Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, June 15, 2007

Psychopathic Disrespect And Ruth Graham's Casket

Note: I've combined two posts that originally appeared a couple days apart because they work together to illuminate so wondrously the subjects of the human spirit and murder.

Psychopathic Disrespect

Try as I might, I can't imagine the mind of a murderer.

Certainly, self-esteem isn't a problem with him (and he's probably a him) because, after all, whatever he wanted was more important than the very life of his victim or victims.

Guilt can't be a particularly big issue, either; otherwise guilt from previous more minor misdeeds would have reformed him long before he got to murder.

Fear of God, morals, values -- all would have to be lacking for someone to carry out the sin that's been #1 on the charts since God carved the tablets.

And respect must also be lacking, for obvious reasons. It certainly is missing from the psyche of double murderer Patrick Knight, who's got about a dozen more days to live:
A convicted double murderer in Texas is holding a joke contest on the Internet so he can use the winning entry as his last words when he is sentenced to die by lethal injection on June 26.

"I'll be enjoying my last days on this earth ... I am asking you to spread the word that I am holding a contest. I want people to send me their best jokes, to keep me and the others with (execution) dates laughing!" Patrick Knight, 39, told CNN Friday in an interview from his prison.

Convicted of murdering two neighbors in 1991, Knight has spent the last 16 years on death row in Texas, the state that accounts for more than one third of all US executions since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. [The French at Agence Presse-France, who wrote this story, couldn't miss that dig, could they?]

Relaxed and cracking jokes, Knight got all serious when he explained why death row needed an injection of humor.

"We have a situation back there where you have guys that are actually innocent -- I'm not one of them ... Jokes are needed back there, something to ease the tension."

However, Knight betrayed no tension when he said, "Death is my punishment, I've accepted that, that's what's gonna happen. If you got to go, go with a smile." (Breitbart)

What kind of man is so cruel and pathological that he can murder,then go out with a smile? Here's what kind of man:
Convicted in the August 1991 abduction and murders of Walter and Mary Werner of Amarillo. Knight was a neighbor of the Werners, and according to relatives, had been harassing them. On the day of the crime, Knight and accomplice Robert Timothy Bradfield broke in to [sic] the Werners [sic] home and waited for them to return. They held the couple captive for several hours in their home before driving them to an isolated location and shooting them to death.
I can put myself in the place of the Werners. I can imagine the horrible emotions that Knight subjected them to: terror, sadness, anger. I can even begin to imagine the pain -- but I can't imagine the mind of Knight.

Knight's decision to go out with an Internet joke contest symbolizes that he is not ashamed of what he did and feels he owes nothing to the people he harmed by killing so terribly two people they loved. His response to their pain is to laugh at them. His concern about them is nonexistent; all that exists in Knight's mind is a desire for greater esteem.

It's not enough that he's reached the rarefied ground of double-murderers. No, he wants much more for himself than just that. He wants more fame, more media coverage (which the media is all too eager to provide without asking moral questions), fans that will send jokes, sensible people that will write him with their outrage.

In short, he wants all eyes on him as he takes his final walk, so everyone can see that Pat Knight doesn't care one bit about anyone but himself, that he's one tough mother.

Like I say, I have a hard time imagining the mind of a murderer ... but no harder than imagining the mind of the reporters who pander to him and losers who play into his sick game.

Ruth Graham's Casket

On Friday, I wrote about the Psychopathic Disrespect of a double murderer with so much warped self-centeredness and so little concern for the pain that he caused that he is running a contest for the best joke for him to say as his last words.

Compare that piece of human waste with this, the story of another murderer:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Shortly before he died, convicted murderer Richard Liggett was asked to make two of the simple plywood coffins he meticulously crafted for fellow prisoners. Except the caskets would be for Billy and Ruth Graham.

"Humbled? He was honored, he was honored," said Burl Cain, warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary. "He told me, of everything that ever happened in his life, the most profound thing was to build this coffin for Billy Graham and his family."

Graham's son Franklin made the request after seeing the coffins on a visit to the Angola prison and being struck by their simplicity, according to a statement from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Ruth Graham was to be buried in one Sunday at a private ceremony at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C. She died Thursday at age 87 after a lengthy illness.

"I wish you could look in that casket because she's so beautiful," Billy Graham told mourners who gathered Saturday to remember his beloved wife. "She was a wonderful woman."

The coffins are made of birch plywood and lined with a foam mattress pad covered with fabric. Brass handles are on the sides, while a cross adorns the top. The price: $215 each.

Liggett, who was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder, led a team of prisoners who built the coffins for the Graham family. He had found God in prison, Cain said.

"You would never think he'd be a prisoner. He wasn't all marked up," Cain said. "He just did a terrible thing, one time in New Orleans."

The prison has a Bible college and chapel near death row funded largely by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse.

Cain said many of its 5,108 prisoners are Christian and were spending the weekend "preaching and praying and remembering the Graham family."

But Liggett won't be among them: He died of cancer in March, nearly 31 years into his sentence. He was buried in one of the last coffins he built, Cain said.
What a contrast between these two murderers; one who listened to no one and heard only himself, going out with bravado and banality; one who listened to One greater than himself, now departed with humility and honor.

I just love the complexity of the human spirit.

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