Abigail's Crime Blog

True Crime? What does it really mean?



September 25th, 2013 Posted 8:26 pm

I have never heard of this scandal. When I looked up the president he had a lot of good accomplishments but then it got to the part where he brought his friends into the office and it talked about the “Ohio Gang” and the Teapot Dome. The only presidential scandal like this that I really remember is Nixon and Watergate.

And I found this when I was looking up things about our presidents.

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September 18th, 2013 Posted 11:44 pm

The story about the daughter was a little confusing to me. So the parents were convicted for killing the daughter? But wait they did not kill the daughter they kicked her out of the house and she died and because they kicked her out they must have killed her. Also the parents punishment was like a very severe form of a slap on the wrist. They got burnt on the hand but did the mom get burnt or did the dad get burnt twice? Then I reread it and I saw that the husband asked to take the burning for his wife and let his wife be executed? but they said that was not allowed. This short story full with run on sentences has a lot of holes that makes it very confusing.

Interesting side note that these two readings were said to be written about 100 years apart from each other.

The confessions on looks more like a playwright or a script rather than a story. It reads though as a history book does in the beginning.  I think I take it this way because i’m pretty sure I learned about Nat Turner in History class but we did not go in this much detail. The way they portray both parties is horrible. They did not play on side better than the other except when they said everything that Nat did. That is what I did not learn about and that was really something that was horrible to have to read. The master though was also not a nice man but how do they stop him? They should not have done what they did but what should they have done?

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September 17th, 2013 Posted 3:40 am

After reading the story about Jesse Strang I was reminded of most of the stories in the Canterbury Tales. The married women always seem to have a great husband who loves them but they decide that because they did not love the guy (I don’t think you should get married unless you love the person but also I don’t think you should try to get someone to kill the guy if you had to marry them) they need to cheat on them and try to find every bad way to get back at them. Like what this wife was doing when she was trying to convince Strang to help her forge her husband’s signature on his checks so that they will have money then she decides that he should kill the guy. This wife really seems to have gone over the deep end in this. She did not stop her husband from giving the poison to her son, even though it did nothing to him, it could have killed him. This story stared to turn into a show or a book people watch today when they need some kind of drama in their lives other than their own.

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September 12th, 2013 Posted 3:53 pm

In a way all of this weeks readings have a theme of stealing. Not just stealing peoples lives or theirs possessions but also there soul the way they have to die or the way they are treated. Rape is also a form of stealing. When they mention all the ships they stole and the people on them that had to be in a sense stolen with them that is a heck of a lot of stealing. I also did not appreciate the line in the second reading that said ” the female sex are weak and feeble in their frame, timid and unable to resist the force and strength of man”. The way they saw women back then I hope is different than how we seen women now but is it?

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September 10th, 2013 Posted 2:47 am

The chapter one of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison starts out with gory imagery. I does not even spare the reader at the beginning. I loved the line “as the damned in hell are supposed to cry out” because in all of the things so far that we have read they have been set on the people crying out how sorry they are to God and I just love the way this put it. I find it strange that we have no idea why he is being punished from the beginning like we did in the other stories. The list of how prisoners days go are not that different from a nun in the sense that they work and pray all day and that is all.

It is interesting how the Levi Ames story is in first person. Also the way he describes himself as being a disgrace to his family and everyone makes the reader fell almost more sorry for him than if someone else was writing his story in second person. I did like how he did not seem to feel that bad for steeling but rather for not obeying his parents. He says that is why he is being punished and God will not forgive that. His story reminds me of Huckleberry Finn in some ways with the way this man stole silver and money and the duke and the king in the story stole from people. The rest of his speech was very drawn out and seemed to be speaking a lot about religion just like the others in Pillar of Salt.

The Two chapters of this book were rather creepy and had more imagery than needed. The way they described the killing of the people remind me of how they describe Colosseum games a long time ago where they would stone people or tie them to things and send them in opposite directions. I think that was in The Kite Runner.

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The Women!

