It’s almost a truism that anyone who makes a tear-stained televised appeal for help to solve a murder will probably be arrested within the week. It seems as if the more extravagant the grief that is willingly expressed on camera, the more likely that the person is guilty.
Even the BBC has noticed. Today it published a feature on the phenomenon .
And, now, I’ve stumbled across true-crime-in-the-media. 2.0:
Barbora Skrlova on MySpace Assuming this is an elaborate joke, albeit in poor taste, I am compelled to look for MySpace profiles of other notorious figures.
For instance, Myra Hindley seems to have half a dozen.
I type in Fred West and get a “Server is too busy” message a few times.
(Quick break to panic at the idea that half the global population has been taken with a lunatic desire to see which really evil people have a MySpace profile.) Then I find there’s an ill-starred 13 pages full of Fred Wests. Lose interest when I consider that most of them might indeed be real humans who just happen to be called Fred West. Then again, a fair number have headlines such as “Get a load of my floorboards”
On firmer ground with Rosemary West. After a good few innocently but unluckily named real US females who just happen to be called Rosemary West, I find a MySpace profile purporting to be from Fred West’s soulmate. In fact, there’s a link to a more convincing Fred West impersonator in her friend space..
What about Josef Fritzl? That one is actually quite scary. I can’t even work out if its meant to reference the Austrian maniac or the name is just a coincidence.
Michel Fourniret? The server times out. Then I get a
“We weren’t able to find a ” Michel Fourniret ” on MySpace”
message, which probably won’t be true for long.
(In case this name isn’t familiar to you, he’s the male half of a French version of a Rosemary-and-Fred-West couple. She lured young women for him to rape and murder, in exchange for his promise to murder her ex-husband. The family that slays together, stays together…….)
I can partly understand why sane people might create web pages for the truly evil. (Apart from an adolescent desire to shock people.) These sorts of crimes make most of us so uneasy about the nature of what it means to be human that humour becomes a necessary defence mechanism. Otherwise, it’s impossible to contemplate the things they have done.
All the same, I have to suspect that at least some of these tributes aren’t ironically post-modern comments on the nature of notoriety. Some of them have been put there by the very same sort of unspeakable beings who do such crimes.
It’s usually baffling how these spectacularly homicidal people find each other to begin these partnerships in crime.. Rosemary and Fred West; Michel and Monique Fourniret, the children who killed James Bulger; Myra Hindley and Ian Brady…… Do their eyes meet across the proverbial crowded room and they see the spark of a potential partner in homicide? Does it “take one to know one?”
Blimey, interactive web 2.0 must do away with so much of the uncertainty for such people. They could start by putting up profiles of their psycho role models …