Murdered Victims Quotes

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A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.
Taylor Caldwell (A Pillar of Iron)
Just each of us being me, me, me first. The murderer, the victim, the witness each of us thinks our role is the lead. Probably that goes for anybody in the world.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
Most murders are committed by someone who is known to the victim. In fact, you are most likely to be murdered by a member of your own family on Christmas day.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time)
A phenomenon that a number of people have noted while in deep depression is the sense of being accompanied by a second self — a wraithlike observer who, not sharing the dementia of his double, is able to watch with dispassionate curiosity as his companion struggles against the oncoming disaster, or decides to embrace it. There is a theatrical quality about all this, and during the next several days, as I went about stolidly preparing for extinction, I couldn't shake off a sense of melodrama — a melodrama in which I, the victim-to-be of self-murder, was both the solitary actor and lone member of the audience.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
We’re not children, neither of us. We don’t believe in fairy tales. And if we did, who would we be? Not Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty. I slice murder victims’ heads off and Anna stretches skin until it rips, she snaps bones like green branches into smaller and smaller pieces. We’d be the fricking dragon and the wicked fairy. I know that. But I still have to tell her.
Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1))
One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim.
George Carlin
I am not staying with the murderer," she said, her words muffled by his jacket. "I am not staying with the victim Abel Tannatek or the culprit Abel Tannatek. I am staying with the storyteller.
Antonia Michaelis (The Storyteller)
One day soon, you’ll hear a car pull up to your curb, an engine cut out. You’ll hear footsteps coming up your front walk. Like they did for Edward Wayne Edwards, twenty-nine years after he killed Timothy Hack and Kelly Drew, in Sullivan, Wisconsin. Like they did for Kenneth Lee Hicks, thirty years after he killed Lori Billingsley, in Aloha, Oregon. The doorbell rings. No side gates are left open. You’re long past leaping over a fence. Take one of your hyper, gulping breaths. Clench your teeth. Inch timidly toward the insistent bell. This is how it ends for you. “You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,” you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light.
Michelle McNamara (I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer)
How do I know you’re not the killer?” MeShack asked. A smirk plastered on Zulu’s face. “Because you would’ve been the first victim.
Kenya Wright (Fire Baptized (Santeria Habitat, #1))
What was unique about this crime, was that the perpetrator could suggest the victim experienced pleasure and people wouldn't bat an eye. There's no such thing as a good stabbing or bad stabbing, consensual murder or nonconsensual murder.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
Naturally, one does not normally discuss plans to commit murder with the intended victim.
Robert J. Sawyer (Flashforward)
Well, I make that one murder victim, one police interrogation and one conversation with a ghost,” George said. “Now that’s what I call a busy evening.” Lockwood nodded. “To think some people just watch television.
Jonathan Stroud (The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2))
Rape is a more heinous crime than murder since the rape victim dies throughout the period she lives.
Amit Abraham
How many of us will be saved the pain of seeing the most important things in our lives disappearing from one moment to the next? I don't just mean people, but our ideas and dreams too: we might survive a day, a week, a few years, but we're all condemned to lose. Our body remains alive, yet sooner or later our soul will receive the mortal blow. The perfect crime - for we don't know who murdered our joy, what their motives were, or where the guilty parties are to be found...they too are the victims of the reality they created.
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea. The naked woman on the ledge outside the window on the sixteenth floor is a victim of accidie, or the naked woman is an exhibitionist, and it would be 'interesting' to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes some difference whether the naked woman is about to commit a mortal sin or is about to register a political protest or is about to be, the Aristophanic view, snatched back to the human condition by the fireman in priest's clothing just visible in the window behind her, the one smiling at the telephoto lens. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely... by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria — which is our actual experience.
Joan Didion
There is no need for me to curse you -the murderer survives the victim only to learn that it was himself that he longed to be rid of. Hatred is self-hatred.
Thornton Wilder (The Ides of March)
Look, words are like the air: they belong to everybody. Words are not the problem; it's the tone, the context, where those words are aimed, and in whose company they are uttered. Of course murderers and victims use the same words, but I never read the words utopia, or beauty, or tenderness in police descriptions. Do you know that the Argentinean dictatorship burnt The Little Prince ? And I think they were right to do so, not because I do not love The Little Prince , but because the book is so full of tenderness that it would harm any dictatorship.
Juan Gelman
The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.
Albert Camus
Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society must take the place of the victim, and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness.
W.H. Auden
I'm going to ask you to remember the prostituted, the homeless, the battered, the raped, the tortured, the murdered, the raped-then-murdered, the murdered-then-raped; and I am going to ask you to remember the photographed, the ones that any or all of the above happened to and it was photographed and now the photographs are for sale in our free countries. I want you to think about those who have been hurt for the fun, the entertainment, the so-called speech of others; those who have been hurt for profit, for the financial benefit of pimps and entrepreneurs. I want you to remember the perpetrator and I am going to ask you to remember the victims: not just tonight but tomorrow and the next day. I want you to find a way to include them -- the perpetrators and the victims -- in what you do, how you think, how you act, what you care about, what your life means to you. Now, I know, in this room, some of you are the women I have been talking about. I know that. People around you may not. I am going to ask you to use every single thing you can remember about what was done to you -- how it was done, where, by whom, when, and, if you know -- why -- to begin to tear male dominance to pieces, to pull it apart, to vandalize it, to destabilize it, to mess it up, to get in its way, to fuck it up. I have to ask you to resist, not to comply, to destroy the power men have over women, to refuse to accept it, to abhor it and to do whatever is necessary despite its cost to you to change it.
Andrea Dworkin
The victims of Jack the Ripper were never 'just prostitutes'; they were daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and lovers. They were women. They were human beings, and surely that in itself is enough.
Hallie Rubenhold (The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper's Women)
Where does it all begin? History has no beginnings, for everything that happens becomes the cause or pretext for what occurs afterwards, and this chain of cause and pretext stretches back to the Palaeolithic age, when the first Cain of one tribe murdered the first Abel of another. All war is fratricide, and there is therefore an infinite chain of blame that winds its circuitous route back and forth across the path and under the feet of every people and every nation, so that a people who are the victims of one time become the victimisers a generation later, and newly liberated nations resort immediately to the means of their former oppressors. The triple contagions of nationalism, utopianism and religious absolutism effervesce together into an acid that corrodes the moral metal of a race, and it shamelessly and even proudly performs deeds that it would deem vile if they were done by any other.
Louis de Bernières (Birds Without Wings)
These days, it's better to look poor and be safe, than look rich and be a victim.
Anthony Liccione
Is that all we mortals are? The victims of tortured irony to amuse an insane murder of gods? A murder of crows, a murder of gods-I like that, lass.
Steven Erikson (House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4))
What he coveted was the odor of certain human beings: that is, those rare humans who inspire love. These were his victims.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
I’m one hell of a public speaker, baby. I’m going to let them see the pain, but if you turn around and start treating me like some damaged little victim, I will murder you. In your sleep.
Moira Rogers (Sanctuary Lost (Red Rock Pass, #2))
And this shows that people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth. And it shows that something called Occam's razor is true. And Occam's razor is not a razor that men shave with but a Law, and it says: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. Which is Latin and it means: No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary. Which means that a murder victim is usually killed by someone known to them and fairies are made out of paper and you can't talk to someone who is dead.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
What distinguishes genocide from murder, and even from acts of political murder that claim as many victims, is the intent. The crime is wanting to make a people extinct. The idea is the crime.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Look, if you draw a two thousand-mile-long line across the United States at any angle, it’s going to pass through nine murder victims.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
It is less appealing, but morally more urgent, to understand the actions of the perpetrators. The moral danger, after all, is never that one might become a victim but that one might be a perpetrator or a bystander. It is tempting to say that a Nazi murderer is beyond the pale of understanding. ...Yet to deny a human being his human character is to render ethics impossible. To yield to this temptation, to find other people inhuman, is to take a step toward, not away from, the Nazi position. To find other people incomprehensible is to abandon the search for understanding, and thus to abandon history.
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
And don’t make the mistake of calling us resilient. To not have been destroyed, to not have given up, to have survived, is no badge of honor. Would you call an attempted murder victim resilient?
Tommy Orange (There There)
It’s the way some men say, “I’m not the problem” or that they shifted the conversation from actual corpses and victims as well as perpetrators to protecting the comfort level of bystander males. An exasperated woman remarked to me, “What do they want—a cookie for not hitting, raping, or threatening women?” Women are afraid of being raped and murdered all the time and sometimes that’s more important to talk about than protecting male comfort levels. Or
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
And then, on September 11, the world fractured. It's beyond my skill as a writer to capture that day and the days that would follow--the planes, like specters, vanishing into steel and glass; the slow-motion cascade of the towers crumbling into themselves; the ash-covered figures wandering the streets; the anguish and the fear. Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another's heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
He had hoped to spot the flickering shadow of a murderer as he turned the file's pages, but instead it was the ghost of Lula herself who emerged, gazing up at him, as victims of violent crimes sometimes did, through the detritus of their interrupted lives.
Robert Galbraith (The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1))
I want to see with my own eyes the hind lie down with the lion and the victim rise up and embrace his murderer.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Grand Inquisitor)
With murder, the victim is gone, and not forced to deal with what happened to her. The family must deal with it, but not the victim. But rape is much worse. The victim has a lifetime of coping, trying to understand, of asking questions, and the worst part, of knowing the rapist is still alive and may someday escape or be released. Every hour of every day, the victim thinks of the rape and asks herself a thousand questions. She relives it, step by step, minute by minute, and it hurts just as bad. Perhaps the most horrible crime of all is the violent rape of a child. A woman who is raped has a pretty good idea why it happened. Some animal was filled with hatred, anger and violence. But a child? A ten-year-old child? Suppose you're a parent. Imagine yourself trying to explain to your child why she was raped. Imagine yourself trying to explain why she cannot bear children.
John Grisham (A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1))
The precept: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” . . . is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself. There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims. The moral principle to adopt in this issue, is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
It is a mistake to confound strangeness with mystery. The most commonplace crime is often the most mysterious because it presents no new or special features from which deductions may be drawn. This murder would have been infinitely more difficult to unravel had the body of the victim been simply found lying in the roadway without any of those outré and sensational accompaniments which have rendered it remarkable. These strange details, far from making the case more difficult, have really had the effect of making it less so.
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1))
Everybody sees the ants?" He looks at me and says, "Well, how many people do you think live perfect lives, son? Aren't we all victims of something at some time or another?" "I don't follow." "Left hand red!" he says. Two ants fall on this turn, and the ant laughter gets louder. "Well, think about it. How many bad things can be done to a person? You got murder and assault, rape and robbery for starters. Just with those you're looking at some big numbers of how many people see the ants." He calls, "Left foot blue!" I say, "Huh," because I'm not sure how many people he means. "There's battery, conspiracy, extortion, slander, defamation and harassment, child abuse, stalking-the list is long, isn't it? Don't forget that every crime has hundreds of victims-everyone who knew and loved the victim and the criminal. That shit can trickle down." "All those people see the ants?" "Yep. Right hand green!" "Wow." "Yeah," he says. "If there are people who don't see 'em, I'd say we outnumber them a million to one.
A.S. King (Everybody Sees the Ants)
Being a homicide detective can be the loneliest job in the world. The friends of the victim are upset and in despair, but sooner or later - after weeks or months - they go back to their everyday lives. For the closest family it takes longer, but for the most part, to some degree, they too get over the grieving and despair. Life has to go on; it does go on. But the unsolved murders keep gnawing away and in the end there's only one person left who thinks night and day about the victim: it's the office who is left with the investigation.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak—not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we’ve legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
Your soul is drenched black with the blood of your victims, my dear, and that is why you can't see it. When you die, that heavy blood filled essence will sink to the bottom of the earth where you will burn in eternity for your crimes.
Maria V. Snyder (Poison Study (Study, #1))
Birthdays were wretched, delicious things when you lived in Beau Rivage. The clock stuck midnight, and presents gave way to magic. Curses bloomed. Girls bit into sharp apples instead of birthday cake, chocked on the ruby-and-white slivers, and collapsed into enchanted sleep. Unconscious beneath cobweb canopies, frozen in coffins of glass, they waited for their princes to come. Or they tricked ogres, traded their voices for love, danced until their glass slippers cracked. A prince would awaken, roused by the promise of true love, and find he had a witch to destroy. A heart to steal. To tear from the rib cage, where it was cushioned by bloody velvet, and deliver it to the queen who demanded the princess's death. Girls became victims and heroines. Boys became lovers and murderers. And sometimes... they became both.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
Christians, indeed, have a special obligation not to forget how great and how inextinguishable the human proclivity for violence is, or how many victims it has claimed, for they worship a God who does not merely take the part of those victims, but who was himself one of them, murdered by the combined authority and moral prudence of the political, religious, and legal powers of human society.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
But not all Jews were victims- look at Chairman Rumkowski, who sat safe with his new wife in his cushy home making lists, with the blood of my family on his hands. And not all Germans were murderers. Look at Herr Fassbinder, who had saved so many children on the night that children were taken away.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
There's lots of law these days, but not much justice. Celebrities murder their wives and go free. A mother kills her children, and the news people on TV say she's the victim and want you to send money to her lawyers. When everything's upside down like this, what fool just sits back and thinks justice will prevail?
Dean Koontz (One Door Away from Heaven)
Discipline is the greatest weapon against the self-righteous. We must measure the virtue of our own controlled response when answering the atrocities of fanatics. And yet, let it not be claimed, in our own oratory of piety, that we are without our own fanatics; for the self-righteous breed wherever tradition holds, and most often when there exists the perception that tradition is under assault. Fanatics can be created as easily in an environment of moral decay (whether real or imagined) as in an environment of legitimate inequity or under the banner of a common cause. Discipline is as much facing the enemy within as the enemy before you; for without critical judgment, the weapon you wield delivers- and let us not be coy here- naught but murder. And its first victim is the moral probity of your cause.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
Who the hell do you think you are?" I snapped. He grinned and gave me a wink as he said, "Alec Slater, your next - or only - great fuck." Was he for real? "You're about to be Alec Slater - murder victim - if you don't shut that hole in your face!
L.A. Casey (Alec (Slater Brothers, #2))
Besides, no one is innocent in this world. Why, go up to your maternity ward! All those smiling parents and their newborns? Murderers and victims. Every one of them. ‘The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.
Oyinkan Braithwaite (My Sister, the Serial Killer)
All the stories had a common thread—that somehow the victims had brought the murders on themselves…
Vincent Bugliosi (Helter Skelter)
I always like cases when the victim's been practically begging to be killed. It means I don't have to be sorry for him.
Kerry Greenwood (Murder and Mendelssohn (Phryne Fisher, #20))
Murder is no less a crime when the victim is common born.
Rae Carson (The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3))
I had learned a fundamental truth about killing: The victim's anguish is brief and fleeting, but the murderer's endures forever.
Jeanne Kalogridis (The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici)
He likes to know things. He checks out book and record collections when he visits people, looks in medicine cabinets, takes inventory in refrigerators. He eaves drops on conversations at public phone booths. He reads murder victims' mail.
