Thursday 7 June 2012

Magnotta and the secret wish to fail

Twenty years ago Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo concealed the video evidence that would have instantly convicted them of murder. The cops searching their house turned up nothing, but today’s top criminals are edgier. They take risks and lay down a path of crumbs big enough for the Keystone Kops to track.Magnotta posted a video starring himself as the killer and, for all we know, watched that video at the internet cafe in Berlin where he was nabbed. I picture him looking around, wishing he had taken German lessons, and desperately signalling to anyone willing to make eye contact: Hey, man, look, that’s me on the screen!  

Christopher Husbands, the killer responsible for the shooting at the Eaton Centre (see preceding post, 3 June), also had laid down a path for the cops. It was easier for him of course. He didn’t move out of his comfort zone. He stuck to English. He worked with local children at an after-school programme and, as required, applied for a police background check. Given enough time, he, too, might have posted it on the net under the heading:  Hey, everybody, look at me, I’m violating my parole! And check out my long record. Impressive, eh?

But you don’t have to be a criminal to sabotage yourself. Hollywood celebs are on to the game, too. Charlie Sheen’s ex, Brooke Mueller, for example, schedules periodic relapses into her drug habit. She recently landed back in rehab, but her lawyer informs us that it was a routine, “pre-planned event” (Metro, 4 June).

And then there is Justin Bieber, who seems to be scheduling periodic run-ins with glass walls.

Now if you are too scared to set yourself up for failure, don’t despair. You can still sabotage your kids by giving them weird names. Sonny and Cher named their girl “Chastity”, and you know what happened. But nowadays you are expected to come up with something a little more imaginative than “Chastity”. Here is a selection of popular names to sabotage your kid: Draper – set up for multiple affairs and an unhappy marriage, Chardonnay -- expected to become a lush, Princewilliams -- he’ll raise a laugh when he files for unemployment benefits.

And if you don’t want yourself or your loved ones to fail? Let Siri take care of your life (see my blog of 1 June). Okay, maybe not.

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