Crime all the Time

By Katie Koth

Reflections

Overall, I liked this course a lot. I loved the “chill” atmosphere. Our discussions were good. There was a lot of work, and a lot of times I felt like I couldn’t finish it all on time. I also felt like it wasn’t clear which assignments were weighted more heavily than others. It would have been nice to have a clear grading scale and to be notified of our grades at several points during the class. Overall though, I liked the class.

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In this gif, some of the women that Manson manipulated step down from the stand in court.

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In this gif, Manson finally gets arrested for manipulation. Even though he never actually murdered anyone, he still was arrested for controlling the minds of others who murdered many people.

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I added this gif to show how intense and scary Manson can be. Even though I don’t think this movie has the best acting, this proves that the actor who played Manson was spot on in portraying Manson’s anger and rage.

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This gif shows Manson going crazy in court! The judge says that if he does not behave himself, he will be removed. Clearly he does not behave, and pounces. This gif also highlights the unpredictable rage of Charles Manson.

Death Penalty???

Something I wanted to bring up in a separate blog post. I’m sure that judging by Monster’s actions in novel, many people thought he deserved the death penalty. After all, he killed so many people. He robbed so many places, and injured others. I guess his age had something to do with his punishment, but I can’t help but look further into this topic.

Suppose Monster had received the death penalty? Some would claim that that would be a just punishment. However, Monster’s life did improve greatly. Not only did he meet Muhammad and learned some from him, but he kept learning about and doing good. He joined the C.C.O., and eventually cut himself off from the Crips all together. He wanted to make a new life for himself, one that did not look at all like his gang life.

I’m happy that Monster did not receive the death penalty. Maybe if other judges had been merciful, other criminals could have come around like Scott did. Just a thought.

MONSTER.

Talk about a whirlwind story! If you’re looking for a story about character development, violence, and an inside look in to the life of an L.A. gang member, than Monster is the book for you! Monster Kody Scott was initiated into a Crips gang at the young age of eleven. This to me was insane. At eleven years old, I was in the fifth grade. You are so vulnerable and innocent at that age. That’s probably why he could be manipulated so easily by the Crips. Children tend to listen to what they are told, regardless of whether it is uplifting or true. I think that’s why these Crips drew in younger boys, so that they could establish loyalty early.

However, being in the gang wasn’t enough for Kody. He had to prove his loyalty and prove he was tough enough to keep his spot. Everything eventually fell into place for him when he beat up a guy. The police saw the man’s injuries and claimed that only a monster could have hurt someone that badly. Clearly the Crips liked this, and decided to call him “Monster”. Monster’s reputation grew and grew, and he became one of the most famous gang members around. Nothing stood in his way, and he even shot people and was shot. Eventually, he was arrested, but not for killing people. This surprised me. Out of all the violent acts he had committed, and out of all the murders he had done, he was arrested for a robbery. Talk about ironic.

Reading about gang life is like reading about a parallel universe. Every moral we have been taught growing up is reversed in a gang. We are told to respect other people, not to get angry, and be friendly. Gang members were required to prove their loyalty, and they would earn higher spots on the “totem poll” for their violent acts. It’s just so crazy to think about an eleven year old boy being raised in this environment. I don’t know.

The book concludes with a resolution. Monster reflects on his violent ways and seems to learn from his mistakes. He joins the C.C.O., and vows to try to live a better and more wholesome life. Talk about coming full circle.

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The Terrifying Life of Ted Bundy

Part 1 of “The Stranger Beside Me” is already captivating me!!! However, I’m not quite sure how the story of a famous serial killer wouldn’t captivate someone. First of all, Ann Rule’s writing is great. I find it interesting how much detail she used to describe different settings. Ted Bundy’s home is described in detail, as well as his new home in Florida. Perhaps she is doing an “In Cold Blood” effect like Capote and attempting to draw the reader in by describing the places that Ted Bundy had been.

It also shocks me how much of a future Ted Bundy had before his life went downhill. He could have been the governor of Washington! This also emphasizes something that I’ve been pushing this entire semester. These people ruin their lives for crime. People these days tend to focus only on the crime and the punishment. Nobody gives a damn about the potential future the criminal could have had. In Ted Bundy’s case, his bright and successful future was shot to hell the minute he became a fugitive.

Similarly, we don’t usually focus on the past of the criminal. In Ted Bundy’s case, it would be foolish not to. His mother’s backstory and hard life probably contributed to his downfall later on in life. I’m not arguing that parents are always responsible for their children’s actions. I’m just saying that having a rough home life doesn’t exactly do wonders for the children involved, and it certainly didn’t do wonders for Ted Bundy. However, aside from his rough future, his childhood seems pretty normal. He did childlike things, got bullied in school, and related well to his grandfather. Never in his childhood are there any signs of a mental problem or even an anger problem. He seems like a pretty average kid. However, burglary and vandalism started early for him, when he was in high school. And it all went downhill from there…

Helter Skelter

I was not a fan of this movie. The acting was terrible, basically the worst I’ve ever seen. It was very hard to pay attention for three hours of this. Also, the character of Manson was extremely creepy. His looks alone are enough to creep me out, let alone his personality and his actions. His control over the family was startling, and did not sit well with me. What’s worse is even though he scared me a lot, he never actually murdered anyone!!! I can’t wrap my head around that. I felt bad for Bugliosi trying to understand the minds of the Manson family, because I can’t even begin to describe how confused I am about Manson’s unique control. No one ever asked questions, everyone was just instructed to do what he said. Talk about creepy.

The Death of Elizabeth Short

Words cannot comprehend how sad this reading was for me. I had actually heard of the death of Elizabeth Short before. It is one of the most well-known murder crimes of the mid 1900s. The details of the murder are horrifying. She had rope burns along her wrists and ankles, indicating that she had been “spread-eagled”. There were cuts along the breasts. Obviously, this girl had endured significant amounts of torture before her untimely murder.

One thing I’m a little confused about. The killer tortured the Dahlia so severely for several days. But once the victim choked on her own blood, the killer took care of the mess. He drained her blood, cleaned her body, and even shampooed her hair. Why?

The layout of this article was very good. I loved how it pulls the reader in and captivates them. I pictured a Law and Order episode while reading it. The body is discovered, and it’s a mystery who the body actually is. So they spend the first half of the episode searching for clues. Once the victim is identified, they spend the second half of the episode trying to figure out who did it. This is the basic structure to any Law and Order episode. However, most Law and Order episodes resolve, and this one didn’t. It left the reader completely in shambles wondering WHO KILLED ELIZABETH SHORT?????

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