June 22, 2003

The Story That Keeps Getting Weirder

One of the nice things about blogging (and, also, reading blogs) is that it's generally a very intellectual pursuit. You can usually find great discussions about theology, public policy, and other important issues that Truly Matter. Furthermore, no matter what one's own beliefs are, one can always find grist for one's mental mill with just a bit of reading.

Well, for the moment, screw that. I came across a bloody great story that keeps getting weirder as time goes on. And since hardly anyone else is talking about it, I will.

You should know that Andrew Luster, a perfectly loathesome trustafarian and a fugitive from justice to boot, has been captured down in Mexico after a few months on the run. Apparently, Luster -- who was convicted in absentia of drugging and then raping three women -- didn't like the prospect that he'd receive similar treatment from the inmates at Folsom or Cocoran.

Anyway: Luster ran, he got caught, lot of wire copy resulted. Yet how much play did this get from bloggers? This afternoon, a Google search for Luster's name and the word "blog" received a mere 456 hits. Gad! I mean, given the other aspects to the story, you'd expect a bit more reaction. Oh, sure, TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime had a practical exclusive back on Wednesday -- but that's because the guy gal running it knows the bounty hunter who captured Luster.

This is where the story begins to get interesting.

After Luster's capture, Mexican authorities arrested the bounty hunter in question, Duane "Dog" Chapman of Hawaii. As Fox News put it so well, Mr Chapman, two of his sons, a TV producer and an actor will face "charges for leaving Mexican police out of the dramatic capture." As if that wasn't enough, news of Mr Chapman's activities got a lot of bounty hunters and bail-bondsmen in California rather upset.

WOULD MAX CHERRY have gone to Mexico to bring back a fugitive from justice? We think he would, but he'd have been a bit more discreet about things. (More Info)

All this is interesting stuff, but it's the other things about this story which really amaze me. By "other things," I refer to the Cosmic Levels of Decadence and Stupidity present.

To me, at any rate, Andrew Luster is proof positive that decadence can ruin a perfectly good family in just two or three generations, if that family isn't careful about things. For instead of learning a profession or engaging in academics, Luster wasted the 39 years of freedom he had surfing, drinking, and playing Casanova. I mean, from all the news accounts, the guy has done nothing with his life. That's just pathetic.

Now, the moral offensiveness of such idleness could have been lessened if the guy was at least a likable fellow or had a bit of wit about him. (As Jimmy Foster said, when asked if he had ever made a dollar on his own, "No, but I have plans!") But Luster couldn't even manage that -- the journal he kept in Mexico shows the man has the social IQ of a senior in high school.

Of course, Luster is also apparently dumb as a bag of rocks, if you look at his escape plan. First, instead of going to a locale where a) he wouldn't be noticed and b) there wasn't an extradition treaty with the United States, he went to Puerto Vallarta. He stayed at a hotel next to a police station. He never turned off his mobile phone. He even went to parties, according to other news accounts.

Luster's family doesn't exactly seem all that classy either, if you ask me. According to Mr Chapman, Luster's mother wished her fugitive son good luck while on the lam. Let's make clear that she allegedly did so during a television interview.

If that is true, that's disgusting.

Now, it's one thing for Luster's mother to not actively assist the authorities in their search for her son -- but it's another thing entirely if she publicly insulted the victims of the crimes her son committed. To me, openly hoping for your son to evade the authorities is such an insult. She ought to have kept silent about the whole matter -- or, at the very least, asked her son to turn himself in. That would have been the smart move from a legal point of view anyway.

But then, this family doesn't seem to have a lot of smarts. Who knows? Perhaps Luster himself will get some as he serves out his 124-year-sentence.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 22, 2003 02:15 PM | TrackBack

Ben, thanks for mentioning TalkLeft. One correction, the site is run by a female--me.


Jeralyn Merritt

Posted by: Talkleft at June 22, 2003 10:13 PM

(wipes egg off face)

I suppose I should have checked that out before I ran with it! In any event, the change has been made and noted.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at June 22, 2003 11:18 PM