her son going out and getting some girl pregnant. They lociked the son up. I think they should have locked the mother up, too.

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  4. Made me think of Ann Rule's book on Ted Bundy. So personal, because they had volunteered together at a crisis center. She had known a kind and caring young man. She was a maternal figure for him and he treated her with respect. Who would dream that this same young man was a serial killer?

    I enjoyed the story and it left me wanting to know more. Why did he choose to make sexual advances towards his younger sister rather than experiment with girls of his own age? Is that another family secret?

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  5. You are right, just the ordinary things about them are very interesting. What a creepy ending. Good to see you around again.

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  6. This was fascinating. I agree with you, evil comes always in disguise.
    Great writing,
    xo

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  7. I certainly hope that you can continue this with My Favorite Martian. I can't believe the ending. I never even dreamed that it would go that way. There are a bunch of sick people out there and you portrayed this one perfectly :) Well done my friend. *belts down a whole bottle of woo woos :)

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  8. Very witty post. It really gives something to think about. Have a wonderful day, Nessa.

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  9. I really like this tale, Nessa! I love to read about serial killers too, working with abused family victims. what you related happened all too often. BRAVO, well done!
    Hope you are alright and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your mom. hugs to her !

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  10. Speechless! #1ToT meme! Have a great week Nessa! Very amazing drawing power in your story. I wasn't one to read much on serial killers, but worked in a small library that had a very strong audience of Ann Rule readers(and the like), so I did end up reading them some. Your's is a great read, really amazing build up and twist! Are you writing, or going to write more on this one? You really could/should keep going with it.
    Caio, Allison

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  11. This is kind of a weird comment...I thought the ending was a little bit "drab," it just - ended, there was no sort of 'big-bang,' no shocking realisation; but at the same time that's what made the story, I thought. By just saying it straight out, no bells and whistles, etc., I think the story ended up much better than it would have otherwise. Great job :)

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  12. this was a powerful piece of writing! the seeming ordinariness of it all makes it all the more disturbing. human mind can be an eerie place.

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  13. ack
    your comment section still hates me.
    Finally got in here though, now can't recall what I what I wanted to say.
    sigh
    :p

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  14. That was a brilliant story.enjoyed reading it.

    Nuts in May

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  15. I'm intrigued. I just saw Lovely Bones and felt the same way. I wanted to understand what made the killer the way he was. What he did was so unfathomable. I guess family denial and co-dependency plays a big role, if not out and out abuse. http://loosleafnotes.com

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  16. Sheesh! Have you read every Ann Rule book ever written? I have! I was so addicted to true crime stories - and especially serial killer stories for a LOOONG time! I've read others too - but Ann Rule's are the BEST!

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  17. denisetogetherwesaveTue Apr 20, 11:14:00 PM EDT

    Wow- what a story!!

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  18. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/wow-you-are-a-celebrate-blogger-on-award-for-march/

    award on short story,
    plus,
    you are a super star award..
    cheers!

    awesome tale!

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  19. i've read a bit about the manson family... was somewhat obsessed when i was 12

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  20. This is an amazing writing talent you have!

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  21. Ooh. I just LOVE the word "beguile". It's so beguiling.

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  22. I think everyone is a psychopath to a greater or lesser degree. Everyone has a unique point on the continuum of psychopathy,. Seeing oneself as the most important thing in the Universe is an almost inevitable consequence of how consciousness works. Some people succeed in mitigating this inevitability; others don't. Some people (most) succeed at failing to be a psychopath.

    Also, the post brings to mind Hannah Arendt's phrase about the "banality of evil".

    masterymistery at cosmic rapture

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  23. Have you ever noticed that whenever they catch a serial killer, everyone who knows that person expresses surprise and comments that they were always so quiet?

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  24. Just out of curiosity, did you decide you didn't want the chocolate? Did my email end up in the spam filter?

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  25. You just made that up? Wow.
    very sad. Very, very sad.

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  26. Wow; What a sad story? Almost brought tears to my eyes. I just get creep when I heard stories about serial killers.

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  27. LKF: There are 668 Martian days in a Martian Year. Just think what we could get done if we were little red(wo)men? Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, both discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall. The largest crater is the 10 km-long "Stickney," which was named after Asaph Hall's wife.
    So, I miss your stories; but wish you a very happy vacation with all the pleasures and comforts of a home vacation! Have a great one!

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