I’ve not yet read Truman Capote, but I’m going to. Like so many media consumers these days, I had to first see the recent movie about his work on the book “In Cold Blood” to get inspired to read the actual book. Sad but true.
In Cold Blood was about the murder of an entire family in some middle-america, dustbowl state. More specifically, it was about the accused and later convicted killers; their lives, their childhood, everything about them up to and including the crimes and later on death row. Capote was able to gain/buy access to sit with one of the two men everyday for I don’t remember how long. And just based on what I saw in the film, you can see through Capote and for yourself just how human and how fragile and lost these men are. Though some might say it was an act, there’s something very familiar and perhaps even endearing about the one particular guy. And of course this makes for a very grey sort of outlook on things: there you sit talking to someone who killed a whole family, yet there you sit sitting with a very polite, scared, confused, and damaged human being. Naturally many people don’t ever want to hear such a thing, a killer is a killer is a killer is a killer and they are terrible and must get a chair or an injection or gas etc. I’m aware of this reasoning, but clearly I’m not of that opinion.
I present all this to you today because I’ve been reading and re-reading blog posts by Tony Pierce, Emmanuelle, and this other blog I just randomly searched for; all about the blogger from Oklahoma, Kevin Underwood, who recently murdered and planned to eat a 10 year old girl. I’m actually not sure if he’s been convicted yet so I should rephrase that, but it seems the authorities are quite certain about this. So all day long I’ve been reading his blog, which I think everyone should continue to have a right to read. You may not find it exciting. In fact, it’s downright boring. But considering what has happened, I’ve been skimming it looking for real posts where he talks about his feelings and thoughts, and as Tony said in his post – he clearly has a great deal of social anxiety. As you read, you see that he was extremely depressed and went on medication, but then stopped taking it for some reason. He was also constantly tormented with the desire to be close to someone yet the inability to get near anyone. He frequently mentions not feeling like a normal person and the headaches and the extreme boredom with life. – All things you will find in blogs anywhere on the internets. Which is about where I start to think of Truman Capote and In Cold Blood.
There will be no great conclusion to this post, as I’m still pouring over the entries and trying to look behind the words and understand what was going on. I suspect lots of things, including mental illness. Now being mentally ill doesn’t mean you’ll murder a little girl and want to eat her. But can it go that far, that someone becomes psychotic? Judging by his writing, the familiar themes the blog contains, I would say this blog could be his In Cold Blood.
To Be Continued — Im going to consult some mental health experts and report back.