Thursday, March 02, 2006

Killers I have known (the Kitty commemorative post)

I regret to say that Katherine, my oft-mentioned favorite Englishwoman, is dead.

I now hasten to add, with no regret whatsoever, that the above is happily false. The celebrated Muse of Ruddy Ruddy is very much alive, but merely wanted me to make a false report of her demise, being well aware of my love of starting unfounded rumours and having reproached me earlier for doing so when I mentioned that a guy who used to work at my office is now in jail awaiting trial for the beating death of his girlfriend after having been discovered by police wandering naked in the streets nearby.

I wouldn't make that kind of thing up. It's true. And oddly, this would make the second murderer whom I've known personally.

Being that Kitty's response to the previous statement was "?! The mind boggles", it might warrant an explanation. And being that she was delighted enough by the one I gave her to proclaim me the should-be Garrison Keillor of Canada (which I'm still not sure is a compliment, but it's going into my sidebar anyway), permit me to reproduce the story of the first murderer here:
Henry Danninger looked like a real greasy headbanger when he arrived in town with his hair down to his waist. But when you got to know him, he was intelligent and well-spoken. Eventually, he got a haircut and started dressing in preppy shirts. That Henry really cleaned himself up, I thought.

I was wrong, I discovered when I read the newspaper one Christmas a few years later. What had happened is that Henry, now living in Ottawa, had had a beef with a housemate who had allegedly stolen his drugs. Henry armed himself with a buck knife and went to a local bar to settle the score. A fight broke out, and a kid named Andrew Moffitt tried to intercede to break it up. Henry wheeled around and stabbed him in the heart, killing him pretty much instantly.

Ironically, both Andrew and Henry went to our high school in Brockville, although it's doubtful they knew each other because Andrew was much younger, only to meet under fatal circumstances in another city. Also ironically, Andrew had had a congenital heart defect that had recently been corrected through surgery, and that Henry really uncorrected by also putting him under the knife.

Anyhow, Henry fled, but called police from a nearby gas station shortly later to turn himself in. He got five years in prison for manslaughter.

Last year I was surprised to pick up the Toronto Sun at the laundromat and flip through it to find a photo of Henry smoking a cigarette outside court, looking into the camera with the sort of surprised scowl you wear when someone takes a photo of you smoking a cigarette outside court.

The article, which referred to him as a drug dealer and "common street punk" as the Sun is wont to do, said he'd been breaking the terms of his parole by sneaking out after curfew to dump buckets of urine and feces all over his neighbor's car for no particular reason. I'm sure there's much more to that story, but I don't know it.


Blogger The Fed Ex of Funk said...

Uh, so he wasn't actually a murderer. Just a manslaughtererer. While I've known no past murderers, I once lived for 10 weeks in a dorm room with a future murderer. Not good times. And the man had an Austin Powers penis pump for no good reason. He killed his Dad a few years later.

3/02/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Riley said...

Ooh . . . I want in on this one, too.

Back in high school, I co-hosted a pep assembly with someone who less than a year later commited both patri- and matricide.

Apparently she was the first female in American history to be convicted of killing both biological parents (though I've never had that fact confirmed).

3/02/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Holy crap! You went to school with Lizzie Borden!

(I know, I know. Lizzie Borden was acquitted.)

Janet told me today that her first boyfriend (grade 4) is serving a life sentence for the murder of Brampton bank teller Nancy Kidd in the most notorious bank robbery in recent Canadian history.

3/02/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Kendal said...

Here in Australia, people don't kill people. Sharks or snakes or spiders kill people.

I did go to high school with an arsonist, though. How he got into an anglican high school after burning down his public high school is beyond me.

Actually, there was a girl a few years older than me who went to my school and stabbed a friend of hers who'd stolen her boyfriend. She said she didn't mean to take a knife to her friend's house and put it through her chest thirty-plus times, but for some reason no-one believed that.

3/03/2006 03:01:00 AM  

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