You Might Be Psychic If…

I don’t remember what article I was reading this week, but it listed common criteria for psychics.  Some of the things were like “able to put together furniture” which I associate with being mechanically inclined more than being psychic, but I don’t know much about psychics.

  • Babies and dogs love you instantly
  • You are sensitive to scents
  • You see colors around people
  • You hear sounds no one else hears
  • You intuitively know how things go together
  • You are a vivid dreamer
  • You commonly experience Deja-Vu

There were others, but these are the ones I remember.  All except the being able to put shit together intuitively apply to me, which is weird because I don’t like babies nearly as much as they like me.

They also apply to my mother, including the mechanically inclined part.  My mother can soothe the babies of strangers with just a touch.  It never fails, if her and I are grocery shopping, some baby in a shopping cart will want our attention.  They wave, smile, giggle, make faces at us, and I have actually seen my mom touch a baby’s hand while it was fussing in a cart and have it instantly settle down.  The baby’s mother was less freaked out than one might imagine because my mom just puts off a grandmother feeling and people are just comfortable around her, even if their babies.  The mother told us that said baby had been teething and hadn’t stopped fussing for days and she was surprised my mom had gotten her to calm down even for a few minutes because her own mom hadn’t been able to do it.

However, my cousin and I are fairly sure that most of the women in our family are a touch psychic.  On more than one occasion when my cousin and I were together, we have both been struck by watery eye-hair standing on end sensations at the same time.

Most of the time, I’m indifferent to claims of psychic abilities and I don’t know if I believe they exist or not.  But sometimes it’s hard to dismiss every event that happens to someone as coincidence.  Especially considering strange things happen from time to time.  For example, before we bought our house over the summer, I had a dream about it.  That wouldn’t be a big deal except it was June and we weren’t even looking at houses at the time, especially not this house, which we saw the first day it came on the market.  I walked in and knew it was the house I had dreamed about and I have had a lot of deja vu moments in it.

Also, I was instantly in love.  I am not particularly close to any of my uncles on my mom’s side.  There is one though that I talk to often and like a lot (and one is creepy AF and I am waiting for the news to splash his picture around announcing he’s a serial killer).

A few weeks after we moved in, the uncle I really like, came by to see the house.  I gave him the tour and he looked at me and asked why we had decided on this particularly house.  Turns out during the 1970s and 1980s, my uncle knew the guy that owned the house and they held a monthly poker game here.  Here’s the thing, I don’t live in a huge city, but it isn’t a little town either.  At a population of 110,000 residents, with at least four satellite cities, the odds of us buying a house my uncle used to play poker in three decades earlier were really rather slim.  Especially, since my uncle has lived in several other cities besides this one…

It just makes you scratch your head.  We saw probably a hundred houses and yet this was the one I absolutely wanted to have.  The others were nice, but they were just houses, this one felt familiar, like a home.


Polymorphic Light Eruption

The area of skin that I showed off all covered in rash earlier this week is polymorphic light eruption, which is a fancy way to say my skin in that area has become allergic to the sun and I learned cotton is not a sun barrier.

I told my doctor it couldn’t be a response to sun because I get it even when I am wearing a jacket and he asked if it was the jacket I wear all the time, I said it was, and he asked if the jacket was cotton. So I wear a ton of all natural cotton shirts and jackets and I told him I did and he told me cotton is not a sun barrier.

Awesome. Most all natural materials are not true sun barriers as it turns out. Meaning the majority of my clothing is not going to stop the rash. He recommended I wear polyester blend turtlenecks when I’m outside.

Ok. I you know I am menopausal and yet you want me to wear polyester turtlenecks outside during a Missouri summer. Holy crap. I’m either going to have to suffer the rash or melt. Good job body.

I feel like my body is bullying me… always feel like the bone in my hip is broken, now the sun causes a rash, and menopause.

A Hitman’s Mistake?

