6 Pre-Video Game Rampages

[digg-me]In the world of Jack Thompson and Fox News, violence would cease to exist if it weren’t for those pesky video games. There’s just one wee little problem. None of these killers were alive during the age of video games, unless you count Pong. And last time I checked, losing a game of Pong won’t cause you to fly off the handle and go on a murderous rampage. Unless your friend unplugged your controller on a return volley and still claims claimed victory.

6. Lizzie Borden

Story – On August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally slain in their Massachusetts home. A week later, their daughter Lizzie was arrested on suspicion of murder. Police found a hatchet with handle missing in the basement, a cotton dress that Lizzie had burned in the stove, claiming she’d “smeared paint” on it. Excluded from testimony was Lizzie’s prior attempt to purchase cyanide.

Outcome – Lizzie was acquitted of the murders after jurors deliberated for an hour and a half. Look at her eyes, you’d be hard pressed to kind that kind of evil elsewhere, unless you dated my ex-girlfriend. They say the crazy ones are always the best in bed…

5. Jack the Ripper

Story: During the fall of 1888, a string of murders led Whitechapel area of London led police on the search for a suspect nicknamed Jack the Ripper. Although there is an ongoing debate as to how many victims Jack was responsible for, experts agree that 5 can be attributed to a single killer. Jack often slit the throat of his victims, mutilated the abdomen, and removed internal organs.

Outcome: Jack’s identity was never revealed and many letters written to the police are believed to be hoaxes. Jack the Ripper also went by the nickname Saucy Jacky, which makes it hard for us to take him seriously. With a name like that, I just imagine a proper Englishman trying to be evil and domineering but taking it as an invitation to drink tea and crumpets.

4. Zodiac Killer

Story: In the late 1960s, a serial killer by the name of Zodiac terrorized northern California with a string of killings. To add insult to injury, Zodiac created ciphers for local newspapers to print and solve. Hidden within the cryptograms were messages about his love of murder, new threats, and his promise to keep killing. Well at least the guy has work ethic, I’m too lazy to boil a cup of noodles these days.

Outcome: After killing 5 and injuring 2 others, the killer’s identity was never discovered. The police’s prime suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, only had circumstantial evidence linking him to any of the crimes. Allen passed a polygraph, and his fingerprints were cleared. On a search warrant, however, police found knives covered in blood in the back of his car, a day after one of the killings. Allen claimed it to be chicken blood, and really, who doesn’t have knives with chicken blood in the backseat of their car?

3. Son of Sam

Story: David Berkowitz roamed the city of New York from the summer of 1976 to 1977, as the “.44 Caliber Killer” and “Son of Sam,” often targeting young couples parked in cars and women with long dark hair. Berkowitz believed that his neighbor’s golden retriever was possessed by Satan, who in turn ordered him to kill. Which, when you think about it, might be the worst or best defense of all-time. If true, it would make for a kick ass sequel. I’m thinking, “Air Bud: First Blood.”

Outcome: After killing 6 and injuring 7 others, Berkowitz was finally identified by a witness when he angrily stood outside watching couples pass. Which really isn’t a crime, since that’s how I usually spend every Valentine’s Day. Berkowitz also received a parking ticket for leaving his car in front of a fire hydrant, kind of give credence to the dog defense. In the end, Berkowitz received six life sentences so unless he’s Highlander, his ass is going to die behind bars.

Bonus: Berkowitz is now a born-again Christian and claims that he did not commit all the crimes. Police investigators and the prosecution agreed, so the case was reopened in 1996. To date, the case remains open but no others have been arrested in connection with the crimes.

2. Bonnie and Clyde

Story: Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Barrow were not your typical twenty-something couple. Unless the typical twenty-something couple plans on robbing banks, stealing cars, and killing police. The couple met in 1930 when Bonnie was 19 and married to an imprisoned murderer, and Clyde was still a swinging bachelor. Naturally, they fell for each other. How could they not? Bonnie snuck a gun into prison which aided Clyde’s escape, but soon after, he was recaptured. Two years later, Clyde was paroled, and the couple lived happily ever after. Sort of. Bonnie and Clyde would go on to commit several burglaries and robberies as part of the Barrow Gang, leaving a trail of 13 bodies in their wake. Their exploits would be enough to make Nico and cousin Roman blush.

Outcome: Bonnie and Clyde’s luck eventually ran out when police staked out a desolate Louisiana road. As the stolen Ford V8 approached the officers hiding in bushes, it was shot at more than 130 times. Each body reportedly sustaining 25 gunshot wounds each. The kind of accuracy that makes NYPD smile. But as the old saying goes, shoot 130 times first, ask questions later.

1. Charles Whitman

Story – Long before Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris made it trendy to shoot up schools, Charles Whitman pioneered the art of killing classmates way back in 1966. Whitman, a former Marine, attended the University of Texas after being honorably discharged from the military. The night before the shootings, Whitman stabbed his mother Margaret in the chest while she slept. Whitman then returned to his home to stab his wife Kathy, leaving behind a note urging the life insurance company to pay of his debts and donate the rest to a mental health foundation. What a guy.

From there, Whitman bought a few firearms and ammunition and headed to campus and up to the Main Building observation deck. Whitman proceeded to shoot and kill 14 people, while wounding 31 others.

Outcome: Students grabbed guns and returned fire, pinning down the sniper until officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy marched up to the deck and killed Whitman. Whitman was buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in West Palm Beach, with an American flag draped over his casket. Cause you know, he was a marine, and just cause you murder 17 and injure 31 others doesn’t mean you’re allowed to break tradition.

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