Jun 28, 2007 In The News
Wow, this blog is just full of good news lately.
From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:
The nine Fairport High School graduates had a day of relaxation planned: some sunbathing, some swimming, some boating.
With scorching temperatures expected to reach into the 90s Wednesday, a day at a Keuka Lake cottage seemed the perfect opportunity for the nine young women to relax together before they headed their separate ways for college.
But the outing ended in a fiery tragedy Tuesday night when a sport utility vehicle carrying five of the teens slammed head-on into a tractor-trailer in Ontario County, as the other four friends watched in horror from a vehicle following behind.
Anyone getting killed, especially in a car crash, is a sad event; this time is compounded by the number of young women, all close friends, being lost at once. I can’t start to imagine what the survivors in the car behind them must be going through, to have seen the sight unfold in front of them.
Thoughts go out to friends and family.
Clive Thompson writes in this Wired article about how Twitter isn’t the self-centered outlet it’s usually made out to be. In fact, it’s more the opposite:
So why has Twitter been so misunderstood? Because it’s experiential. Scrolling through random Twitter messages can’t explain the appeal. You have to do it â€” and, more important, do it with friends. (Monitoring the lives of total strangers is fun but doesn’t have the same addictive effect.) Critics sneer at Twitter and Dodgeball as hipster narcissism, but the real appeal of Twitter is almost the inverse of narcissism. It’s practically collectivist â€” you’re creating a shared understanding larger than yourself.
This is, unfortunately, something I appear to be missing out on, as not very many of my friends use the service. I’ve attracted a few to at least follow me on the Twitter page, but only a couple have actually signed up for Twitter. I have to concede, it takes time to get into the habit of using it, but you do have to try it, and give it a fair amount of time before abandoning it. After a while, you get into it.
If anyone in my circle of “real” friends signs on, let me know, I’d love to add you to my list.
Jun 27, 2007 In The News
As more details have become known about the horror that took place in an Atlanta suburb this last weekend, the story goes from sadness to shock to extreme confusion.
WWE has has released a timeline of its involvement with Benoit and police authorities through the weekend, including the strange text messages sent from Chris and Nancy Benoit’s cell phones Sunday morning. They also made a statement clearing up some theories and inaccuracies in the mainstream media and the blogosphere about what might have happened.
Not yet knowing the details of the incident, WWE aired on RAW Monday night a retrospective and tribute to Chris’s career. As news came out of what had transpired, it became frighteningly clear that the tributes were out of place. Information on such was removed from the WWE.com website, and chairman Vince McMahon issued an apology for the tribute the next night on ECW on SCI-FI. In addition, out of respect to the Benoit family and the citizens of his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, WWE’s upcoming Canadian tour has been postponed indefinitely.
All told… I don’t know what to say. The part that gets to me the most is motive — what could have driven him to commit such acts? The media points to divorce petitions and restraining orders, but they took place 4 years ago, and were dropped several months later. WWE correctly points out that there’s no grounds yet to make any kind of guess as to his mindset, and toxicology reports won’t come back for several weeks. I’m not sure there’ll ever be any closure to this issue unless some kind of motive can be uncovered, and as authorities have stated that no suicide note was found, it’ll be very difficult to determine.
The legacy of a great wrestling technician has been shattered and sullied, and in one of the most horrifying ways imaginable.
Jun 26, 2007 In The News
WWE.com announced some more curious and somewhat haunting details late last night on the Benoit family apparent murder-suicide:
According to lead investigator Lt. Tommy Pope, of the Fayette County Sheriffâ€™s Department, in Fayetteville, Ga., the deaths of WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, wife Nancy and son Daniel were the result of a double murder-suicide, WWE.com has learned.
Benoit failed to appear both at Saturdayâ€™s live event in Beaumont, Tx., and WWEâ€™s Vengeance: Night of Champions in Houston Sunday night, after informing WWE of a family emergency. Several curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday morning prompted concerned friends to alert Richard Hering, VP of Government Relations for WWE, Inc. Hering, in turn, spoke with Fayette County sheriffs Monday, and requested that they respond to the Benoit residence to check on him and his family.
Authorities representing the Sheriffâ€™s Department initially had a difficult time entering Benoitâ€™s new Fayetteville home Monday afternoon, which had been guarded by two large German Shepherds roaming freely around the property. Once authorities entered the residence, they quickly located the bodies of Benoit, Nancy and Daniel. WWE was notified of the discovery at approximately 4 p.m.
They also have some further information they’ve been asked not to reveal for now:
WWE.com has further information relating to both the investigation and the cause of death, but the Fayette County Sheriffâ€™s Department has requested that WWE.com not release any additional details at this time.
