Fascinated With The Macabre

Drew Peterson, HLNTV.com

He's  baaack!  The Drew Peterson trail is about to begin.

 I don't know why, but I am fascinated by the macabre, forensics- why people do what they do - what causes the compulsive behavior?  What circuitry enables them to carry out atrocious acts of violence?

I had just finished watching a documentary on the infamous Ted Bundy, when I learned that Drew Peterson is now up for trial.  Jury selection has begun.  As with with most serial killers, I am fascinated.

One can feel he is full of himself, his bizarre behavior puts him right up there with Bundy, Dahmer and all the other infamous butchers.  Charming, mesmerizing, sharing the belief that they are above the law.  

Many are geniuses, but choose to exercise their genius in perverse ways.

It is part of the serial killer personality, and they do it so well.  I can't understand how they can hide the dark side so effectively.  The charm, mixed in with the psychosis- very strange indeed. 

As reported by WGNtv.com, on July 31st;  Petersen had written a smitten 26 year-old woman, in  an attempt to weave another romantic web for himself.  Apparently, the woman stopped communication with him abruptly.  Patch Newspapers reports that Drew professed:

 "I have always spoiled all of my partners, and was let down by all of them." 

 Petersen went on to tell the woman she had nothing to fear, that he was all about love and protection.  Drew Peterson's Love Letters To 26 Year Old Woman Released.

Believe it or not, I can understand women's fascination with him.  

No, I wouldn't write him, and certainly wouldn't want to share my bed with him.  Make no mistake- there are a lot of women that would.  These women crave attention, for whatever reason.  They have to understand they are playing with fire, but choose to carry on anyway.  

Sadly, that is what may have happened to his spouses.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, Peterson, 58, was a former Bolingbrook, Illinois police Sargent.  He is charged with first degree murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.  His fourth wife, Stacy, mysteriously disappeared in 2oo7.  

The serial killer dysfunctional personality is multi-dimensional.  Obsessive, narcissistic and  demented -they can compartmentalize the most heinous acts.  It blows me away that many have regular jobs and families. They share disrupted childhoods, peppered with abuse and isolation.  Many begin abusing animals, and the behavior escalates. The Personality Profile of the Serial Killer   

Critics of the Drew Peterson case maintain the case is purely circumstantial, as there has been no DNA evidence to support Peterson murdering Savio.  

Peterson's then neighbor,  Mary Pontarelli,  discovered Kathleen Savio's body in a bathroom tub in the couples home - on March 1, 2004.  According to Pontarelli, Savio had confided that she believed Peterson was going to kill her.

We have the greatest justice system in the world.  Because of that, we give everyone an opportunity to a fair trial.  I wouldn't want it any other way.

I think to myself;  here we go again.  The mass media attention-  including the additional expenses to taxpayers for the anticipated 4 week trial. 

 If I think of the victim, it makes it easier to understand why we have to have a trial for these depraved people.

I'm not alone when I say I just can't get enough.  That does not change my mind about wanted to see Drew Peterson locked up with the key thrown away.

The macabre is fascinating for sure.  This trial will be a case study.

Made In America No More


No wonder our economy is suffering! Yesterday, I began a quest to look for gym shoes.  I am a gym rat and go to the gym daily.  I don't like shopping for gym clothes or shoes - but after 4 years, there is no tread left on my Reebok's.

You'd think it would be a no brainer.

Not.  Gym shoes are expensive, so I thought the best place to look would be on line.  I saw scores of shoes I liked.  However, before I took the plunge and placed my order, I wanted to shop size.  One of the stores I shopped was Famous Footwear.  I explained to the clerk that I wanted a cross-training shoe.  She navigated to the side of the store where I could find one in every color.  I asked about quality and the "best" shoe for the money- at that point we began discussing where they are produced.

I was surprised to learn that everything was made in Asia.  Nike, in Vietnam, Asics, Reebok, the list went on and on.  I did note, however, that New Balance Made In America- Yeah Right almost got it right, but then outsourced 75% of its productions to money.cnn.com China and Vietnam.  I did research one visionary; Lasco; How to Make it In America.  Here is a man that means business.  Despite the high cost of producing in the United States, he refuses to give up.  This article addresses every reason why most of our production is overseas.

I never really gave this any thought, but it occurred to me if an industry like this produces everything in Asia, what about all the other products sold in America?

Here's where it gets really scary.

In researching production, I came across something you have just got to read:

Check out this website to get Robert Barrows poem on It Used to Be Made In America.

His feelings about sum up the situation.

It comes as no surprise that most of our technical products (our computer, laptops, I PODS, etc.) are also produced outside of the U.S. Today's start tech products produced outside of the US: Should we be concerned?

