Friday, December 11, 2009

Serial Killers on Biography

If you get the Biography channel on cable, you can watch me as an expert on a show about serial killer Robert Pickton, a pig farmer charged with killing 27 women in Canada. Here is the description:

Between 1995 and 2001, serial killer Robert "Willie" Pickton killed at least six Canadian women. All the women were known drug addicts or prostitutes from "Low Track"--Vancouver's gritty Downtown Eastside neighborhood. Pickton picked up his victims from the street and took them back to his pig farm in Port Coquitlam. There, Pickton would strangle or shoot each woman before mercilessly cutting her up in his slaughterhouse. By the time police caught up with Pickton, more than sixty women were missing from Low Track. After the most extensive forensic investigation in Canadian history, Pickton was charged with murdering 27 women. He was finally convicted on six counts of second-degree murder. He is currently appealing those charges, and is yet to stand trial for a further 20 murders.

The show airs at 8:00 eastern time tonight, Dec. llth.

Update: If you are a night owl and don't mind having nightmares, you can watch it again tonight, Dec. 12th at 12:am.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Of course even pretty young girls can kill."

Double X blog has an article entitled, "Lady Killers and Why We Are Fascinated by Them" that is worth a read. As part of the story, they have a picture of Tiger Wood's wife, Elin Nordegren (along with Amanda Knox, who actually was convicted of killing another woman) which is a bit unfair, given that she may have engaged in domestic violence but is hardly a killer. However, I suppose she fits into the mold of how the public wants to believe that women, especially good-looking ones are always trying to help, rather than hurt others. The article makes a good point:

...most people are deeply uncomfortable with the idea that a woman—especially a fresh-faced young woman like Amanda—could be a violent criminal, they must create a more palatable narrative. Generally this involves a predictable twist: first normalize, then demonize.

In her book, When She Was Bad...: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence, Patricia Pearson has a chapter that addresses this topic called "Maybe You Mistook me for an Angel." She states:

Clearly, chivalry justice will continue to operate as long as the justice system has a host of exonerative excuses for female behavior and a highly simplistic vocabulary of motive.

Pearson points out that women are still receiving preferential treatment in the justice system; for example, one study found that men were 11 percent more likely to be incarcerated than women for violent crime. Perhaps, this is why people think women are less violent than they are. They do not receive much, if any punishment, and thus, are seen as innocent. It also shows up in the stats as a lesser crime or none at all.

What needs to change is our perception in the culture that women are not violent, for to do so encourages violence as there are no or few consequences for it on the part of women. Women do not get the help they need in order to change their behavior before it escalates. In addition, to pretend that women are not capable of real violence is to take away their autonomy and deny that they are capable of the full range of human behavior and emotions, and how sexist is that?


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Interesting stats on divorce

I thought readers might be interested in these divorce figures (via Maggies Farm):

The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

I thought this was also worth noting:

The divorce rate in America for childless couples and couples with children
According to discovery channel, couples with children have a slightly lower rate of divorce than childless couples.

Sociologists believe that childlessness is also a common cause of divorce. The absence of children leads to loneliness and weariness and even in the United States, at least 66 per cent of all divorced couples are childless.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Is there anything Glenn Beck can't do?

It seems like everywhere you look, you see Glenn Beck--either on television or in print. But instead of one of his political books, I received his new book The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book (yes, the book was free and no, I was not paid in any way to write about this book, nor do I ever take money to write reviews about products) in the mail today and read over it in one sitting. It is a cute kid's book about a boy who wants a new bike and receives a handmade sweater instead. The illustrations by Brandon Dorman are terrific and the story is really sweet. It is about a boy who learns that a gift given with love and spending time with family is more important than a really cool gift.

That's good, because I have a feeling that all those kids hoping for the big toy this season, the Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster will be disappointed when they find out that it hard to get and possibly should be recalled due to toxins.

Anyway, back to Beck, I don't watch him with any regularity but I must admit that he is a one-man show with all of the books, radio, tv and now kid's books that he does. Love him or hate him, you have to give him credit for being a jack of all trades.