Friday, August 18, 2006

Not JonBenet II

Mills of the gods

No sooner had someone confessed to the JonBenet killing than millions of reporters, virtually all of them working with 24 hour cable news channels began the speculation that the defendant was lying. False confessions are a problem here (and I assume everywhere else, Thailand included) and so I suppose the fellow could be lying. How many false confessions are there ? No one knows for sure, but a study of a decade of murder investigations in a single Illinois county found 247 confessions or signifigant admissions against interest that had proved to be false. Amazing. In all my life it has never crossed my mind to confess to anything I did not do. I have been too busy denying the things that I did do. Yet there are lots and lots of people out there willing to own up to murders they had nothing to do with. Are they that lonely ? That desperate for attention ? Do they really think they did it ? I learned a long time ago that the country is full of nut cases. I was looking at a polling sample that was being done for a trial I was participating in and noticed that about 7% of the answers were wacky, just off the wall, the kind you'd expect to hear froma a raving lunatic. The pollsters I was working with explained to me that about 7% of any sample of the american public shows answers like that. They explained it as the very paranoid, conspiracy buffs. They told me that about 7% of the population believes that the government orders everything printed in the newspaper or said on television. But that kind of paranoia is different (it seems to me) than the nuttiness that will cause someone to confess to a murder that they did not commit. That has real consequences. I assume that the state of Colorado has the death penalty.

Still, I suppose it is possible. The guy sure looks screwy. He has had a rather unbalanced life up until now. It could all be a set up by the news folks to get some interesting stories. The "Run away Bride" from a couple of years ago was actially contacted by a cable reporter to try to get her to run away again during a slow news cycle. The Mel Gibson story has played out and the cease fire may hold in Lebanon. The guy does look familair. He could be that thin guy that used to play the wig master on Seinfeld. That guy is not working, we may be trying to get back in the game this way.Best to be prepared for anything.


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