Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A Cheap Murder

On Friday morning, Jennifer Lee Hampton was supposed to get up at her Days Inn hotel in West Knoxville, TN and help her three associates as they prepared to help open up a new Mama Blues Buffet there in town. Her friends came to the room....but Jennifer wasn't there. They later found her pocketbook, keys and car.....but not Jennifer.

The cops now indicate enough evidence exist....to show that she's dead.....although no body has been found so far. Blood, I'm guessing.

Jennifer is from my hometown of Florence, Alabama. Thats why I picked up on this story.

But with me....I dig. If you go to Tripadvisor and look up this hotel.....there are 13 adviser comments on this place.....eleven of them indicate this is the worst hotel on the face of the earth. Nothing worked, and the quality of this place was not even worth discussing. Its near the interstate, and I'm willing to bet its a place where druggies hang out a fair bit. Did Jennifer or her friends or their parents ever pull up a computer and ask stupid questions? Nope.....it was probably the cheapest hotel around and they just accepted that fact.

So, this is the plain truth....when you travel....pick the hotel ahead of time and look for reviews. If more than twenty percent of them are negative....skip it. There's a reason for negative reviews. If your kids are traveling and need a cheaper hotel.....fine.....look around and help them find a decent place and pay the extra cash if they have to pay an extra $10 to find the "right" place to stay. You don't need to attend funerals for your kids....because they were cheap.

This girl isn't going to be found.....unless she's dead. Thats the sad fact about this story. And the cops? Well.....if you asked them six months ago.....they would have likely told you that this place has unsavory characters walking around nightly. Its a story that a Bama guy hates to see.

Iran Barbie?

So over in Iran today....an Islamic Barbie? Yep....all for $15 roughly.

Yep, she comes with a burka set or you can buy additional burkas. And yes, there is a Ken, sort of. No fancy cars or horses yet....it'll come.

So these two were fully developed and appear to be marketed by the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Iran. And if you were wondering....yep....its a government agency with the Ministry of Education.

In some ways I'd expect this kind of stuff....but its kinda sad in a way too. But somewhere in the great way of thinking.....I'm holding out faint hope that Iranian Muslim Teletubbies will eventually show up one day. Then the house will burn down.

Our Finns and Their Woes

Matti Juhani Saari lived in Finland and was 22 years old. Yesterday....this guy walked into a industrial training school and killed nine students....and then attempted to burn the bodies. There is more than enough news reports to cover the basics. There are several observations that I will make.

First....this guy readily admitted in some form that he had held hostility against people for six years....making him 16 when he first considered this idea of killing people. Personally, I suspect that this wasn't the first murder....and if they investigated enough....they might find a couple more.

Second....its absolutely true that Finland has the highest murder rate of any country in Europe (or at least they admit to that rate).....but this doesn't typically involve guns or strangers. The vast number of these murders were household violence situations alcohol-related triggers. Additionally, the mass number of these did not involve guns. Knives are tyically the weapon of choice for murders in Finland. So the idea of adding more gun control might sound good on paper....but the same number of murders will likely occur next year, and the curious question is whether you will outlaw knives (to include steak knives)?

Third....it readily appears that he knew none of the folks he killed (so far from what I've read, but maybe I am wrong). So a guy kills total strangers, with no connections to them? Thats not the typical event....especially if they had done nothing to trigger the event? A loner? A gamer? A person with personality issues from his early teens? A guy with no stable family life? A guy who probably was labeled as a "nut" in school? I'd like to have answers, but I doubt I'll ever see them. And then at the end.....burning the bodies in the school? None of this fits. Its like some script to a bad movie, with no true ending.

So another day passes in the world...for better or worse.