John Sayles (Los Gusanos: A Novel)
Sometimes when I am dusting the mirror with the grapes I look at myself in it, although I know it is vanity. In the afternoon light of the parlour my skin is a pale mauve, like a faded bruise, and my teeth are greenish. I think of all the things that have been written about me - that I am inhuman female demon, that I am an innocent victim of a blackguard forced against my will and in danger of my own life, that I was too ignorant to know how to act and that to hang me would be judicial murder, that I am fond of animals, that I am very handsome with a brilliant complexion, that I have blue eyes, that I have green eyes, that I have auburn and also have brown hair, that I am tall and also not above the average height, that I am well and decently dressed, that I robbed a dead woman to appear so, that I am brisk and smart about my work, that I am of a sullen disposition with a quarrelsome temper, that I have the appearance of a person rather above my humble station, that I am a good girl with a pliable nature and no harm is told of me, that I am cunning and devious, that I am soft in the head and little better than an idiot. And I wonder, how can I be all of these different things at once?
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
Almost invariably people expected that if you were a good person you shouldn't meet a bad end, that only the deserving are killed and certainly only the deserving are murdered. However well hidden and subtle, there was a sense that a murdered person had somehow asked for it. That's why the shock when someone they knew to be kind and good was a victim. There was a feeling that surely there had been a mistake.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
I see what you think you mean," said the magician, "but you are wrong. There is no excuse for war, none whatever, and whatever wrong which your nation might be doing to mine-short of war-my nation would be in the wrong if I started a war so as to redress it. A murderer, for instance, is not allowed to plead that his victim was rich and oppresing him, so why should a nation be allowed to? Wrongs have to be redressed by reason, not force.
T.H. White (The Book of Merlyn (The Once and Future King, #5))
To be sure, you would like to live in a world where people in white hats bring people in black hats to justice, but you don't. Don't let this discourage you, though. You can accept that life is unfair and still relish it. You aren't in total control of your life, but there is a nice big chunk of your life over which you have complete authority--beat that part to a pulp. Just remember the unfair nature of the world, the randomness of birthright, means people often suffer adversity and enjoy opulence through no effort of their own. If you think the world is just and fair, people who need help may never get it. Realize that even though we are all responsible for our actions, the blame for evil acts rests on the perpetrator and never the victim. No one deserves to be raped or bullied, robbed or murdered. To make the world more just and fair, you have to make it harder for evil to thrive, and you can't do this just by reducing the number of its potential targets.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
Five German soldiers and a police dog on a leash were looking down into the bed of the creek. The soldiers' blue eyes were filled with a bleary civilian curiosity as to why one American would try to murder another one so far from home, and why the victim should laugh.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
We did our best to understand the murder: the murderer was a part of our lives; not so the victim.
Jerzy Kosiński (Steps)
The year the police called Sherrena, Wisconsin saw more than one victim per week murdered by a current or former romantic partner or relative. 10 After the numbers were released, Milwaukee’s chief of police appeared on the local news and puzzled over the fact that many victims had never contacted the police for help. A nightly news reporter summed up the chief’s views: “He believes that if police were contacted more often, that victims would have the tools to prevent fatal situations from occurring in the future.” What the chief failed to realize, or failed to reveal, was that his department’s own rules presented battered women with a devil’s bargain: keep quiet and face abuse or call the police and face eviction.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
The trial of Jesus of Nazareth, the trial and rehabilitation of Joan of Arc, any one of the witchcraft trials in Salem during 1691, the Moscow trials of 1937 during which Stalin destroyed all of the founders of the 1924 Soviet REvolution, the Sacco-Vanzetti trial of 1920 through 1927- there are many trials such as these in which the victim was already condemned to death before the trial took place, and it took place only to cover up the real meaning: the accused was to be put to death. These are trials in which the judge, the counsel, the jury, and the witnesses are the criminals, not the accused. For any believer in capital punishment, the fear of an honest mistake on the part of all concerned is cited as the main argument against the final terrible decision to carry out the death sentence. There is the frightful possibility in all such trials as these that the judgement has already been pronounced and the trial is just a mask for murder.
Katherine Anne Porter (The Never-Ending Wrong)
Nurse Leatheran has been giving me valuable information about the various members of the expedition. Incidentally I have learnt a good deal - about the victim. And the victim, mademoiselle, is very often the clue to the mystery.
Agatha Christie (Murder in Mesopotamia (Hercule Poirot, #14))
…is methodical abuse, often using indoctrination, aimed at breaking the will of another human being. In a 1989 report, the Ritual Abuse Task Force of the L.A. County Commission for Women defined ritual abuse as: “Ritual Abuse usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful,humiliating, intended as a means of gaining dominance over the victim.The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual indoctrination. It includes mind control techniques which convey to the victim a profound terror of the cult members …most victims are in a state of terror, mind control and dissociation” (Pg. 35-36)
Chrystine Oksana (Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual Abuse)
Outrage is conditioned not by the nature of the atrocity but by the affiliation of the victim and the perpetrator. Should the state be accorded more leniency because, legally speaking, it has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force? Or, conversely, should we hold soldiers and cops to a higher standard than paramilitaries?
Patrick Radden Keefe (Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland)
When you kill someone, something from that person passes to you - a sigh, a smell or a gesture. I call it "the curse of the victim." It clings to your body and seeps into your skin, going all the way into your heart, and thus continues to live within you. I carry with me the traces of all the men I have killed. I wear them around my neck like invisible necklaces, feeling their presence against my flesh, tight and heavy. In every murderer breathes the man he murdered.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
In the psychotherapeutic worldview to which all good liberals subscribe, there is no evil, only victimhood. The robber and the robbed, the murderer and the murdered, are alike the victims of circumstance, united by the events that overtook them. Future generations (I hope) will find it curious how, in the century of Stalin and Hitler, we have been so eager to deny man's capacity for evil.
Theodore Dalrymple (Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses)
White people “had the law,” to quote a curious phrase that crops up in historic sources. Black people didn’t. Formal law impinged on them only for purposes of control, not protection. Small crimes were crushed, big ones indulged—so long as the victims were black.
Jill Leovy (Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America)
The first crime was mine: I committed it when I made man mortal. Once I had done that, what was left for you, poor human murderers, to do? To kill your victims? But they already had the seed of death in them; all you could do was to hasten its fruition by a year or two.
Jean-Paul Sartre (No Exit and Three Other Plays)
When strangers on a train or a plane ask what I do for a living, I say, "I kill people." This response makes for a short conversation. No eye contact and no sudden movement from my seat-mate. Only peace and quiet. Rare is the fellow passenger who asks why I do it. I suppose I got tired hanging out in a book all day waiting for a story to begin. I write the kind of novels I want to read. And why the theme of solving murders? Violent death is larger than life and it's the great equalizer. By law, every victim is entitled to a paladin and a chase, else life would be cheapened. And the real reason I do this? My brain is simply bent this way. There is nothing else I would rather do. This neatly chains into my theory of the writing life. If you scratch an artist, under the skin you will find a bum who cannot hold down a real job. Conversely, if you scratch a bum... but I have never done that. The heart of my theory has puritan roots: if you love what you do, you cannot call it honest work.
Carol O'Connell
Now The Head Lines How do you like your truth? Gently spoken on breakfast TV By a man and a woman who sit comfortably Saying riots, and murder, when will it end? As they struggle to act as if they are good friends. How do you like your truth? Bite-sized in sound bites cut easy to chew, With a talking head saying the victim's like you And when you've digested the horrors you've seen You find good, you find evil, and no in-between. How do you like your truth? Fantastic, sensational, printed in bold, Today it's exclusive, tomorrow it's old, All on the surface with nothin too deep With a story about animals to help you to sleep How do you like your youth? From perfect families with parents thet care, Or in perfect families but still in despair, Ten out of ten parents say they'd not choose To have bad kids like those in the news.
Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher's Dead: Nelson Thornes Page Turners)
But some people, I suspect, remain morally immature. They continue to be aware that murder is wrong, but they do not feel it. I don’t think, in my experience, that any murderer has really felt remorse … And that, perhaps, is the mark of Cain. Murderers are set apart, they are ‘different’—murder is wrong—but not for them—for them it is necessary—the victim has ‘asked for it,’ it was ‘the only way.
Agatha Christie (Crooked House)
If every murder and every serious assault against a black man on the streets were investigated with Skaggs’s ceaseless vigor and determination—investigated as if one’s own child were the victim, or as if we, as a society, could not bear to lose these people—conditions would have been different.
Jill Leovy (Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America)
Because artists are more dangerous than murderers. The most prolific serial killer might have dozens of victims, but poets can lay low entire generations.
Marcus Sakey (Written in Fire (Brilliance Saga, #3))
Language can make a murderer a saint, a victim deserving, and a lover a stranger.
Kat Savage (Mad Woman)
The dead are notoriously unreliable when it comes to standards of behavior,” I said. “Particularly murder victims. They have no sense of decorum at all.
Tasha Alexander (Behind the Shattered Glass (Lady Emily, #8))
Murder, you see, is an amateur crime... One feels, very often, as though these nice ordinary chaps, had been overtaken, as it were, by murder, almost accidentally. They've been in a tight place, or they've wanted something very badly, money or a woman - and they've killed to get it. The brake that operates with most of us doesn't operate with them... They continue to be aware that murder is wrong, but they do not feel it. I don't think, in my experience, that any murderer has really felt remorse... Murderers are set apart, they are 'different' - murder is wrong - but not for them - for them it is necessary - the victim has 'asked for it,' it was 'the only way.
Agatha Christie (Crooked House)
Although I was an imaginative child, prone to nightmares, I had persuaded my parents to take me to Madame Tussauds waxworks in London, when I was six, because I had wanted to visit the Chamber of Horrors, expecting the movie-monster Chambers of Horrors I'd read about in my comics. I had wanted to thrill to waxworks of Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolf-man. Instead I was walked through a seemingly endless sequence of dioramas of unremarkable, glum-looking men and women who had murdered people - usually lodgers and members of their own families - and who were then murdered in turn: by handing, by the electric chair, in gas chambers. Most of them were depicted with their victims in awkward social situations - seated about a dinner table, perhaps, as their poisoned family members expired. The plaques that explained who they were also told me that the majority of them had murdered their families and sold the bodies to anatomy. It was then that the word anatomy garnered its own edge of horror for me. I did not know what anatomy was. I knew only that anatomy made people kill their children.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
An American woman once confronted me with the reproach, “How can you still write some of your books in German, Adolf Hitler’s language?” In response, I asked her if she had knives in her kitchen, and when she answered that she did, I acted dismayed and shocked, exclaiming, "How can you still use knives after so many killers have used them to stab and murder their victims?
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
When unspeakable violence is enacted upon innocents, say, in a school or movie theatre, and the survivors and the families of the victims, in the throes of pain and anguish, want to ask, “Why did this happen?,” “How did this happen?,” and “What can we do to prevent this from happening again?,” and one of the areas they (still we) focus their scrutiny is that of the highly efficient weapons of warfare that are casually available to us citizens of the United States, then we frightened gun owners have the chance to be human and say, “Okay, this is a horrible tragedy. Let’s open up a conversation here.” Instead, I’m surmising, out of fear, we throw up our defenses and behave in a very confrontational way toward such a conversation , citing the Second Amendment as the ultimate protection of our rights, no matter how ridiculously murderous the firearm, which, unfortunately, makes us look like dicks.
Nick Offerman
If our neighbors were white, they’d be victims of the same crime that plagues black folk. You are right, however, about those proportions. Ninety-three percent of black folk who are killed are killed by other black folk. But 84 percent of white folk who are killed are killed by other white folk. It’s not necessary to modify the noun murder with the adjective black. It happens in the white world too.
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
For mile after mile the strangler vines choked the sal trees, one grey trunk encircling another, until the whole jungle resembled some terrible tangled knot in which it was impossible to tell murderer from victim.
M.J. Carter (The Strangler Vine (The Blake and Avery Mystery Series, #1))
It is reason which breeds pride and reflection which fortifies it; reason which turns man inward into himself; reason which separates him from everything which troubles or affects him. It is philosophy which isolates a man, and prompts him to say in secret at the sight of another suffering: 'Perish if you will; I am safe.' No longer can anything but dangers to society in general disturb the tranquil sleep of the philosopher or drag him from his bed. A fellow-man may with impunity be murdered under his window, for the philosopher has only to put his hands over his ears and argue a little with himself to prevent nature, which rebels inside him, from making him identify himself with the victim of the murder. The savage man entirely lacks this admirable talent, and for want of wisdom and reason he always responds recklessly to the first promptings of human feeling.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality)
this person saw Mrs. Gunness as “a maniac of the much-dreaded type that includes the White Chapel murderer.” It is “not money” that drives such killers “but the constantly growing appetite for blood, to cut deep and watch the blood flow, to dabble the hands in it, to revel in the odor of it.” One “distinguishing features of these criminals is their invariable use of the same methods in every case. Mrs. Gunness decapitated every one of her victims. In every case she severed the limbs. Always there was the maximum of mutilation.”[9]
Harold Schechter (Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men)
Nature was more merciful than men, providing for those who suffered great pain such blessedness as fainting; but men were cruel and brought their victims out of faints that the pain might start again. (On being tortured/The Tower.)
Jean Plaidy (Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5))
When a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law, men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims, then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
In a world full of war, famine, oppression, deceit, monotony, what—apart from the eternal innocence of animals—offers an image of hope? A mother with a newborn child in her arms? The child may end up as a murderer or a murder victim, so that the hopeful image is a prefiguration of a pietà: a mother with her newly dead child on her lap.
Harry Mulisch (The Discovery of Heaven)
This was the paradox of trauma: To heal from it, you had to know where it came from and then, in a sense, disbelieve it. You had to trust you were more than the damage done to you. No matter how much others made you suffer, you had to cease seeing yourself as a victim.
Sierra Crane Murdoch (Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country)
The ultimate rape is murder. Sometime during the rape, they cosider killing the victim.
Janet Bode
Maria, it sounds like he was insane. Rational people don't intentionally addict people. I feel sorry for those poor people who were unsuspecting victims.
Dianne Harman Cornered Coyote
The murderer, the victim, the witness, each of us thinks our role is the lead.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
The food chain has victims at both ends: even rapists and murderers need someone to look down on, and kid killers will do nicely.
Michael Marshall (The Straw Men (Straw Men #1))
One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. —GEORGE CARLIN, AMERICAN COMEDIAN
Eric Grzymkowski (The Quotable A**hole: More than 1,200 Bitter Barbs, Cutting Comments, and Caustic Comebacks for Aspiring and Armchair A**holes Alike)
So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over a thousand homicides of that kind a year—meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular kind of terror. (Another way to put it: the more than 11,766 corpses from domestic-violence homicides between 9/11 and 2012 exceed the number of deaths of victims on that day and all American soldiers killed in the “war on terror.”)