The Mary Morris Murders are theorized to be the work of an idiot, unfortunately the idiot is probably a contract killer.  As someone that considers contract killer’s serial killers who really love their day job (much like me, but without the need to clean up after myself as often), I research contract killers the say way I research serial killers.  The only difference is we don’t know a whole lot about really good contract killers…

After all, if they weren’t good, we would know about all of them and they wouldn’t be employed for very long.  Sadly, to err is human and contract killers are human.

In October 2000, Mary Morris left for work in the morning and was reported that evening as missing by her husband.  It didn’t take long for the Houston Police to discover, Mary Morris had left for work at her normal time, but had never arrived there.

It didn’t take long after Mary Morris’s husband reported her missing for her body to be found.  It was parked in her car, not far from her house, dead.  Everyone was shocked.  Mary Morris didn’t live a high risk life style.  No one could imagine who would do such a thing.

Just three days later, another woman was found dead, in her car,   Like Mary Morris, this woman had left for work as per usual, and her body was found only a short distance from her house.  Someone had tried to make it look like a suicide.  Oddly, the victim’s name was Mary Morris and the theory of the inept Contract Killer was born.

With the Murder of Mary Morris One, there were no suspects.  The same was not true of Mary Morris Two.  Mary Morris 2 was a nurse who had until recently, been working with a male nurse that had creeped her out.  He had been fired just a week or so before, Mary Morris’s death.  Also, Mary Morris 2, was having marital problems with her husband.

Mary Morris 2 had a very large life insurance policy and her husband refused to let the police interview their daughter, who was his alibi.  Also, both Mary Morris victims were missing their wedding rings, but nothing else, including their wallets and cash were missing.  This is one instance where art imitates life, contract killers often remove identifiable pieces of jewelry such as wedding bands to provide to their employer to prove the job is done.

Two women murdered just a few days apart in a city as large as Houston, even with both of them named Mary Morris, could still be a coincidence. There were probably a dozen or more women named Mary Morris in Houston at the time.  However, the similarities between the two cases, including how the women were killed, and the fact that both Mary Morris victims even looked a bit alike, make it coincidence unlikely

Finally, after the murder of Mary Morris 2 there were no more Mary Morris’s killed in Houston in 2000 or in 2001.  Police actually suspect that Mary Morris 2 fought back against her killer.  The case has gone cold, but it is an interesting case.  A serial killer of the non-professional kind is unlikely, since serial killers are never that strict about their vicomology, that they would have to kill dark haired women named Mary Morris and try to make the crime look like anything other than a murder.  Also, if it were a serial killer, one would think there should have been more Mary Morris victims.

Nothing Too Current

I try not to chronicle crime events that are current affairs, so to speak.  Less likely to upset someone related to a forty year old murder case than one that is only four years old.  I’m going to break that rule for this post, because it has been relevant to some of my other posts and research I’ve been doing for Ritual Dreams.

Ritual Dreams has someone killing Satanists.  Not devil worshipers, Satanists, there is a significant difference, just FYI.  Satanism hasn’t been a taboo subject in the D&R novels, mainly because, if you lined up serial killers from the last 60 years and threw a stone, you’d be hard pressed not to hit one that claimed Satan made them do it.

This has lead to some strange things during the course of my lifetime including the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s to the phenomenon known as The Devil Makes Them Guilty; Psychologists have proven a murder suspect rarely needs to confess if a witness steps forward and says “Suspect X is a Satanist”, a jury is more than 50% more likely to convict them even on the flimsiest circumstantial evidence.  If said person confesses to being a Satanist or a Devil Worshiper, it’s basically a sealed deal that the person will be found guilty.

This has been getting some traction again, because the West Memphis Three have been released from prison.  In 1993, three high school aged boys were tried and convicted of murdering 3 second grade boys in West Memphis, Arkansas.  Most psychologists agree that the West Memphis Three weren’t convicted based on evidence, but on their music preferences (enter Metallica again), a false confession by one of the teens who might have been illegally questioned based on the fact that he did not score very high on an IQ test, and the notion that the three were devil worshipers.

