But What About the Torso Killer?

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I loved this novel! It was great for a graphic novel in its genre, that was certainly something new. Someone already pointed out that the murders in Torso were exactly the same as Dexter’s Season 1 serial killer, but that’s what really got me interested in it when I first started reading. I love how every graphic novel author/artist can find some innovative and fresh way to get their story across. For example, in Torso, my favourite pages were the ones where you had to turn the book to read the spiraling storyline (also a clever technique to get you more enthralled in the plot). I also love, like how Paul stated, that it’s very cinematic in form and style. The killer was a genius (although no one ever likes to admit the bad guy is smart for some unknown reason) and I thought it was pretty wicked how he created his own preservative for the bodies. Rock on, man. Then again, it really pissed me off at the end how the smartass checked himself into a psych ward to avoid charges. Also, I found this article about the same kind of torso murders from 2003 in Alaska. Hmm.

Six Ballads

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OMIE WISE
This one reminded me of The Corpse Bride’s story of how her dude said they were going to get married and killed her…

STACKALEE
I liked how the end was so abrupt…and obvious. “Do not shoot another man/Or they’ll hang you in the jail” …duh??? Not to mention you shouldn’t shoot another man cause it’s immoral to kill people but whatever reason gets you to not do it I guess works

THE BALLAD OF GRACE BROWN AND CHESTER GILLETTE
This was my favourite one because of the mysterious aspect. It doesn’t directly say that he killed her, but the implications are so strong that it’s obvious. I thought the best part was when it talked about how his hands could pick flowers and kill Grace:
Did she think when he gathered those flowers
That grew on the shores of the lake
That the hand(s) that plucked those sweet lilies

Her own sweet life they would take?

BELLE GUNNESS
(At first glance, I thought this said Guinness and I got too excited.) This was definitely the most catchy and rhythmic one of all of them. Also, when I read the title, I pictured Belle from Beauty and the Beast but that was the exact opposite of the one from the ballad…frowny face.

THE MURDER AT FALL RIVER
(Have any of you seen Devil’s Pond? It’s a great, cheesy film. I reccommend it.) This one just pissed me off because there’s not enough info to tell who did it. It could’ve been a murder-suicide, but it could also have been the daughter. And now there’s no way for us to tell.

THE TRAIL’S END
Fun fact! I’m related to Jesse James and my camera’s name is Bonnie after Bonnie and Clyde. Anyway, I liked this quote a lot: “‘I’ll never be free,/so I’ll meet a few of them in hell.'” Clever. The last stanza was pretty cute, but even though they were a pain to the law, they shouldn’t be relieved that they’re dead. That’s just cruel. At least I think so…rude.

ps. I won’t be in class tomorrow for reasons that are too complicated for you to care about so miss me and talk as much crap about me as you can fit into one class. #truegirdlers

Mad Love

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It may be cliche, but this reading reminded me of Romeo and Juliet…more of a tragedy than a romance. The idea of doing anything to be with a loved one is really parallel to Shakespeare’s.alice-mitchell-1
I really liked this reading; it also raises an interesting point. “In fact, the trial, which captivated the nation, was not for murder, but for lunacy.” I thought it was pretty crazy that they cared more about her loving another lady than her killing someone…
I found an article (pictured) from January 25, 1886 entitled “A Society Woman’s Crime.”
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I thought it was interesting how in the Ballad, Alice’s quote: “Drive on, I’ve done it” wasn’t mentioned. Nor was Fred’s sister’s “trifling cut.” In this article, the journalist focused more on the actions of the parties involved and their prestigious connections rather than their relationship and the reasons for the murder. The only thing mentioned about reasons is “she slew another young lady who had slandered her” which is never explained in the article.

Hannibal and Hester

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So I’m pretty sure I read that right…they killed her by feeding her her own…excrements? Did they plan to kill her that slowly that way or did it just end up happening before they got to go through with their plan? Also, I talked to my friend about this, and he brought up a good reference. His exact words were, “Better than having to eat your own sister.” Hannibal Lecter!
I was confused when they said their punishment was to be “burnt in the hand,” so I looked it up, like I’ve been advised. It was just a branding of the letter of their crime on their hand. It’s strange to think, if Hester Pryne had been a man, would she have been burnt as well, or was it just the time change? Although we have been saying things got more peaceful, for the body at least rather than the soul, over time.

