January 22, 2006: I just learned something troubling. At least it troubles me, and the fact that I find it so troubling also troubles me:
Anne Perry, successful and famous author, is actually Juliet Hulme, teenage murderess.
Here's the story. The Kate Winslett movie "Heavenly Creatures" is about the crime.
So why shouldn't Anne Perry be allowed to enjoy a successful life? She served her (albeit very brief) time in some sort of jail. That should be enough for me, shouldn't it? Justice was done according to New Zealand law. Why should I want her to live marginally for the rest of her life? What's it to me? That is what I want, I think: a life spent doing penance of some sort. Her partner in crime seems to have spent her life in that way.
Maybe my distress is due to my belief that I personally wouldn't be able to dismiss my having committed a cold-blooded murder as easily as she seems to have done. I just don't know. All I know is what I am feeling now, which is distressed. And very unlikely to ever read an Anne Perry book.
I have a theory that no one is really a complete person and that everything hinges upon what parts you are missing. Some people are missing parts that no one will ever notice and other people are missing the parts that keep people from running screaming from their presence.
And I guess that a few of the parts I value the most highly are the same parts that Juliet/Anne appears to be missing.
UPDATE: There is now an interview with Anne Perry on YouTube in which she "discusses" her crime. It creeped me out too much to watch more than a minute...maybe I can handle it some other time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_oYT9mvChw.
Saints celebrating feast days today include, but are not limited to, Vincent (patron saint of wine growers--old saying is that if today is sunny on St. Vincent's Day, the coming wine crop will be good), Anastasius, Blesilla, Dominic of Sora (invoked against fever and snakes), Berhtwald, Valerius of Saragossa, and Vincent Pallotti.
"Plans are what make God laugh."
One of my favorite actors, John Hurt, celebrates his birthday today (1940, Lincolnshire, England). He was unrecognizeable as John Merrick in "The Elephant Man" and alternately heartrending and elevating as the late Quentin Crisp in "Naked Civil Servant." You might remember him as Caligula in PBS's "I, Claudius," or as the first person to have "Alien" gnaw its way out of his body. John Hurt is nothing if not diverse, and though my short list ends in 1980, he has made at least two movies a year every year since then. What a guy.
Wrong Way Corrigan was also born on this date...see tomorrow's Saint Report for the story of his remarkable journey.