The legal woes involved in the West Memphis Three case are plentiful, including the possibility of jury misconduct, police misconduct, and questionable testimony from two witnesses, oh and new DNA evidence that might be exculpatory in nature.  The West Memphis Three all obtained high school diplomas in prison, and two went on to get college degrees.  Seven years ago, they entered Alford Pleas that were accepted by the State of Arkansas, which is saying something considering their convictions had already taken place.  An Alford Plea is a statement of guilt, but made by defendants who are continuing to proclaim their innocence.

They are rarely accepted and even more rarely accepted against defendants who have been granted a new trial in which they were found guilty at the first one.  In other words, the acceptance of an Alford Plea by the State of Arkansas is surprising, because if there were no doubts about their guilt, there is no reason to believe a new trial would end in anything other than a guilty verdict.

There were in fact other suspects at the beginning of the investigation, however, due to police negligence, they all disappeared pretty quickly.  One officer took a statement from a restaurant manager about a male that had been in the ladies’ restroom, bleeding, and he seemed disoriented.  The officer that took that statement, didn’t go into the restaurant to take it, it was taken through the drive-thru window of the restaurant.  Also, it wasn’t until several days later that police went back to take samples of the dried blood, which were ultimately lost before logged into evidence.

Two other suspects were found in California, the state, several days after the murders.  Both were young men in their late teens or early twenties, that had a history of drug and alcohol related offenses, one even admitted that due to drug and alcohol abuse, he might have been involved in the murders, but he couldn’t remember because he usually blacked out.  DNA and urine samples were taken from these men after they failed a polygraph exam in California, but the samples were never tested and were eventually lost.

Sadly, one of the investigators decided the murders had a “dark feel” and one of the West Memphis Three was brought in for questioning because he was known to have an interest in the occult and someone at his school said he was a devil worshiper.

One of the witnesses later recanted her testimony and claimed the police threatened to take her son away from her if she didn’t provide testimony against the West Memphis Three.  Her son claimed to see the three boys, all playmates of his, killed and indicated an area where they could be found.  However, the boy, also a second grader, claimed his friends were killed by Satanists who spoke Spanish.  He was unable to identify any of the West Memphis Three, and his statements were rather inconsistent, as one might imagine.  Other than getting the location of where the bodies could be found right, he didn’t seem to know anything else about the crimes.

A child psychologist would later tell police that they were dealing with a unique situation, the psychologist believed the child, and possibly other children, had found the bodies in the days they were missing and could therefore identify where the bodies could be found.  However, the report of the Spanish Speaking Satanists were released to the news by investigators and that information was used by the jury during their deliberations.  This is critical when you consider one of the teens on trial was nabbed mostly because he liked Metallica, dressed in dark clothing, and people at his school claimed he was a devil worshiper… Because we all know how reliable teen witnesses are when they are talking about their fellow students they deem weird.

There was DNA evidence found that did not belong to any of the West Memphis Three, that might be easy to explain.  Using Touch DNA, a DNA sample was developed from all three boys that came from the same person, the stepfather of one of the murdered boys.  Which is hardly conclusive in either direction, however, if his DNA could be developed from a shoe lace of one of the boys, and from the jacket of another, it seems that DNA evidence from the West Memphis Three should have been all over the place.  From the third boy, another DNA sample was obtained that didn’t belong to any of the West Memphis Three and did not belong to his stepfather.  Which makes those misplaced samples suddenly more important.

Even 25 years after the murders, multiple lives have been destroyed by this case.  Those of the victims, the victims’ families, and the three boys convicted of the murders.  Two interesting side notes on this case, in the mid-2000s, three of the parents of the murdered children began to push for the West Memphis Three to be freed because they did not believe them guilty, and Retired FBI Agent John Douglas (The FBI agent that put profiling on the map) has given statements on multiple occasions stating the innocent of the West Memphis Three.  Douglas has even offered a profile on the killer, emphasis on the singular, Douglas says he is an adult male with a personal connection to all three murdered children, as well as a connection to where the bodies were found and that we was an adult at the time of the murders in 1993.

Sometimes, They Just Stop

I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve heard the saying “serial killers don’t just stop” in movies and on TV.  The problem is, they really do.  Dennis Rader isn’t the only one and the more we learn, the more common we realize it is.

