If you grew up during the 70’s and 80’s, it may be easy for you to remember the panic about adults giving children candy that was somehow sabotaged (razor blades, etc). In fact, it got to the point where many kids only went to more highly controlled Halloween gatherings at churches and between friends/relatives because paranoia had reached such a fever pitch. But was all the fear and suspicion warranted, or was it more urban myth than reality?
I apologize, friends, for being late with my usual Tuesday post. I’d planned for another serial killer profile and was ready to get going on Monday morning when I woke to see the news splashed across the screen of my phone: “Shooting in Las Vegas.” At the time there were ‘only’ 20 confirmed dead, but that number rose steadily throughout the day to it’s gruesome total of 59, with hundreds wounded. Like most of you, I feel as though it’s already been a long week, and metabolizing all the details is almost too much.
Perhaps you’re one of those people who doesn’t follow pop culture, or perhaps you haven’t seen the entertainment news lately. Maybe you’re just living in a hole somewhere. You know, like a storm drain…
In the wake of the protests and violence in Charlottesville, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how racism (and other ‘isms’) in America are “worse than they ever have been.” This sentiment has been echoed in the Washington Post, Slate, Reuters, CNN, and Gallup.
Depression has been prominent in the news lately with the deaths of lead singer of Soundgarden and the lead singer of Linkin Park to suicide within weeks of each other. People are screaming that it’s an epidemic and it’s not uncommon to see comments on social media saying, “What’s going on?!?”
In the wake of Charles Manson’s death there has been a lot of talk about cults, cult leaders, and their followers. Unlike cult leaders that kill their followers (or convince them to suicide), Mason was a bit of an outlier. Instead, Manson encouraged his followers to kill others in order to sate his fantasies of revenge. And, the way in which Manson did this was diabolically clever because – as it’s been recounted – Manson never actually murdered a person himself. Despite this “failsafe,” Manson was convicted of first degree murder for directing the killings.
From 1978 to 1995 the bodies piled up. Sometimes there was one victim, and other times there was a group. The casualties spanned America, from Connecticut to California. And everyone knew that there was one source: a man the public had named “the Unabomber.” In all, sixteen bombs, (injuring 23 people and killing 3), were crafted and delivered. Most of them contained primitive homemade parts, and an inscription of “FC” on the inside.