Ok, it’s nothing new that America as a society is overly enamored – make that obscenely obsessed — with celebrity.
It’s why BTK continued to kill. It’s why parents permitted sleepovers at Michael Jackson’s. It’s why we elect a lot of our leaders. It’s why normal-looking people queue up for autographs of anybody with a public persona – whether famous or infamous.
And yet I was still taken aback when I went on line this morning. There was the AOL.News headline: “Scott Arrives on Death Row.”
Yes, we have to live with high-profile trials as media staples, and we can’t avoid the morphing of murderers with the right look or lineage into celebrities. But how is it that we are on a first-name basis with Peterson, a conniving, sinister slug who was convicted of murdering his wife and unborn son? How did we get THAT familiar with a murderer whose crime was described by the judge as “cruel, uncaring, heartless and callous”?
O.J. was bad enough, but that’s because he had a killer career before being tried for murder. But Gacey wasn’t “John.” Berkowitz wasn’t “Dave.” Speck wasn’t “Rick.” And McVeigh wasn’t “Tim.”
But “Scott” relocates to San Quentin?
Spare us – at least the contemptuous familiarity.