Hermits Rock

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You might have seen it on CNN or on the AP wire. Yesterday morning SS, a former vice president of a local bank, apparently murdered his wife and four children then committed suicide by driving his minivan into a sign on I-80. The man’s family is large and fairly prominent here: his family name graces law firms and flower shops. He was being indicted for embezzlement from the bank and, if you follow the links, you will see that it is more than a rumor that he had a significant cocaine habit. He was troubled. The story reminds me of a former acquaintance who committed suicide by driving his car into an oncoming eighteen-wheeler. He, too, had been troubled, and he had a history of mental illness. He abandoned three young children and a longsuffering spouse. That, too, is an awful story, almost as inexplicable as what SS did, but even it makes some kind of twisted sense. On the other hand, I find SS’s actions incomprehensible.



A guy in the (large) neighborhood where I grew up killed his whole family and self. I never learned anything more about the circumstances other than that a divorce was in the offing.

Tip to families: if the patriarch is in deep shit, RUN!

For upper-middle class bastards coke is the new insanity plea….

the infamous wall street bank robber

checked himself into a rehab clinic on the advice of his lawyer, despite apparently not really having a problem with coke.

An old friend of his mentioned in a piece in today’s paper that the embezzlement might have been partly due to adoption costs for their four kids.

Of course, he was a bank VP, and they did live in a huge, brand-new home…Maybe they were just living beyond their means, like everyone else…

But why would it be less embarrassing to cite a fictitious drug addiction rather than adoption expenses as a reason for stealing the money?

I don’t know. The whole thing defies any kind of logic, of course.

A nasty, escalating, drug habit is a more palatable narrative than theft because one was “living beyond one’s means.” It allows people to continue living beyond their means and it performs the necessary damage control to keep the American Dream intact?

Yeah, I guess that’s right…Addiction is an illness, after all…

Good news!* Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church is just misinformed enough to protest the family’s funerals on Saturday.

* Not really.

Is there a proper DSM-IV psychological diagnosis for people who crave the hatred of others? Because that’s what really seems to be going on with these guys.

It’s so good to know that we live in “the Land of the Sodomite.”

Hooray for sodomy!