Something Sarah Koenig said in her very first Serial (Season 1: Episode 1 — The Alibi) podcast prompted this post. As we all know, Sarah has a certain understated but distinctive style. She’s poetic at times and her cadence and timing are mesmerizing and alluring until you snap out of it and say to her even though she can’t hear you, “oh no you don’t and won’t.” Considering that stylistic description, per this link to the aforementioned Serial podcast, tune to the 19:40 mark and listen. I’ll quote Sarah below for those who are too lazy, but you really should hear it with her distinctive cadence and intonation.
…and the second thing you can’t miss about Adnan is that he has giant brown eyes like a dairy cow. That’s what prompts my most idiotic lines of inquiry. Could someone who looks like that really strangle his girlfriend? Idiotic, I know….
“He has giant brown eyes like a dairy cow.” That is hilarious! What an utterly charming and goofy description. In this same episode she also flatteringly describes Rabia Chaudry’s physical characteristics. If only she could do the same for Ritz, MacGillivary, Urick and Gutierrez. I wish she would have — I’m sure it would have been priceless.
Of course, Koenig is being self-effacing with this comment and scolding herself for judging someone based on their appearance. The problem is, most people don’t self-efface as SK has done. Many people think they can spot a killer a mile away and they say things like “he’s got the eyes of a killer” as if all killers have special eyes that are bright, gleaming neon signs that say “hey, look everyone, I’m a killer!!” Take a look at this guy and tell me he’s not a killer?
Except Charlie’s not a killer. Most people think he is, but he’s not. He never killed anyone. Don’t get me wrong — he needs to stay behind bars, but he didn’t kill anyone. And yet those eyes surely are the eyes of a killer, right? They’re certainly not the “giant brown eyes of a dairy cow,” that’s for sure.
I’m glad SK corrected & scolded the error of her ways. Chances are, with the exception of only a very few, the only people who know the eyes of a killer are those who have been murdered. Hae, tragically, knew the eyes of a killer just prior to her horrible murder. And I believe those eyes reflected the way this woman describes the transformation of the cretin who raped her and almost murdered her — the same sadist who may have murdered Hae since he had a penchant for strangulation (and ripping off ears) and Leakin Park where Hae’s body was found. His name was/is William Vincent Brown and he’s serving his life sentence in the same prison that houses Adnan. Here’s a link to the article describing what William did to this poor woman — and those other poor women. Where Sarah Koenig’s characterizations of people are subtle and nuanced, this woman’s characterization is terrifyingly brazen and chilling. No one should ever have to exit this world so horrifically. And if they do, they deserve justice (not the injustice delivered by Ritz, MacGillivary & Urick) posthumously. This is what makes what those scumbag detectives and prosecutor did in framing Adnan so inexcusable and unforgivable. Not only was it an injustice to Adnan and his family and friends, but also to Hae and her family and friends. And if William Vincent Brown did kill Hae, it’s a known fact he murdered at least several women in a similar manner over the years after Hae’s death because he was never caught until 2010.
Victim confronts murderer, rapist: ‘I’m not scared of you’
Gwynn Oak man sentenced to 50 years in prison for two murders, rapes
March 18, 2011|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun
When it was time for the 38-year-old woman to address the court about the man convicted of raping her and leaving her for dead, she at first struggled to find the words. She fumbled with her hands and scratched her head.
“I can’t do nothing but think about him,” she slowly told Judge Timothy J. Doory. “I was in therapy, and they said when a person is an abuser, once upon a time maybe they was abused. But he did that.”
Her voice rising, she turned to William Vincent Brown, the man convicted in her attack and two others that left a 15-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman dead.
“That day you were taking me to Leakin Park, I saw something. It was like the devil was jumping in and out of your body, like you were fighting something.”
She moved closer to him.
“You tried to take them,” she said, referring to the ears he nearly severed from her head. “But God gave them back.
“I just want you to know, I’m not afraid of you. I’m not scared of you. I’m not even angry at you no more. I’m just praying for you.”
Her emotional words brought to a close a period of terror in which police and prosecutors say Brown, 44, targeted vulnerable women, two of whom were sex workers, in Northwest Baltimore. Police say the Gwynn Oak man confessed to one of the crimes and was linked through DNA evidence to all three.