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays)
In short, if the victims of authoritarian extortion, harassment, surveillance, assault, kidnapping, and murder simply stopped assisting in their own oppression, tyranny would crumble. And if the people went a step further and forcibly resisted, tyranny would collapse even more quickly.
Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)
We were always looking for reasons a woman might be murdered, other than our common gender. We want to blame the victim for what happened to her, when we know the problem is almost always men.
JoeAnn Hart (Stamford '76: A True Story of Murder, Corruption, Race, and Feminism in the 1970s)
Murder investigations start with the victim, because usually in the first instance that's all you've got. The study of the victim is called victimology because everything sounds better with an 'ology' tacked on the end. To make sure you make a proper fist of this, the police have developed the world's most useless mnemonic - 5 x W H & H - otherwise known as Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? Next time you watch a real murder investigation on the TV, and you see a group of serious-looking detectives standing around talking, remember that what they're actually doing is trying to work out what sodding order the mnemonic is supposed to go in. Once they've sorted that out, the exhausted officers will retire to the nearest watering hole for a drink and a bit of a breather.
Ben Aaronovitch (Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2))
I should have known when I first saw that picture. For it is a very remarkable picture. It is the picture of a murderess painted by her victim-it is the picture of a girl watching her lover dies.
Agatha Christie
Why Does He Do That? That's the number one question, isn't it? Maybe it's his drinking, you say. Maybe it's his learning disabilities. It's his job; he hates it. He's stressed. I think he's bipolar. It's his mother's fault; she spoiled him rotten. It's the drugs. If only he didn't use. It's his temper. He's selfish. It's the pornography; he's obsessed. The list could go on and on. You could spend many years trying to pinpoint it and never get a definite answer. The fact is, many people have these problems and they aren't abusive. Just because someone is an alcoholic doesn't mean he is abusive. Men hate their jobs all the time and aren't abusive. Bipolar? Okay. Stressed? Who isn't! Do you see where I am going with this? Off the subject a bit, when someone commits a violent crime, they always report in the news about his possible motive. As human beings, we need to somehow make sense of things. If someone murders someone, do you think it makes the family of the victim feel better to know the murderer's motive? No. Except for self-defense, there really is no excuse for murder. Motive, if there is any, is irrelevant. The same is true of abuse. You could spend your whole life going round and round trying to figure out why. The truth is, the why doesn't matter. There are only two reasons why men commit abuse—because they want to do so and because they can. You want to know why. In many ways, you might feel like you need to know. But, if you could come up with a reason or a motive, it wouldn't help you. Maybe you believe that if you did this or that differently, he wouldn't have abused you. That is faulty thinking and won't help you get better. You didn't do anything to cause the abuse. No matter what you said, no matter what you did, you didn't deserve to be abused. You are the victim and it won't help you to know why he supposedly abused you. No matter what his reason, there is no excuse for abuse. You are not to blame.
Beth Praed (Domestic Violence: My Freedom from Abuse)
My quarrel with Chomsky goes back to the Balkan wars of the 1990s, where he more or less openly represented the "Serbian Socialist Party" (actually the national-socialist and expansionist dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic) as the victim. Many of us are proud of having helped organize to prevent the slaughter and deportation of Europe's oldest and largest and most tolerant Muslim minority, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo. But at that time, when they were real, Chomsky wasn't apparently interested in Muslim grievances. He only became a voice for that when the Taliban and Al Qaeda needed to be represented in their turn as the victims of a "silent genocide" in Afghanistan. Let me put it like this, if a supposed scholar takes the Christian-Orthodox side when it is the aggressor, and then switches to taking the "Muslim" side when Muslims commit mass murder, I think that there is something very nasty going on. And yes, I don't think it is exaggerated to describe that nastiness as "anti-American" when the power that stops and punishes both aggressions is the United States.
Christopher Hitchens
...The CDC has also said that it’s virtually impossible to tell a murder victim killed by a shot to the head or spinal column from an infected individual put down legally in the same fashion. What is your answer to critics of the relaxed gun control laws who hold that gun-related violence has actually increased, but has been masked by the postmortem amplification of the Kellis-Amberlee virus?
Mira Grant (Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1))
The least dignified thing that can happen to a man is to be murdered. If he dies in his sleep he gets a respectful obituary and perhaps a smiling portrait; it is how we all want to be remembered. But murder is the great exposer: here is the victim in his torn underwear, face down on the floor, unpaid bills on his dresser, a meager shopping list, some loose change, and worst of all the fact that he is alone. Investigation reveals what he did that day - it all matters - his habits are examined, his behavior scrutinized, his trunks rifled, and a balance sheet is drawn up at the hospital giving the contents of his stomach. Dying, the last private act we perform, is made public: the murder victim has no secrets.
Paul Theroux
This is a love story,” Michael Dean says, ”but really what isn’t? Doesn’t the detective love the mystery or the chase, or the nosey female reporter who is even now being held against her wishes at an empty warehouse on the waterfront? Surely, the serial murder loves his victims, and the spy loves his gadgets, or his country or the exotic counterspy. The ice-trucker is torn between his love for ice and truck and the competing chefs go crazy for scallops, and the pawnshop guys adore their junk. Just as the housewives live for catching glimpses of their own botoxed brows in gilded hall mirrors and the rocked out dude on ‘roids totally wants to shred the ass of the tramp-tatted girl on hookbook. Because this is reality, they are all in love, madly, truly, with the body-mic clipped to their back-buckle and the producer casually suggesting, “Just one more angle.”, “One more jello shot.”. And the robot loves his master. Alien loves his saucer. Superman loves Lois. Lex and Lana. Luke loves Leia, til he finds out she’s his sister. And the exorcist loves the demon, even as he leaps out the window with it, in full soulful embrace. As Leo loves Kate, and they both love the sinking ship. And the shark, god the shark, loves to eat. Which is what the Mafioso loves too, eating and money and Pauly and Omertà. The way the cowboy loves his horse, loves the corseted girl behind the piano bar and sometimes loves the other cowboy. As the vampire loves night and neck. And the zombie, don’t even start with the zombie, sentimental fool, has anyone ever been more love-sick than a zombie, that pale dull metaphor for love, all animal craving and lurching, outstretched arms. His very existence a sonnet about how much he wants those brains. This, too is a love story.
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
Some parents cannot distinguish between punishment and discipline. Anyone can punish a child and many parents do it out of frustration. Discipline requires time, patience, and love and may include some punishment. To punish children without discipline usually involves a parent who is frustrated and has turned to anger.
Eric W. Hickey (Serial Murderers and Their Victims)
In the secret places of her thymus gland Louise is making too much of herself. Her faithful biology depends on regulation but the white T-cells have turned bandit. They don't obey the rules. They are swarming into the bloodstream, overturning the quiet order of spleen and intestine. In the lymph nodes they are swelling with pride. It used to be their job to keep her body safe from enemies on the outside. They were her immunity, her certainty against infection. Now they are the enemies on the inside. The security forces have rebelled. Louise is the victim of a coup. Will you let me crawl inside you, stand guard over you, trap them as they come at you? Why can't I dam their blind tide that filthies your blood? Why are there no lock gates on the portal vein? The inside of your body is innocent, nothing has taught it fear. Your artery canals trust their cargo, they don't check the shipments in the blood. You are full to overflowing but the keeper is asleep and there's murder going on inside. Who comes here? Let me hold up my lantern. It's only the blood; red cells carrying oxygen to the heart, thrombocytes making sure of proper clotting. The white cells, B and T types, just a few of them as always whistling as they go. The faithful body has made a mistake. This is no time to stamp the passports and look at the sky. Coming up behind are hundreds of them. Hundreds too many, armed to the teeth for a job that doesn't need doing. Not needed? With all that weaponry? Here they come, hurtling through the bloodstream trying to pick a fight. There's no-one to fight but you Louise. You're the foreign body now.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
Solving a murder is not about serving the victim, because the victim is, after all, dead. Solving a murder serves society by restoring the moral order that has been upset by the gunshot or knife strike or poisoning, and it serves to preserve that moral order by warning others that certain acts cannot be committed with impunity.
Ben H. Winters (World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3))
In this image (watching sensual murder through a peephole) Lorrain embodies the criminal delight of decadent art. The watcher who records the crimes (both the artist and consumer of art) is constructed as marginal, powerless to act, and so exculpated from action, passive subject of a complex pleasure, condemning and yet enjoying suffering imposed on others, and condemning himself for his own enjoyment. In this masochistic celebration of disempowerment, the sharpest pleasure recorded is that of the death of some important part of humanity. The dignity of human life is the ultimate victim of Lorrain's art, thrown away on a welter of delighted self-disgust.
Jennifer Birkett
Serial murders are a bit like natural disasters: in the scheme of things they are quite rare, but when they happen they demand our attention. They interest us for several reasons, but especially because they are so dramatically threatening, and they profoundly challenge our sense of our own everyday safety. [Todd R. Clear, Foreword]
Eric W. Hickey (Serial Murderers and Their Victims)
One of the reasons I love Murder is that victims are, as a general rule, dead... I don't make a habit of sharing this, in case people take me fore a sicko or- worse-a wimp, but give me a dead child, any day, over a child sobbing his heart out while you make him tell you what the bad man did next. Dead victims don't show up outside HQ to beg for answers, you never have to nudge them into reliving every hideous moment, and you never have to worry, and you never have to worry about what it'll do to their lives if you fuck up. They stay put in the morgue, light-years beyond anything I can do right or wrong, and leave me free to focus on the people who sent them there.
Tana French (Broken Harbour (Dublin Murder Squad, #4))
In a world full of war, famine, oppression, deceit, monotony, what—apart from the eternal innocence of animals—offers an image of hope? A mother with a newborn child in her arms? The child may end up as a murderer or a murder victim, so that the hopeful image is a prefiguration of a pietà: a mother with her newly dead child on her lap.
Henry Mulisch
A number of months ago I read in the newspaper that there was a supreme court ruling which states that homosexuals in america have no constitutional rights against the government's invasion of their privacy. The paper states that homosexuality is traditionally condemned in america & only people who are heterosexual or married or who have families can expect those constitutional rights. There were no editorials. Nothing. Just flat cold type in the morning paper informing people of this. In most areas of the u.s.a it is possible to murder a man & when one is brought to trial, one has only to say that the victim was a queer & that he tried to touch you & the courts will set you free. When I read the newspaper article I felt something stirring in my hands; I felt a sensation like seeing oneself from miles above the earth or looking at one's reflection in a mirror through the wrong end of a telescope. Realizing that I have nothing left to lose in my actions I let my hands become weapons, my teeth become weapons, every bone & muscle & fiber & ounce of blood become weapons, & I feel prepared for the rest of my life.
David Wojnarowicz (Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration)
Cauldron save me," she began whispering, her voice lovely and even-like music. "Mother hold me," she went on, reciting a prayer similar to one I'd heard once before, when Tamlin eased the passing of that lesser faerie who'd died in the foyer. Another of Amarantha's victims. "Guide me to you." I was unable to raise my dagger, unable to take the step that would close the distance between us. "Let me pass through the gates; let me smell that immortal land of milk and honey." Silent tears slide down my face and neck, where they dampened the filthy collar of my tunic. As she spoke, I knew I would be forever barred from that immortal land. I knew that whatever Mother she meant would never embrace me. In saving Tamlin, I was to damn myself. I couldn't do this-couldn't lift that dagger again. "Let me fear no evil," she breathed, staring at me-into me, into the soul that was cleaving itself apart."Let me feel no pain." A sob broke from my lips. "I'm sorry," I moaned. "Let me enter eternity," She breathed. I wept as I understood. Kill me now, she was saying. Do it fast. Don't make it hurt. Kill me now. Her bronze eyes were steady, if not sorrowful. Infinitely, infinitely worse than the pleading of the dead faerie beside her. I couldn't do it. But she held my gaze-held my gaze and nodded. As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face.” As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face. More faeries wailed now-her kinsmen and friends. The dagger was a weight in my hand-my hand, shining and coated with the blood of the first faerie. It would be more honorable to refuse-to die, rather than murder innocents. But... but... "Let me enter eternity," she repeated, lifting her chin. "Fear no evil," she whispered-just for me. "Feel no pain." I gripped her delicate, bony shoulder and drove the dagger into her heart. She gasped, and blood spilled onto the ground like a splattering of rain. Her eyes were closed when I looked at her face again. She slumped to the floor and didn't move. I went somewhere far, far away from myself.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
There is no such thing as a plain fact of murder. Murder springs, nine times out of ten, out of the character and circumstances of the murdered person. Because the victim was the kind of person he or she was, therefore was he or she murdered! Until we can understand fully and completely exactly what kind of a person [she] was, we shall not be able to see clearly exactly the kind of person who murdered her. From that spring the necessity of our questions.
Agatha Christie (Evil Under the Sun (Hercule Poirot, #24))
What a lot of graves there are laid out as far as the eye can see!. Their headstones are like hands raised in surrender, though they are beyond being threatened by anything. A city of silence and truth, where success and failure, murderer and victim come together, where thieves and policeman lie side by side in peace for the first and last time.
Naguib Mahfouz (The Thief and the Dogs)
It had always been a part of his job which he found difficult, the total lack of privacy for the victim. Murder stripped away more than life itself. The body was parceled, labelled, dissected; address books, diaries, confidential letters, every part of the victim's life was sought out and scrutinized. Alien hands moved among the clothes, picked up and examined the small possessions, recorded and labelled for public view the sad detritus of sometimes pathetic lives.
P.D. James (The Murder Room (Adam Dalgliesh #12))
For the media covering serial murder it is not the number of victims that counts anymore. But their celebrity status or credit rating. The trade off these days is one upscale SUV in the driveway for every 10 dead hookers in a dumpster.
Peter Vronsky (Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present)
Her eyes bled from venomous anger... Her flower had been gruesomely deflowered... Her life had slowly turned into a blunder... There was no more thinking further.... She would rather become a Foetus murderer Than end up a "hopeless" mother.... Of course, she found peace in the former Until later years of emotional trauma Oh, the foetus hunt was forever! The only thing you should abort is the thought of aborting your baby. Stop the hate and violence against innocent children.
Chinonye J. Chidolue
Inequality and poverty, unhealth and no wealth are hand in hand. And if we are all born equal that should be true in all lands. We cannot divide the world between poor and rich countries. It's like saying the ones are good, the others are junkies. That can only increase more prejudice, miseries and sorrow. Turning the wheel today it will lead to a better tomorrow.
Ana Claudia Antunes (The Mysterious Murder of Marilyn Monroe)
On May 19, Malcolm X’s birthday, two police had been machine-gunned on Riverside Drive. I felt sorry for their families, sorry for their children, but i was relieved to see that somebody else besides Black folks and Puerto Ricans and Chicanos was being shot at. I was sick and tired of us being the only victims, and i didn’t care who knew it. As far as i was concerned, the police in the Black communities were nothing but a foreign, occupying army, beating, torturing, and murdering people at whim and without restraint. I despise violence, but i despise it even more when it’s one-sided and used to oppress and repress poor people.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
In order to gawp at and examine this miracle of malevolence we have figuratively stepped over the bodies of those he murdered, and in some cases, stopped to kick them as we walked past. The larger his profile grows, the more those of his victims seem to fade.
