Two sides of the same coin.

There was a time when the words left and right simply referred to sides of the body/directions/whatever you want to call it. The simpler times when those words had no political connotations to me; I still remember thinking “what do they mean by right wing?”  Ah the age of innocence.

These days I hear left and immediately think of liberal democrats, and when I hear right my mind goes straight to conservative republicans. I am not even American. Nowadays, even if you are under a rock, it is impossible to miss the constant haranguing between the two sides. The friction between the two has exploded in a new dimension thanks to the volatile nature of social media. One simply cannot turn a corner on the twitter streets without running into a heated debate between the two sides, each one oblivious to anything else other than the take-down of the other; a real case of elephants fighting without giving a damn about the grass.

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How to avoid being murdered.

After nearly two decades of religiously feeding my paranoia with a multitude of crime shows, I believe I have discovered a list of unguaranteed ways to avoid ending up on these shows as a victim.

First off, Never light up a room. Anyone who watches crime shows knows what I am talking about. Every victim on these shows is describes as having lit up every room they walked into which when you add two plus two means there is a direct correlation between a bright personality and the risk of murder.

In the same vein, Never give the shirt off your back to anyone, least of all a stranger. It is amazing just how many of the victims would have given the shirt off their back to a stranger without thinking about it. At the very least you may die of hypothermia and there are probably rules against walking around shirtless. If you must, go home and retrieve some shirts to donate or just leave it all together.

Have some enemies: At least 73.48% of the victims on the show “have no enemies” and their families can never think of anyone “who would harm them in anyway.

Close your doors, even (especially) if you live in a town where this sort of thing never happens.

Do not leave your windows open regardless of how hot it gets. Bugs and murderers are attracted to open windows like moth to a flame.

Get cameras in your house and review them regularly while you are at work. This way you can tell if some crazed psycho has snuck into your house and is laying in wait for you. A camera will also help track those who may be secretly living in your house; you’ll be surprised by how many people have been killed by secret squatters.

Do not allow anyone take out life insurance on you. This is probably the most important one! The love of life insurance money is the root of most spousal murders!

Do not enter a stranger’s car under any circumstances. If a stranger stops you to ask for directions, take off running. If they ask to give you a lift, take off running. If your car breaks down and they stop to help, take off running. Just take off running, in any case this will help put you in better shape to fight off any attackers.

Do not let anyone take you to a second location. If you get attacked fight as hard as you can to avoid being bundled into a vehicle and driven away. Do not willingly enter a car even if there is a gun pointed to your head because you will most likely be murdered in this second location, or kept as a sex slave in an undergound dungeon. The only reason to be compliant with bad guys is if that will help spare your life. Otherwise fight like hell. Let them kill you in that first position rather than risk your family never finding out what happened to you.

Do not get out of your car to talk to anyone, especially in deserted areas at odd hours. If you see someone in distress, drive on and call the police to help them. Do not come out of your car as you will most likely be attacked and murdered.

Regularly review your spouse’s internet search to see if they are googling things such as “how to make wife’s death look like accident”How much cyanide is needed to kill a 5’3 140lbs woman?“How to get away with murder (not tv show)” “How to pass polygraph”.

Be suspicious of all drinks/foods provided by your spouse. Routinely test meals/drinks given to you by your spouse for a litany of poisons including but not limited to arsenic, anti freeze, cyanide, thallium, and strychnine. Be especially suspicious if they give you a drink just before your bath. There is a high chance they have put in a lot of sleeping pills to make you fall asleep in the bath and drown.

Review your husband’s academic records: Listen, I have seen at least five cases in which the husband claims to have graduated from medical school (it’s always medical school) when in fact they have never registered. They keep up the charade for as long as possible and when this is no longer feasible they kill their wife to keep the secret from being exposed. If your spouse says he is in medical school call the school to ensure he is enrolled there. Visit him on campus, attend his graduation and make sure his name is called out.

Remain single: You are very likely to be murdered by a spouse/romantic interest. How many times have we heard the 911 call placed by a person who has just discovered their dead spouse only to find out the caller is the one who pulled the trigger? Of course we could all tell by the fake breathy scripted cries for help on the phone call. It is really hard to fake a convincing call when you have blood on your hands. Just remain single babes.

Remain childless: Yup, a few episodes of Killer Kids will have you thinking twice about those bundles of joy. In addition, if you are childless you will never have to worry about being murdered by your ex while embroiled in a nasty custody battle (see also; remain single).

