Monday, April 25, 2005

True Crime Blog

Good old-fashioned Church-goin’ folks. With family values.
From the NYT:
Recovery has been slow for people who drank coffee spiked with arsenic at their church in a tiny northern Maine town, and the police investigation of the mysterious poisonings two years ago appears to have stalled. But a new book airing community gossip and offering a resolution to the case has stirred up bitter memories.

State Police investigators still believe that longtime church member Daniel Bondeson, who was linked to the poisonings after he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound five days later, did not act alone. That theory is rejected by Christine Young in her book "Bitter Brew," which hit bookstores this month.

Young maintains that an emotionally unstable Bondeson was driven by pent-up anger and resentment when he poisoned a coffee pot with arsenic at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden on April 27, 2003. She also contends that Bondeson's sister, Norma, has been unfairly accused by some townspeople as having been a party to the crime.

One church member, Walter Reid Morrill, 78, died and 15 others became ill after they drank the poisoned coffee following a Sunday service.

Bondeson's body was found the following Friday in the farmhouse where he had been living alone since his father died.

The contents of a blood-streaked suicide note are still being withheld by investigators. But Young quotes detectives as saying the 53-year-old bachelor's note indicated that he didn't mean to kill anyone but "just wanted to give some people a bellyache like they gave me."

Sources told her Bondeson wrote "I acted alone. I acted alone" and underlined the words as reinforcement.

Church members plan to observe the anniversary of the poisonings with a few minutes of silence, said the Rev. Peter Drever, the part-time pastor of Gustaf Adolph.

Young's book portrays the town of slightly more than 600 people as a hotbed of gossip and the church as riven by grudges and feuds.

"To me, the story is more about what happened in the aftermath of the poisoning, with the vilification of Norma Bondeson," Young said in an interview. "That was the story: how everybody turned on her and she became the town pariah."

More police encounters
I went down to Walgreen’s to get some milk.

On the way, I walked by the arcade, where Chinese youth gather to kill each other, virtually, via gaming systems.

A young man was getting out of a car. He said, “Garbage-ass wireless DSL.”

His friend, smoking in the doorway of the arcade, responded, “WiFi?”

I continued on my way.

Walgreen’s had a police presence. Two cops, a forty-ish, tall blonde man and a thirty-something black woman were taking a statement from the store manager. I walked by Sam, waiting in line. He runs the mom ‘n pop I usually frequent, and where I would have normally bought milk had it not been past his closing time. He said, with a huge smile on his face, "Shoplifter!”

I thought it was just a reporting of the incident, but as I approached the counter with my milk, I noticed a boy, maybe 15, sitting on the floor, under the discount DVDs.

The blonde cop was telling the store manager that he could declare the kid a trespasser, and refuse him entry to the store. If there was a picture of him (and the manager promptly waved a Polaroid), it could be posted for all employees. Apparently, the kid was being let off with a warning (“The next time it’s a felony,” the black woman told him), and the blonde cop told him, “Skedaddle!”

Marvelling that somebody still said “Skedaddle,” in this modern age, I paid for my milk, and departed. The blonde cop was saying, “Technically, it’s not a crime until he’s left the store, you know.”

As I walked back home, I noticed that the petty thief was in front of me, not looking very shook up by the experience, really. He was carrying a red duffel bag that didn’t seem to have much of anything in it. As we approached the arcade, he stopped. The young man who had asked “WiFi?” was smoking again. The petty thief said, “Hey, wanna see something?” And I was on my way.


Blogger BonzoGal said...

I unthinkingly used the word "flibbertigibbet" at work the other day to describe an interviewee to my boss. Based on his reaction, I won't be using it again. Alas.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Latino who has seen the rise of crime in every town. One of the major factors is popular teen culture in America now endorses criminal active as “cool”, especially in the minority community. Gangster rap, and the culture that is associated with it has been very popular, yet most people don’t want to acknowledge that it exists. Guns, violence, incivility, drugs and drug dealer, anti-social behavior is now considered normal and by many children as “cool”. Most people living in "suburbia" in the United States have not this trend. It is because many community leaders of our minority groups, including mine, have not addressed this fact. They are too busy blaming everybody but the true causes of this, Music and Media corporate interest. Being a “gangsta”, criminal, big-mouth, a-moral is considered something to be admired by children, because the media has not denounced it. I think it might even be too late. Low rider and Vato culture has now been exported to other countries to through their respective ethnic communities. You can know find low riders, American style hip-hop ‘gangstas’ in Vietnam, El Salvador, Mexico, Laos, and other countries. People, especially the white intelligentsia have never discussed this because they don’t want to appear ‘racists’ or live in a safe bubble. It is now destroying many different communities and it is growing. Many whites, like those who live in the suburbs have children who have never been exposed to this, but it is growing so fast that it is spreading wildly though out all communities and even into the suburbs. It has been going on for years since the early years of rap. Guns, violence, rape, murder, drug dealing is being glamorized and young people are now brainwashed to believe it is very ‘hip’ to be stupid and a criminal. They see education for “whites” and ‘weak nerds’. VH1, MTV, videos, music and movie industry and even games push that being a low life criminal Gangsta is what is cool now. This is only going to get worse unless something is done. This not only affects the crime rate, but business, housing and other things. We reap what we sow.

12:33 AM  

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