Rader became distracted by marriage and life changes.  Kids were born.  He gained status in his church… He just kinda quit in 1991, which really wasn’t a bad thing.  BTK had tormented Wichita long enough.

The capture of the Golden State Killer has brought this kind of stopping to light again.  No one is entirely sure why a serial killer just sorta decides to stop killing, we haven’t asked a lot of them, because there haven’t been a lot of them to ask.

It appears that like BTK, the Golden State Rapist/Killer just decided to stop one day.  He was terrorizing California one day and then there was nothing for a long, long, long time, so long that most people forgot the case had ever even existed.

We’ve talked to two known killers about their stopping, seemingly randomly, one day; Dennis Rader and Gary Ridgeway (The Green River Killer).  Rader said the above, life became busy.  Ridgeway mostly ignored the question, but a review by a forensic psychiatrist showed that Ridgeway was most active during his first two marriages, which were definitely not happy marriages, and then slowed to a crawl during his third marriage which was far more blissful than his first two marriages ever dreamed of being.

At some point, we’ll end up asking the Golden State Killer.  Right now, a forensic psychiatrist has brought up that the killings stopped after he turned 40.  It isn’t some mythical, magical, unicorn number, it’s just a number, but the majority of men start experiencing decreases in sex drive and testosterone levels after 40.  Surprisingly, the male equivalent of menopause might actually play a role in a serial killer’s desire to kill or not.

The majority of male serial killers are younger than 40.  Same goes for rapists.  While males are still loathe to discuss or accept it, men do go through some serious hormonal changes in their 40s.  This is the era of weird hair sprouting uncontrollably from ears and nostrils.  A widening of the waistline is fairly common as are digestive changes and a decrease in sex drive, that men associate with a mid-life crisis.

Also, by the time a guy is in his 40s, he’s sown his wild oats, probably has a couple of kids, a wife, a steady job because these life events create bills, and is looking towards retirement in the next decade or so, not long days at work followed by rape and murder.

It sounds a little tongue in cheek, but rape and murder are exhausting, no one wants to deal with that after work, and still race home for your favorite prime time show and an hour or two spent with the family before calling it a night.

Or doing all that, then waiting for the family to go to bed, so you can sneak out and hope your kid doesn’t have a nightmare and your wife wakes up to find you aren’t there, because you decided to go out raping and killing on a Tuesday night.  Then you have the “I didn’t get enough sleep last night” drag at work the next day.  As well as a call from your wife’s lawyer about divorce papers they’ll be drawing up in the next few weeks, because your nocturnal wanderings haven’t gone unnoticed and she’s convinced you have a mistress that you are sneaking off to meet in the middle of the night.

In other words, serial killing is a young man’s thing, not a middle aged guy’s thing.  There are exceptions, but they are an odd lot.  Pedophiliac serial killers tend to be a little older and the killer’s age doesn’t seem to matter.  The same is true of pedophiles though.   Which is why Albert Fish isn’t really an exception to the rule about serial killers not being of the older sort.



Several Weeks Ahead

I am about 6 weeks ahead on blog posts, which is why some days more than one releases.  Those are the days I miss that I already had one scheduled or I have to write another one like today.

I finished The Dysfunctional Mob, which is awesome.  It needs some work still, but that’s easy enough to do.  I am working on Ritual Dreams.

However, the reason I am really glad I am six weeks or so head on blog posts is because I am battling a massive rash.  They tell me it’s an allergy or nerve reaction.  Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream have been unhelpful with the itch and pain.

I get it when I go out in the sun.  I started dealing with it last May and this year it is back.  We can’t decide if I have suddenly become allergic to the sun on certain areas of my body, or if I’m allergic to my own sweat… Or what.  The problem is it only happens in the neck line area of my chest.  And even when wearing a t-shirt or a jacket, in the sun, I get it.

The fact that it is so localized and doesn’t respond to allergy medication or steroids is why we are still searching for the cause.  A doctor suggested it could be related to CRPS.  According to him, with my nerves being in meltdown mode all the time, they might be perceiving sun as a threat to the nerves in that one area.  Which if it was a full allergy to the sun or my own sweat, it should be less localized, as I get sun everywhere.