Be very aware of your surroundings and switch up your routine: This is key because you never really know who is watching you and monitoring your schedule. I myself have been stopped a few times by men who wanted to chat, and I always find it unsettling when they say “I see you walking around here all the time” because if they are noticing me and know my schedule then so could a psycho stalker.

Avoid all confrontations at all costs!  Do not ever confront anyone for any reason because they will most likely kill you. If you are trying to leave an abusive partner, do it secretly and then send them a DM/email. If you suspect an employee/friend is stealing from you, secretly gather proof and go to the police. Under no circumstances should you confront someone, and certainly not by yourself. A person who is stealing from you will not hesitate to kill you. People will go to extreme lengths to hide their secrets and shame, and murder will be on their mind. If you must confront someone in person, do it with an army of backup and arm yourself with pepper spray (Apparently pepper spray is illegal to carry in some places, so deodorant may work; aerosol spray not roll on).

Never leave your house: This is the surest way to get murdered. But you are also likely to be murdered in your house so hey.

Have no friends as they are likely to murder you.

Do not get life insurance!!!

Do not ignore red flags!

There you have it; a few tips that may or may not protect you from becoming a murder victim. Feel free to share any tips that I may have missed.

I will end this post with links to stories about a few men who pretended to be doctors for years. It is truly incredible that they were able to get away with such deception for so long.

British Indian man who pretended to be a doctor for seven years attempts to kill wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law out of fear that his secret would be exposed.

French man who pretended to be a doctor for 18 years kills wife, children and parents.

Utah man murders pregnant wife after she discovers he lied about being enrolled in medical school.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Trial by Media

There’s a new show on Netflix called Trial by Media and as I do with all true crime shows I set a reminder and binge watched it immediately it was released. (This post was started months ago but I am lazy AF).

The show reviews six high profile court cases which attracted heavy media attention, and discusses the effects of the media in the quest for justice. I was just going to discuss a couple of the more memorable episodes, but I might as well talk about them all.

Episode one: Talkshow Murder
Just a day or so before the show was released on Netflix, YouTube had recommended this video about trashy talk shows and the damage they cause. The highlight of the show was an incident related to the Jenny Jones show; in summary, a man Scott is brought on the show to meet a secret admirer who turns out to be Jon, his male acquaintance. Enraged and embarrassed, Scott murders Jon. This leads to a nonsensical conversation about the culpability of the Jenny Jones show

Imagine my surprise when I tuned in to Trial by Media to see that the first episode was about this raggedy case. I had gone from never hearing about Jenny Jones to watching two different documentaries on this case in under a week.

I say raggedy because everyone was trying to excuse Scott of the murder and pin everything on Jenny Jones. According to the silly people, Scott’s reaction was justified because how else is a man supposed to react when he is confronted by a homosexual love interest? These silly people thought that Scott must have suffered such extreme embarrassment by a man showing interest in him and the murder was the only way to reclaim his dignity and erase all suspicions of homosexuality.

I watched both documentaries in confusion and annoyance. First off, it is ridiculous to put the blame on Jenny Jones and her tv show. Secondly, it is unacceptable to murder someone out of embarrassment; imagine if women murdered every man who came onto them with unwanted advances? Third of all, there is a high chance that Scott himself was a homosexual and the murder was not out of embarrassment but really more an attempt to hide his truth. Scott and Jeremy’s mutual friend claims the two had sex. In court, Scott’s father, a raging homophobe of course, proclaims “How would you feel if someone did that to you (accuse you of being a homosexual)?”

The whole case was weird. More focus was placed on proving that Scott was not gay and that the blame was solely on Jenny Jones. All of this stems from homophobia and it was truly ridiculous. Scott has been released from Prison after 21 years and wouldn’t it be interesting if he came out as gay?

Episode two: Subway Vigilante
This episode follows the 1984 story of a (White) man who shot four (Black) teenagers on a New York subway claiming they were trying to rob him. At the time crime in New York must have been through the roof because most people (Black and White) supported his actions, much to my surprise. He is dubbed the Subway Vigilante and enjoys his newfound notoriety.

Then a video of his interview with the police is released and the public tune changes in light of his hateful unrepentant rhetoric. His claim of self-defense is looked at with renewed criticism and suspicion which results in a trial dominated by controversy and tabloids.

The episode also incidentally chronicles the rise of the National Rifle Association (NRA) which was interesting to see. The NRA jumped on this case as proof that everyone should be able to carry guns and exercise their second amendment rights.

