One Final Post

I think the group presentations were a great idea because it helped to establish leadership, teamwork, and accountability. But I think it was very hard, or at least in my group, to coordinate the times for the meetings to prepare for the presentation. I dont want to make excuses for these instances, but it is a lot of work to do all of the readings, then have to find time to do background research on a wide umbrella of topics that have to deal with what you are presenting on and then make a wiki page. I think there needs to be a system where somehow the members need to sign an agreement that they will meet at a place and time and have to work done so it is a productive meeting and then they can grade each other on how they believe they and the members worked together and participated in the presentation effort. I think the videos were a great idea because they were really fun to make and we got to be creative and work as a group which i think is an important skill to conquer because as my teacher from high school repeatedly told us that to be successful you need to be able to work with other people. And teamwork is something that i feel is not instilled in us enough in school, whether grade school or college, so I think the presentations and videos allow us to get introduced to working with other people, especially when it is a huge part of our grade. In the end I think it was a great class, that was really fun and laid back, but it was all discussion led instead of note taking which I loved. Finally, even though most of the readings were a real pain in the ass and took forever to read and were really hard to read, but because of them I have become a better reader and I can sit down now and read for long periods at a time, so I would not change that at all.

Monster

I think it is a really cool book because you are getting the personal view of what it appears to be one of the most hardcore gangstas there is. And it is probably very rare for any other gangster to write a memoir about his experiences. On the flip side I think this book is also very good because it really shows how screwed up our cities are and how these particular types of people drain our society. I wish when Monster was shot 6 times in the parking lot alley that he never made it to the hospital alive. It is a shame that the people of Los Angelas need to waste their hard earned tax dollars on such a waste of life like Monster. He was in the hospital for weeks and its not right to the good people to have to pay for this thug who had to go to the hospital later for being shot again while trying to steal a van from a man. Plus his type also takes a burden on the justice system because they run out of room for them in jail, create a backup with court dates, waste money on public defenders and cost a ton to be locked up in jail. And they go through the system again and again and again. I feel like the money he made on this book should go back to the people of L.A. for having to pay for this thug almost his entire life. Plus he had a kid when he was 16 and up to this point has never saw her and how does the baby get money to live? Oh, thats right, you and me. Another thing i cant stand is how he compares himself and the gangs to soldiers in a war. I find that to be a disgrace. These people are not soldiers at all, but the lowest form of life that society has to offer, while Soldiers and Marines are heroes who should be looked up to. His people are not fighting for a purpose or for something bigger than themselves, but instead they are only doing this for personal gain, while a soldier fights for his country and the people he loves. I know im all over the place, but i think this is a cool book to read, but i wish Monster never had the chance to write it.

Goodfellas

I thought that this was a great movie and im surprised it took me this long to watch it. I did learn a lot about the Mafia and they are brutal. I thought it was interesting how they interacted with each other. Meaning at one moment they are like one big huge happy family, and the next theyre digging a hole for someone in their crew who they just killed. I think this idea of organized crime is really different from most of the other crimes we have looked at. Because they are organized and have many people on the same team as them, it makes it possible for the crew to do a lot of damage and make hits on a large scale. I also think this is the first time where money is really the huge motive for these crimes and is why the mob is around. And according to the movie it looks like they have tons of cash to throw around.

Tradgedy

I call this a tragedy not because I feel sorry for Ted Bundy, but the tragedy was what a waste of life he was. He could have done almost anything and he was absolutely brilliant. Look how he did during his trial trying to represent himself when he didnt even go to law school for that long of a time. He had everything he needed to be successful in life, but he absolutely blew when something in his head did a complete flip and thats what the tragedy is. Ann Rule started to really get on my nerves. I tried to defend her and all of her “I”s before but I cant anymore. The whole beginning part of the book she kept on believing Ted was innocent and then after he was convicted of murder, she said she knew he was guilty all along. A little bit of hind sight bias? On the other hand, I did like how at the end of the book she listed all of the names of the victims who were or are supposed to have been murdered by Ted. And next to the victims name, she added alive, dead, or gone and I found that extremely powerful. I feel bad for the families in the other states where Ted is suspected to have killed because they may know that their child is dead, but the man was never convicted for it and I guess theoretically, the case is still open today?

Teddy

I think Ann Rule did a fantastic job writing the first half of the book. I really liked how she transitioned Ted. She goes from a person who saved lives to a person who dumped his girlfriend and then right into the kidnapping/murder and i really liked that. She also did a great job at humanizing the detectives by describing how the stress of the case took a toll on the officers. One goes grey and another has a heart attack. Also, I think she did a very good job at letting us know how the detectives felt. It was tiring to read when she would talk about three murders and then how the cops had nothing and do it again and again. I found it draining but I never wanted to put the book down. Its crazy how Ann Rule had a relationship with the killer and they ended up writing many letters together. So far, it doesnt look like the state has a lot of physical evidence of Bundy, only a lot of circumstantial which will never hold in court.

The Interview

I thought the interview that Capote did with Bobby Beausoleil was very interesting. I like how Bobby really wanted to see gas chamber, but never had the opportunity because he was taken off of the row. But Capote was able to describe it too him and than he mentioned the third room which nobody knows about thats behind the holding cell. It was the most haunting room that hes ever been in where they keep all of the stuff that the executed during their last night. It was creepy when he says… Unfinished crossword puzzles. Unfinished letters. The creepy thing is you know that they are never going to be finished because something got in the way that finished them. I also find it cool that Capote knew Sirhan, Lee Harvey Oswald, RFK, and JFK. The beginning of the interview reminded me of In Cold Blood because he opens it up like a movie. Starting with “scene” then describes the sell in which Bobby is in.

Manson

First I just want to say that that is probably one of the worse movies I have ever seen. I am not the best at picking up bad acting, in fact Im just as bad at doing that as these actors are at doing their jobs! I can act better than that. On the other side watching the movie I did learn a lot about the case, because up until this point I really knew nothing about Manson at all. I could not stand the family. They were some of the most annoying people I have ever seen, and the way they represent themselves, especially in the courtroom is disgraceful. Also for a bunch of hippies, why are they all packing heat on the ranch? After the trial, they should have taken the guilty party outback and butchered them just like they did to those two poor families and that way they would have been dead before the State Supreme Court abolished the death penalty.

The Ending

This was one of the best books i have ever read and I got it done in record time for me. I didnt want to put it down. The style in which it was written is absolutely incredible. The entire time reading it I felt like i was first part of the detective team tracking the thugs down and then interrogating them. Then I felt like I was a lawyer in the trial going through the jurors, the witnesses, and all the paper work. Finally when they were in the row i found it extremely cool getting the perspective of what its like being on death row and what goes through their minds. I guess the police got lucky for Floyd Wells hearing about the murders on the radio and calling it in because what a break that was. The goons would probably have never been caught. One more thing is with Lowell Andrews, the college student who murdered his family. That reminded me of back when I was in middle school a kid in high school murdered his family. His mother, father and two younger brothers in cold blood. That was called the Browning Murder. http://murderpedia.org/male.B/b/browning-nicholas.htm

A Family Down

Capote uses a very different writing style than what I am used to reading. He kind of using vantage points where he doesnt tell the story straight through in one perspective but he shows you what is going on from all the different characters viewpoints including the members of the Clutter family and the killers. I also really like how detailed Capote is with everything he writes. He did a fantastic job describing the family members, especially Herb. But also the details he gave us on the killers with their backgrounds and their tattoos is pretty amazing.