Earlier this week I read a rather disturbing story, Michael Finkel’s “How I Convinced a Death-Row Murderer Not to Die”. Now, I dimly remember the story from early in the decade (it happened in Oregon). Interesting, from a sociological point of view. However, for me, the story went into some depth on the murder (the subject, Christian Longo, murdered his whole family). Those sorts of details tend to disturb and haunt me. Gladly, I read the thing in early afternoon, giving myself some time to disconnect. Otherwise, my night’s sleep would’ve been disrupted (as has happened after reading/hearing other such stories). This is why I generally don’t watch the news in the evening, and defiantly late at night. If I’m up in the dark of night for insomnia, I avoid both the news, but also “true crime” shows which are so popular. And I avoid all the “mystery” shows, as well as any of the crime-based dramas.
Now, some would say this is due to my liberal, bleeding-heart tendencies, or some such rot. No, the core is the that this has come to close to me. Back in 1980, my best friend, Adam’s, father murdered Adam’s mother. We came home from school to see the coroner sitting in his driveway (he lived right across the street from me). Adam disintegrated before me, and never recovered. And, really, neither did I. To add to the ghastliness, I was with Adam when he was allowed to go back into the house (on a furlough of sorts from the mental hospital he was assigned to). It was supposed to have been cleaned up, but they hadn’t disposed of the bed where his mom had died. That still haunts my dreams.