OUR VIEW: A never-ending tragedy

Published on Monday, 20 August 2018 19:30
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It’s happened again. Another high profile criminal case and then, someone writes a book. Perhaps the first one to the printer was Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” which was published in 1966 as a “non-fiction novel.”

Then it was “Helter Skelter,” about the Charles Manson murders written by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry in 1974.

Jumping ahead a few years, the country became captivated by the O.J. Simpson case.

Author, sometime CNN commentator and attorney Jeffrey Toobin, wrote “The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson,” in 1997.

Then there are the books that hit close to home in central Connecticut. Specifically, a book based on conversations with convicted New Britain serial killer William Devin Howell titled, “His Garden: Conversations With A Serial Killer,” by Anne K. Howard.

To add to the list of true crime-based tomes is attorney Jose Baez’s new book on Bristol native and former football star Aaron Hernandez. The book, “Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez” which was released today, comes on the heels of the James Patterson non-fiction book about Hernandez titled “All-American Murder.”

There is also word that Hernandez’s brother plans to release his own book soon.

While each of the published books falls within the same genre, individually the authors approached their subjects differently.

But what makes them attractive to readers is the potential promise of in-depth, never-before revealed information.

We are, after all, becoming a society of lookie-lous. We want to witness the scandal, the crime scene or the car crash. Our fascination with someone else’s tragedy is fed by cable TV, gossip rags and the Internet. We are becoming desensitized to violence and suffering.

The Baez book includes suicide notes allegedly written by Hernandez before he took his own life in prison. Whether or not they shed new light on his personal demons is open to interpretation.

There is little doubt that the Hernandez story is a tragedy. His amazing rise as an athlete and his dramatic fall after his murder conviction are sadly noteworthy. Sadder still, is that some of the people who appeared to be closest to Hernandez in life are also the ones who are now publicly benefitting from his demise, illustrating that for some people, death is not always a peaceful end.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Monday, 20 August 2018 19:30. Updated: Monday, 20 August 2018 19:32.