You're dog-gone right we should be concerned.  For years, I never paid attention the mass production of clothing, goods, services outsourced by American businesses.

Shame on me.

According to www.bls.gov, The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us the national rate of unemployment for June, 2012, was 8.2%. I wonder if this takes into account the number of people who have just stopped looking for work.  I suspect those numbers would increase quite a bit.

In my opinion, we should have a government mandate (at least at this point in time) that everything be manufactured in this country.  Of course, if there is a medical need for product, goods or services, that would be exempt.  Initially, this may prove disastrous for small businesses, but eventually, it will help put Americans back to work.

We all remember the sweat-shops that used children to work round-the-clock to produce our clothing.  Besides being a disgrace, I never looked at how that financially impacted our production state side.
I suppose it was easier to sweep under the rug in a good economy.  We can't do this anymore.

So the next time I go out on my shopping jaunts, I will consciously begin to look for where the goods are manufactured.  If enough of us boycott goods and services produced outside of the States; I hope we can start to turn around our economy.

So where am I going to find my gym shoes?

Colorado's Fall From Grace

Century Theaters- Aurora Colorado- AP photo

What's happening to Colorado?  When the pope was here in the 1990's his comment was "Colorado is God's Country..."  Lately, it is looking like it is the devil's domain.

We just got through horrific fires wrapping around northern Colorado.  Then, we dealt with Columbine massacre, JonBenet Ramsey tragedy, the dubious syringe-happy oral surgeon- and now, another massacre at the Aurora suburb's Century theater. 12 Dead in Colorado Shooting

My children grew up going to those theaters.  I had nothing but fond memories of living in Aurora when I first moved here in 1991, from Miami Beach, Florida.  I thought of Colorado as Shangrila.

There is tragedy everywhere in the world, but why Colorado?  The most heinous crimes.  Seems we corner the market on tragedies these days.

I remember leaving South Florida because I thought it too transient, it didn't attract a 'family' loving type of crowd.  I thought of John Denver and the rockies as one step away from heaven.

JonBenet Ramsey Shampop.com
How things change.

 I was looking over a website for JonBenet Ramsey, and that heavy feeling came over me again.  This angelic child, never got to live her life.  The site depcits the actual crime scene photos- which were hard to look at- even after all these years.  People have marred the website by littering it with pornographic images. Pathetic, I say. JonBenet Ramsey Images 

Perhaps everything Nostradamus predicted is coming true.  It may very well be the end of the world.  I was not going to write about this latest incident, but I couldn't stop reflecting on Colorado's morbid history the last couple of decades.

Could this just be coincidence?  After 9/11,  I can believe anything is possible. The easy thing to do is to bury our heads.  As Americans, we owe more to our country.

Personally, I believe you can teach your children until you're red in the face.  No one can determine how they're going to turn out as adults.  This kid was studying to get a Ph.D no less.  I deliberately don't want to mention his name.  Why should he get credit for anything but a senseless tragedy.

The worst part, this theater was full of young adults and children.  What did they do to deserve this?

You can't second guess anything, because all bets are off on what it takes to raise "good" children.  Sometimes, it is difficult to see any signs of instability in people.  That is, unless you have a trained eye.

I can't do much, but I can pray for the people and families that innocently sat in that theater this morning.  The same theater my children sat in twenty years ago.

What Caused Oral Surgeon To Ignore Safety Standards?

Dr Stephen Stein
Stein Dental Implants and Facial Surgery

After reading the chilling story of the Colorado oral surgeon. Stephen Stein, reusing needles on patients for over a decade I had to ask myself this question:  what were his technicians doing with these needles? 

Surely they had to know they were not sterile. Patients of Colorado dentist Dr.Stephen Stein urged to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis amid reused needles probe

I am almost certain Stein couldn't have operated on patients solo.  What kind of medical staff could overlook such a basic, critical procedure?  No doubt the State investigators are getting an earful when they interview his staff.

How can someone put their head on a pillow at night after such atrocities?  It amazes me that brilliance, and integrity are not always consistent.  You have to wonder; was this man that cheap? or was he that lazy?  Or worse, he just does not care.

This went on for over a decade, scores of innocent people, trusting in this madman.  I wonder how many of them are now infected with AIDS or other blood borne viruses.  

The medical board, along with testing doctors for medical competency, should also test them psychologically. Doctors need to be emotionally stable to serve the public.  It gives me pause to think about  operations and procedures that have been performed on all of us.

What percentage of those procedures were docs and other medical technicians cutting corners? Ignoring safety standards - jeopardizing our health and welfare?

I don't want to know.  

Something tells me this is not an isolated case.  It is frightening to think that other doctors would avert safety standards for the sake of convenience or money.

