Thursday, June 10, 2010

Monkey see, monkey do. Tragedy more real than fiction

Nothing is juicier than Victorian murder mysteries. If you don't know Wilkie Collins, who largely invented the detective story, you're in for a treat (The Moonstone, The Woman in White, Armadale). And then there was the real mystery, and the real detective story--perhaps the first true one involving a detective, and a great read, The Suspicions of Mr Wicher. Great summer reading, if nothing else! And of course, it all led to the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

Well, apparently a 40 year-old British PhD student doing his dissertation on Victorian murders (they'll give a PhD for almost anything, it seems), has tried to practice what he preached. At least, so says the news NYTimes story. This pathetic sod--if the story is true--boldly did in some prostitutes.  The image at left, from the story, a cop searching for bodily remains, looks like the first scene in a BBC mystery series.

Connection to evolution and genetics?..... Well, humans are herd animals, not competing to be the best as much as competing to conform. So, read about murder, commit murder. Or, how about this: Unsolved murders (Jack the Ripper was one of this guy's 'research' subjects) were done by big alpha males (they weren't caught, after all) so this guy's trying to be one himself--doing what some, at least, would claim is evolution's bidding. Or, like much of developmental biology, cells are led by their context to do themselves in or to instruct other cells to do that--cyto-murder!

Or, maybe there's no connection, and this was just a slow news day.


Texbrit said...

I have seen a few herds of people in my life, and it ain't pretty!

Ken Weiss said...

Yes, and it happens from the most local and individual level, to the national or even international. But doing in hookers because somebody did it a century ago, that's weird. And committing murder to punish prostitution is also a rather bizarre kind of (ill)logic.

Holly Dunsworth said...

*like very much*

Anne Buchanan said...

We're already off-subject, so we may as well go even further off. Here's an interesting story from the BBC today about police divers.