However, this rash is coupled with “red face”.  It’s not a rash.  I suddenly turn beet red in the face and it doesn’t matter if I am hot or not.  Yesterday, I got red face sitting in my air conditioned dining room, after being outside for several hours.  My mother says it looks like I’m about to blow a gasket or have a heart attack when it happens and I know it must be bad because even my husband becomes concerned when my face turns red.

The red face doesn’t itch and unless someone points it out to me or I glance in a mirror, I don’t even know my face has turned an unhealthy shade of red.  So far, I have not been able to reproduce the rash or the red face in front of a doctor.  I have been relegated to showing them pictures and selfies of the two things.  Which isn’t exactly the most useful diagnostic tool, but at least I have evidence it’s happening.

So, here’s the rash yesterday afternoon.  I haven’t caught a selfie of the red face, but I’m crossing my fingers it happens soon, like in the next couple of weeks.  However, I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, so it wasn’t until the rash got really bad yesterday afternoon that I even thought to take a picture of it.

Because when it started last year, I couldn’t show the doctor what I meant by it looks like I am having a massive hive attack, but that it is very localized and it doesn’t respond to antihistamines or steroids.  If you have any suggestions, let me know, because my doctor is throwing up his hands and scratching his head saying “I have never dealt with anything like this” and I can’t get into a dermatologist for over a month.


Carbon Dating and What If We Were Wrong

A while ago, I talked about inaccuracies in carbon dating, which are the result of radiation contamination.  It is hard to forget the Chelyabinsk meteor. About 20 meters in diameter, the world got to see video of this meteor as it soared over Russia in 2013, before exploding above the earth in the Chelyabinsk Oblansk in the Ural Mountains.

It entered Earth’s atmosphere at a low angle, which is why video of it is so prevalent, it was close to the surface of our Earth.  Since the meteor didn’t make impact, there was no impact crater to study.  However, we do know where it exploded, and we know that it brought some radiation with it.

Space is brimming with radiation and anything in space for very long, becomes contaminated with radiation.  That radiation contamination is part of the reason scientists believe The Tunguska Event was a meteor that exploded over the Earth.  Tunguska happened during the early Soviet Years, but it happened in Siberia, and no one saw it.  Something caused part of a forest to fall down, there was also high levels of radiation contamination to the soil and trees.  Tunguska and Chelyabinsk were not extinction level events, but there have been a few of those…

In the Southwestern US there are several large impact craters from meteors that were possibly extinction level events.  There’s another on the Yucatan Peninsula that many think helped bring about the end of the dinosaurs.  So far, we have found large impact craters on every continent.  We don’t use carbon dating on objects found in areas where we know nuclear weapons testing has taken place because we know that the carbon dating will be off.  Yet we don’t apply this same principle to areas with large impact craters.

Here’s the thing, if an in air meteor explosion, which does send shock waves to the surface of the earth, can cause radiation contamination, in those areas, why are we still using carbon dating when most of the earth has been pelted with space radiation as a result of meteor impacts? I know it seems kind of out there, but part of the problem with an extinction level meteor is that it causes nuclear winter (so much debris gets kicked into the air from the impact, that the sun is blotted out for a time, causing a severe cold spell and drop in surface temperatures of Earth).  A meteor of that size, has to have some serious radiation to it.  Also, if it can cause a nuclear winter to happen across the entire surface of Earth, why wouldn’t some of that radiation contamination also join the debris in the air only to fall back to Earth and create more radiation contamination in other spots, thousands of miles away from the impact point?

We’ll use the one in Yucatan as our example, because I know more about it than other impact craters.  The suspected size of the meteor was between 5 and 10 miles in diameter.  It left a crater that is amazingly beautiful and terrifying.

The problem is while we can estimate the size, we can’t estimate the radiation impact it had.  I mean we have carbon dated things in recent years that have ended up being so off, it looked as if it were from the future, one of them a hunk of wood from Nova Scotia, Canada.  I don’t know a ton about Canada, but I am fairly certain that Nova Scotia is not Proving Ground Zero for Canada’s nuclear arsenal.  So, that chunk of wood had to be exposed to radiation from US nuclear tests which took place several thousands of miles south and west, because we weren’t exactly checking them out on the Eastern seaboard.

