Killer Thoughts

Saucy Jack is credited with killing five people in 1888. Five. Two of which happened at almost the same time and it is unlikely that they were both committed by the same killer and the last was most likely what we call a copy cat killing these days. So in this famous little spree, Jack most likely killed three people. Since was not caught, or at leas not caught and kept, the odds are very good that he went right on killing for the rest of his life. But he was the first great killer of the industrial age, and so he got a lot of ink.
The Devil in the White City is the story of America’s first great serial killer, Dr Mudgett killed an unknown number of people, some guesses upwards to two hundred, during his time in Chicago.
No one will ever know for sure.
I stopped being shocked by news horror stories in 1978, when the story went out about a little place called Jonestown and how Jim Jones had killed himself and around 912 of his loyal followers. Not bad for a murder suicide, but not quite up there with the 9/11 boys who have a death toll of 2752.
But wait, there are still the Pros to think about. These people are all bush leaguers.
Hitler killed around 6 million Jews, Gypsys, and anybody else he didn’t like before he killed himself. World War Two itself, which was in good part good old Adolf’s fault, killed around twenty million people, bring Hitler’s total to around 26 million, give or take a few hundred thousand here or there.
Joe Stalin beats Hitler out here for the simple reason that he got to live a hell of a lot l0nger than Adolph did. The estimates for Stalin’s death toll is around 50 million, with a few overzealous types making the number closer to 100 million. At the time he was doing most of these killing the US population was about a 130 million.
The Khmer Rouge is about as good as it gets at killing their own people, about 1.5 million out of a population of almost 8 million before they started.
The blast and radiation deaths from the two bombs dropped at the close of World War Two killed around a hundred thousand people, small potatoes compared to what such blasts would do to our mind-numbingly crowded cities today. Bit still pretty impress for two days work.
Forty thousand people dead in an instant, no wonder our baby psychos feel so inadequate. Anybody can can kill more people than Jack the Ripper, countless people have killed more people than Jack. But Jack was different from the modern killer in what I think is the most import way, he had to kill people at close quarters with a knife in his hand. The women could fight back, could scream and kick and gasp their last dying breaths as he listened. It was personal work, it was an act of intimate contact, killing with your hands requires a willingness to get those hands very dirty.
Stalin and Hitler never had to sully themselves with such work. Truman was kicked back in the White House when bombs fell. Even Jones had someone else mix the Koolaide for him.
So I am going to sound like an anti-gun nut, since I am. The gun nuts always insist that A Well Armed Society is a Safe Society. Meaning that if you piss someone off they will kill you, so don’t even think about pissing anyone off.
The 9/11 highjackers didn’t use guns. Jonestown used a few guns, but it was mainly the Koolaide that did the work. Dr Mudgett seemed to like gassing people. Atomics are not really personal weapons that are easily carried around. Thousands die every day from the use of automobiles. You need only be a fan of Six Feet Under or CSI to know that there are an infinite number of ways to die.
Guns are different for a number of reason. The most important reason being that they are impersonal and any moron can use them effectively. Oh sure, if you want to win medals at match cup tournaments you need a bit of skill, but most people can hit a target that is two or three feet away, as they were at Columbine and VA Tech. Guns are also fast, not atom bomb fast, but close enough for personal work. And that is what is so odd about guns, they are a purely personal weapon which can be used purely impersonally. If I want to run over you, I need you to cross a street. If I want to knife you, I need to be in the room with you and have a good idea where to land the first blow. With a gun a couple of morons managed to kill people on the NJ Turnpike from half a mile away for several months.
There is no reason to have an army anymore, air strikes can do everything that we ever need to do to win a war. If we had just stuck to air strikes in Iraq George would be a war hero instead of a fucking idiot in most people’s eyes. It’s the use of guns that got him into trouble.
We all like to pretend that we are safe. That when we get up in the morning we will go to bed again at the end of the day. Some of won’t, that is just the way it is. There are more people in the world than there have ever been here before. We are all territorial animals, none of want others in our space. The trouble now is that we are getting more and more people that don’t want of any of us in their space. This would be fine if they didn’t think of the whole world as being their space.
If Jack the Ripper started his murder spree today, it wouldn’t even make the national news, unless of course, he killed Anna Nicole Smith.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

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Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

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