Year End Retrospective

Here’s a lookback at some of this year’s posts which seemed to deserve postscripts.

Is North Korea Weird or Is It Us?

That was the question I posed on September 5. There were reports that Kim Jong-un had executed former girlfriend Hyon Song-wol and a number of other musicians for pornography and bible-reading. I questioned whether the reports were true or if North Korea had become just another heading in the News of the Weird section, usually given over to Urban Legends. Well, Hyon Song-wol has not been heard from since last summer. Meanwhile, Kim has released videotapes of the trial of his uncle which resulted in a death sentence. In fact, Kim seems to have executed a number of people recently. So, I have to conclude, it is North Korea and not us. Kim seems to be ruling in the Stalinist mode: be totally paranoid and nurture absolute fear among your courtiers. Rest In Peace Hyon Song-wol.

Upcoming Episodes of Law and Order

This February post talked about three recent crime cases that I thought would make for good episodes of Law and Order — the fact that the show was cancelled three years ago notwithstanding. There were three cases mentioned: first, the murder of self-professed “gun nut” Keith Ratliff; second, the case of cannibal cop, Gilberto Valle, which was then being tried; third, the case of ex-cop Christopher Dorner who had gone on a mad killing spree in California– he was being hunted when the post was written.

The murder of Keith Ratliff has not been solved. Police executed a search warrant on associate Kyle Myer for illegal explosives but found nothing illegal. It is speculated that Myer is a suspect in the murder, although no evidence of official suspicion of the man has been produced.

Gilberto Valle was found guilty of kidnapping conspiracy, which carries a possible life sentence, and a less-serious charge of misusing a government computer. He was due to be sentenced in June but sentencing has been postponed while his lawyers try to get him a new trial.

Christopher Dorner was found dead of gunshot wounds after his cabin was besieged by police, who deny setting it on fire. The fatal gunshot may have been self-inflicted. During the manhunt, the police shot up several vehicles belonging to innocent people. The State of California paid out several million dollars in damages to a 71-year-old woman and her daughter who were both wounded.

Left to right: Myer, possible suspect; Valle,guilty but hoping for new trial; Dorner, shot to death in burning cabin; Bergwall, still institutionalized

Left to right: Myer, possible suspect; Valle,guilty but hoping for new trial; Dorner, shot to death in burning cabin; Bergwall, still institutionalized

Thomas Quick and Sture Bergwall: What Next?

Although Bergwall was cleared of his final murder charge months ago, he is still being held in a psychiatric facility. His blog complains about the food there and promises to give lyrical descriptions of freedom when he is released, although Swedish authorities would clearly rather not do that. Bergwall remains in limbo.

“The Kreutzer Sonata” and The Moonlight, part 1

Eventually I’ll get around to part 2. I came across a pile of writings about Cary’s work that I want to digest first.

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