I suppose the exposure could have come from the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, which is a whole lot closer to Nova Scotia than Nevada, but even then, it’s still a considerable distance for radiation fall out to spike the level of Carbon 14 in a chunk of wood, the radioactive isotope measured in carbon dating.

However, what if we’ve been wrong about it all along.  I mean if we have learned anything in the past couple of decades, it’s that humans get things wrong all the time.  Keeping that in mind, consider the Piri Reis Map.  It dates from around 1513, theoretically, but that’s a map maker thing that I’ll discuss in a moment.  The Piri Reis map shows Antarctica free of ice.  And satellite images of Antartica in the last decade have shown the map to be incredibly accurate.

While we know the date of the Piri Reis map, give or take a few decades, we don’t know what it was copied from.  Map makers often copied maps from other sources, so it is unlikely that Piri Reis was the first or only map to show Antarctica free of ice.

Now, in theory, Antarctica has been covered in ice for most of the last 12,000 years, long before modern humans began exploration.  However, our understanding of dates mostly relies on our understanding of carbon dating…  What if we got it totally wrong, because we didn’t realize that radio carbon dating was impacted by meteor strikes or even meteors that just explode over the surface of the Earth?

Okay, back the Yucatan Peninsula.  If a meteor of only 20 meters in diameter can cause a spike in radiation levels on the surface of the earth, just from exploding in the air, for the record, 20 meters is about 1/100th of a mile.  So scale up that 20 meters to 5 miles, just to go on the low side of the meteor’s size.  Essentially, a meteor more than 5,000 times larger as the one over Chelyabinsk Oblansk.

That is one of those moments where my brain has trouble fathoming the actual event based on sheer enormity.  For the record, that is seriously larger than any nuclear weapon ever tested.  How much did that alter the carbon 14 in the organic matter that survived?  How much did it increase the amount of carbon 14 in the soil?

And that soil number is important, because new plant life leeches carbon 14 from the soil when it begins to grow, meaning soil with increased amounts of carbon 14 can lead to organic matter that has extra carbon 14.  We could be off by a hundred thousand years or more, depending on the number of large meteors that have impacted the Earth.  I can think of at least four impact craters that supposedly belonged to extinction level meteors.  That’s a whole of radiation.  At which point, Antarctica being covered in ice for at least the last 12,000 years, isn’t a big deal.  It would be very possible for humans to have been alive and exploring at the time, before Antarctica froze over.

Also, it would explain the Great Flood myths.  Every civilization we have ever discovered, whether it be the Aborigines in Australia to the Bible, has a flood story.  A great flood that covers a large part of the surface of our planet in water, that doesn’t really have a good explanation, meaning we haven’t been able to figure out why everyone has one of these massive flood stories… But if we are wrong about the age of humanity, because it is based on carbon dating that could be flawed, well suddenly, it all makes more sense; floods, Piri Reis, the age of the Great Sphinx…

There are a whole lot of fringe science/science fiction theories solved in one fell swoop.  Could it really be that simple?  It’s unlikely, but it is food for thought.  We really don’t know what kind of impact an extinction level meteor would have on the Earth’s carbon 14 levels.  Smaller meteors have proven that space radiation is a real problem and that if a smaller version messes with radio carbon dating, then a large one would wreck even more havoc on it.


Psychological Makeup (Part 2)

Just like believing too many conspiracy theories can be detrimental to your health, being too skeptical can be as well.

A study in Canada showed people who scored high on skepticism tests had lower quality of life scores.  Lived more rigid lives and reported that they did not do well with change, at all.

This means it is probably good to be open to the possibility that we don’t know everything or understand everything.  Being unwilling to even entertain the idea that there is more out there than we understand, might make us less likely to be happy.

However, people who are highly skeptical show a need for control in their lives, suffer from low self worth (this is not the same as self esteem), and are less likely to be social.

