A reader asked what I thought about the Craigslist killer (apparently there was a "Lifetime" made for television movie about him this week). I really didn't know much about him or the movie, so I read this review of the movie and was charmed by these sections:
The film delivers the story as a conventional narrative. It might have been more compelling had it been told from inside the head of either the killer or his fiancée, but Mr. Markoff, at least, apparently didn’t leave much of an explanation for his behavior.I think it is hilarious that (at least in the movie) they are blaming this on the internet rather than trying to take a serious look at possible abnormal psychology reasons for his behavior. It reminds me of the time-honored tradition of blaming bad things on demons or evil spirits rather than admitting what Joseph Conrad understood, that "[t]he belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary: men alone are quite capable of every wickedness." We have already met the enemy, we just keep forgetting about it.
“I’m a straight-A medical student,” he tells the police during the initial interrogation after his arrest. “I’m getting married in a month. I mean, would you guys care to explain to me why I would go around and shoot prostitutes in hotel rooms?”
They don’t have an answer, and the filmmakers don’t either; cheesy sound effects are all they can come up with to signal his switch from perfect-man mode to psychopath.
The film’s most compelling moment comes courtesy of William Baldwin, who plays the lead detective on the case. “Used to be able to tell who the bad guys were, right?” his character says to a colleague. “Now it’s all texts and e-mails and Web sites. Creeps are hiding in our own houses, and we don’t even know who they are.”