And then I stole two bucks

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In the American Bloody Register I just really liked how it was basically just lists of all the crimes…even though every time it was mostly just “and then i stole four bucks,” “and then i stole two bucks.” But when he was talking about how he would take people’s purses and take the money out and then say he found their lost purse, he would take the reward as well. It reminded me of Emma Stone in Zombieland when she would pretend to lose her wedding ring at the gas stations…just me?

I love the exclamation point at the end of Jesse Strang’s story. Hooray, she got away with murder! Also it seemed the wife was just using Strang to kill her husband…if that’s so, what was her actual motive towards killing him? The other, Swearingen’s story, had an amazing ending sentence.

Walk the Plank

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The first was my favourite of all the Pillars of Salt stories we’ve read so far. I loved the pirates, the beginning of the story reminded me of Peter Pan…and i guess more logically, Pirates of the Caribbean. I loved the quote (that follows the same pattern that I’ve mentioned, of the criminal atoning for his sins via non-religious preaching), “he would advise the Masters of Vessels to carry it well to their Men, lest they should be put upon doing as he had done.” But my favourite quote (which does exactly the opposite of the usual pattern by showing that the criminal was fearful of death rather than accepting of it), “But it was observed and is affirm’d, by some Spectators, that in the Midst of all his affected Bravery, a very sensible Trembling attended him; His hands and his Knees were plainly seen to Tremble. – And so we must leave him for the Judgement to come.”

Also wow, rude, Thomas Powers, blaming that one chick for all your crimes and misdeeds. Shame on you.

Not to Fifty!

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In chapter one, there were some disgusting visuals created. The imagery of the executions and torturing was extremely vivid and detailed. If I had eaten more than mac and cheese and a Twinkie today, I probably would’ve thrown it all up. Other than that, I thought the point about how damaging the soul is more effective than physical torture and pain because harming the soul is more permanent and torturous because they have to live with themselves and their wretched guilt rather than feel the pain and just die off. Also how it’s noted that there is a limit for how far to push the body, but you can always push the soul further.

In the second chapter, I thought it was interesting to think about the ideas of laws shifting from church to state; priests to cops. Even the types of crimes that are punishable evolved with the law, and their means of punishment.

This also brings up the question: the worse the crime committed, the more torture deserved?

It also brings up a necessary clip because torture. I hope everyone’s read The Princess Bride…if you’ve only seen the movie, you’re missing out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbgyppGqBgg

In the Levi Ames story, I think my favourite part was where he admits to stealing $20-$30 from some guy whose name he forgot. What an asshole. I love how in all the Pillars of Salt stories, at the end, the criminal always gives advice to people to help them avoid people like themselves. For example, Levi Ames is all “oh shut your windows, lock your doors, you don’t want me coming in there stealing all your crap lalala!” It seems kind of hypocritical to me but maybe I just suck.

 

A few points on each

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Okay first I should address the random capitalization. It drives me crazy in these colonial texts.

Declaration & Confession of Esther Rodgers
On a more content related note, I thought it was interesting how Esther found Christ and redemption through her committed sin. Before her sin she didn’t give two craps about religion or faith, but by the end of the act, she almost wanted to die just so she could be forgiven.

The Faithful Narrative of the Wicked Life of Patience Boston
The blood metaphor is back! I think it has to do with the guilt of the sinner, tied to either Christ or the person/people they have killed. Another thing, spake is a really weird word. Can we bring that back? (Also, I giggled when she said her mother’s name was Sarah Jethro.)

A Short Account of the Life off John
This was my favourite one (not because it was the shortest) yet I don’t have much to say about it…I just liked how it was written straight to the point and a sort of organized crime feature.
Another point completely off topic from the readings, I started watching Sons of Anarchy yesterday and I’m already on season 2. You should all watch that because wow it is so A+. And there’s a lot of crime going on but also Jax is beautiful. So you should watch it.