Now, all of us exhibit traits from both sides from time to time.  I rarely outright dismiss a conspiracy theory or paranormal story.  Not because I feel the need to belong but because I feel the need to exercise my brain.

It reminds me of the Monty Python skit where a man pays to have an argument and has to point out to the person he is arguing with that argument isn’t just the automatic nay saying of whatever he says.  It requires logical thought and evidence.  And the arguer counters by saying if they are to have an argument, he has to take up a position that is contrary to the other person’s.

The irony of the skit was that both John Cleese’s character (who paid to have an argument) and Eric Idle’s character (the man he is supposed to be arguing with) are both correct, it is the execution of the argument that is at fault and both men are responsible for it.  You cannot pay to have an argument, because the other person has to at least understand what they are arguing about and Eric Idle’s character seems rather clueless about John Cleese’s character’s desired argument topic.

This is where the skeptic and believer will always disagree.  The skeptic will rarely change their position, even when given evidence, because no evidence will ever truly satisfy a skeptic, and no believer will ever change their minds based on the lack of evidence or the lack of strength of evidence, because they will always find a reason for the lack of evidence or the weakness of evidence: of course the evidence in weak for a second shooter in the JFK assassination, it was perpetrated by the CIA who aren’t known for leaving tons of evidence.  The skeptic will point out Oswald was caught, confessed, was a communist sympathizer, and capable of committing the crime.

Much like Cleese and Idle’s argument, there is merit to both of these theories.  The CIA has participated in assassinations for a long time and could probably do so without leaving much evidence, even in the US, and Oswald did confess, and he was a Soviet sympathizer, who had actually traveled to the Soviet Union on multiple occasions.

As a matter of fact, Oswald was being watched because he was a suspected Soviet spy he traveled back and forth so often.  However, Oswald was Russian, and had dual citizenship, and had family in the Soviet Union, which easily explains his travel back and forth and for a man being watched because he was a suspected spy, how did he manage to pull off the assassination of a president under the watchful eyes of the American government?  Yep, this can go on and on for hours with both sides having some critical pieces of information that support their positions and it is one of the reasons the JFK assassination is a favorite among skeptics and conspiracy theorists alike.

The point being that each of us should have a bit of the skeptic and a bit of the conspiracy theorist in us, because holding a balance of both of these things, actually does exercise the brain and force us to think outside the box, while giving us a sense of community, and keeps us happy.

Just something to keep in mind.


Psychological Makeup (Part 1)

One of my readers told me to go check out new research about the psychological profile of a conspiracy theorist.  I am eternally grateful for that tidbit.

We have this idea that conspiracy theorists are whack job loners sitting in their parents’ basement eating ice cream while trying to find proof that Oswald didn’t act alone.  New research says that image is completely wrong.

There seem to be two critical things that almost every conspiracy theorist has in common.  The first is a tremendous amount of self doubt.  They either aren’t confident in their abilities, even the things they are good at or they suffer a touch of low self esteem.

The second is that conspiracy theorists actually aren’t loners, in fact they are the exact opposite.  Being involved in a Truthers’ Movement gives them a sense of belonging.  Which is kind of neat.  Also, conspiracy theorists as a social group is among the more accepting social groups… They rarely care about physicality.  So someone looking for acceptance in society, could find it among conspiracy theorists.

I’m mostly paraphrasing articles in Psychology Today and Modern Psychology.  Meaning it’s possible that your slightly nutty cousin who believes the Moon Landing was faked, isn’t all that nutty, they have just found acceptance within a social group where the only requirement for membership is that you believe in at least one conspiracy theory.

The article in Modern Psychology went a little more in depth about how intelligence and conspiracy theories have a tenuous link.  To quote my primary care physician dumb people are too dumb to be mentally ill.  The same holds true here.  Not that conspiracy theorists are primarily mentally ill, they are just people smart enough to think, sometimes way outside the box.