In the end, the shooter is acquitted of all charges and only serves a year in jail for carrying a gun without a license. He is still alive and still lives in the same apartment.

I found this case quite fascinating especially as I had just watched The Joker. There is a scene in the movie where The Joker shoots a bunch of bad guys on the subway in similar fashion and this may have been inspired by the case.

Episode three: 41 shots
This episode chronicles the Amadou Diallo case; the unarmed African immigrant who was shot by the police 41 times as he was trying to enter his apartment. The officers apparently mistook him for a suspect and assumed his black wallet was a gun.

I knew a little bit of this case beforehand, mainly from Wyclef Jeans’s 2000 song titled “Diallo”, but I did not know enough of it. Episode three goes from America to Amadou’s home country of Guinea, giving some insight to who he was before he became immortalised as the African street peddler shot at 41 times. His mother appears in this episode, and is in fact the first face we see. She takes us back to Amadou’s childhood in Guinea, his excitement at going to America to study, and his murder. We see his mother travel to the United States to join Al Sharpton in the fight for justice for her son.

Episodes two and three are similar in the racial aspect; they both feature unarmed Black men shot by White men. As expected, the ensuing controversy and racial tensions are intense and the media has a field day with it all. The conversations ranges from the role of the police to the media’s coverage of Amadou as a street peddler. This is a heavy episode and I felt saddened by it. Even sadder is that all these years later and nothing has changed.

Episode Four: King Richard
Of all the episodes this was the least memorable for me. It follows the financial crimes of Richard Scrushy, and his fall from grace. The most interesting thing about this episode is that Mr. Scrushy reinvents himself as an evangelist in an attempt to sway public opinion which includes potential jurors. He ingratiates himself with the Black community by frequently attending Black churches and convening with Black pastors. The Black pastors are there with him throughout his trial up till his eventual acquittal, after which they never see him again. Ha! I did not really understand his crimes, he was inflating the revenue figures it seems. At one point the company was allegedly paying more in taxes than they were making in revenue. Crazy.

Episode Five: Big Dan’s
Listen, this episode had me heated as hell! I was pissed off. This episode covers the brutal gang-rape of a young woman in a bar and the subsequent reactions and media coverage. In summary, a young mother went to get some milk from the bar and in that time she is raped by multiple men while others cheer on. To complicate issues, the accused men are of Portuguese descent which brings up the bad immigrant community and the Portuguese community are embarrassed/enraged? It is hard to tell.

This episode is infuriating for all the reasons you can imagine- the absolute violation of a woman, the nerve to claim that she consented to the rape, the medial coverage which reveals the woman’s identity and the victim’s horrible treatment by the community. Protests were actually held where hundreds of silly people came out to support of the men and disparage the woman. The defense counsel for the men (one of them a woman) said so many stupid things and pretty much blamed the victim for this. Her character was called into question and I just couldn’t stand it. Talk shows openly debated this case; “Was she asking for it” was a common rhetoric throughout. I was exhausted.

There is no happy ending to this and I hate everyone who violated that woman.

Episode Six: Blago!
The final episode follows the 2008 corruption scandal of the former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich. Long story short, Blago is a well liked man who has worked his way to the top from his blue collar roots. His undoing comes when he tries to sell Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat and the FBI gets involved. Big Blago likes to talk, evidenced by the ton of wiretapped recordings the FBI have of him soliciting bribes. Similar to Scrushy in episode four, Blago attempts to improve his public perception by launching a media onslaught; he visits every talk show that will have him and even goes on The Apprentice where he meets Donald Trump. All through this his trademark full head of hair never wavers. His efforts are rewarded with a 14 year prison sentence.

To be honest I thought the sentence was excessive especially as no money/favours were actually exchanged but I guess politicians like that must be made an example of. Blago may have been greedy, but hearing him on the wiretaps worrying about not being able to afford to send his children to college was sad.

“I’ve got to figure out a way to take some financial stress off my family,” he said. “I can’t afford college for my daughter.”

In 2019, his buddy Donald Trump commutes his sentence and Blago is released. The former democrat is so moved by the kindness of Trump that becomes republican (I think, I wasn’t really paying attention). The real MVP of this was Blago’s wife Patti, who stood by him all through this. It was Patti who appealed to Trump to help free her husband and she is one hell of a loyal wife.

And there you have it. Trial by Media. The show was nice enough and brought several incidences to my attention. I would happily watch a second season.