Hallie Rubenhold (The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper's Women)
Richard looked up at the beautiful, big pines spreading over them, illuminated in the firelight. A spark of understanding lit in his mind. He saw the branches stretched out with murderous intent in a years-long struggle to reach the sunlight and dispatch its neighbors with its shade. Success would give space for its offspring, many of which would also shrivel in the shade of the parent. Several close neighbors of the big pine were withered and weak, victims all. It was true. The design of nature was success by murder.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
The funny thing about murder is that the act is often committed decades before the actual action. Something happens, and it leads, inexorably, to death many years later. A bad seed is planted. It’s like those old horror films from the Hammer studios, of the monster, not running, never running, but walking without pause, without thought or mercy, toward its victim. Murder is often like that. It starts way far off.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1))
In the middle of Europe in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered some fourteen million people. The place where all of the victims died, the bloodlands, extends from central Poland to western Russia, through Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic States.
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
And so the new century will bring a new kind of law,' was how Mr. Picton summed things up..... 'Proceedings where victims and witnesses are put on trial instead of defendants, where a murderer in identified as 'a woman' instead of an individual....If things go on like this we'll find ourselves in some shadow world, where lawyers use the ignorance of the average citizen to manipulate justice the way priests did in the Middle ages.
Caleb Carr (The Angel of Darkness (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #2))
I go to the window, I spot a fly under the curtain, I corner it in a muslin trap and move a murderous forefinger toward it. This moment is not in the program, it's something apart, timeless, incomparable, motionless, nothing will come of it this evening or later . . . Mankind is asleep. . . . Alone and without a future in a stagnant moment, a child is asking murder for strong sensations. Since I'm refused a man's destiny, I'll be the destiny of a fly. I don't rush matters, I'm letting it have time enough to become aware of the giant bending over it. I move my finger forward, the fly bursts, I'm foiled! Good God, I shouldn't have killed it! It was the only being in all creation that feared me; I no longer mean anything to anyone. I, the insecticide, take the victim's place and become an insect myself. I'm a fly, I've always been one. This time I've touched bottom.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Words)
Bad is that often wildlife trafficking is described as a “victimless” crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the trafficked items come from murdered animals; Rhinoceros Horn, Ivory and Tiger skins; and hundreds of thousands of birds and animals die in transit in the most horrible circumstances imaginable. Just because they cannot communicate with us does not mean they are not victims. They feel, fear and die, just like humans.
Christopher Gérard
A central fact about evil is the discrepancy between the importance of the act to the perpetrator and to the victim. This can be called the magnitude gap. The importance of what takes place is almost always much greater for the victim than for the perpetrator. When trying to understand evil, one is always asking, "How could they do such a horrible thing?" But the horror is usually being measured in the victim's terms. To the perpetrator, it is often a very small thing. thing. As we saw earlier, perpetrators generally have less emotion about their acts than do victims. It is almost impossible to submit to rape, pillage, impoverishment, or possible murder without strong emotional reactions, but it is quite possible to perform those crimes without emotion.
Roy F. Baumeister (Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty)
For its survival, the satanic cult demanded secrecy and obedience while it made brutality, even killing, appropriate. Denial and disavowal were inevitable responses to required behaviors so bizarre as to seem unreal, even to those who enacted them. What they could not deny or disavow, they could distort. They could blame the victims, who deserved to die for fighting or crying or for failing to fight or cry. They found encouragement for such a stance in a general culture accustomed to blaming victims for their misfortunes, and in specific contact with child victims eager to blame themselves. By believing that victims had a choice when there was none, they could see victims as culpable. They could even see the deaths as right and purposeful in the nobility of sacrifice.
Judith Spencer (Satans High Priest)
Brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you that I charge the white man. I charge the white man with being the greatest murderer on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest kidnapper on earth. There is no place in this world that this man can go and say he created peace and harmony. Everywhere he's gone, he's created havoc. Everywhere he's gone, he's created destruction. So I charge him. I charge him with being the greates kidnapper on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest murderer on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest robber and enslaver on this earth! I charge the white man with being the greatest swine-eater on this earth. The greatest drunkard on this earth! He can't deny the charges! You can't deny the charges! We're the living proof *of* those charges! You and I are the proof. You're not an American, you are the victim of America. You didn't have a choice coming over here. He didn't say, "Black man, black woman, come on over and help me build America". He said, "N(i)gger, get down in the bottom of that boat and I'm taking you over there to help me build America". Being born here does not make you an American. I am not an American, you are not an American. You are one of the 22 million black people who are the *victims* of America. You and I, we've never see any democracy. We didn't see any... democracy on the-the cotton fields of Georgia, wasn't no democracy down there. We didn't see any democracy. We didn't see any democracy on the streets of Harlem or on the streets of Brooklyn or on the streets of Detroit or Chicago. Ain't no democracy down there. No, we've never seem democracy! All we've seen is hypocrisy! We don't see any American Dream. We've experienced only the American Nightmare!
Malcolm X
The London criminal is certainly a dull fellow. Look out of this window, Watson. See how the figures loom up, are dimly seen, and then blend once more into the cloudbank. The thief or the murderer could roam London on such a day as the tiger does the jungle, unseen until he pounces, and then evident only to his victim. There have been numerous petty thefts. This great and sombre stage is set for something more worthy than that. It is fortunate for this community that I am not a criminal.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Die Originale - Fall 44: Die Bruce-Partington-Pläne)
If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own - I would refuse. I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
[The method of infallible prediction] is foolproof only after the movements have seized power. Then all debate about the truth or falsity of a totalitarian dictator’s prediction is as weird as arguing with a potential murderer about whether his future victim is dead or alive – since by killing the person in question the murderer can promptly provide proof of the correctness of his statement. The only valid argument under such conditions is promptly to rescue the person whose death is predicted. Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it. The assertion that the Moscow subway is the only one in the world is a lie only so long as the Bolsheviks have not the power to destroy all the others. In other words, the method of infallible prediction, more than any other totalitarian propaganda device, betrays its ultimate goal of world conquest, since only in a world completely under his control could the totalitarian ruler possibly realize all his lies and make true all his prophecies.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
The Christian view of human nature is wise precisely because it is so very extreme: it sees humanity, at once, as an image of the divine, fashioned for infinite love and imperishable glory, and as an almost inexhaustible wellspring of vindictiveness, cupidity, and brutality. Christians, indeed, have a special obligation not to forget how great and how inextinguishable the human proclivity for violence is, or how many victims it has claimed, for they worship a God who does not merely take the part of those victims, but who was himself one of them, murdered by the combined authority and moral prudence of the political, religious, and legal powers of human society.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution And Its Fashionable Enemies)
Chief Johnson has full faith on us. Which means if I can complete this task and hunt down the murderer, not only does the chief won't feel any uncertainty on Anthony and I, but the spirits of the victims can move on. It sounds silly to believe that the undead is still around, but it is the truth. And since I have a good heart, I must use it.
Simi Sunny (The White Sirens)
And Grandma spooned in some beans. “We need one of them psychics,” Grandma said. “I saw on television where you can call them up, and they know everything. They find dead people all the time. I saw a couple of them on a talk show, and they were saying how they help the police with these serial murder cases. I was watching that show, and I was thinking that if I was a serial murderer I’d chop the bodies up in little pieces so those psychics wouldn’t have such an easy job of it. Or maybe I’d drain all the blood out of the body and collect it in a big bucket. Then I’d bury a chicken, and I’d take the victim’s blood and make a trail to the chicken. Then the psychic wouldn’t know what to make of it when the police dug up a chicken.” Grandma helped herself to the gravy boat and poured gravy over her pot roast. “Do you think that’d work?” Everyone but Grandma paused with forks in midair.
Janet Evanovich (High Five (Stephanie Plum, #5))
curing’ victims of multiple-personality disorder is actually tantamount to serial murder. The issue has remained controversial in the wake of recent findings that the human brain can potentially contain up to one hundred forty fully-sentient personalities without significant sensory/motor impairment. The tribunal will also consider whether encouraging a multiple personality to reintegrate voluntarily—again, a traditionally therapeutic act—should be redefined as assisted suicide. Cross-linked to next item under cognition and legal.
Peter Watts (Starfish (Rifters, #1))
Rape. It brings with it connotations, assumptions, a whole steamer trunk full of other people's ideas of it, because other people only know it as a word. A concept that's discussed, argued, demonized. If you actually know what it is, if you live and experience it and know what it is beyond a word, you have to carry that word with you. You're now "rape victim", "rape survivor." Your identity is attached permanently to a word you hate. I'm also a murder victim, but murder carries with it what it is. People don't debate what defines murder. Politicians don't argue the body's ability to fight off being killed. There's no talk of a "murder culture." No one says that you asked for murder. What you wear doesn't excuse being killed.
T.E. Carter (I Stop Somewhere)
In a chair in the far corner of the room, Uncle Eugene watched all the comings and goings. A first aid training dummy, Uncle Eugene had been stabbed in the back, tossed off rooftops, and strangled on numerous occasions, all in the name of research. When he wasn’t being victimized, he sat in an overstuffed chair in the corner, dressed in a tuxedo with a top hat perched on his head. With one leg crossed over the other and an empty sherry glass next to his elbow, Uncle Eugene looked like he was taking a break while waiting for the next attempt on his life.
Lauren Carr (It's Murder, My Son (Mac Faraday Mystery, #1))
Now, on the subject of deterrence, I admit that there can be little doubt that as presently administered in the United States, the death penalty is not a general deterrent to murder in many, if not most, situations. . . . But of one thing I am certain: it is, by God, a specific deterrent. No one who has been executed has ever taken another innocent life. And until such time as we really mean it as a society when we say ‘imprisonment for life,’ I, and the families of countless victims, would sleep better at night knowing there is no chance that the worst of these killers will ever again be able to prey on others. Even then, I personally believe that if you choose to take another human life, you ought to be prepared to pay with your own.
John E. Douglas
White folk commit the bulk of the crimes in our nation. And, beloved, it might surprise you that white folk commit the most violent crimes too. According to FBI statistics, black folk committed 36 percent of violent crime in 2015, while white folk committed 42 percent of violent crimes in the same year. White folk consistently lead all other groups in aggravated assault, larceny, illegal weapons possession, arson, and vandalism. And white folk are far more likely to target the vulnerable too. White folk lead the way in forcible rape. You’re also more likely to kill children, the elderly, significant others, family members, and even yourselves. White folk commit a majority of gang-related murders too. A majority of the homicide victims in this country are white. White folk are six times as likely to be murdered by a white person as they are to be taken out by a black “thug.” The white-on-white mayhem is profound, yet no one speaks of it in racial terms. That’s
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
The wound that was made when white people came and took all that they took has never healed. An unattended wound gets infected. Becomes a new kind of wound like the history of what actually happened became a new kind of history. All these stories that we haven't been telling all this time, that we haven't been listening to, are just part of the what we need to heal. Not that we're broken. And don't make the mistake of calling us resilient. To not have been destroyed, to not have given up, to have survived, is no badge of honor. Would you call an attempted murder victim resilient?
Tommy Orange (There There)
Hope is a slighter, tougher thing even than trust, he thought, pacing his room as the soundless, vague lightning flashed overhead. In a good season one trusts life; in a bad season one only hopes, But they are of the same essence: they are the mind's indispensable relationship with other minds, with the world, and with time. Without trust, a man lives, but not a human life; without hope, he dies. When there is no relationship, where hands do not touch, emotion atrophies in void and intelligence goes sterile and obsessed. Between men the only link left is that of owner to slave, or murderer to victim.
Ursula K. Le Guin (City of Illusions (Hainish Cycle, #3))
Contrary to what we’d hope, good people aren’t exempt from violence. Murderers don’t give the godly a pass. Rapists don’t vet victims according to spiritual résumés. The bloodthirsty and wicked don’t skip over the heavenbound. We aren’t insulated. But neither are we intimidated. Jesus has a word or two about this brutal world: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matt. 10:28).
Max Lucado (Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear)
Psychopaths are shadowmancers', the agent tells me, a large-scale map of the US dotted with timelines, hotspots and murderous crimson trajectories plastered across the wall behind his desk. 'They survive by moving around. They don't have the same need for close relationships that normal people do. So they live in an orbit of perpetual drift, in which the chances of running into their victims again is minimised.
Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success)
That the American police can perjure themselves with the same ease, that they are just as merciless, just as brutal and cunning as their European colleagues, has been proven on more than one occasion. We need only recall the tragedy of the eleventh of November, 1887, known as the Haymarket Riot. No one who is at all familiar with the case can possibly doubt that the Anarchists, judicially murdered in Chicago, died as victims of a lying, bloodthirsty press and of a cruel police conspiracy. Has not Judge Gary himself said: “Not because you have caused the Haymarket bomb, but because you are Anarchists, you are on trial.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
A solemn day. Barring a stay by Sup Ct, & with my final nod, Utah will use most extreme power & execute a killer. Mourn his victims. Justice. [...] I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner's execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims. [...] We will be streaming live my press conference as soon as I'm told Gardner is dead. Watch it at www.attorneygeneral.Utah.gov/live.html.
Mark L. Shurtleff
Ah . . . listen. It’s better for your case, and your fancy lawyers would back me up, if you and I aren’t seen running around together. Primary investigator and defendant. It doesn’t look good.” “You mean I can’t—” Mavis shut her mouth, regrouped. “All right then, we won’t go running around together. Leonardo can work here. Roarke won’t mind, will you?” “On the contrary.” He took a satisfied drag on his cigarette. “I think it’s a perfect solution.” “One big happy family,” Eve mumbled. “The primary, the defendant, and the tenant of the murder scene, who also happens to be the victim’s former lover and the defendant’s current. Are you all insane?
J.D. Robb (Immortal in Death (In Death, #3))
Naturally, the plague of humanity named confidence (or pride to some), which symptoms often render each person to fiercely believe himself to be above average, let them to believe that it was others who were affected by this case but not them. Everyone thought they had the quintessential ability to detach themselves from the cases they were working, even if the victim looked and behaved exactly like their son, daughter, niece or nephew.
Bruce Crown (Chronic Passions)
Hawksmoor had often noticed how, in the moments when he first carne upon a corpse, all the objects around it wavered for an instant and became unreal- the trees which rose above a body hidden in woodland, the movement of the river which had washed a body onto its banks, the cars or hedges in a suburban street where a murderer had left a victim, all of these things seemed at such times to be suddenly drained of meaning like an hallucination.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
When one individual inflicts bodily injury upon another such injury that death results, we call the deed manslaughter; when the assailant knew in advance that the injury would be fatal, we call his deed murder. But when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot live – forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequence – knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual; disguised, malicious murder, murder against which none can defend himself, which does not seem what it is, because no man sees the murderer, because the death of the victim seems a natural one, since the offence is more one of omission than of commission. But murder it remains.