From everything I’ve ever heard about Chris Benoit, none of this seems like him at all. I can’t imagine what could have happened to prompt this tragedy.
This is going to be a long week, and then some.
Jun 25, 2007 In The News
STAMFORD, Conn., June 25, 2007 â€“ World Wrestling Entertainment was informed today by authorities in Fayette County, Ga., that WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and his son were found dead in their home. Authorities are investigating, but no other details are available at this time.
Benoit was scheduled to appear at WWE Vengeance last night, but did not appear due to an undisclosed “family emergency,” making this report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution even harder to fathom:
A well-known professional wrestler and his family were found dead inside their house in Fayette County Monday afternoon.
Authorities confirmed that Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy and their 7-year-old son, Daniel, were found dead at the home on Quarters and Redwine roads in Fayetteville about 4 p.m.
Officials were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.
Whatever tragedy has unfolded, peace and Godspeed to the Benoit family.
UPDATE: I’m not sure which article is more up-to-date, but AP’s article has no mention of suicide:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and son were found dead Monday and police said they were investigating the deaths as a homicide.
Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department said the three were found at their home about 2:30 p.m., but refused to release details.
Pope said results of autopsies on Benoit, his wife Nancy, and 7-year-old son Daniel were expected Tuesday.
UPDATE 2: An updated AP report unveils details we didn’t want to hear:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. – WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and son were found dead Monday and police said they were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.
Detective Bo Turner told television station WAGA that the case was being treated as a murder-suicide, but said that couldnâ€™t be confirmed until evidence was examined by a crime lab.
The station said that investigators believe the 40-year-old Benoit killed his wife, Nancy, and 7-year-old son, Daniel, over the weekend, then himself on Monday. A neighbor called police, and the bodies were found in three rooms.
Jun 20, 2007 In The News
The AP is reporting that the Australian driver of a dragster that crashed into the crowd at a parade last week had previously been convicted of drunk driving.
“Previously,” however, in this case, means back in 2000.
Unless it can be proven that he was drunk at the time of the crash, I don’t see how this can possibly be relevant, except to sensationalize and extend the life of an otherwise short-term story.
Jun 5, 2007 In The News
The biggest story in the Rochester-area news this week has been the extraordinary number of motor vehicle fatalities — 13 in 9 days as of June 5. Such a huge loss of life is never good news, but it hits harder when one of the departed is someone who’s literally meant the difference between life and death to a part of your family.
From Bob Lonsberry:
Three high school pals. Two young men, friends from work. A brand-new college graduate, driving her sister back from the movie store. A dad out on his motorcycle. A 64-year-old motorcyclist run over by a teen-ager. Two moms, whose children were about to wed. A husband and father in a wreck with a fish hatchery truck.
And then there was the kid who saved my daughterâ€™s life.
His name was Brendan Barry.
He and a couple of pals were coming back from a party early Sunday morning, on Chili Avenue, when the whole world came loose and the car ended up tumbling into an unrecognizable mass of twisted and shattered metal.
Brendan was 20.
But I knew him when he was 13.
Jun 4, 2007 War On Terror
Last week, coalition forces detained the District Chief of Police in Hit (pronounced “heat”), Anbar province, Iraq.
Sounds a little sketchy (and, since we’re trying to get the Iraqi police forces up and going on their own, a little counter-intuitive) on the surface, but, of course, there’s always more below that surface:
About a year ago coalition forces selected Hamid to be the District Chief of Police, confirming his status as a true hero to many Americans and Iraqis. Accordingly, recent signs suggesting that Hamid might have begun flying too close to the sun were a hard and grim reality for officers in both governments, as the evidence of his corruption began to accumulate like so much wax melted off strong wings. Hamid had earned his reputation for being ferocious against terrorists, which might suffice to explain the stunning impact when, without warning or notice, LTC Crissman arrested and detained the general Tuesday afternoon.
Michael Yon, having been on the scene, and unwittingly taking part in the operation, has the whole story.
Jun 4, 2007 Blog News
I have a lot of fun posting random photos, videos, links and quotes that I find online, along with cameraphone photos I shoot and IM conversations on my tumblelog, Brain Dump. The thing that irks me a little about it, though, is that there’s no comment system — you don’t get a chance to tell me what you thought about my links and such.
So, for your feedback on my tumblelog, and for just general chatter and havoc (probably more chatter and havoc than feedback), I’ve opened the Digital Brainwaves Forums. Go. Register. Have fun. Play nice. Keep your feet off the sofa, and the blood off the carpet.