Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gatekeepers hold back the horror

It's been almost a week since the deleterious death video was shown to a captive jury in the manslaughter trial of former Pelham police chief Ed Fleury--an accidental machine gun death where of an 8-year-child's head ended up on the wrong end of the gun.

And thus far not a single local, regional or national media outlet has shown the entire video. Thank God for small favors. In fact, yesterday Judge Velis did not even allow the prosecutor to replay it while a State Police "expert" was testifying about the micro Uzi.

One juror has already been dismissed and we will not know why until the trial is over, but it seems obvious since she was crying to the judge that the burden of having watched the video and hearing the heartrending testimony was simply too much for her.

As would the ghoulish video be for many people if released for mass distribution. Unfortunately something like that falls into the category of "know it when you see it"--but by then it's too late.

A hard to resist Siren Song, better left unseen.


Anonymous said...

I made the mistake of watching the Daniel Pearl video and another sent to me by a friend in an email where a guy was taken into the police station and when the cop turned his back, pulled a gun and shot himself in the head.

You'd think I'd learn my lesson...

Note: my work verification for this comment is killa. Weird

LarryK4 said...

About 15 years ago a kid at Hampshire College pulled a Jim Jones and killed himself with a cyanide drink while on live campus cable TV.

College security confiscated the tape and that was the last that was ever seen or heard about it.

Not such a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Really? Got proof that story is real?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, actually I do. How could I make that up?

Ask former Town Manager Alan Torrey, or one of my family members who on occasion worked for Hampshire College security back then.

Or you could go the Jones Library 2nd floor archives and read the venerable Amherst Bulletin from back in the day.

Anonymous said...

over 20 years ago...APD took the tape as it was a police investgation as with any death of that nature.

LarryK4 said...

Sounds about right.

I also spelled Mr. Torrey's first name incorrectly as it should have been "Allen".

He was a longtime Amherst Town Manager; also a very longtime Treasurer of Hampshire College (but I'm sure you knew all that)

LarryK4 said...

Turns out it was April, 1986 and the 17-year-old was not yet a Hampshire student but his brother was.

April 17, 1986|Associated Press

Police said Andrew L. Hermann of Belchertown was pronounced dead on arrival at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton late Wednesday.

Tests were being performed today to determine the exact cause of death, Lt. David Jankowski said, but "cyanide-laced Kool-Aid is suspected and we feel at this time the youth mixed and drank the liquid knowing it was lethal."

Jackson said police seized the two videotaped copies of the production, which was broadcast live to dormitories at the 1,200-student liberal arts college.

A college spokesman said the youth was visiting his brother, Stephen, a student at the college.

Jackson said both brothers were in the show and Andrew had given a "very long-winded tirade against Hampshire College."

At the conclusion, the youth declared, " 'Now I'm going to join my brothers and drink cyanide-impregnated Kool-Aid,' and drank about half of the stuff he had in a large mug," Jackson said.

"Then he brought some people on stage to play a national anthem he had made up. . . . The next time I noticed him, he was lying in the control room breathing heavy and making strange noises," Jackson said.

"I asked what was the matter and everyone said, 'He drank cyanide' and laughed. We thought he was fooling . . . that it was still part of the act."

When Hermann didn't get up, Jackson said he and another student finally carried him out to the hallway, believing he was continuing his performance. Campus security officers discovered the boy when they arrived to close the studio.