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Monday, May 11, 2009

Straight from Central Casting

Sometimes, when I see photos of criminals, I'm surprised by how good-looking they are. (This happens more frequently with men, as good-looking women rarely need to turn to crime.) Sociopaths, those lowest forms of humanity, often look like the boy -- or girl -- next door. Their outward appearance rarely reflects their inner monstrousness.

But every now and then, nature cooperates beyond our wildest expectations.

The couple pictured above, Gale and Sheila Muhs of Westlake, Texas, were arrested two days ago for having leveled shotgun blasts at a family which was doing some off-road ATVing on public property. The Muhs evidently mistakenly thought that the ATVers were on their property. Sheila Muhs took aim with a 12 gauge shotgun, and handed the gun to husband Gale, who took a turn. Each then took a subsequent turn. They killed the family's 7 year old boy and wounded his 5 year old sister. The father was also wounded, and a 30 year old friend of the family is in serious condition.

Hollywood often casts people who look like this (these two look like extras from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) to play the part of Southern hicks who terrorize the tourists who happen to pass through their communities. This is a common horror movie theme. When I see such movies -- and actors -- I usually attribute them to the prejudices of Hollywood directors and producers (who themselves are usually at least as prejudiced, albeit in a different direction, as the people whom they portray as bigots). I always think, that's not my experience of Southerners. I've found Southerners mostly friendly and hospitable. And often, quite good-looking.

I may now have to reconsider.

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