April 22, 2009

The Craigslist Killer

This student is a hero of observation. She says about the Craigslist Killer:

But Markoff's former medical school lab partner at Boston University said she is not surprised that he's a suspect in the case because he had profound mood swings and often appeared "disturbed."

Markoff would appear warm and friendly one day, then be brooding and depressed the next day, Tiffany Montgomery told The Boston Globe. She was so troubled that she considered alerting school counselors that he might be suicidal.

He spoke only when someone else initiated a conversation, and although he seemed nice, he was also "strange in a dark way," she said.

Meanwhile, everyone else is saying how perfectly normal he is, which is probably more a comment on their powers of observation than a comment on him. And “wouldn’t harm a fly” should never, ever be used again in defense of a murderer.

The whole thing is eerily like an episode of “Law and Order” or “Criminal Minds.” Watching those shows, you’re led to wonder just what these ridiculous cases would look like in real life. And now here’s a case that’s straight from TV, as if fiction is blending into reality.

To tie this into my daily ranting about literary agents. The dumbest note I ever got from an agent was regarding the paragraph below. This particular agent – actually a young guy working for the agent – asked to read the manuscript then sent it back with red marks on every other sentence, most incredibly misguided. I’ve saved this manuscript over the years so one day I can have vindication and publicly ridicule the agent. Actually, I can’t remember the agency, but I’ll still have the vindication. Here's the paragraph from North of Sunset:

Even if there were witnesses, which for these crimes there weren’t many, they very often steered him wrong. Witlesses he called them – sometimes they confirmed what he already thought, that people weren’t very thoughtful or observant. At least not as observant as him. Most people who lived next door to a murderer usually said later, “I’m surprised. He seemed nice, kept to himself.” Didn’t they notice that his eyeballs shook when he walked? That he often came home with bags of knives?

The note on this paragraph: “How can the neighbors see what’s in the bag?” Truly stupid and contributes daily to my distrust of the publishing industry.


Anonymous said...

Jesus. What a moron. He and Nathan Bransford should get together and go bowling.

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