I don't blame the State, because this is the same analogy as buyer beware; we all have to look out for ourselves.  There are far too many providers to monitor every medical practitioner.  Still, it is hard to imagine  patients didn't notice needles were not sterilized and opened from sealed packages.

It seems Colorado has a new kind of fire to put out, and this one won't be easy.

Barack Obama's Brilliant Campaign

Presiding over Miami-Dade commencement ceremony- Getty Images

We can all learn something from Barack Obama's promotional campaign. There isn't one medium that he has overlooked. I get daily emails' keeping me abreast of inside campaign information, media dirt and his responses to critics.
If you don't think that he became President because of his adept marketing ability, think again. He was a green senator - with virtually no track record to speak of - sitting in the senate. He goes from that to president of the United States? 
How did he do that? 
Clever marketing and strategy. If nothing else, I have to concede that he understands the media and how to use it. Much like Kennedy, he has an uncanny ability to use the media to showcase his charm and wit. If you are old enough to remember the Nixon and Kennedy debate, you know what I am talking about. 
In my opinion, Romney is not scoring too well with his campaign. He now has to dig himself out of a hole regarding his previous stint with banking industries. Obama jumped right on that by deluging us with television spots exposing smitten Romney. 
Mitt Romney:  Getty Images

So far, Barack hasn't missed a beat regarding gaining an media advantage over Mitt Romney. I wouldn't be surprised if Obama takes the presidency again, because of his savvy marketing skills. 
Sadly, for myself, I don't like either candidate. There hasn't been a president that wooed me in years. 
When I think back to the George Bush administration, and compare his marketing and promotional ability, I understand the difference. Bush took a lot of hits because of his lack of ability to manipulate the press. 
Clinton, on the other hand, understood the media. He used his charm and good looks to woo us. I do think Clinton was a good president. I can overlook the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I may not like what he did, but I don't believe it affected his ability to be president. 
At any rate, it will be interesting to see who makes it to the finish line. I think it is going to close, very, very close. They say that not voting is a vote for Obama. 
At the moment, the prospect of voting is a frightening thought for me. I just can't buy into either candidate's agenda. 
However, I have certainly enjoyed evaluating the campaign strategies. 

The "Like" Gold Mine


Pinterest is a gold mine.  So you 'like' me, now what?  Most businesses understand the advantages of Social Media, but few understand how to leverage it to promote their products.

We've all been down the value-added  'how to' benefits.  Sharing and providing information, for example; about how to build furniture if you're a retail furniture store.  But I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.  If you've got your followers, you now have a built in audience, what are you going to do to keep them interested?

Of course, you can offer them deep discounts as followers, make them the first recipients of information about product research, but the real payoff can come from cross-promotion opportunities with other businesses.

Today, so much information is mind boggling.  By partnering with other businesses, and understanding your demographics, you can offer your followers multiple in value-added benefits.  For example, if you produce wood furniture, your affiliation with tile and flooring companies can really help your audience in remodeling their homes or offices.

No, this is not a new idea, but it can work well in a medium where there is so much competition for "likes."  Just as bloggers' can cross promote with others by sharing their web-addresses; you can make this happen with  competitors and other businesses.  You are building so much more than an alliance.

Some time ago, I was remodeling my home.  I absolutely had my heart set on soltero tile.  My contractor fought me about why I shouldn't go with soltero.  "Yes, it is beautiful and stylish, he said.  But, are you prepared to spend $100 every time you drop an item on it and it cracks?"  I had no idea how easily soltero can be broken.  Moreover, I didn't have the budget to make this investment, and be willing to constantly repair the product.

Sharing this information can save your customers a lot of headaches.  In effect, you are not asking your audience to do this for that.  You are giving them something, as simple as "for being a loyal follower of ________, please use this $50.00 to enjoy your dinner at ______________. ' No strings, no bait and switch, just a gift.  Your cross-promotion with businesses can help you out with your budgeting.

The opportunities abound, building alliances by inviting your audience to grand openings, concerts and more.  Not as contests, but just for following and sharing. I'm talking out and out giveaways.    I say this because as contests, we know the chance to win is difficult.  But social media is so close and personal, the benefits need to match the intimacy of the medium.

It is said there are no new ideas, just ways to do them better.  Pinterest Tunblr, Reddit and the like are your magic wands.  You just have to know what to do with the wand!

Finding My Way Back To My Career

It has been on my mind for almost three years now.  I go to bed thinking about it, and wake up wondering;

I have been out of my career for for 43 months.  Wow.  Such a long time, so much change.  Social media taking the world to its' knees.  Thousands of new college grads competing for the fraction of available jobs.

