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Wed May 1, 2013, 09:58 PM

Turns out my college buddy is defending one of the UMass-Dartmouth scholars charged today

Well that's one @#$%ing strange experience, to see a fraternity buddy on the TV being highly responsible. My favorite memory of him as a pledge is when we made him suggested he listen to Brian Eno cranked on headphones for an hour. Here Come the Warm Jets, IIRC. Ah, the look of revelation on his face! Or maybe disgust, couldn't tell for sure. I hope that didn't compromise his ability to ensure a fair defense. And we drank many adult beverages, and were slightly mean to our slightly-mean next-door neighbor, Carl Sagan.

Other frat buddies are captains of industry, run charities, have high government positions, ... and more than a few are unemployed. It's a savage time to be middle aged if you make a single misstep.

Earlier today, on a whim, I looked up my junior high school nemesis on the 'net to see what became of him. He was a belligerent youth, I was telling my middle-school son yesterday about how the fellow was always trying to cause me harm although I didn't cooperate. Turns out he's dead. A little more searching, found out some other folks I knew from junior high and high school are dead.

A very, very strange day. Life is short, and the world is small.

This started out as bombing related and went all melancholy on me. Somebody kick my butt if this belongs in the Lounge.

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Turns out my college buddy is defending one of the UMass-Dartmouth scholars charged today (Original post)
MannyGoldstein May 2013 OP
arely staircase May 2013 #1
dsc May 2013 #2
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #3
markpkessinger May 2013 #6
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #10
markpkessinger May 2013 #15
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #17
markpkessinger May 2013 #19
FourScore May 2013 #5
dsc May 2013 #16
FourScore May 2013 #4
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #7
FourScore May 2013 #8
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #9
HiPointDem May 2013 #13
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #18
truebluegreen May 2013 #11
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #12
truebluegreen May 2013 #14

Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:03 PM

1. thanks for posting

nt

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:06 PM

2. I have had a similar but smaller scale couple of weeks

There has been a local to me, very big murder case that happened a week ago Monday. The guy who sang next to me all last concert cycle in my quite small gay men's chorus is the murderer. I can't say we were besties or anything but I did get to know him, or thought I did, fairly well. It has been a bizarre couple of weeks to hear of this completely different person in the local media.

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Response to dsc (Reply #2)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:24 PM

3. Oh God, that's awful.

Life really happens, I suppose. All of this newspaper stuff happens to someone, sometimes us.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #3)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:57 PM

6. Something similar happened to me in December of last year . . .

Perhaps you remember the story about the elementary school music teacher in Pennsylvania who shot and killed his ex-wife as she played the organ for church services. (Story here.) I went to high school with the guy (he was a year ahead of me). We played in band together and participated in many other of the same extra-curricular activities. He was someone who never had an unkind word to say about anybody. He was a bit on the quiet and reserved side, but not unusually so. He was someone I remember as being unfailingly polite and courteous. It was really hard to wrap my head around the knowledge that he did something like this.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #6)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:44 PM

10. Do you feel that he was an anomoly?

Or that anyone can kill if the right buttons are pushed?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #10)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:49 PM

15. That's a tough one . . .

. . . and I'm not sure the case I'm talking about is necessarily the best context in which to answer it (more on that in a moment).

In the abstract, I think most people probably could be driven to kill. But I think the trigger point (pardon the unintended pun) for some people is probably significantly lower for some people than for others. I think everybody has a breaking point, if you will, beyond which there is no telling what they might be capable of.

As for the case I mentioned, and the reason it may not provide the best context for a discussion of your question, a few days after the murder, it was reported that the guy had been the subject of an FBI investigation, the details of which have not been made public other than the fact that the FBI had raided his house (with a warrant) two days before he murdered his ex-wife. A friend of his ex-wife said that the ex-wife had heard about the raid, and was terrified the he would think she had something to do with it. She apparently told her friend that there had been something at the time of their divorce two years earlier for which she had been sworn to secrecy as a condition of a no-fault, uncontested divorce proceeding. (Pure speculation here, but I think this has "child porn" written all over it.)

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #15)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:51 PM

17. Ah! Perhaps the missing puzzle piece.

The FBI rarely comes calling for a friendly chat.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #17)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:59 PM

19. Exactly . . .

. . . Whatever was going on with him, it was obviously a whole lot more than I or anybody else who knew him 35 years ago had any clue about.

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Response to dsc (Reply #2)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:39 PM

5. Yikes! Was it a passion crime or premeditated? n/t

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Response to FourScore (Reply #5)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:51 PM

16. It is hard to tell right now

there is an apparent motive but given the exact circumstances it could have been spur of the moment panic or pre med.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:38 PM

4. What a great OP!

Carl Sagan...hmm...Cornell frat perhaps?

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Response to FourScore (Reply #4)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:59 PM

7. Far above Cayuga's waters

Ah... nice memories...

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #7)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:13 PM

8. I know the Sagan house.

If it is the one on the cliff-side. He had many houses. The frat house could be 2? houses away. I live about 4 blocks further -- in a zig-zag up the hill.

Was he really grumpy? Carl Sagan, I mean.


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Response to FourScore (Reply #8)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:40 PM

9. We were Rockledge, on the other side of the Stewart Ave bridge

When he moved in, we inited him for dinner. He referred us to his booking person, who said it would cost us $200 for Sagan to eat our food. More if we wanted him to say something.

I won't go into the details, but the short story is that it's not a good idea to irritate a nearby fraternity filled with clever engineers and a keg on tap 24/7.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #9)

Thu May 2, 2013, 03:04 AM

13. For some reason i always got the feeling sagan was an asshole from his tv appearances. I don't

 

even know why -- something about him just put me off. his persona seemed fake.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:54 PM

18. He spoke much differently in person than on screen. And he was certainly a prima

donna on campus - he taught a single one-semester class every two years, and the subject was whatever he wanted it to be. The course catalog just gave examples of what had been done in the past.

But in all fairness - he was a celebrity and many people wanted his time, so he had to manage that.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:45 PM

11. Glad your buddy is defending the accused

as is appropriate in our justice system...

but since when is a "student" a "scholar"?

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #11)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:51 PM

12. OK, it was a euphemism.

Actually, it seems like they might not have been students anymore.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #12)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:53 AM

14. No problem

just my manically grammarian-and-vocabularian (heh) dad still having his influence...

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