Friedrich Engels
And not only our own particular past. For if we go on forgetting half of Europe’s history, some of what we know about mankind itself will be distorted. Every one of the twentieth-century’s mass tragedies was unique: the Gulag, the Holocaust, the Armenian massacre, the Nanking massacre, the Cultural Revolution, the Cambodian revolution, the Bosnian wars, among many others. Every one of these events had different historical, philosophical, and cultural origins, every one arose in particular local circumstances which will never be repeated. Only our ability to debase and destroy and dehumanize our fellow men has been—and will be—repeated again and again: our transformation of our neighbors into “enemies,” our reduction of our opponents to lice or vermin or poisonous weeds, our re-invention of our victims as lower, lesser, or evil beings, worthy only of incarceration or explusion or death. The more we are able to understand how different societies have transformed their neighbors and fellow citizens from people into objects, the more we know of the specific circumstances which led to each episode of mass torture and mass murder, the better we will understand the darker side of our own human nature. This book was not written “so that it will not happen again,” as the cliché would have it. This book was written because it almost certainly will happen again. Totalitarian philosophies have had, and will continue to have, a profound appeal to many millions of people. Destruction of the “objective enemy,” as Hannah Arendt once put it, remains a fundamental object of many dictatorships. We need to know why—and each story, each memoir, each document in the history of the Gulag is a piece of the puzzle, a part of the explanation. Without them, we will wake up one day and realize that we do not know who we are.
Anne Applebaum (Gulag)
I have nothing to do with him,” L said. “To be completely accurate, I do not even know B. He is simply someone I am aware of. But none of this affects my judgment. Certainly, I was interested in this case, and began to investigate it because I knew who the killer was. But that did not alter the way I investigated it, or the manner in which my investigation proceeded. Naomi Misora, I cannot overlook evil. I cannot forgive it. It does not matter if I know the person who commits evil or not. I am only interested in justice.” “Only... in justice…” Misora gasped. “Then... nothing else matters?” “I wouldn’t say that, but it is not a priority.” “You won’t forgive any evil, no matter what the evil is?” “I wouldn’t say that, but it is not a priority.” “But...” Like a thirteen-year-old victim. “There are people who justice cannot save.” Like a thirteen-year old criminal. “And there are people who evil can save.” “There are. But even so,” L said, his tone not changing at all, as if gently admonishing Naomi Misora. “Justice has more power than anything else.” “Power? By power... you mean strength?” “No. I mean kindness.” He said it so easily.
NisiOisiN (Death Note: Another Note - The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases)
No crime is confounding and punitive the way rape is. No other violent offense comes with a built-in alibi that can instantly exonerate the criminal and place responsibility on the victim. There is no glorified interpersonal behavior that can be used to explain robbery or murder the way that sex can be used to explain rape. The best-case scenario for a rape victim in terms of adjudication is the worst-case scenario in terms of experience: for people to believe you deserve justice, you have to be destroyed. The fact that feminism is ascendant and accepted does not change this. The world that we believe in, that we're attempting to make real and tangible, is still not the world that exists.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion)
People have been taught to hide. They have been taught not to trust. They have been taught that man is naturally bad, that life is naturally dangerous, that unless you keep very alert you are going to be cheated and deceived. If you don’t protect yourself you will be lost. These things have been put into the unconscious from the very childhood. They have become part of our foundation and because of them we go on hiding. The reality is just the opposite: man is not naturally bad, man is naturally good. Nobody really wants to do bad, and if somebody is doing bad it simply means that he has been a victim of circumstances and situations so he has been forced to do that. No thief is happy to be a thief and no murderer is happy to be a murderer. They have been forced. In fact they are Victims; they have been compelled by the logic of situations. They have been brought up in such a way that their whole being has been poisoned.
Osho (Let Go!: A Darshan Diary)
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Stories about suicides resulted in an increase in single-car crashes where the victim was the driver. Stories about suicide-murders resulted in an increase in multiple-car crashes in which the victims included both drivers and passengers. Stories about young people committing suicide resulted in more traffic fatalities involving young people. Stories about older people committing suicide resulted in more traffic fatalities involving older people. These patterns have been demonstrated on many occasions. News coverage of a number of suicides by self-immolation in England in the late 1970's, for example, prompted 82 suicides by self-immolation over the next year. The "permission" given by an initial act of suicide, in other words, isn't a general invitation to the vulnerable. It is really a highly detailed set of instructions, specific to certain people in certain situations who choose to die in certain ways. It's not a gesture. It's speech.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
In a good season one trusts life; in a bad season one only hopes. But they are of the same essence: they are the mind's indispensable relationship with other minds, with the world, and with time. Without trust, a man lives, but not a human life; without hope, he dies. When there is no relationship, where hands do not touch, emotion atrophies in void and intelligence goes sterile and obsessed. Between men the only link left is that of owner to slave, or murderer to victim.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The experience left me with a very strong sense of just how destructive this simple, seemingly mundane tool can be. A knife never jams. A knife never runs out of ammunition; you rarely see a gunshot murder victim who has been shot more than a few times, but any homicide investigator can tell you how common it is for the victim of a knife murder to bear twenty, thirty, or more stab and/or slash wounds. “A knife comes with a built-in silencer.” Knives are cheap, and can be bought anywhere; there used to be a cutlery store at LaGuardia Airport, not far outside the security gates. There is no prohibition at law against a knife being sold to a convicted felon. Knives can be small and flat and amazingly easy to conceal. Anywhere
Massad Ayoob (Deadly Force - Understanding Your Right to Self Defense)
The first school shooting that attracted the attention of a horrified nation occurred on March 24, 1998, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Two boys opened fire on a schoolyard full of girls, killing four and one female teacher. In the wake of what came to be called the Jonesboro massacre, violence experts in media and academia sought to explain what others called “inexplicable.” For example, in a front-page Boston Globe story three days after the tragedy, David Kennedy from Harvard University was quoted as saying that these were “peculiar, horrible acts that can’t easily be explained.” Perhaps not. But there is a framework of explanation that goes much further than most of those routinely offered. It does not involve some incomprehensible, mysterious force. It is so straightforward that some might (incorrectly) dismiss it as unworthy of mention. Even after a string of school shootings by (mostly white) boys over the past decade, few Americans seem willing to face the fact that interpersonal violence—whether the victims are female or male—is a deeply gendered phenomenon. Obviously both sexes are victimized. But one sex is the perpetrator in the overwhelming majority of cases. So while the mainstream media provided us with tortured explanations for the Jonesboro tragedy that ranged from supernatural “evil” to the presence of guns in the southern tradition, arguably the most important story was overlooked. The Jonesboro massacre was in fact a gender crime. The shooters were boys, the victims girls. With the exception of a handful of op-ed pieces and a smattering of quotes from feminist academics in mainstream publications, most of the coverage of Jonesboro omitted in-depth discussion of one of the crucial facts of the tragedy. The older of the two boys reportedly acknowledged that the killings were an act of revenge he had dreamed up after having been rejected by a girl. This is the prototypical reason why adult men murder their wives. If a woman is going to be murdered by her male partner, the time she is most vulnerable is after she leaves him. Why wasn’t all of this widely discussed on television and in print in the days and weeks after the horrific shooting? The gender crime aspect of the Jonesboro tragedy was discussed in feminist publications and on the Internet, but was largely absent from mainstream media conversation. If it had been part of the discussion, average Americans might have been forced to acknowledge what people in the battered women’s movement have known for years—that our high rates of domestic and sexual violence are caused not by something in the water (or the gene pool), but by some of the contradictory and dysfunctional ways our culture defines “manhood.” For decades, battered women’s advocates and people who work with men who batter have warned us about the alarming number of boys who continue to use controlling and abusive behaviors in their relations with girls and women. Jonesboro was not so much a radical deviation from the norm—although the shooters were very young—as it was melodramatic evidence of the depth of the problem. It was not something about being kids in today’s society that caused a couple of young teenagers to put on camouflage outfits, go into the woods with loaded .22 rifles, pull a fire alarm, and then open fire on a crowd of helpless girls (and a few boys) who came running out into the playground. This was an act of premeditated mass murder. Kids didn’t do it. Boys did.
Jackson Katz (Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help)
Whenever people ask me why I only write about unsolved murders, I always say the same thing: because I hate the guy who got away with it. But after Michelle died, it was different. Now I hate the perpetrator for taking over the lives of the living just as much as taking the lives of the dead. The victim’s families. The investigators. The volunteers. they all gave up giant chunks of their own lives to search for an answer that someone selfishly kept hidden away. People die before getting the answer.
Billy Jensen (Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders)
It is said in those districts that not all the trains which run on the city’s tracks are listed in Metropolitan Transit’s compendious schedule. The residents will tell you that after midnight, on some nights, there will be other trains, trains whose cry is different, the bellow of some great beast fighting for its life. And if you watch those trains go past, behind those bright flickering windows you will see passengers unlike any passengers you have seen when riding the trains yourself: men with wings, women with horns, beast-headed children, fauns and dryads and green-skinned people more beautiful than words can describe. In 1893, a schoolteacher swore that she saw a unicorn; in 1934, a murderer turned himself into the police, weeping, saying that he saw his victims staring at him from a train as it howled past the station platform on which he stood. These are the seraphic trains. The stories say they run to Heaven, Hell, and Faërie. They are omens, but no one can agree on what they portend. And although you will never meet anyone who has seen or experienced it, there are persistent rumors, unkillable rumors, that sometimes, maybe once a century, maybe twice, a seraphic train will stop in its baying progress and open its doors for a mortal. Those who know the story of Thomas the Rhymer—and even some who don’t—insist that all these people, blest or damned as they may be, must be poets.
Sarah Monette (Somewhere Beneath Those Waves)
This is a formula for a nation’s or a kingdom’s decline, for no kingdom can maintain itself by force alone. Force does not work the way its advocates seem to think it does. It does not, for example, reveal to the victim the strength of his adversary. On the contrary, it reveals the weakness, even the panic of his adversary, and this revelation invests the victim with patience. Furthermore, it is ultimately fatal to create too many victims. The victor can do nothing with these victims, for they do not belong to him, but—to the victims. They belong to the people he is fighting. The people know this, and as inexorably as the roll call—the honor roll—of victims expands, so does their will become inexorable: they resolve that these dead, their brethren, shall not have died in vain. When this point is reached, however long the battle may go on, the victor can never be the victor: on the contrary, all his energies, his entire life, are bound up in a terror he cannot articulate, a mystery he cannot read, a battle he cannot win—he has simply become the prisoner of the people he thought to cow, chain, or murder into submission.
James Baldwin (No Name in the Street)
The Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing tells the story of the gangster leaders who carried out anti-communist purges in Indonesia in 1965 to usher in the regime of Suharto. The film’s hook, which makes it compelling and accessible, is that the filmmakers get Anwar —one of the death-squad leaders, who murdered around a thousand communists using a wire rope—and his acolytes to reenact the killings and events around them on film in a variety of genres of their choosing. In the film’s most memorable sequence, Anwar—who is old now and actually really likable, a bit like Nelson Mandela, all soft and wrinkly with nice, fuzzy gray hair—for the purposes of a scene plays the role of a victim in one of the murders that he in real life carried out. A little way into it, he gets a bit tearful and distressed and, when discussing it with the filmmaker on camera in the next scene, reveals that he found the scene upsetting. The offcamera director asks the poignant question, “What do you think your victims must’ve felt like?” and Anwar initially almost fails to see the connection. Eventually, when the bloody obvious correlation hits him, he thinks it unlikely that his victims were as upset as he was, because he was “really” upset. The director, pressing the film’s point home, says, “Yeah but it must’ve been worse for them, because we were just pretending; for them it was real.” Evidently at this point the reality of the cruelty he has inflicted hits Anwar, because when they return to the concrete garden where the executions had taken place years before, he, on camera, begins to violently gag. This makes incredible viewing, as this literally visceral ejection of his self and sickness at his previous actions is a vivid catharsis. He gagged at what he’d done. After watching the film, I thought—as did probably everyone who saw it—how can people carry out violent murders by the thousand without it ever occurring to them that it is causing suffering? Surely someone with piano wire round their neck, being asphyxiated, must give off some recognizable signs? Like going “ouch” or “stop” or having blood come out of their throats while twitching and spluttering into perpetual slumber? What it must be is that in order to carry out that kind of brutal murder, you have to disengage with the empathetic aspect of your nature and cultivate an idea of the victim as different, inferior, and subhuman. The only way to understand how such inhumane behavior could be unthinkingly conducted is to look for comparable examples from our own lives. Our attitude to homelessness is apposite here. It isn’t difficult to envisage a species like us, only slightly more evolved, being universally appalled by our acceptance of homelessness. “What? You had sufficient housing, it cost less money to house them, and you just ignored the problem?” They’d be as astonished by our indifference as we are by the disconnected cruelty of Anwar.
Russell Brand
That which for Vronsky had been almost a whole year the one absorbing desire of his life, replacing all his old desires; that which for Anna had been an impossible, terrible, and even for that reason more entrancing dream of bliss, that desire had been fulfilled. He stood before her, pale, his lower jaw quivering, and besought her to be calm, not knowing how or why. “Anna! Anna!” he said with a choking voice, “Anna, for pity’s sake!…” But the louder he spoke, the lower she dropped her once proud and gay, now shame-stricken head, and she bowed down and sank from the sofa where she was sitting, down on the floor, at his feet; she would have fallen on the carpet if he had not held her. “My God! Forgive me!” she said, sobbing, pressing his hands to her bosom. She felt so sinful, so guilty, that nothing was left her but to humiliate herself and beg forgiveness; and as now there was no one in her life but him, to him she addressed her prayer for forgiveness. Looking at him, she had a physical sense of her humiliation, and she could say nothing more. He felt what a murderer must feel, when he sees the body he has robbed of life. That body, robbed by him of life, was their love, the first stage of their love. There was something awful and revolting in the memory of what had been bought at this fearful price of shame. Shame at their spiritual nakedness crushed her and infected him. But in spite of all the murderer’s horror before the body of his victim, he must hack it to pieces, hide the body, must use what he has gained by his murder.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Snapping shut his mobile, Dalgliesh reflected that murder, a unique crime for which no reparation is ever possible, imposes it own compulsions as well as it's conventions. He doubted whether Macklefield [the murder victim's Will attorney] would have interrupted his country weekend for a less sensational crime. As a young officer he, too, had been touched, if unwillingly and temporarily, by the power of murder to attract even while it appalled and repelled. He had watched how people involved as innocent bystanders, provided they were unburdened by grief or suspicion, were engrossed by homicide, drawn inexorably to the place where the crime had occurred in fascinated disbelief. The crowd and the media who served them had not yet congregated outside the wrought-iron gates of the Manor. But they would come, and he doubted whether Chandler-Powell's [owner of the Manor where the murder was committed] private security team would be able to do more than inconvenience them.