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September 5th, 2013 Posted 3:48 pm

I really liked the paragraph right before Ester Roders confession. It makes the tree that started all problems in the bible as a living thing and gives it life. I makes it seem as if it is human and gives it emotion. I really did like that aspect of the writing even though it does not pertains to crime in the aspect of what we are looking at. But back then the crime was that if you simply disobeyed your parents you could be killed or even exiled. Something else that I realized was that they put this example of how the tree was before they talked about how bad a woman was. I don’t think they did this on accident. He was trying to get people to see that women always screw things up and do things wrong.  What Katie said about the women I also agree with. Both these women were raised in strict religious families so they had no way of choosing nor getting any kind of help. If they asked for help they would have been made an example of which could have been worse and there children could have grown up in a house that was not the best that it should have been. My no means do I condone this but we have no idea what was going on with either of them nor there families. I also feel that the way that they repented there sins were a little “I have to do this so that my family’s reputation will live on”. That’s just how I heard them.

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September 3rd, 2013 Posted 1:14 am

I read a book over the summer that after reading this Introduction to Cotton Mather’s Pillars of Salt I find that the main character in the book that I read is oddly familiar to James Morgan. The novel was Change of Heart by Judy Picoult. The main characters name was Shay Bourne and he was a handyman for this lady and her husband and daughter (there is a slight back story that I am not going to go into but the husband was a second husband because the fist died and the child was the first husbands child) and she was pregnant with a second daughter (this one was her new husbands). They needed the handyman to make the baby room. Ok so all you know for a long while is that he got arrested for killing the father and the daughter. He is given a death sentence (this is where it starts to mirror in a sense Cotton Mather’s writing) and is put in a cell. There had not been a death row inmate in 69 years in New Hampshire while there had not been a public execution in Boston for Seven years. Shay then found out that the other daughter needed a heart because hers was failing and he wanted to give her his (this story takes place in 2007) and the way they kill people now is they inject people with poison so that it stops their heart and kills them they think painlessly. He needs someway to die where his heart will live. So he seeks help from a priest. There are people lined the streets to see him just like they were to see James Morgan. They end up finding a loophole in the way to kill him that says that if it is in his religion they can hang him. So in the end he dies by hanging just like James Morgan (I am not going to say  anything else because there is a lot of other good things about the book but if anyone wants to go read it I don’t want to ruin it). The similarities are so uncanny except that Shay did not stab the man nor was he drunk but the attention he got and the way he was killed are so similar.

I do not like how it is written in this introduction about the use of the guillotine because it makes it sound like only the religious ministers and people who are of the sort use this form of killing. But Kings like King Henry VIII used it on a regular basis.  (This is the beheading of Robespierre)

Another thing I really did not like was that they kept throwing out names but I really don’t know any of the names they mention so I have to keep stopping to look up the people. I wished they would give a brief sentence of who the people are. But other than that The introduction was really well written and informative. I had no idea Cotton Mathers wrote anything other than about the Salem Witch Trials and how he thought people should act around others like children and there parents.

This is a cool new thing that someone has come up with that you should watch. I think that Cotton Mathers would have been really intrigued to see people now a days simulating what they were using to kill people with back then just like I think he would be intrigued to know how fascinated people today are with witches when back then they were the most terrifying thing and needed to be killed even if you talked about it. So watch the gallows game (http://www.nbcnews.com/video/in-game/51791219#51791219) because it is quite interesting.

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“Fascination of the abomination”

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August 29th, 2013 Posted 2:50 pm

I find it interesting  what Harold Schechter’s was saying in his Introduction to True Crime Anthology. He sheds light on to the line, that I never fully understand but I regularly think about, that what was written in “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad that says “fascination of the abomination”. It is like when we drive down the street and then we all slow down so we can see the car crash that just happened. (“Heart of Darkness”) Or how we watch these crime shows on tv but has anyone ever thought about how every crime on it is the worst case scenarios. Then how our own news only shows the horrible parts of our world because if they showed the things that were ‘not so bad’ than no one would watch due to the fact that people want to see the things that they would either never do but want to do (which I really hope no one want to do any of that) or they want to see how screwed up our world is and that is where our need or want to fill this “fascination of the abomination”.

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