Gloriana's Crime Blog

Part 1 of In Cold Blood

Although it took me a while to get into the story because of how many seemingly unrelated details included in it, as I read on I realized they helped inform the story of how the murders had happened and also how they helped to get you familiar with the family. If I didn’t know about about all the little things that made the Clutters the Clutters I probably would not have sympathized so much and I would not have been able to get so into the story later on. Most of the details about the family were probably made up or exaggerated but if Truman Capote did not do that then he would have just been writing another article about the murders themselves and not a book.

I also really liked how much Capote told us about Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. It made me really interested to see what had actually happened the night of the murders and who killed the family; if they both killed someone or if one person just killed them all.

Even though there was closure on this case because we found who killed the Clutters for what reason and there was justice, I felt just as bad if not worse than I did reading The  Black Dahlia because I really felt like I knew the family after reading the first part of the book.  They felt very real to me and I could actually see them going about their daily lives before Perry and Dick came along.

The Black Dahlia and The Joker

When I was reading The Black Dahlia and I got to the portion that described how her face was slashed from ear to ear “fixed in a grotesque and leering death smile” it reminded me of the Joker. Especially because he came up in that video we watched last week and because of they way the Joker is. He is a psychopath with no real reason for everything he does. It is madness for the sake of madness. Which was brought up in The Black Dahlia because we don’t know why Elizabeth Short was killed. It could be because she betrayed someone or there could be no reason for the violence at all and we will never know.

Both the Black Dahlia and My Mother’s Killer reminded me of the torso killings because the killer was never caught for any of them. It really sucks when the killer isn’t found because it means not only will there be no justice but we will also never for sure know the motive behind the murder. At least with My Mother’s Killer and the torso murders there have been guesses towards the murder but with the Black Dahlia there are too many reasons she could have been killed.

Criminal and/or Psychopath

The readings today reminded me of the conversation we had in class about the prison system and if it actually worked and about the death penalty. There is no good answer to it though. Some criminals do need psychological help and the prison system may help them but other criminals are just criminals that will commit crimes no matter how many times they go to prison. I looked this up to be sure but within 3 years 67% offenders become repeat offenders and return to prison. Obviously, something here needs to change.

Like Lindsey said in her post,  what the people went through trying to kill Malloy reminded me of Rasputin and his death. It took 7 attempts and then finally a gas tube in his mouth to kill him and yet it took only 16 minutes to kill the three men all for $1290. If I was one of the guys trying to kill him I would have stopped after he survived the night in the cold because Malloy  was obviously not going to die soon.

The Unsolved Torso Killings

Torso was a pretty cool reading and I enjoyed the actual story even though the graphic novel itself was a bit hard to read at times because I couldn’t tell some of the characters apart. It felt almost like I was reading a TV show or movie and I did not want to stop reading.  The different ways Bendis and Andreyke created the world of the graphic novel really drew me in. Like the two main cops, Sam Simon and Walter Myrlo, and pages like the spiral or the couple pages that were sideways.

It was bittersweet for me to find out the two man police characters were made up because although I really liked them and they made me really get into the story in a way that I would not have if it was just Elliot Ness, I’m glad they aren’t real because it means that Sam Simon didn’t die.

Elliot Ness reminded me of Harvey Dent from the Batman movie. I was expecting him to either become corrupt or be the torso killer, although I’m glad he didn’t.

Ballads of Murder not Love

Although all of the ballads involved someone killing someone else it was actually hard for me to take some of them seriously because some of the lines didn’t quite work for me. In the Belle Gunness reading for example, the line “she weighed about three hundred pounds, and that is quite some weight” made me laugh and then I found out that she killed a ton of people and we never found out how many.

I had to reread the Omie Wise ballad a couple times to fully understand it. The switching between the tenses confused me, one line says “I got up behind him, and straightway did go” and then further down “he wretch then did choke her, as we understand”. I couldn’t figure out who was telling this story.

I did like how much detail they were able to get into the poems though. I basically knew who killed who or who did what  all while the authors kept a rhyme scheme, which is pretty impressive.

I really enjoyed the Stackalee ballad especially since he killed Billy Lyons because he “dun ruint [his] Stetson hat.” I also liked the warning the author put into the end of the poem, it reminded me of the warnings people would give before being hanged in our previous readings like Esther Rodgers.

On Trial for Lunacy

This reading reminded me of some other readings we have done because of how theatrical and dramatic it was, even though this reading goes beyond the other ones. At first I wasn’t even sure how true crime would fit into the story that was unfolding and then in the last few pages it got crazy.

Like Paul the quote of  “But who would have remembered it then, a man killing his wife?” stuck out to me. It makes me think about how because it seems murderers who are women are more rare, their stories are everywhere and are very popular.  If it was a man killing his wife or lover, we might hear about it but certainly not with the same attention to the actual love story. Instead the author might write about the childhood of the man and how he grew up. I think it was especially popular because of the forbiddenness of the relationship between the two girls.

I also thought it was strange that the girls were encouraged to have relationships with each other because “it kept girls from good families from ruining themselves with men before marriage.” However the instant two girls became serious with their relationship it was completely unacceptable and seen as lunacy. Alice was on trial for lunacy for loving Fred and not murdering her.

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