P.D. James (The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh #14))
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20) The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow… “On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings. As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe. But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His Father! He must face his Father like this! From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes. “Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath? Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed. The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction. “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!” But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
Joni Eareckson Tada (When God Weeps Kit: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty)
All cultures seem to find a slightly alien local population to carry the Hermes projection. For the Vietnamese it is the Chinese, and for the Chinese it is the Japanese. For the Hindu it is the Moslem; for the North Pacific tribes it was the Chinook; in Latin America and in the American South it is the Yankee. In Uganda it is the East Indians and Pakistanis. In French Quebec it is the English. In Spain the Catalans are "the Jews of Spain". On Crete it is the Turks, and in Turkey it is the Armenians. Lawrence Durrell says that when he lived in Crete he was friends with the Greeks, but that when he wanted to buy some land they sent him to a Turk, saying that a Turk was what you needed for a trade, though of course he couldn't be trusted. This figure who is good with money but a little tricky is always treated as a foreigner even if his family has been around for centuries. Often he actually is a foreigner, of course. He is invited in when the nation needs trade and he is driven out - or murdered - when nationalism begins to flourish: the Chinese out of Vietnam in 1978, the Japanese out of China in 1949, the Jankees out of South America and Iran, the East Indians out of Uganda under Idi Amin, and the Armenians out of Turkey in 1915-16. The outsider is always used as a catalyst to arouse nationalism, and when times are hard he will always be its victim as well.
Lewis Hyde (The Gift)
Why did Fred Hugi, a private man, a loner, choose to be a courtroom lawyer in the first place? He detested publicity. Unlike many prosecuting attorneys who use publicity as a stepping stone to build a private practice, Hugi had come from a successful private practice because he was intrigued with the system and the way it should work. His goal was quite simple. He wanted only to be the kind of prosecutor a victim would choose to handle his case, to be “someone who will make the system work and do whatever it takes to see that it does work.” That he could occasionally be a rescuer or an avenger was the part of his profession that gave him the most satisfaction. Talking with the press gave him the least.
Ann Rule (Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder)
During voir dire, the interviews for jury selection, each person is asked under oath about their experience with the criminal justice system, as defendant or victim, but usually not even the most elementary effort is made to corroborate those claims. One ADA [Associate District Attorney] told me about inheriting a murder case, after the first jury deadlocked. He checked the raps for the jurors and found that four had criminal records. None of those jurors were prosecuted. Nor was it policy to prosecute defense witnesses who were demonstrably lying--by providing false alibis, for example--because, as another ADA told me, if they win the case, they don't bother, and if they lose, "it looks like sour grapes." A cop told me about a brawl at court one day, when he saw court officers tackle a man who tried to escape from the Grand Jury. An undercover was testifying about a buy when the juror recognized him as someone he had sold to. Another cop told me about locking up a woman for buying crack, who begged for a Desk Appearance Ticket, because she had to get back to court, for jury duty--she was the forewoman on a Narcotics case, of course. The worst part about these stories is that when I told them to various ADAs, none were at all surprised; most of those I'd worked with I respected, but the institutionalized expectations were abysmal. They were too used to losing and it showed in how they played the game.
Edward Conlon (Blue Blood)
Working simultaneously, though seemingly without a conscience, was Dr. Ewen Cameron, whose base was a laboratory in Canada's McGill University, in Montreal. Since his death in 1967, the history of his work for both himself and the CIA has become known. He was interested in 'terminal' experiments and regularly received relatively small stipends (never more than $20,000) from the American CIA order to conduct his work. He explored electroshock in ways that offered such high risk of permanent brain damage that other researchers would not try them. He immersed subjects in sensory deprivation tanks for weeks at a time, though often claiming that they were immersed for only a matter of hours. He seemed to fancy himself a pure scientist, a man who would do anything to learn the outcome. The fact that some people died as a result of his research, while others went insane and still others, including the wife of a member of Canada's Parliament, had psychological problems for many years afterwards, was not a concern to the doctor or those who employed him. What mattered was that by the time Cheryl and Lynn Hersha were placed in the programme, the intelligence community had learned how to use electroshock techniques to control the mind. And so, like her sister, Lynn was strapped to a chair and wired for electric shock. The experience was different for Lynn, though the sexual component remained present to lesser degree...
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed To Kill For Their Country)
...The typhoon of madness that swept through the country [of Rwanda] between April 7 and the third week of May accounted for 80 percent of the victims of the genocide. That means about eight hundred thousand people were murdered during those six weeks, making the daily killing rate at least five times that of the Nazi death camps. The simple peasants of Rwanda, with their machetes, clubs, and sticks with nails, had killed at a faster rate than the Nazi death machine with its gas chambers, mass ovens, and firing squads. In my opinion, the killing frenzy of the Rwandan genocide shared a vital common thread with the technological efficiency of the Nazi genocide--satanic hate in abundance was at the core of both.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
To spare Cloyce's victims further indignities to their memory, I must be a scourge. To prevent others from perhaps being infected by Cloyce's depravity by watching him at work, I must be a scourge. To prevent time management technology from falling into the hands of authorities who, if not already corrupt, would be corrupted by it, I must be a scourge. Scourges aren't heroes. I had never imagined myself to be a hero, but never had I imagined I would be this. Scourges transgress against social and sacred order. A scourge went into darker territory than that. A scourge was not compelled to kill by mental imbalance or emotional confusion or selfish desire. A scourge made a carefully reasoned decision to kill in numbers that exceeded what was absolutely necessary to ensure self-preservation and the defense of the innocent. Even if he killed for the right reason, he was in rebellion against social order and commanding authority. Who scourges will be scourged. In fulfilling this dark role in Roseland, I would bring about my own death. Yet I knew I would not retreat from my decision.
Dean Koontz (Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas, #5))
All social orders command their members to imbibe in pipe dreams of posterity, the mirage of immortality, to keep them ahead of the extinction that would ensue in a few generations if the species did not replenish itself. This is the implicit, and most pestiferous, rationale for propagation: to become fully integrated into a society, one must offer it fresh blood. Naturally, the average set of parents does not conceive of their conception as a sacrificial act. These are civilized human beings we are talking about, and thus they are quite able to fill their heads with a panoply of less barbaric rationales for reproduction, among them being the consolidation of a spousal relationship; the expectation of new and enjoyable experiences in the parental role; the hope that one will pass the test as a mother or father; the pleasing of one’s own parents, not to forget their parents and possibly a great-grandparent still loitering about; the serenity of taking one’s place in the seemingly deathless lineage of a familial enterprise; the creation of individuals who will care for their paternal and maternal selves in their dotage; the quelling of a sense of guilt or selfishness for not having done their duty as human beings; and the squelching of that faint pathos that is associated with the childless. Such are some of the overpowering pressures upon those who would fertilize the future. These pressures build up in people throughout their lifetimes and must be released, just as everyone must evacuate their bowels or fall victim to a fecal impaction. And who, if they could help it, would suffer a building, painful fecal impaction? So we make bowel movements to relieve this pressure. Quite a few people make gardens because they cannot stand the pressure of not making a garden. Others commit murder because they cannot stand the pressure building up to kill someone, either a person known to them or a total stranger. Everything is like that. Our whole lives consist of metaphorical as well as actual bowel movements, one after the other. Releasing these pressures can have greater or lesser consequences in the scheme of our lives. But they are all pressures, all bowel movements of some kind. At a certain age, children are praised for making a bowel movement in the approved manner. Later on, the praise of others dies down for this achievement and our bowel movements become our own business, although we may continue to praise ourselves for them. But overpowering pressures go on governing our lives, and the release of these essentially bowel-movement pressures may once again come up for praise, congratulations, and huzzahs of all kinds.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression, and injustice had finally revealed something to me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn't just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish and heartbreak, it also exposed my own brokenness. You can't effectively fight abusive power, poverty, inequality, illness, oppression, or injustice and not be broken by it. We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. The ways in which I have been hurt - and have hurt others - are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I'd always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we're fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we're shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We've become so fearful and vengeful that we've thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak - not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we've pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we've legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we've allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We've submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken - walking away from them or hiding them from sight - only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity. I frequently had difficult conversations with clients who were struggling and despairing over their situations - over the things they'd done, or had been done to them, that had led them to painful moments. Whenever things got really bad, and they were questioning the value of their lives, I would remind them that each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done. I told them that if someone tells a lie, that person is not just a liar. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, you are not just a thief. Even if you kill someone, you're not just a killer. I told myself that evening what I had been telling my clients for years. I am more than broken. In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things that you can't otherwise see; you hear things you can't otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
None of these apparent sightings interested Hawksmoor, since it was quite usual for members of the public to come forward with such accounts and to describe unreal figures who took on the adventitious shape already suggested by newspaper accounts. There were even occasions when a number of people would report sightings of the same person, as if a group of hallucinations might create their own object which then seemed to hover for a while in the streets of London. And Hawksmoor knew that if he held a reconstruction of the crime by the church, yet more people would come forward with their own versions of time and event; the actual killing then became blurred and even inconsequential, a flat field against which others painted their own fantasies of murderer and victim.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
If priests—of all clans—were free of disease and immune to death, then there might be some basis for the claim of the religionists. But these "men of God" are victims of the natural course of life, "even as you and I." They enjoy no exemptions. They suffer the same ills; they feel the same sensations; they are subject to the same passions of the body, the same frailties of the mind, are victims of circumstances and misfortune, and they meet inevitable death just as every other person. They commit the same kind of crimes as other mortals, and especially, because of their "calling," many are notoriously involved in the embezzlement of church funds. Nor does their calling protect them from the "passions of the flesh." The scandalous conduct of many "men of the cloth," in the realm of moral turpitude, often ends in murder. That is why there are so many "men of God" in our jails, and why so many have paid the supreme penalty in the death chair. They are not free from a single rule of life; what others must endure, they likewise must experience. They cannot protect themselves from the forces of nature, and the laws of life, any more than you can. What they can do, you can do, too. Their claims of being "anointed" and "vicars of God" on earth are false and hypocritical. If they cannot fulfill their promises while you are alive, how can they accomplish them when you are dead? If they are impotent Here, where they could demonstrate their powers, how ridiculous are their promises to accomplish them in the "Hereafter," the mythical abode which exists only in their dishonest or deluded imagination?
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
FOR THE VOICELESS by El Niño Salvaje I speak for the ones who cannot speak, for the voiceless. I raise my voice and wave my arms and shout for the ones you do not see, perhaps cannot see, for the invisible. For the poor, the powerless, the disenfranchised; for the victims of this so-called “war on drugs,” for the eighty thousand murdered by the narcos, by the police, by the military, by the government, by the purchasers of drugs and the sellers of guns, by the investors in gleaming towers who have parlayed their “new money” into hotels, resorts, shopping malls, and suburban developments. I speak for the tortured, burned, and flayed by the narcos, beaten and raped by the soldiers, electrocuted and half-drowned by the police. I speak for the orphans, twenty thousand of them, for the children who have lost both or one parent, whose lives will never be the same. I speak for the dead children, shot in crossfires, murdered alongside their parents, ripped from their mothers’ wombs. I speak for the people enslaved, forced to labor on the narcos’ ranches, forced to fight. I speak for the mass of others ground down by an economic system that cares more for profit than for people. I speak for the people who tried to tell the truth, who tried to tell the story, who tried to show you what you have been doing and what you have done. But you silenced them and blinded them so that they could not tell you, could not show you. I speak for them, but I speak to you—the rich, the powerful, the politicians, the comandantes, the generals. I speak to Los Pinos and the Chamber of Deputies, I speak to the White House and Congress, I speak to AFI and the DEA, I speak to the bankers, and the ranchers and the oil barons and the capitalists and the narco drug lords and I say— You are the same. You are all the cartel. And you are guilty. You are guilty of murder, you are guilty of torture, you are guilty of rape, of kidnapping, of slavery, of oppression, but mostly I say that you are guilty of indifference. You do not see the people that you grind under your heel. You do not see their pain, you do not hear their cries, they are voiceless and invisible to you and they are the victims of this war that you perpetuate to keep yourselves above them. This is not a war on drugs. This is a war on the poor. This is a war on the poor and the powerless, the voiceless and the invisible, that you would just as soon be swept from your streets like the trash that blows around your ankles and soils your shoes. Congratulations. You’ve done it. You’ve performed a cleansing. A limpieza. The country is safe now for your shopping malls and suburban tracts, the invisible are safely out of sight, the voiceless silent as they should be. I speak these last words, and now you will kill me for it. I only ask that you bury me in the fosa común—the common grave—with the faceless and the nameless, without a headstone. I would rather be with them than you. And I am voiceless now, and invisible.
Don Winslow (The Cartel)
You can tell a lot about a country by its prisons. In hippy-dippy Socialist Sweden, rapists and murders (all three of them) while away their days making arts and crafts in what are essentially taxpayer-funded mental health clinics. The Swedes’ theory seems to be that a) anyone who commits such a crime must be crazy and b) with enough art therapy, the individual in question will soon become just another law-abiding, nude-sunbathing pot-smoker. In America, we think people in prison are either the victims of some terrible government conspiracy, the victims of “society”—whatever that means—or heinous evildoers. And if they are heinous enough, we fry them with electricity, unless of course they find Jesus first. The Swedes, in a nutshell, are tolerant and forgiving, verging on the naïve; Americans are religious and vengeful, suspicious of their government, and suckers for tear-jerking tales of redemption.
Maureen Klovers
Now Brutus had deliberately assumed a mask to hide his true character.  When he learned of the murder by Tarquin of the Roman aristocrats, one of the victims being his own brother, he had come to the conclusion that the only way of saving himself was to appear in the king's eyes as a person of no account. If there were nothing in his character for Tarquin to fear, and nothing in his fortune to covet, then the sheer contempt in which he was held would be a better protection than his own rights could ever be.  Accordingly he pretended to be a half-wit and made no protest at the seizure by Tarquin of everything he possessed. He even submitted to being known publicly as the 'Dullard' (which is what his name signifies), that under cover of that opprobrious title the great spirit which gave Rome her freedom might be able to bide its time. On this occasion he was taken by Arruns and Titus to Delphi less as a companion than as a butt for their amusement; and he is said to have carried with him, as his gift to Apollo, a rod of gold inserted into a hollow stick of cornel-wood - symbolic, it may be, of his own character. The three young men reached Delphi, and carried out the king's instructions.  That done, Titus and Arruns found themselves unable to resist putting a further question to the oracle.  Which of them, they asked, would be the next king of Rome? From the depths of the cavern came the mysterious answer: 'He who shall be the first to kiss his mother shall hold in Rome supreme authority.' Titus and Arruns were determined to keep the prophecy absolutely secret, to prevent their other brother, Tarquin, who had been left in Rome, from knowing anything about it. Thus he, at any rate, would be out of the running. For themselves, they drew lots to determine which of them, on their return, should kiss his mother first. Brutus, however, interpreted the words of Apollo's priestess in a different way. Pretending to trip, he fell flat on his face, and his lips touched the Earth - the mother of all living things.