Brown, a father of two, murdered 15-year-old Antania Mills, whose body was found along a roadside with a shirt wrapped around her neck; fatally beat Emma O’Hearn, whose comatose body was found by two students on the grounds of Calverton Middle School; and attacked and maimed the woman who survived.
Convicted by a jury in the attempted murder, Brown entered an Alford plea this week in the murder cases, acknowledging that the state had enough evidence to convict him. Doory sentenced him to life in prison with all but 50 years suspended.
“This is a horrible and tragic case,” Doory said in handing down the sentence. “Lives have been destroyed; lives have been forfeited.”
Brown was a run-of-the-mill drug dealer who had been given repeated chances to turn his life around in Howard County, where he was punished with suspended prison sentences and probation. The investigations into the sex assaults initially stumbled, with the surviving victim identifying a different suspect. Prosecutors also had previously charged two other men in Mills’ death, both of whom were acquitted.
The crimes for which Brown was charged occurred over a period of 11 months beginning in 2003. He was arrested in 2008 amid a string of other attacks on prostitutes and women, though he has not been linked to those cases, which either remain open or resulted in the arrests of other men.
The surviving victim, whom The Baltimore Sun is not identifying because she is the victim of a sex crime, said she flagged down Brown’s Nissan 300ZX for a ride on April 13, 2003, and was taken to Leakin Park, where he choked her, raped her and nearly severed her ears from her head.
After numerous surgeries, her ears were reattached. “God gave it all back, and I can hear,” the woman said Friday. “I can hear today!”
Prosecutors sought a sentence of life with all but 60 years suspended. Prosecutor Diana Smith and Doory said Brown has charges pending in Howard County and Pennsylvania, where Smith said Brown had been convicted in absentia for assault and false imprisonment of a Philadelphia woman in 1999.
Sidney Ford, the executive director of You Are Never Alone, a group that helps women involved in prostitution and sex trafficking, said she had “mixed emotions” about the sentence. Crimes against sex workers rarely get this far she said.
“At the same time … I think 50 years with the possibility of parole in 25 years is an extraordinarily generous sentence,” Ford said.
She said in discussions with prostitutes, others described patterns of injury and approach to the experiences of the surviving victim. “I have to think this same individual may be responsible for many more crimes,” she said.
In a statement, Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said Brown “believed that these women were expendable and that we wouldn’t pursue their killer with vigor because of their backgrounds. He was wrong on both counts. Nobody in our city is invisible, second class, or beneath our concern.”
Brown’s mother spoke on his behalf, saying she was praying for the victims but that her son had “always been a respectful, decent person.”
“I know it’s coming from his mother, but he is not the monster people have put him out to be,” she said.
Brown’s attorney, Robert Cohen, told Doory that there were “legitimate appellate issues” in the case.
Doory appeared to take exception to that claim. “This case is over and done with, and it will never come back,” he said.
Brown will be eligible for parole after 25 years, Doory said. “That’s just parole eligibility. He will present a very bleak picture for the parole board to consider,” he said. “The law now recognizes you as a killer and rapist. You now go to jail to deal with that.”
To give appropriate attribute for that linked article, I must divulge that I was directed to it while reading a thread on Reddit here (sorry, I can’t find the thread now — that’s Reddit for you — a big Black Hole) discussing a potential nexus between Jay Wilds and Roy Sharonnie Davis. I don’t visit Reddit often and I certainly don’t post there. There is great research material to be found there, but unless I’m directed to it by a Google search or by someone providing a link, the site is too cumbersome and unwieldy to navigate.
What this woman described about this heinous killer’s transformation is what I believe is a dissociative state. The person who is the killer, as reflected in his eyes and body language, goes somewhere and another something takes his place for the killing. I believe it’s a total psychical movement from the cerebrum to the brain stem basically shutting down any higher thinking, or what higher thinking may have been present, and the person who is the killer becomes a primal predator going in for the kill — an unforgettable horror for anyone who might survive as attested to by this courageous woman.
There’s one other person I forgot who has the eyes of a killer.