Interestingly, nearly half of all Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory.  You can also tell a great deal about a person’s biases based on which conspiracy theories they believe in.  For example, someone with a deep mistrust of the government, is more likely to believe Roswell was a cover up, JFK was assassinated by the US government, that the US masterminded September 11, 2001, the Moon Landing was faked, and that the US was secretly supporting Nazi Germany in an attempt to thwart the Soviet Union.

Not surprisingly, I do believe in a conspiracy theory regarding the Soviet Union and US…  I believe the US and most of the Western Europe ignored Stalin’s death toll because we expected Russians to rise up and overthrow the Soviet Government, it’s why Stalin wasn’t assassinated by the US or UK, even though we were well aware of what was going on in the Soviet Union.

See, my bias showed through.  I believe Stalin was left in power in an attempt to get the Soviet Union to self destruct because in the 1940s and 1950s, the US was not above organizing assassinations of world leaders, and yet Stalin wasn’t assassinated.  Nor did the US take a hard nose stance against the Soviet Union.  One could argue the Cold War was a hard nosed stance, but it was nothing compared to our positions against other communist countries and nuclear war really isn’t enough of a threat to render us impotent, like we were against the Soviet Union when Stalin was leader.

As a matter of fact, our position against the Soviet Union grew stronger after Stalin’s death.  Making me wonder why we felt the need to walk on eggshells when Stalin was in power.  We haven’t felt that need since then with any leader and Chairman Mao had nuclear weapons, as does North Korea.


I graduated high school in 1998.  Sociologists and social psychologists refer to my group of as graduates as the last class of non-violence.

We weren’t entirely non-violent students.  I graduated with over 800 other students.  We dealt with fist fights, sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, and we once had a fight on the parking lot that escalated into a stabbing.  We get that moniker because we are the last graduating class that has never had to have a lock-down drill or dealt with the reality of an active shooter on campus.

Yes, those things had happened, but they weren’t large scale massacres.  Like the stabbing incident at my high school, school shootings were isolated events that happened in parking lots of big urban schools that had metal detectors when you walked into the school.  My school didn’t have a metal detector.  We never once had a lock down drill.

The reason my generation earned this moniker is because the year after I graduated, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris would open fire in Columbine High School.  For most of us, this was the first non-isolated attack of a school shooter.  Klebold and Harris didn’t set out with one target in mind that morning, they had a list and everyone else was collateral damage.

Klebold and Harris got their wish, infamy.  Because of their action, society began to question Goth culture, rock music (which already had a bad reputation), and outcasts from society.  People like me.  When the list of their music was released, I realized we had the same taste in music and I was already something of a serial killer aficionado, because by April 20, 1999, I had already started working on the D&R series, but I didn’t know much about serial killers and I was doing a huge amount of research to figure it out.

However, their real legacy is the dozens of copycats that have come since then.

However, as this day continues to unfold, I realize that sociologists are right, my class was the last one to graduate without the fear of a school shooting.  And at some point, we have to stop and think about what actually changed between 1990 and 1999.  Music and violent TV didn’t drive Klebold and Harris to commit the Columbine massacre.  Because most of the music listened to had been around long before 1999.  And TV might have gotten a little more violent between 1990 and 1999, but it didn’t get that much more violent.  I heard a lot of people say it was the movie Natural Born Killers that caused it.  Uh, again, I watched it in 1995, I know because it had just been released on video when I saw it and I wasn’t yet old enough to drive…

And this was a time when video games were still like Pharaoh not Grand Theft Auto.  Meaning, it’s hard to image video games were the problem.  Furthermore, the problem with blaming Grand Theft Auto and Natural Born Killers is that it really doesn’t explain what changed either in the brains of people born in 1981 and beyond or what changed in our society to make school shootings, god forbid, trendy.

This is like that book I read, the one that said absentee fathers were the reason school shootings happened.  Since, the 1940s, absentee fathers have been a thing.  Thousands of kids were left without fathers all over the world after WWII and with divorce becoming less stigmatized (however, I would rather have divorced parents than unhappily married parents).  And yet it took 54 years to go from WWII and the rise of the absentee father to get a major school shooting, so that doesn’t seem like very good evidence that absentee fathers are the only problem.

The insanity never ends.

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