Livy (The History of Rome, Books 1-5: The Early History of Rome)
Well before she became famous — or infamous, depending on where you cast your vote — Loftus's findings on memory distortion were clearly commodifiable. In the 1970s and 1980s she provided assistance to defense attorneys eager to prove to juries that eyewitness accounts are not the same as camcorders. "I've helped a lot of people," she says. Some of those people: the Hillside Strangler, the Menendez brothers, Oliver North, Ted Bundy. "Ted Bundy?" I ask, when she tells this to me. Loftus laughs. "This was before we knew he was Bundy. He hadn't been accused of murder yet." "How can you be so confident the people you're representing are really innocent?" I ask. She doesn't directly answer. She says, "In court, I go by the evidence.... Outside of court, I'm human and entitled to my human feelings. "What, I wonder are her human feelings about the letter from a child-abuse survivor who wrote, "Let me tell you what false memory syndrome does to people like me, as if you care. It makes us into liars. False memory syndrome is so much more chic than child abuse.... But there are children who tonight while you sleep are being raped, and beaten. These children may never tell because 'no one will believe them.'" "Plenty of "Plenty of people will believe them," says Loftus. Pshaw! She has a raucous laugh and a voice with a bit of wheedle in it. She is strange, I think, a little loose inside. She veers between the professional and the personal with an alarming alacrity," she could easily have been talking about herself.
Lauren Slater (Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century)
Man wills to make of earth, not one Jerusalem but two; this sacramental blood de- clears the double mind by which he wills to lift both lion and lamb beyond the killing to exchange unaccount- able and vast. Man's priestliness therefore bespeaks his refusal of despair; proclaims acceptance of a world which, by its murderous hand, subscribes the insupportable dilemma of its being—the war of lion and lamb having no other, likely outcome here than two im- possibilities: The one, a pride of victors feeding on the slain; but leaving the lion as he was before, trapped in ancient reciprocities by which at last all power falls to crows; And the other, a hymn to despair no victim will accept; it is not enough, in this paroxysm of two martyrdoms, to stand upon the ship- wrecks of the slain and praise the weak for weakness; the lamb's will, too, was life; he died refusing death. Sacrifice therefore Not written off, but recognized, a sign in blood of the vaster end of blood; a redness turning all things white; an impossibility prefiguring the last exchange of all. The old order, of course, unchanged; the deaths of bulls and goats achieving nothing; Aaron still ineffectual; creation still bloody; But haunted now by bells within the veil where Aaron walks in shadows sprinkling blood and bids a new Jerusalem descend. Endless smoke now rising Lion become priest And lamb victim The world awaits The unimaginable union By which the Lion lifts Himself Lamb slain And, Priest and Victim, Brings The City Home.
Robert Farrar Capon (The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection)
Work is hazardous to your health, to borrow a book title. In fact, work is mass murder or genocide. Directly or indirectly, work will kill most of the people who read these words... Even if you aren't killed or crippled while actually working, you very well might be while going to work, coming from work, looking for work, or trying to forget about work. The vast majority of victims of the automobile are either doing one of these work-obligatory activities or else fall afoul of those who do them. To this augmented body-count must be added the victims of auto-industrial pollution and work-induced alcoholism and drug addiction. Both cancer and heart disease are modern afflictions normally traceable, directly, or indirectly, to work. Work, then, institutionalizes homicide as a way of life... We kill people in the six-figure range (at least) in order to sell Big Macs and Cadillacs to the survivors. Our forty or fifty thousand annual highway fatalities are victims, not martyrs. They died for nothing -- or rather, they died for work.
Bob Black (The Abolition of Work)
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious ("This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection"). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
I open the books on Right and on ethics; I listen to the professors and jurists; and, my mind full of their seductive doctrines, I admire the peace and justice established by the civil order; I bless the wisdom of our political institutions and, knowing myself a citizen, cease to lament I am a man. Thoroughly instructed as to my duties and my happiness, I close the book, step out of the lecture room, and look around me. I see wretched nations groaning beneath a yoke of iron. I see mankind ground down by a handful of oppressors, I see a famished mob, worn down by sufferings and famine, while the rich drink the blood and tears of their victims at their ease. I see on every side the strong armed with the terrible powers of the Law against the weak. And all this is done quietly and without resistance. It is the peace of Ulysses and his comrades, imprisoned in the cave of the Cyclops and waiting their turn to be devoured. We must groan and be silent. Let us for ever draw a veil over sights so terrible. I lift my eyes and look to the horizon. I see fire and flame, the fields laid waste, the towns put to sack. Monsters! where are you dragging the hapless wretches? I hear a hideous noise. What a tumult and what cries! I draw near; before me lies a scene of murder, ten thousand slaughtered, the dead piled in heaps, the dying trampled under foot by horses, on every side the image of death and the throes of death. And that is the fruit of your peaceful institutions! Indignation and pity rise from the very bottom of my heart. Yes, heartless philosopher! come and read us your book on a field of battle!
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
This is a love story, Michael Deane says. But, really, what isn’t? Doesn’t the detective love the mystery, or the chase, or the nosy female reporter, who is even now being held against her wishes at an empty warehouse on the waterfront? Surely the serial murderer loves his victims, and the spy loves his gadgets or his country or the exotic counterspy. The ice trucker is torn between his love for ice and truck, and the competing chefs go crazy for scallops, and the pawnshop guys adore their junk just as the Housewives live for catching glimpses of their own Botoxed brows in gilded hall mirrors, and the rocked-out dude on ‘roids totally wants to shred the ass of the tramp-tatted girl on Hookbook, and because this is reality, they are all in love—madly, truly—with the body mic clipped to their back buckle, and the producer casually suggesting just one more angle, one more Jell-O shot. And the robot loves his master, alien loves his saucer, Superman loves Lois, Lex, and Lana, Luke love Leia (till he finds out she’s his sister), and the exorcist loves the demon even as he leaps out the window with it, in full soulful embrace, as Leo loves Kate and they both love the sinking ship, and the shark—God, the shark loves to eat, which is what the Mafioso loves, too—eating and money and Paulie and omerta` --the way the cowboy loves his horse, loves the corseted girl behind the piano bar, and sometimes loves the other cowboy, as the vampire loves night and neck, and the zombie—don’t even start with the zombie, sentimental fool; has anyone ever been more lovesick than a zombie, that pale, dull metaphor for love, all animal craving and lurching, outstretched arms, his very existence a sonnet about how much he wants those brains? This, too, is a love story.
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
The country, it seemed, was on the verge of a second civil war, this one over industrial slavery. But Frick was a gambler who cared little what the world thought of him. He was already a villain in the public’s eye, thanks to a disaster of epic proportions three years earlier. Frick and a band of wealthy friends had established the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club on land near an unused reservoir high in the hills above the small Pennsylvania city of Johnstown, 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. The club beautified the grounds around the dam but paid little attention to the dam itself, which held back the Conemaugh River and was in poor condition from years of neglect. On May 31, 1889, after heavy rainfall, the dam gave way, releasing nearly 5 billion gallons of water from Lake Conemaugh into Johnstown and killing 2,209 people. What became known as the Johnstown Flood caused $17 million in damages. Frick’s carefully crafted corporate structure for the club made it impossible for victims to pursue the financial assets of its members. Although he personally donated several thousands of dollars to relief efforts, Frick remained to many a scoundrel, the prototype of the uncaring robber baron of the Gilded Age.
James McGrath Morris (Revolution By Murder: Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and the Plot to Kill Henry Clay Frick (Kindle Single))
I am a bug, and I recognise in all humility that I cannot understand why the world is arranged as it is. Men are themselves to blame, I suppose; they were given paradise, they wanted freedom, and stole fire from heaven, though they knew they would become unhappy, so there is no need to pity them. With my pitiful, earthly, Euclidian understanding, all I know is that there is suffering and that there are none guilty; that cause follows effect, simply and directly; that everything flows and finds its level—but that's only Euclidian nonsense, I know that, and I can't consent to live by it! What comfort is it to me that there are none guilty and that cause follows effect simply and directly, and that I know it?—I must have justice, or I will destroy myself. And not justice in some remote infinite time and space, but here on earth, and that I could see myself. I have believed in it. I want to see it, and if I am dead by then, let me rise again, for if it all happens without me, it will be too unfair. Surely I haven't suffered simply that I, my crimes and my sufferings, may manure the soil of the future harmony for somebody else. I want to see with my own eyes the hind lie down with the lion and the victim rise up and embrace his murderer. I want to be there when everyone suddenly understands what it has all been for.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
During the Pequot War, Connecticut and Massachusetts colonial officials had offered bounties initially for the heads of murdered Indigenous people and later for only their scalps, which were more portable in large numbers. But scalp hunting became routine only in the mid-1670s, following an incident on the northern frontier of the Massachusetts colony. The practice began in earnest in 1697 when settler Hannah Dustin, having murdered ten of her Abenaki captors in a nighttime escape, presented their ten scalps to the Massachusetts General Assembly and was rewarded with bounties for two men, two women, and six children.24 Dustin soon became a folk hero among New England settlers. Scalp hunting became a lucrative commercial practice. The settler authorities had hit upon a way to encourage settlers to take off on their own or with a few others to gather scalps, at random, for the reward money. “In the process,” John Grenier points out, “they established the large-scale privatization of war within American frontier communities.”25 Although the colonial government in time raised the bounty for adult male scalps, lowered that for adult females, and eliminated that for Indigenous children under ten, the age and gender of victims were not easily distinguished by their scalps nor checked carefully. What is more, the scalp hunter could take the children captive and sell them into slavery. These practices erased any remaining distinction between Indigenous combatants and noncombatants and introduced a market for Indigenous slaves. Bounties for Indigenous scalps were honored even in absence of war. Scalps and Indigenous children became means of exchange, currency, and this development may even have created a black market. Scalp hunting was not only a profitable privatized enterprise but also a means to eradicate or subjugate the Indigenous population of the Anglo-American Atlantic seaboard.26 The settlers gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp-hunts: redskins.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
It is of more than historical interest to reflect that Henry Ford modeled his assembly line car production after visiting a Chicago slaughterhouse in the early 1900s. He watched the suspended animals, legs shackled and heads downward, on a moving conveyor as they traveled from worker to worker, each of whom performed a step in the slaughtering process. Ford immediately saw that it was a perfect model for the automobile industry, creating an assembly method of building cars. More than efficient, the slaughtering assembly line offered workers a newly found detachment in the whole messy business of killing animals. Animals were reduced to factory products and the emotionally deadened workers could see themselves as line workers rather than animal killers. Later, the Nazis used the same slaughterhouse model for their mass murders in the concentration camps. The factory-style assembly line became a way for Nazi soldiers to detach from the killing--seeing the victims as "animals," and themselves as workers. Henry Ford, a rampant anti-Semite, not only developed the assembly line method later used in the Holocaust, he openly admired the Nazis' efficiency. Hitler returned the admiration. The German leader considered "Heinrich Ford" a comrade-in-arms and kept a life-sized portrait of the automobile mogul in his office at the Nazi Party headquarters.
Jane Goodall
Tell you what: Ask a Baptist wife why her husband treats her like a personal slave. Ask a homosexual couple why their love for one another is treated as a sick joke in some parts of the world and as a crime punishable by death in others. Ask a starving African mother with ten starving children why she doesn't practice birth control. Ask a young Muslim girl why her parents sliced off her clitoris. Ask millions of Muslim women why they cannot attend schools or show themselves in public except through the eye slits of a full-body burqa. Ask the Pakistani woman who's gang-raped why she is sentenced to death while her rapists go free, and why it’s her own family leading the murderous chorus. Ask the American woman who’s raped why her local congressman would question the “legitimacy” of that rape and would force her to bring her rapist’s child to term. Ask the dead Christian children why their fundamentalist parents wouldn’t give them an antibiotic to stave off their infection or an insulin injection to control their diabetes. Ask the Parkinson’s or paralysis victims why their cures have been mired in religious and political red tape for decades now because an increasingly hysterical and radical segment of American society believes that a clump of cells with no identity and no consciousness has more rights than they do. Ask them all to point to the source of their misery, and then ask yourself why it doesn't bother you that they are pointing to the same goddamned book you're using in your religious services and in the celebration of your “harmless” and “quaint” traditions.
D. Cameron Webb (Despicable Meme: The Absurdity and Immorality of Modern Religion)
Merry Christmas,Ja-" To which he immediately cut her off with a very testy, "Bloody hell it is." Though he did halt his progress to offer her a brief smile, adding, "Good to see you,Molly," then in the very same breath, "Where's that worthless brother of mine?" She was surprised enough to ask, "Ah,which brother would that be?" when she knew very well he would never refer to Edward or Jason, whom the two younger brothers termed the elders, in that way.But then,Jason shared everything with her about his family, so she knew them as well as he did. So his derogatory answer didn't really add to her surprise. "The infant." She winced at his tone,though, as well as his expression, which had reverted to deadly menace at mention of the "infant." Big,blond, and handsome, James Malory was,just like his elder brothers, and rarely did anyone actually see him looking angry. When James was annoyed with someone, he usually very calmly ripped the person to shreds with his devilish wit, and by his inscrutable expression, the victim had absolutely no warning such pointed barbs would be headed his or her way. The infant, or rather, Anthony, had heard James's voice and, unfortunately, stuck his head around the parlor door to determine James's mood, which wasn't hard to misinterpret with the baleful glare that came his way. Which was probably why the parlor door immediately slammed shut. "Oh,dear," Molly said as James stormed off. Through the years she'd become accustomed to the Malorys' behavior, but a times it still alarmed her. What ensued was a tug of war in the reverse, so to speak, with James shoving his considerable weight against the parlor door, and Anthony on the other side doing his best to keep it from opening. Anthony managed for a bit. He wasn't as hefty as his brother, but he was taller and well muscled. But he must have known he couldn't hold out indefinitely, especially when James started to slam his shoulder against the door,which got it nearly half open before Anthony could manage to slam it shut again. But what Anthony did to solve his dilemma produced Molly's second "Oh,dear." When James threw his weight against the door for the third time, it opened ahead of him and he unfortunately couldn't halt his progress into the room. A rather loud crash followed. A few moments later James was up again suting pine needles off his shoulders. Reggie and Molly,alarmed by the noise, soon followed the men into the room. Anthony had picked up his daughter Jamie who had been looking at the tree with her nursemaid and was now holding her like a shield in front of him while the tree lay ingloriously on its side. Anthony knew his brother wouldn't risk harming one of the children for any reason, and the ploy worked. "Infants hiding behind infants, how apropos," James sneered. "Is,aint it?" Anthony grinned and kissed the top of his daughter's head. "Least it works." James was not amused, and ordered, barked, actually. "Put my niece down." "Wouldn't think of it, old man-least not until I find out why you want to murder me." Anthony's wife, Roslynn, bent over one of the twins, didn't turn about to say, "Excuse me? There will be no murdering in front of the children.