It is a major concern.

To top that off, I am in a contract position, without benefits or paid time off.  I am grateful to be working, but the deck is stacked against me.  Recently, I did get a bite on my resume', but the job location would require me to move to another part of Colorado.  Did I really want to travel 150 miles for a remote opportunity?  Maybe I am not that motivated, or too cautiously optimistic about my job prospects.

At least it confirmed I am still marketable.

What I do in the meantime is continue to learn.  Be it a software program, stay abreast of changes in the marketing and communications industry.  These may be feeble attempts to paddle in a constantly evolving sea of change.

There comes a point in a career ( I want to work at least ten more years), where one has to weigh everything.  It is too easy to look back and beat yourself up for past mistakes.  The would'ves', could'ves' should'ves' haunt me.

Will I ever give myself a break?

Truth is, I have failed far more than I have succeeded in my career.  I have had opportunities people would drool for, passed some up, took some on and failed.  Yes failed, and miserably.

I know I can only work for a certain kind of boss, with a certain group of people.  You would think that would stop me from looking.  No, it never does stop.  You see, the thing is, I am so tenacious, I don't know what it means to give up.

My management style?  compassion and understanding.  Not very popular with corporate.  But I am creative, and can come up with product positioning ideas that leave competitors at the starting line.

I am exceptionally good at getting jobs, keeping them is another story.  I am no politician, for sure.

In the end, knowing one's strengths' and weaknesses are so very important.

I can't stop thinking that there is a place at there I can call home.  You see, retirement is not in my vocabulary at the moment.

Secret Service Loyalty: The Kennedy Detail

The Kennedy Detail
Agent Tom Wells escorts Caroline Kennedy to school after the White House ,
photo:  "The Kennedy Detail"

Last night I watched a  Discovery channel documentary on "The Kennedy Detail," in which the secret service agents who were assigned to President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas were interviewed about their experiences in living with, and protecting, the President and his family.

The documentary was heartbreaking.  These once rugged men, now in their 70's and 80's sharing their perspectives about being a part of the Kennedy family while he was in office.   What was particularly impressive, is that Kennedy knew each of their names:  Gerald S. Blaine; Toby Chandler; David Grant; Clinton J. Hill; Paul E Landis, Jr; Winston Lawson; Ronald Pontius;  and Thomas Wells.

This, apparently, is not the norm for the secret service.

Clinton Hill, assigned to Jacqueline Kennedy, reflected on her thoughtfulness after the assassination. Hill remarked that, on the plane going back to Washington, Jackie Kennedy requested to see him.  "What will become of you, now?" Jackie asked.  Fighting back tears, his response was that he would be just fine.

Interspersed with the interview was rare footage of the agents' with John Jr, and Caroline Kennedy.  Holding hands, going to the Beach, hovering over them at family events.  These men explained that the pay was substandard, even for the 60's, but they were so proud to serve the President.  They all said they were treated "like family."

What moved me the most that each agent, after 50 years, still has to hold back tears when asked about November 22nd, in Dallas.  

The gruesome details still play back daily.  For example, why Jackie Kennedy crawled out the back of the Lincoln sedan.  It was disclosed that Jackie wanted to "make him whole."  Apparently, after the magic bullet, (that hit Kennedy in the skull), brain matter and chunks of skull exploded on the boot of the sedan.  Jackie allegedly crawled out the back of the speeding car to collect the bits of skull.

How devastating to hear all this again.

I understand that the President was hit in the skull, but to hear the magnitude of the damage done to Kennedy, (a palm sized portion of his skull, and all the brain matter on that side were scooped out like ice cream), was too much to process.

The reflected on the President's body, laid out at the White House, prior to the public viewing.  Jackie asked for a pair of scissors to open the casket, to cut off a lock of his hair.
Details shared regarding Robert Kennedy and Jackie, going back to the grave site the same day following the funeral; to kneel and pray in private.

I was only 12 years' old when we lost John Kennedy.  However, I remember exactly what I was doing when the news was announced.  

Having lived through this tragedy is still a gift.  To have lived through his Presidency was remarkable and most memorable.

I think about the Kennedy tragedies, that have continued since then; the Robert Kennedy assassination, John Jr's plane crash, Jackie's struggle with cancer and untimely death.

Whoever said the Kennedy's were cursed was probably correct.  As much as the Kennedy family has acquired, a black cloud follows them throughout life.

I am glad I was privy to see this documentary.  I don't want to ever forget the most charming man and my favorite President of the century.

He only lived 45 short years, but he packed a lot of living and wisdom into those years.

In the end, the agent that questioned, "what we could have done better?" concluded remorsefully:

"there was nothing at all that could be done to save him."