The killer has since been identified and is currently on the run from law enforcement agencies around the world.
While the depravity of a single person is of no particular interest to me – people have committed savagely violent and sexual acts in spades over the millenia and today’s instant news services give us a daily feed of the same – this particular story exposed me to a seemingly large internet community that thrives on the viewing of videos just like the one in question.
So-called “gore sites” offer visitors the opportunity to watch videos of murders, horrific accidents and more, all in the name of entertainment. I ended up at one in particular after it was linked to by a Canadian news media website and was presented with the murder video in question; after spending a few minutes deciding whether or not I wanted to watch it, macabre fascination set in and I hit the play button.
After about one minute of skipping through the ten-minute video, I nearly threw up.
While I consider myself a fairly hardened man and having been exposed to a variety of violent scenarios, including death, in my life, the combination of gore and the apparent enjoyment of the killer was simply too much for my innards to handle. While many, even most, of the population would likely call my reaction a completely normal and entirely suitable one, the website itself boasted hundreds of comments, many expressing fascination and enjoyment, proving quickly that the idea of a “normal” reaction is a completely subjective one.
I’m not quick to condemn anyone; I’ve “rubbernecked” with the best of them and I completely understand the urge to view, process and understand even the most horrifying scenes, but I do worry about this apparent violent lust that seems to reside in more among us than we typically recognize or would like to admit.
My point, if one exists, ends there. Exposure to this type of community is new to me and it has, at least, provided me with an excellent jumping-off point for my consideration of the topic; it is also worth pointing out that the website which seems to have first posted the video actually played a hand in identifying the killer as members who recognized him from other online activities exposed his name after seeing the murder video.
UPDATE: On a related note, the CBC has posted a short story in which the owner of the website which seems to have first publicized the video, Best Gore, defends its content. I don’t find many of his arguments particularly compelling but I have a difficult time disagreeing with his notion that the content should be regulated.