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420-Friendly; Must Be in to Knives

So how about that Craigslist Killer, to borrow a line prefacing many a comedy bit these days. I’ve always maintained that no good can come from Craigslist, outside of the narrow context of needing a piece of large furniture removed from your apartment. Even then it’s a roll of the dice. Craigslist Killer – this is what things have come to. It isn’t the most formidable of tags when stacked up against the Hillside Stranglers and Night Stalkers of yesteryear. No doubt we’re in for a whole slew of copycats now – Twitter Slashers, Facebook Flashers and the like. I still aspire to a modest future as the Yelp Creep, but these things don’t just land in your lap.

They arrested a young medical student in the case, and are revealing a fair amount of evidence to the public. His fiancee remains in his corner, maintaining that they’ve got the wrong guy. Things don’t look good, but if you’re going to cling to evaporating hope, the Boston P.D. corruption card isn’t a bad place to turn. These subtle Internet influences continue to permeate the culture at a persistent pace, despite the lack of any full understanding of their pervasive effect. The Craigslist Killer suspect and his fiancee already had an online wedding announcement posted, and it’s generated more traffic than they ever could have anticipated. Popular consensus is that there will be a lot of returns at Crate and Barrel.

The other apparent certainty with any murder suspect under thirty these days is that he’ll have a Facebook page or similar social networking space. This was the case with another rather lurid Craigslist murder in Brooklyn last month. A local newsman, 47, posted an ad for an anonymous encounter, requesting that he be “smothered” and – surprise, surprise – ran in to a bad seed and sixteen year-old knife enthusiast from Queens. Turned out to be the worst sixty bucks the guy ever spent. After pre-gaming with vodka and cocaine at the older man’s home, things got ugly and the kid went Benihana on him. He was apprehended shorty after and photos from his MySpace page emerged revealing a lad who took particular pride in his knife collection and who was unable to pose for a picture without flashing the Sign of the Beast. Besides the obviously disturbing factual elements of this case, it also represents a colossal leap from good judgement. Nobody’s “asking” to get slashed and stabbed over fifty times, but there are certain actions likely to place one in the high risk category. It’s the classic definition of a knuckle-headed move, to put it mildly.

But perhaps this is increasing evidence of the nature of our web-dependent times. It isn’t that people didn’t make foolish moves in the past; it was just a little more difficult to set things in motion. A mere online click is all that’s necessary to come face to face with what’s out there and until some genius invents an “undo button,” it would seem the party’s just getting started.

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One Comment

  1. Suzie Picetti wrote:

    As always….hilarious, and insightful. Thanks for writing Rick!

    Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

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