So I finally started listening to @yourewrongabout's series on the DC snipers and the first episode is a *masterpiece* of structure. (Thread)
I hadn't gotten around to listening to the DC snipers episodes because it was a series, and I didn't really remember anything about the DC snipers beyond that they'd shot a bunch of people in DC.
The episode starts off by asking why, when the DC snipers:

A) killed a lot of people
B) left behind Tarot cards and engaged in the sort of cryptic, active back-and-forth with police that serial killer stories LOVE
C) were really damn good at being unpredictable...
...why haven't a million books been written about them? Why isn't there a TV show? Why haven't they inspired a bunch of crime fiction?

Like, they did the "brilliant and malevolent serial killer" thing par excellence?
Why isn't the whole true crime industry ALL OVER THEM?

And the easy answer to go to there is that it's because they were Black, and don't fit the mold of the White Male Genius serial killer.
That's probably a big part of it. Another big part of it is probably that the case was presented as terrorism rather than serial killing.

The easy answer to go to there is that John Allen Muhammad was Muslim, so again, he fits our pop culture narrative better as a terrorist.
So the podcast spends some time exploring this, and honestly, that issue by itself is FASCINATING and would have been a must-listen all by itself.
But then they pivot and spend most of the rest of the episode talking about John Allen Muhammad from the perspective of his wife, Mildred, based on her memoir.
And that seems like a strange pivot at first. What follows is a slow, increasingly horrifying ramp-up of domestic abuse. And, in some ways, the worst kind, because it's not physical so she doesn't fit the mold of a "battered woman" and no one believes her.
And at this point in the podcast, you're probably thinking, like me, that the point of focusing on the slow, creeping horror of how he treated his wife is supposed to primarily serve as foreshadowing for him being a serial killer.
Two side notes:

1) Mildred Mohammad is possibly the most empathetic person who's ever lived. When she finds out he was cheating on her, her first instinct is to put herself in the shoes of the Other Woman, and to have compassion for her.
(This leads to that thing you always WANT women who've both been deceived by a cheating man to do, but almost never happens in real life: they team up.)
When John tells her he wants a divorce, her primary concern is making sure he'll be okay without her.

And when she ends up in a women's shelter, with women who don't believe her because she hasn't suffered the "right" kind of abuse...
...her response is to become an advocate for them.

As Sarah and Mike note in the podcast, if humans were sensible, we'd build statues to people like Mildred Mohammad, not generals.
Side Note 2) You're Wrong About consistently makes me feel compassion for everyone involved in whatever they're talking about. It's one of Sarah and Mike's great gifts.

John Allen Mohammad is the exception to that.
I was primed to feel sympathy for him because I was sure that, look, he's Black and Muslim, he probably experienced enough prejudice that he just *cracked.*
Mildred's compassion and empathy for him in her memoir notwithstanding, after learning how he treated her, I wanted him dead.
And this leads into why the structure was so brilliant:

The twist, in the last 10 minutes of a very long episode, is that this is a domestic abuse case.
He appears to have been killing random people to disguise that he was trying to kill Mildred (and people who helped her get away from him, like their accountant). His first words when he was arrested were "It's Mildred's fault."
And it's astonishing to me how much of the reporting on this case treats his domestic abuse as simply incidental to, or foreshadowing of, his killing spree when it was actually the *reason for it.*
(Oh, also: the reason that this got tried as terrorism, a framing which is probably a factor in why it's not talked about as serial killing, is because that way they could get the death penalty.)
But yeah, well done, You're Wrong About. That was a perfect hook at the beginning, and a gut-punch of a twist at the end. I'm eagerly awaiting having time to listen to the rest of the series.
Anyway, profoundly worth your time.

ALL the domestic abuse content warnings, obvi.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jessica Price

Jessica Price Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Delafina777

22 Nov
my parents have been pretty responsible about COVID for Boomers living in what was a red state before this election, but my sister tracks their phones just to be safe because a lot of their friends aren't taking it seriously and I really have to admire her commitment
and I know if I were either her or my parents I'd be exhausted (her from trying to make sure they stay safe, because they have a hard time saying no to their friends) and them from basically being spied on

but from half a continent away it's hilarious
like, understand, my sister is in a different city from them

so, SCENE: my mom sitting in the car at the Starbucks drivethru
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
I actually agree that he was a competent fascist. My fear is that having fired up the extremists, he’ll make way for a Reagan-esque figure, who will do all the same stuff but sound Nice And Polite enough to win over moderates, who’ll denounce the Proud Boys without doing anything
And no, that sort of figure might not have the same pull over Trumpists that Trump did, but they’ve already come into being. They don’t need someone to empower or encourage them from the White House any more: they just need someone who won’t try to stop them.
And again: the old guard Republican Party leadership’s issue with Trump wasn’t that he was too fascist for them—they want all the same things. It was his lack of loyalty to them and his saying the quiet parts out loud.
Read 15 tweets
6 Nov
Yup. Time to review why you can't let fascists have even an inch, why we have to make it ACTUALLY socially unacceptable to be a Nazi.…
Beware "those who see Nazis as perfect foils for their ideological posturing rather than very real genocidal extremists with a long and bloody track record," because they're going to wring their hands at the idea of shunning these people.
Fascism's not one political ideology among many. It is "specifically engineered to attack the weaknesses of democracy and use them to bring down the entire system, arrogating a right to free speech for itself just long enough to take power and wrench it away from everyone else."
Read 5 tweets
6 Nov
v. sick of accelerationists who shriek "jUsT vOTe" like the only 2 possible positions are

-believing that voting will magically fix everything
-not voting

like, we can vote in people who'll do < 90 terrible things/day so we can focus on fixing stuff you can't fix by voting
and maybe it ends up not mattering and we have a civil war anyway but ffs you TRY MULTIPLE THINGS ON MULTIPLE DIFFERENT FRONTS
like I don't actually think most of the Democrats being elected are actually going to FIX anything

I think they're going to give us some fucking breathing room and maybe a few days a year we can worry about Nazis only a normal amount
Read 4 tweets
5 Nov
for those who were super invested in whether I made bad financial decisions on election night:

instead I paid $25 for a week of access and am reading online and saving entries I might want to cite in the future
that $25 also got me access to Brill's dictionary of demons and deities so I'm having fun

to think that in the Before Times I spent that much going to a movie that only entertained me for 2 hours
I'm going to put a bunch of these articles on my Kindle, draw myself a nice bath and read
Read 4 tweets
5 Nov
did you know that

A) not having fascists in your inner circle makes you undemocratic

B) telling fascists that no, we're not going to agree that they can have a little genocide, as a treat, gave us Trump?
like, weird, *I* thought it was the constant treatment of fascism as a legitimate point of view and giving fascists time on the news and doing fawning profiles of them and otherwise normalizing their participation in society that gave us Trumpism
like this both-sides-ism is coming from someone who claims to be a civil rights attorney

THAT's fucking terrifying
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!