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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Frederick Woodruff

This is the first time, that I am aware of, that you expressed an emotional judgment of Dahmer. Death by guillotine, an eye-for-an-eye or, more precisely, a head-for-a-head. I have mixed thoughts about capital punishment. Certainly in such a case as Dahmer's, it would have been justified. My misgiving is that there have been many verdicts invalidated with new technology, DNA specifically. Once you kill someone, you cannot make amends if it was in error. But that is another topic entirely. I did not follow the Dahmer trial but must assume he did not give testimony. I know that he gave a confession and that he spoke during his psychiatric evaluation. There is enough there to safely say he was ... what? What word covers it? Deranged? That seems inadequate. Utterly insane? Although there were several psychiatric diagnoses given, he was found competent to stand trial. That must be a thin line to tread!. "Yes, your honor, he drugged, strangled, dismembered his victims, had sexual interaction with their corpses, and, oh, yeah, he ate their body parts... but, you know, he's competent to stand trial. Just saying! From a purely legal definition, I agree, he was competent to stand trial. He knew what he had done and was methodically controlled when doing it. Yes, what a hideous creature, to be so outwardly meek and mild and yet capable of doing such violence. There are countless meek and mild men who play out violent sexual fantasies in their minds but who do not enact them. Therein lies my interest in Dahmer. I assume he did not keep a journal either before or after he was apprehended? What a treasure trove that would have been. And, yes, Rita's outburst in the Courtroom was spectacular and must have been cathartic not only for her but for all the victim's families and friends. I once attended a Federal sentencing with a legal client of the law office I worked for in San Francisco. She and many others had been bilked out of their life savings by a charismatic young man who passed himself off as a financial planner. He was so good at it that no one questioned him for over a year. When people finally became suspicious, he disappeared. People, mostly elderly, had lost a total of $25M. The perp had vanished without a trace but was eventually found in the UK living the high life. He was returned to the US and found guilty of forty felony counts. The Judge's sentencing statement was ruthless and she apologized to the victims in the Courtroom because she was obligated to follow the legislated sentencing guidelines. He got the maximum of ten years. When I exited the Courtroom with our client, a normally gentle woman in her seventies, she said, "I hope that bastard gets fucked in the ass every day of his ten years!"

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Hi Dennis

If you go back through the diary entries here you'll get a sense of my position regarding JD. Given my book's title I suppose it seems as if I was sympathetic towards him, but actually I'm the opposite. I wrote the book as a form of revenge for his first victim, and the rest, well, you'll have to read it when its out.

Composing the book is a way to comprehend what in the fuck he was about -- and 'why.' Not that that's possible, in an absolute way, still I decided to let my unconscious, through the process of writing, to take a swipe at it.

I love the story of the gal who you got to know during her court proceedings, and her wishes for the bilker as the case wrapped up.

On a friendly side note, it's easy to add paragraph breaks while compiling a comment, just hit your return key and you're good to go. 🙂

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Jul 18, 2023·edited Jul 18, 2023Liked by Frederick Woodruff

As usual, I love this entry. I couldn't agree more that Isbell's release was strong enough for everyone. It was so necessary (yet unfortunate the court decided to stop the family statements). As someone who was too young at the time, I can feel how raw, intense, and powerful her emotions were in that moment all these years later. I'm glad Jeff was forced to endure it, see it, and hopefully feel it. I'm doubtful it deepened the fractional sense of remorse he might have felt, but he deserved to be screamed at and threatened. Far too many tiptoed around him because he was "polite" and "easy to work with"... He deserved a lashing and I'm glad he received it.

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Right, exactly: "Far too many tiptoed around him because he was "polite" and "easy to work with"" With JD one never knew if he was sincere or doing another one of his personalities. Of which there were many. What a chameleon.

Thank you for your comment.

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Jul 18, 2023·edited Jul 18, 2023Liked by Frederick Woodruff

I couldn't agree more!

I also have this same feeling, especially when I read a conversation or listen to an interview. While In one of them, he looks like a completely ashole (a book by an inmate), and in others, he looked depressed or is willing to confess (Confession with detective or his laywer).

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Frederick Woodruff

Spectacular! Yes, and hurricane is the perfect description. I agree, this is THE standout moment with the entire trial, and yes a huge cathartic release for everyone who witnessed it. Your take on the 'banality of evil' is deft. That says everything. Excellent post. And, as always, eager for your novel.

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Jul 18, 2023·edited Jul 18, 2023Liked by Frederick Woodruff

I would have reacted the same way as Rita Isbell did. I'm wondering what JD was thinking at that moment, since he remained still all the time.

Your point of view about the fact of drugging the victims is even more heartbreaking than JD's view. It's true, they probably didn't suffer but they couldn't defend themselves either.

I completely agree that nowadays, 30 years later, we remain incredulous and clueless. I have also read lot about this case, but I can't find a solid answer to explain "why", and probably we will never find out one.

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Jul 18, 2023Liked by Frederick Woodruff

Hi Frederick, Thanks for explaining, "...what in the fuck he was about -- and 'why.'" That is exactly my interest as well. I tend to look at all human activity through a psychological filter (in large part due to my four years as a Psychiatric Aide at Queen's Hosp in Honolulu in the mid 70s). A lot has been hypothesized as to the "why" of serial killers. This article addresses five underlying factors. https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/jeffrey-dahmer-and-other-serial-killers-have-these-5-traits-in-common. (Note the mention of lack of empathy with three diagnoses including what I have always thought Trump to be: Narcissistic Personality Disorder). But all the research and studies do not tell me why Dahmer did what he did when there are likely countless others with similar psychological profiles who did not act out. I expect your astrological profile would shed light on this but I doubt anything would be absolutely definitive. Therein lies the creative muse for your novel and following your intuition. Thx for the return key para break advice; I know I tend to go on and on and on. My bad!

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Great post, I'd love to know what transits were going on in the sky on the day of her eruption. Seems very Pluto/Mercury.

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I'm sorry, but what are you asking me?

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