This has been a heavy news year and I can’t imagine anyone arguing this point. No matter where you stand, the news hasn’t just been The News. It has been … THE NEWS.

Giant hurricanes. Massive flooding, Russians trying to steer our election. A moronic president and his equally moronic cabinet. Destruction of everything we believe in or at least an attempt to destroy everything in which we believe.  Mass shootings. More mass shooting. Fires sweeping entire states. Sex scandals that will eventually include every man in Hollywood.

With all of that going on, there has been hardly any reporting of gruesome crimes and criminals. Usually we are demented about serial killers and torture … but we haven’t had anything that could top the mass dementia that has taken over our government. That’s why I was thrilled to find this headline from overseas:

Italian lodger tells police he is ‘guilty’ of cannibal murder. 

I bet our newscasters would be thrilled to have a shot at something really juicy. Since the demise of Jeffrey Dahmer, there hasn’t been an incredibly disgusting, gory serial murderer to liven up the news cycle. It’s been all politics, government scandal … and tweets.

TWEETS! Do you believe it? I don’t. It must be fake news.

That got me wondering. Who among the outside world would I like knowing was reading our stuff? I know a few of my favorite authors drop if I review one of one of their books. They are polite and send thank you notes. It’s good politics for them and it makes me feel all warm and cozy, knowing at least some of the things we write is getting read by people who care about it.

But how cool to be followed by a cannibal? What a coup! That would definitely come with bragging rights!

While Garry was working, we occasionally got phone calls late at night from convicted serial killers, sometimes critiquing his performance. Turns out, they watched him on the telly. Who’d have guessed serial killers watch the news … and have phone privileges? They also sent Christmas cards and occasionally, letters.

Perpetrators of gruesome murders currently on trial used to wave and wink at him in the courtroom. I’m sure other reporters were jealous.

From my perspective, it was intensely creepy and occasionally, downright frightening. It also made me wonder if these weirdo’s fondness for my husband and his work might encourage one of these “fans” to drop by for an unexpected visit. They clearly knew how and where to track him down. And if they found Garry, they’d find me. They were his fans, not mine.

On second thought, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover I’m could be a big hit in prison. If seven or eight thousand of my followers are actually incarcerated, that might explain those thousands of nameless followers who never leave comments or even a “like.”

By any chance are one of you a big literary agent? Just asking.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

22 thoughts on “A SINGULAR SENSATION”

  1. I was looking at a YT video last night about Woodstock, fascinating, and funny. And this is how much our news reportage has changed: somewhere near the end of it, when everyone was trying to find their clothes and their heads, there was a news report about how the Festival was closing up, and everybody was going home.
    Walter Cronkite. I think they devoted about three minutes to it, and maybe 30 seconds of video.
    He never smirked, blinked, or shouted. He was the penultimate news man, reporting. No shots of naked bodies in the mud, no Jimi Hendrix hitting that painfully high note in his delivery, just three minutes, and then on to the next story.

    I love the image of Garry getting critiques–and Christmas cards, no less– from convicted serial killers. The man’s got class.


    1. He covered a lot of crime stories. Criminals related to him. That sounds strange, but Garry has that way about him. There were times when they got a little too close for comfort and he had to call for legal help — and got it. That was one of the things the station was good about. No matter how much they joked about it, no one wanted to see one of their guys hurt.

      I think the anchors are still mostly pretty good reporters, but some of the reporters are pretty bad. Whiny, and busy being more the story than the story teller.


    1. That’s also why they sometimes get a little worrisome. Them having some kind of mental thing that they are your followers is NOT a good thing. I think too many people don’t realize that some of these guys and women are dangerous. Really dangerous. Mentally ill and potentially killers.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I have found a few really VERY creepy followers. Bomb builders, designers of fake IDs, illegal gun sellers … We have no control over who follows us, but these days, I keep a finger on the pulse and delete the really scary ones.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. A couple of them were the kind of people that security should be following. If I’d had some idea to whom I should report them, I would have. These are very scary people with guns and bombs and plans to really blow up stuff. Why they would follow ME, I have no idea, but I’m assuming they are wacko, so who knows.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. All of the things you note on your blog are truly devastating and not, at all, the direction we thought our nation was moving in. The one thing that really surprises me is the Hollywood sex scandals.., It’s not like we have NEVER heard the term “Casting Couch”, which was often used in reference to the “Hollywood way” for decades. Mostly this term was used with an expression of humor. It was also assumed that there was a certain amount of mutual acceptance. Not so funny anymore, eh?


    1. Garry was wondering what was going to happen with “house of cards.” I think Amazon decided to just dump it for now. There’s another year in the can, but all things considered, now might not be the best time to release it … if indeed that time ever comes around again.

      I never thought the casting couch sounded like a fun scene. The people who “demand that” DON’T look like Robert Redford. They are the sleazy old guys like Weinstein. MEN might have thought it was mutual, but I doubt any women did. On the whole, men really don’t get the whole thing about forcing women, even when it’s just putting pressure on without any threats. Date rape is SO common, almost every woman I know has been through it. You deal with it because no one imagines that someone you went out with could be someone you didn’t want to have sex with.

      Imagine that — a date without sex.


      1. “You deal with it because no one imagines that someone you went out with could be someone you didn’t want to have sex with.” …Or just to get a dang job. I’m guessing the smirks, on the faces of those old sleezy Hollywood predators, are being, ceremoniously, wiped from their faces as the thought “Deep Shit!” looms over their heads and hairy bits?


    1. Yes, it was very creepy. One crazy woman was first a joke, then, after a while, there were death threats and lawyers and having the mental institution in which she was located take away her phone and letters and there was the serial killer that used to send Garry long critiques of his current work in court. Oh yeah. It was creepy and worse. He could tell the stories, but he doesn’t usually tell these stories. They are not cool or romantic, just icky.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Garry was really casual about it … until the death threats … and suddenly, he snapped to attention. He said “OH NO,” and called legal at channel 7. They were on it instantly. It reminded both of us we needed to be more careful. We got a new, blind telephone — and though it hadn’t become a national issue yet, the station was alerted to make sure addresses and phone numbers were not released. I think it was because Garry was recently married. For the first time, he needed to protect someone other than himself.

          Reporters get death threats. It isn’t uncommon. They are very public people and that can be dangerous. It’s one of the reasons they have big legal departments. It isn’t like on TV shows. Reporters don’t do stories they are told not to do. A scoop is nice, but it isn’t worth your life and it especially isn’t worth the life of someone you love. Garry’s not afraid of anything. He has a bit of a wild streak, but having a wife changed him. Things he would have done before, he stopped doing.

          I was glad they legal department took care of it in a hurry. Because they release people from those places and then, they can find you. We did not wish to be found.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I never thought about that before. The risk that a reporter can be in, merely reporting the news. They are out there in the public, like everyone else, except everyone knows who they are.


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