Starting in 1997, college aged men between the ages of 19 and 23 began turning up dead in local bodies of water, many with no signs of foul play evident unless you count their extremely high blood alcohol content. Since the initial 1997 case, 38 similar cases have shown up across the country. Is it the work of a demented serial killer, gangs of wayward feminists, or simply the kind of plausible accident that we might expect to befall a certain small percentage of the nation’s young men? Are we to believe that a young man would go out and get so drunk that he accidentally, apropos of nothing else, fell into a lake or river near campus, and drowned? How about if it happened on an average of roughly five times a year for a period of nine years? What if we later discover that there were smiley faces painted on the nearby walls of 12 out of 39 watery graves, and that some of the smiley faces look “evil” and have “horns?”
Retired NYPD sargeant Kevin Gannon, along with retired homicide Detective Anthony Duarte, have taken on these cases as a sort of an old-guy labor back in 1997, when Gannon became “emotionally involved” with the family of 20 year-old victim Patrick McNeill. Says Gannon of the smiley face graffiti: “They’re laughing at the police. They’re happy they’re getting away with this and they’re getting a little more brazen.”
The case has attracted the attentions of many a crackpot, including this Men’s Rights Blogger, who categorizes the phenomenon as “organized androcide:”
“It has been suggested that the gang may be female,it is stated that the group is hiarchial in nature and widespread. Feminism preaches hate against men and I knew that with feminism and grrl power the outcome would be murder of men. If this were happening to any other group-minority or female and police would be all over it and John Walsh would be salivating to get it on the air. What do we get with this case? Sounds of crickets,that’s what. Feminism does have the clout to push this under the rug and everybody including the coronor wants to drop this ASAP.”
Charlie, a conservative Christian who writes the blog Sope Bocks, is also weirdly quick to point a finger at women:
“My Initial Theory: We may be looking at a couple (or more) female serial killers. Before you write off that theory, think it over. You’re an athletic, college age male, who’s been out partying with friends. You leave to walk home or clear your head before heading back to the dorms. A car drives up with a couple nice looking young ladies inside. They offer you a ride… maybe a promise of “some fun” … and a little something else to drink. How many horny college dudes would say no? One could answer — the ones who lived. Others are the reason for this thread — and hundreds more like it. The fem fatales leave a smiley face at the scene where they drop the unconscious or lifeless bodies of their victims into the cold water of the river (or local lake).”
What I do not understand is why it’s so difficult for some people to believe that roughly five white college aged men per year simply drowned, end of story. The statistics on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website cite 3,582 fatal unintentional drownings during 2005, averaging out to about ten per day. Males are also quoted as being four times more likely than females to die in this manner, and alcohol use is involved in up to half of the fatal drownings of adolescents and adults. It also states that most people over the age of 15 who drown do so in a natural body of water. But the most interesting thing I discovered on this site was that men, regardless of age, race, or education level, consistently reported greater swimming ability than women. So how does that translate into men being four times as likely to drown?
I guess it could be the nationwide serial killer or killers on the loose. But more likely, it probably has to do with something like this. I mean, do you know any white college aged men who don’t think they’re going to live forever?
Which is why I find it amazing that the slavering Men’s Rights Organization whackjob thinks that this is some sort of hushed up feminist conspiracy and the conservative Christian is looking for a way to pin it on a band of wild (probably liberal) hussies. Because frankly, it would be a far more satisfying explanation for these deaths than the age-old one we are left with: bad things can happen when you go stumbling home from the bar alone. And, in an ironic plot twist, not only to women.
As for the smiley faces… that’s probably the only thing I’d be able to think of to put on a wall too if I were ten and someone had just handed me a can of spray paint.
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