A true crime blogger has made the news (and it's not a newspaper editorial denigrating crime blogging)! Blogger Steve Huff made an appearance over the weekend on Fox TV's "At Large" program. Huff, who closely follows news on the capture of suspected serial killers (and who is a busy man these days), posited on his blog in mid-July a possible connection between suspected serial killer Joseph Duncan and a cold case in California, the kidnapping and murder of a child named Anthony Martinez. His hypothesis panned out: Duncan has been re-fingerprinted and linked to Martinez's death via a partial thumbprint found at the scene.
Being a political and social moderate who eschews shrill and disrespectful voices on both sides of the great divide, I'd never before tuned in to Fox News. But I had to make an exception when Fox interviewed Steve Huff Saturday night. I was impressed. The lead-in piece, a summary of the Duncan case narrated by Geraldo Rivera, was quite well written and not the sensationalism I expected. The questions put to Steve Huff were good ones, and it was a long interview by cable news standards. Huff showed mastery of the facts, but perhaps most interesting was his remark that when he heard Joseph Duncan had a computer science degree, and figuring that he was a "narcissistic psychopath," Huff concluded that Duncan probably had a blog and probably used his own name on it. Right on both counts.
I don't know what you call it when a computer whiz like Huff deputizes himself, finds obscure websites authored by suspected murderers, and parses them for clues to crimes, but Huff has done it more than once, and the material he uncovers is impressive no matter what the method is called. He elevates all bloggers and shows what can be done with this new medium.
While I'm at it, I should mention a couple of other blogs that are taking a long, hard look at Duncan. One is JetDuncan.com, an anonymous website begun on July 4 that also serves as a resource for cyber-sleuths and citizens to offer tips and thoughts. It has a detailed timeline and links to court documents and websites Duncan contributed to or created. Another is jetd63.blogspot.com, an anonymous blog that has closely followed Duncan developments.
On the subject of crime blogging in general, I cannot help but mention the other crime bloggers out there, The Bookhouse Boy and Trench; the latter closely follows "I don't like mondays"/Columbine-style school violence and weird crime news in general, and has distilled his "News of Doom" to its own site.
There are also some new members of our tiny fraternity. Another irreverent look at crime headlines, a group blog called Blottered, which dubs itself a "blogging community college," came to my attention after the folks there liked my "Nutty Professor" story and referred to me as a "classy auburn-locked broad" (umm... thanks?). It clearly appears to be aimed at a college audience; as I was reading it, I was reminded of recent remarks made by Tom Wolfe ("I Am Charlotte Simmons"), who observed that today's college age youth (Generation--what letter are we up to? Z?) employ the "f" word in ways their elders never imagined, as noun, verb, adjective, adverb, interjection, and everything in between. Well, crime blogging might lend itself, I suppose. (Should we dub them Generation F?) A warning to anyone over thirty: the puzzling references to current pop culture will leave you feeling downright arthritic.