Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Don't take candy from strangers

Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Hurricanes… the wrath of mother nature is harsh but it is NOTHING compared to what human beings do to each other.

Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, Saw, etc. we've all seen or heard of thes grisly, sadistic movies but the most horrible realisation is that some of these monsters depicted on screen are actually based on real psychopaths: serial killers that lived, killed and terrorised nations with their brutality.

Ted Bundy, the poster-boy of psychopaths, was a charming, handsome young man. He was smart too! He could've been anything he wanted to be. But instead, he chose to be a murderer/psychopath. His parents must be so proud.

By 1989, when he was executed in the electric chair in Florida at the age of 43, he had confessed to just about 30 murders but there could have been at least four more. Or twenty. But hey, who's counting.

During his four-year reign across about a dozen states in the USA, Bundy killed, in the most horrible ways imaginable, young women, sometimes even little girls as young as 12. And remorse? He felt none of that! He even went on to publicise his murders and methods while on death row.

Dr. H.H Holmes, America's first real serial killer, lived way back in the late 1800's. He had a hotel in Chicago, which he had built himself for the 1893 World's Fair. It was an ordinary enough hotel, except for the fact that on the upper floor, near his offices, were a maze of over a hundred windowless rooms with doorways that would open to brick walls, oddly angled hallways, stairways to nowhere and doors that could only be opened from the outside. The rooms were also soundproofed and fitted with gas lines. This building is now known as the “Murder Castle”.

Here he tortured his women friends and hotel guests and heard their screams of anguish with amusement. His body count, as confessed by him after his arrest, is said to be twenty-seven, but who knows how many more lives he stole.

Albert Fish seemed like a kind and harmless gentleman who looked like a child's favourite grandfather. But nothing could be further from the truth. You see Fish loved children, he loved children cooked well done. And then the freaking psycho told their parents about it! He wasn't happy just being a cannibal; no he had to explain to the families of his victims how he did it in his letters to them.

He was convicted for three murders, of young children not even over the age of ten and suspected for three more. He was one of the oldest men to have gone to the electric chair.

Ed Gein was the inspiration behind horror film characters such as Buffalo Bill, Leatherface and Norman Bates. Some say they that he shouldn't be blamed because he was born mentally handicapped and at the time, the world didn't know how to deal with that. Some say it was the fault of his extremely religious mother.

But nonetheless, he did kill!
Some might even say that he didn't technically fit the definition of 'serial killer' as his victims were mostly dead bodies that he dug up from the local grave. In fact, technically he killed two people. But even one murder is too many!

Upon his arrest he was found mentally incompetent and therefore, unable to stand for trial. He died in 1984 from respiratory heart failure caused by cancer.

John Wayne Gacy is another example of why clowns have been completely ruined for children. Thank you John Wayne Gacy and Stephen King for ruining people's childhoods. Gacy liked to murder young boys. Thirty-three of them to be precise. Great hobby for a clown, don't you think?

Upon his arrest, he tried to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but it didn't work out for him because he wasn't clinically insane, just a psychopath and a complete waste of space. Gacy did not feel remorse for his crimes either; in fact his last words were 'Kiss My ***'. What a charming man he was.

Another chilling story is of Somer Thompson from Georgia, a young seven year old who was walking home from school with her brother and sister when she disappeared. Her body was accidentally uncovered in a landfill recently prompting the authorities to believe that there is a child killer on the loose.

And why look so far? Recently, we found Bangladesh's first serial killer, Rasu Khan. A man shunned by his first love who went on a killing spree of young women. He was talking about his crimes on TV and it was surprising to see how he felt absolutely no remorse. Here's a man who took young girls from their families, violated them and yet he feels no shame or sadness at what he did.

You hear things like this on the news a lot these days. Its so common now that we just shrug it off and don't even stop to think 'What if it were my family. What if it were my child?'

We'd all like to think the worlds a happy place full of unicorns and fairies. But alas, its not. We don't need horror movies for our dose of horror. Reality provides enough.

By Musarrat Rahman


Divas at Roll Xpress

The ambiance was set for a perfect evening with music. The November wind pleasant but not chilly enough to give you goose bumps. And the line up was much to the liking of the crowd- Nazia, Elita, Simin and Mouri; a nice blend of established voices with a touch of novelty.

The Inex series of concerts have created a niche amongst music aficionado in the last few years. With a show every other week or sometimes even on a weekly basis, it provides thorough entertainment, enough for a chalking it out on your calendar for a cosy Thursday evening.

Nazia took the stage with her band "Don't Ask" and sang a contemporary number, which unfortunately this writer failed to identify. The performance however, paved the way for the quality song and singing prowess that was about to follow. Elita was up next, Nazia having sung only one number, and gave a beautiful rendition of the timeless John Denver tune, "You fill up my senses". She was comfortably switching from English to Bengali (a cover she did with Sumon from Aurthohin) with relative ease, managing the high notes backed with a powerful voice. The highlight of Elita's performance is the melody that you can associate with her style throughout her performance, be it a cover of Moushumi Bhowmik or her own original tunes.

Mouri was up next. Possibly an Alanis fan she covered two of the artist's most popular numbers back to back. This took the set away from melody to a feel of rock, much appreciated by the crowd evident from the response she got. Her performance was short yet created an ambiance that seemed to offer more of good music, along with good food that Roll Xpress had on over. Still retaining the rock influence, Simin dazzled with "Sweet Child of Mine" which seemed more like a cover of Sheryl Crowe's version rather than the original sung by Guns n' Roses. And quite befitting, since the night was after all an ode to Divas!

Her eloquent performance continued with such timeless numbers- "Fields of Gold", Abbasuddin's "Amar haar kala korlum", "Love will keep us alive" and of course "Man in the mirror." The timeless MJ songs have found a new identity, a sort of new discovery of old school magic after his death and the crowd it seemed, loved it thoroughly.

Nazia took the stage once again. The second session of her music kicked of with a song that retained the taste of true sufi style with a wonderful touch of rock in it. The proportion being in quite the right amount set a new mood to the concert that was far from over.

She continued with her classical numbers one after another and finally sang the popular "Piya ki Najaria" a song from the album "Arnob and Friends".

The whole show was truly an extraordinary journey of music from popular contemporary Bangla songs to old favourite, to rock and finally to pure Indian classical.

Without an iota of flattery of bias and favour, the whole concert was in true terms - amazing. Just one thing keeps bothering yours truly though, why was Roll Xpress charging for tickets when Inex has been, throughout its existence a free, Thursday night musical experience? A point organisers should take a note of!

By the lizard king



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2009 The Daily Star