Archive for the ‘Murder’ Category

A Billboard for Brainlessness Pt. 2

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Jeffrey Chapman’s trial begins next week. He’ll wear a turtleneck.

MUG_SHOT_MURDER_Jeffrey Wade ChapmanFor those unfamiliar with the young man’s plight, Jeffrey Wade Chapman is an accused murderer who doesn’t want to start his murder trial with the word “MURDER” tattooed across his neck. In April of this year, I mistakenly closed a previous Chapman entry, “A Billboard for Brainlessness,” with, “as far as most are concerned, that’s the end of his story.”

Turns out, not only does Chapman’s saga continue (the trial was postponed pending his court-ordered mental evaluation), I think I’ve figured out a way for his defense to turn that tattooed frown upside down!

Chapman’s attorney previously appealed to the court to allow a professional tattoo artist into the jail to obscure, alter, or remove the tattoo from his client’s throat, but he’d been turned down. So, between the prosecutor, the judge, and the sheriff running the jail, alternate ideas of a turtleneck and fake bandages had been proposed. The turtleneck won, which I find disappointing ’cause I really wanted to see the bandage idea in action. Imagine the distraction in the courtroom!Courtesy KSNW-TV Wichita

The sheer volume of gauze and medical tape required would make it tough to keep a straight face. How could the defendant – or anyone for that matter – manage to behave as if it wasn’t there? Watching someone otherwise unimpeded by the serious injury such a large bandage implies would be off the hook. I can just imagine Chapman, mid-proceedings, jabbing his fingers between fraying layers of gauze to get at an itch and expecting no one to notice he has no difficulty responding verbally to the judge’s questions – again despite his apparently sizable wound.

That’s not to say the turtleneck won’t be an elephant in the room on its own. But now I believe Chapman would be best served by leaving the tattoo exposed. In fact, it could be one of those crazy-daring defense maneuvers silly jurors love to be charmed by.


A Billboard for Brainlessness

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

No, he won’t have to answer questions like “Whad they get you for?”

MUG_SHOT_MURDER_Jeffrey Wade ChapmanJeffrey Wade Chapman is about to stand trial for First Degree Murder  –but ooh–  doesn’t want to appear before a jury with “MURDER” tattooed like a billboard for brainlessness across his throat. So the pride of Great Bend, Kansas is appealing to the Barton County District Court for help.
Through his attorney, Defendant Chapman has asked that what has essentially become an albatross around his neck be either removed or obscured. Never mind that he lacked the foresight to have thought twice about getting the tattoo. And forget that he’s made himself a walking, talking jury instruction. (Guilty!) Chapman is as desperate as a house cat above a tub full of water. And he should be.
Maybe someday he’ll be able to figure out what the hell he was thinking when he mistakenly chose “MURDER” over “MONSTER COCK.”
He reminds me of a guy I met at Folsom Prison’s Level-4 “Old Yard,”  a guy who’d similarly chosen to market what he brought to the table.
They called this guy “Fresno”…because he had “FRESNO” tattooed across his forehead in big, old English lettering. Having eaten a few meals together, I eventually got up the courage to ask him why. Fresno just shrugged and kept eating. 
So I have a sneaking suspicion Chapman’s answer won’t be much different. (By the way, were I to go by Fresno’s and Chapman’s logic, my own face would read, “FARTER,” but that’s another post entirely.)


Murderers Are His Life

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Writing teachers are neurotic candy-asses. Not David Scott Milton

“All writing is re-writing.” Yeah, try telling that to someone who last wrote in blood.

DSMAuthor and playwright David Scott Milton spent 13 years teaching creative writing at CCI, a “SuperMax” prison in Tehachapi, California. “Tehachapi,” as the facility itself is better known, has seemingly been around forever. It was built for inmates refusing to live by regular prison rules, murderers serving lengthy sentences, and men assigned to extreme isolation in high-security units, a.k.a. the controversial S.H.U. programs making headlines today.

Milton’s average Tehachapi class consisted of 15 to 20 lifers, most in for murder. I met him after he’d been hired to teach one of his classes about 80 miles north, on the Level III Yard at Wasco State Prison. By then, David Scott Milton was a veteran prison educator familiar with every risk, procedure, and personal reward his job could entail.

First off, for all the prominence of literacy and its rehabilitative powers, which we assume exists behind bars, you’d think creative writing courses would be better attended. They’re not. Though the power to save lives endures in the written word, a lot of the fellas incorrectly assume writing credentials come with the territory.

Yet you don’t learn to write in a prison writing class: you learn why it’s important to fight for the time to write, which sounds funny considering inmates are supposed to have nothing but time. But if there’s one thing true about prison, it’s that it’s one upended Hollywood cliché after the next. (more…)

TJ Max and his Middle Finger

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

TJ LANE Where Excuses Go to Die

Clearly, he intended to make a lasting impression.

T.J. Lane wanted us to witness his transcendence to what he mistakes for character: he offered no excuses for his murders, his obscene defiance, and his soulless ability to surprise.

He hit that ball right ‘outta the park, too, because today, like a bunch of scattering, squawking crows, cable TV news outlets are cycling the young man’s name and footage of him in the courtroom every 15 minutes.  (Is his Tumblr fan site really a shocker?)

Countless wrathful comments now follow every T.J. Lane-related post. Some are angry, others giddy, and still others are nauseous with indignation. Many simply praise the treacherous world of prison, believing T.J. Lane will encounter Samuel Jackson’s Ezekiel 25:17 death speech from Pulp Fiction every day for the next 62 ½ years.

(Example: “…tumblr isn’t going to save him from the ass ramming he’s bound to get in prison.”)


Next Stop: Citizen Suicide Bombs

Monday, December 17th, 2012

What were people in fundamentalist Islamic regions of the Middle East doing to each other just before they took up explosive vests? Were mass shootings the last stop before suicide bombings? Are ever-worsening mass shootings an evolutionary phenomenon of a disintegrating society? How long before irate Earth Firsters or right wing American zealots start blowing themselves up in crowded restaurants?

With regards to my Oregon shooting-related comments on homicidal infamy and the American Dream, posted the day before the incident in Connecticut, sick, dumb animals are out there right now paying close attention to the degree to which Adam Lanza’s killing spree has broken America’s heart – and wondering what it’ll take to top it. 


Coming Soon: Facebook Murders!

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Any day now, someone’s gonna beat a murder rap with a groan-inducing, precedent-setting “Facebook defense.”

How long until someone founds Facebook Anonymous, where folks 12-step their way to freedom from Facebook – anonymously? I can see it now: FA, a program dedicated to anonymously relieving you of your inability to live unidentified. Of course Step 1 is admitting you’re powerless over Facebook, that you’d rather spend 127 hours hacking at your own arm with a dull blade than disconnect from feeling “a part of…” Bet on it. It’s a joke now, but it won’t be for long. (more…)

‘Snoap,’ Standoffs, and Suckers

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Celebration, Florida: Taking the ‘people’ out of people.

Original story: The Daily Mail

Leaving malnourished Juggalos and their world of fetal alcohol syndrome behind, let’s turn to a fresh heap of cabbage seeking togetherness, understanding, and fistful of soma. (more…)