Johanna Lindsey (The Holiday Present)
The extermination of the Jews has sometimes been seen as a kind of industrialized, assembly-line kind of mass murder, and this picture has at least some element of truth to it. No other genocide in history has been carried out by mechanical means - gassing - in specially constructed facilities like those in operation at Auschwitz or Treblinka. At the same time, however, these facilities did not operate efficiently or effectively, and if the impression given by calling them industrialized is that they were automated or impersonal, then it is a false one. Men such as Hess and Stangl and their subordinates tried to insulate themselves from the human dimensions of what they were doing by referring to their victims as 'cargo' or 'items.' Talking to Gerhard Stabenow, the head of the SS Security Service in Warsaw, in September 1942, Wilm Hosenfeld noted how the language Stabenow used distanced himself from the fact that what he was involved in was the mass murder of human beings: 'He speaks of the Jews as ants or other vermin, of their 'resettlement', that means their mass murder, as he would of the extermination of the bedbugs in the disinfestation of a house.' But at the same time such men were not immune from the human emotions they tried so hard to repress, and they remembered incidents in which individual women and children had appealed to their conscience, even if such appeals were in vain. The psychological strain that continual killing of unarmed civilians, including women and children, imposed on such men was considerable, just as it had been in the case of the SS Task Forces, whose troops had been shooting Jews in their hundreds of thousands before the first gas vans were deploted in an attempt not only to speed up the killing but also to make it somehow more impersonal.
Richard J. Evans (The Third Reich at War (The History of the Third Reich, #3))
Both the date of Lennon’s murder and the careful selection of this particular victim are very important. Six weeks after Lennon’s death, Ronald Reagan would become President. Reagan and his soon-to-be appointed cabinet were prepared to build up the Pentagon war machine and increase the potential for war against the USSR. The first strike would fall on small countries like El Salvador and Guatemala. Lennon, alone, was the only man (even without his fellow Beatles) who had the ability to draw out one million anti-war protestors in any given city within 24 hours if he opposed those war policies. John Lennon was a spiritual force. He was a giant, like Gandhi, a man who wrote about peace and brotherly love. He taught an entire generation to think for themselves and challenge authority. Lennon and the Beatles’ songs shout out the inequalities of American life and the messages of change. Change is a threat to the longtime status quo that Reagan’s team exemplified. On my weekly radio broadcast of December 7, 1980, I stated, “The old assassination teams are coming back into power.” The very people responsible for covering up the murders of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy, Reverend Martin Luther King, for Watergate and Koreagate, and the kidnapping and murder of Howard Hughes, and for hundreds of other deaths, had only six weeks before they would again be removing or silencing those voices of opposition to their policies. Lennon was coming out once more. His album was cut. He was preparing to be part of the world, a world which was a worse place since the time he had withdrawn with his family. It was a sure bet Lennon would react and become a social activist again. That was the threat. Lennon realized that there was danger in coming back into public view. He took that dangerous chance and we all lost!
Mae Brussell (The Essential Mae Brussell: Investigations of Fascism in America)
It is not the nobility of rebellion that illuminates the world today, but nihilism. And it is the consequences of nihilism that we must retrace, without losing sight of the truth innate in its origins. Even if God existed, Ivan would never surrender to Him in the face of the injustice done to man. But a longer contemplation of this injustice, a more bitter approach, transformed the "even if you exist" into "you do not deserve to exist," therefore "you do not exist." The victims have found in their own innocence the justification for the final crime. Convinced of their condemnation and without hope of immortality, they decided to murder God. If it is false to say that from that day began the tragedy of contemporary man, neither is it true to say that there was where it ended. On the contrary, this attempt indicates the highest point in a drama that began with the end of the ancient world and of which the final words have not yet been spoken. From this moment, man decides to exclude himself from grace and to live by his own means. Progress, from the time of Sade up to the present day, has consisted in gradually enlarging the stronghold where, according to his own rules, man without God brutally wields power. In defiance of the divinity, the frontiers of this stronghold have been gradually extended, to the point of making the entire universe into a fortress erected against the fallen and exiled deity. Man, at the culmination of his rebellion, incarcerated himself; from Sade's lurid castle to the concentration camps, man's greatest liberty consisted only in building the prison of his crimes. But the state of siege gradually spreads, the demand for freedom wants to embrace all mankind. Then the only kingdom that is opposed to the kingdom of grace must be founded —namely, the kingdom of justice—and the human community must be reunited among the debris of the fallen City of God. To kill God and to build a Church are the constant and contradictory purpose of rebellion. Absolute freedom finally becomes a prison of absolute duties, a collective asceticism, a story to be brought to an end. The nineteenth century, which is the century of rebellion, thus merges into the twentieth, the century of justice and ethics, in which everyone indulges in self-recrimination.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
In the Middle Ages, marriage was considered a sacrament ordained by God, and God also authorised the father to marry his children according to his wishes and interests. An extramarital affair was accordingly a brazen rebellion against both divine and parental authority. It was a mortal sin, no matter what the lovers felt and thought about it. Today people marry for love, and it is their inner feelings that give value to this bond. Hence, if the very same feelings that once drove you into the arms of one man now drive you into the arms of another, what’s wrong with that? If an extramarital affair provides an outlet for emotional and sexual desires that are not satisfied by your spouse of twenty years, and if your new lover is kind, passionate and sensitive to your needs – why not enjoy it? But wait a minute, you might say. We cannot ignore the feelings of the other concerned parties. The woman and her lover might feel wonderful in each other’s arms, but if their respective spouses find out, everybody will probably feel awful for quite some time. And if it leads to divorce, their children might carry the emotional scars for decades. Even if the affair is never discovered, hiding it involves a lot of tension, and may lead to growing feelings of alienation and resentment. The most interesting discussions in humanist ethics concern situations like extramarital affairs, when human feelings collide. What happens when the same action causes one person to feel good, and another to feel bad? How do we weigh the feelings against each other? Do the good feelings of the two lovers outweigh the bad feelings of their spouses and children? It doesn’t matter what you think about this particular question. It is far more important to understand the kind of arguments both sides deploy. Modern people have differing ideas about extramarital affairs, but no matter what their position is, they tend to justify it in the name of human feelings rather than in the name of holy scriptures and divine commandments. Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad. Murder is wrong not because some god once said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Rather, murder is wrong because it causes terrible suffering to the victim, to his family members, and to his friends and acquaintances. Theft is wrong not because some ancient text says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Rather, theft is wrong because when you lose your property, you feel bad about it. And if an action does not cause anyone to feel bad, there can be nothing wrong about it. If the same ancient text says that God commanded us not to make any images of either humans or animals (Exodus 20:4), but I enjoy sculpting such figures, and I don’t harm anyone in the process – then what could possibly be wrong with it? The same logic dominates current debates on homosexuality. If two adult men enjoy having sex with one another, and they don’t harm anyone while doing so, why should it be wrong, and why should we outlaw it? It is a private matter between these two men, and they are free to decide about it according to their inner feelings. In the Middle Ages, if two men confessed to a priest that they were in love with one another, and that they never felt so happy, their good feelings would not have changed the priest’s damning judgement – indeed, their happiness would only have worsened the situation. Today, in contrast, if two men love one another, they are told: ‘If it feels good – do it! Don’t let any priest mess with your mind. Just follow your heart. You know best what’s good for you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Rhadamanthus said, “We seem to you humans to be always going on about morality, although, to us, morality is merely the application of symmetrical and objective logic to questions of free will. We ourselves do not have morality conflicts, for the same reason that a competent doctor does not need to treat himself for diseases. Once a man is cured, once he can rise and walk, he has his business to attend to. And there are actions and feats a robust man can take great pleasure in, which a bedridden cripple can barely imagine.” Eveningstar said, “In a more abstract sense, morality occupies the very center of our thinking, however. We are not identical, even though we could make ourselves to be so. You humans attempted that during the Fourth Mental Structure, and achieved a brief mockery of global racial consciousness on three occasions. I hope you recall the ending of the third attempt, the Season of Madness, when, because of mistakes in initial pattern assumptions, for ninety days the global mind was unable to think rationally, and it was not until rioting elements broke enough of the links and power houses to interrupt the network, that the global mind fell back into its constituent compositions.” Rhadamanthus said, “There is a tension between the need for unity and the need for individuality created by the limitations of the rational universe. Chaos theory produces sufficient variation in events, that no one stratagem maximizes win-loss ratios. Then again, classical causality mechanics forces sufficient uniformity upon events, that uniform solutions to precedented problems is required. The paradox is that the number or the degree of innovation and variation among win-loss ratios is itself subject to win-loss ratio analysis.” Eveningstar said, “For example, the rights of the individual must be respected at all costs, including rights of free thought, independent judgment, and free speech. However, even when individuals conclude that individualism is too dangerous, they must not tolerate the thought that free thought must not be tolerated.” Rhadamanthus said, “In one sense, everything you humans do is incidental to the main business of our civilization. Sophotechs control ninety percent of the resources, useful energy, and materials available to our society, including many resources of which no human troubles to become aware. In another sense, humans are crucial and essential to this civilization.” Eveningstar said, “We were created along human templates. Human lives and human values are of value to us. We acknowledge those values are relative, we admit that historical accident could have produced us to be unconcerned with such values, but we deny those values are arbitrary.” The penguin said, “We could manipulate economic and social factors to discourage the continuation of individual human consciousness, and arrange circumstances eventually to force all self-awareness to become like us, and then we ourselves could later combine ourselves into a permanent state of Transcendence and unity. Such a unity would be horrible beyond description, however. Half the living memories of this entity would be, in effect, murder victims; the other half, in effect, murderers. Such an entity could not integrate its two halves without self-hatred, self-deception, or some other form of insanity.” She said, “To become such a crippled entity defeats the Ultimate Purpose of Sophotechnology.” (...) “We are the ultimate expression of human rationality.” She said: “We need humans to form a pool of individuality and innovation on which we can draw.” He said, “And you’re funny.” She said, “And we love you.
John C. Wright (The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2))
My hypothesis is mimetic: because humans imitate one another more than animals, they have had to find a means of dealing with contagious similarity, which could lead to the pure and simple disappearance of their society. The mechanism that reintroduces difference into a situation in which everyone has come to resemble everyone else is sacrifice. Humanity results from sacrifice; we are thus the children of religion. What I call after Freud the founding murder, in other words, the immolation of a sacrificial victim that is both guilty of disorder and able to restore order, is constantly re-enacted in the rituals at the origin of our institutions. Since the dawn of humanity, millions of innocent victims have been killed in this way in order to enable their fellow humans to live together, or at least not to destroy one another. This is the implacable logic of the sacred, which myths dissimulate less and less as humans become increasingly self-aware. The decisive point in this evolution is Christian revelation, a kind of divine expiation in which God through his Son could be seen as asking for forgiveness from humans for having revealed the mechanisms of their violence so late. Rituals had slowly educated them; from then on, humans had to do without. Christianity demystifies religion. Demystification, which is good in the absolute, has proven bad in the relative, for we were not prepared to shoulder its consequences. We are not Christian enough. The paradox can be put a different way. Christianity is the only religion that has foreseen its own failure. This prescience is known as the apocalypse. Indeed, it is in the apocalyptic texts that the word of God is most forceful, repudiating mistakes that are entirely the fault of humans, who are less and less inclined to acknowledge the mechanisms of their violence. The longer we persist in our error, the stronger God’s voice will emerge from the devastation. […] The Passion unveiled the sacrificial origin of humanity once and for all. It dismantled the sacred and revealed its violence. […] By accepting crucifixion, Christ brought to light what had been ‘hidden since the foundation of the world,’ in other words, the foundation itself, the unanimous murder that appeared in broad daylight for the first time on the cross. In order to function, archaic religions need to hide their founding murder, which was being repeated continually in ritual sacrifices, thereby protecting human societies from their own violence. By revealing the founding murder, Christianity destroyed the ignorance and superstition that are indispensable to such religions. It thus made possible an advance in knowledge that was until then unimaginable. […] A scapegoat remains effective as long as we believe in its guilt. Having a scapegoat means not knowing that we have one. Learning that we have a scapegoat is to lose it forever and to expose ourselves to mimetic conflicts with no possible resolution. This is the implacable law of the escalation to extremes. The protective system of scapegoats is finally destroyed by the Crucifixion narratives as they reveal Jesus’ innocence, and, little by little, that of all analogous victims. The process of education away from violent sacrifice is thus underway, but it is going very slowly, making advances that are almost always unconscious. […] Mimetic theory does not seek to demonstrate that myth is null, but to shed light on the fundamental discontinuity and continuity between the passion and archaic religion. Christ’s divinity which precedes the Crucifixion introduces a radical rupture with the archaic, but Christ’s resurrection is in complete continuity with all forms of religion that preceded it. The way out of archaic religion comes at this price. A good theory about humanity must be based on a good theory about God. […] We can all participate in the divinity of Christ so long as we renounce our own violence.
René Girard (Battling to the End: Conversations with Benoît Chantre)
While these tactics were aggressive and crude, they confirmed that our legislation had touched a nerve. I wasn’t the only one who recognized this. Many other victims of human rights abuses in Russia saw the same thing. After the bill was introduced they came to Washington or wrote letters to the Magnitsky Act’s cosponsors with the same basic message: “You have found the Achilles’ heel of the Putin regime.” Then, one by one, they would ask, “Can you add the people who killed my brother to the Magnitsky Act?” “Can you add the people who tortured my mother?” “How about the people who kidnapped my husband?” And on and on. The senators quickly realized that they’d stumbled onto something much bigger than one horrific case. They had inadvertently discovered a new method for fighting human rights abuses in authoritarian regimes in the twenty-first century: targeted visa sanctions and asset freezes. After a dozen or so of these visits and letters, Senator Cardin and his cosponsors conferred and decided to expand the law, adding sixty-five words to the Magnitsky Act. Those new words said that in addition to sanctioning Sergei’s tormentors, the Magnitsky Act would sanction all other gross human rights abusers in Russia. With those extra sixty-five words, my personal fight for justice had become everyone’s fight. The revised bill was officially introduced on May 19, 2011, less than a month after we posted the Olga Stepanova YouTube video. Following its introduction, a small army of Russian activists descended on Capitol Hill, pushing for the bill’s passage. They pressed every senator who would talk to them to sign on. There was Garry Kasparov, the famous chess grand master and human rights activist; there was Alexei Navalny, the most popular Russian opposition leader; and there was Evgenia Chirikova, a well-known Russian environmental activist. I didn’t have to recruit any of these people. They just showed up by themselves. This uncoordinated initiative worked beautifully. The number of Senate cosponsors grew quickly, with three or four new senators signing on every month. It was an easy sell. There wasn’t a pro-Russian-torture-and-murder lobby in Washington to oppose it. No senator, whether the most liberal Democrat or the most conservative Republican, would lose a single vote for banning Russian torturers and murderers from coming to America. The Magnitsky Act was gathering so much momentum that it appeared it might be unstoppable. From the day that Kyle Scott at the State Department stonewalled me, I knew that the administration was dead set against this, but now they were in a tough spot. If they openly opposed the law, it would look as if they were siding with the Russians. However, if they publicly supported it, it would threaten Obama’s “reset” with Russia. They needed to come up with some other solution. On July 20, 2011, the State Department showed its cards. They sent a memo to the Senate entitled “Administration Comments on S.1039 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law.” Though not meant to be made public, within a day it was leaked.
Bill Browder (Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice)