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“Treat ’em to the unglorious taste of sudden death.”

All The Love Is Gone

By The Colonel


I remember a scene from One Lonely Night, one of Mickey Spillane’s classic crime novels, in which private detective Mike Hammer is talking about members of the communist party who brutally murdered a woman in order to conceal their conspiracies. Hammer says:

‘I don’t give a damn for a human life any more, even my own. Want to hear that philosophy? It’s simple enough. Go after the big boys. Oh, don’t arrest them, don’t treat them to the dignity of the democratic process of courts and law, do the same thing to them that they’d do to you. Treat ’em to the unglorious taste of sudden death.’

Blood for blood, eye for an eye, justice done. The thing is sometimes the crime and the done damage is so dark, so deep and so destructive  that spilling the blood and taking an eye won’t  do justice, in fact nothing would; and that’s the case with Austrian  Josef Fritzl AKA dungeon dad who imprisoned, raped, tortured and dehumanized his own daughter, his own flesh and blood for almost a quarter of a century.  Statistically speaking and for whatever reason, that region of Europe is notorious for similar crimes, even though never of this depth and magnitude. Here are some old and recent examples:

Kaspar Hauser  was a mysterious foundling in 19th century Germany famous for his claim to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell.  On May 26, 1828, a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. He would barely talk, but he carried a letter with him addressed to the captain of the 4th squadron of the 6th cavalry regiment, Captain von Wessenig. It was dated “From the Bavarian border / The place is not named/ 1828”. The anonymous author said that the boy was given into his custody, as an infant, on October 7, 1812, and that he had instructed him in reading, writing, and the Christian religion but had never let him “take a single step out of my house”. The letter stated that the boy would now like to be a cavalryman; thus, the captain should take him in or hang him. There was another short letter enclosed, purporting to be from his mother to his prior caretaker. This letter was found to have been written by the same hand as the other one. It stated that he was born on April 30, 1812, and that his father, a cavalryman of the 6th regiment, was dead.

Shoemaker Weickmann took the boy to the house of Captain von Wessenig, where he would only repeat, “I want to be a cavalryman, as my father was,” and “Horse! Horse!” Further demands elicited only tears, or the obstinate proclamation of “Don’t know”. He was taken to a police station, where he would write a name: Kaspar Hauser. He showed that he was familiar with money, could say some prayers, and read a bit, but he answered few questions, and his vocabulary appeared to be quite limited.

At first it was assumed that he had been raised like a half-wild human in forests, but during many conversations with Mayor Binder, Hauser told a different version of his past life, which he later also wrote down in more detail. According to this story, he had, for as long as he could think back, spent his life always totally alone in a darkened cell about two meters long, one meter wide, and one and a half high, with only a straw bed to sleep on and a horse carved out of wood for a toy.

He claimed that he had found bread and water next to his bed each morning. Periodically the water would taste bitter, and had been apparently drugged: drinking this would cause him to sleep more heavily than usual, and when he had awakened his straw had been changed, and his hair and nails had been cut. Hauser claimed that the first human being he ever had had contact with had been a mysterious man who had visited him not long before his release, always taking great care not to reveal his face to him. This man, Hauser told, had taught him to write his name by leading his hand. After having learned to stand and to walk he had been brought next to Nuremberg. Furthermore, the stranger allegedly had taught him to say the phrase “I want to be a cavalryman, as my father was” (in Bavarian dialect), but Hauser claimed that he had not understood what these words meant.

Even though he was under constant care and supervision, but  in the following months he got wounded several times. He was attacked, stabbed and shot by a hooded man,  most probably the same mysterious man who imprisoned him all of his life and taught him to speak and write his name. Finally, Kaspar Hauser died on December  17, 1833 from a fatal stab wound to his chest.  His life and death remains an unsolved mystery to this day.

More recently, Natascha Kampusch ,an Austrian girl was abducted and held in a secret cellar by her kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil for more than eight years, until she escaped on August 23, 2006. Following her escape, the kidnapper committed suicide.

I can go on and give you more examples, but I believe by now you got the picture. All these crimes, all this insanity, all this fathomless pain human beings are capable of inflicting upon each other makes me think metaphorically: the bitter, cold and undisputed truth to be told, we humans are evil savages by the nature. It  doesn’t matter how we dress up and manipulate the nature and pretend to live in love and peace and harmony. In our heart of hearts, behind our warm smiles, beneath the comfort of our suburban homes  lies our true identity: indiscriminate, uncompromising, unspeakable  evil;  evil you cannot comprehend, define or justify, evil you cannot destroy. Evil that’s embedded in our nature and waits in our subconscious for the opportunity to emerge, strike and reveal to us what and who we really, truly are.

And that brings me to my ultimate question: what’s the worth of human beings, species that are capable of such evil deeds, tyranny and self destruction? Are they worthy of love, understanding and redemption, or are they doomed and beyond any salvation whatsoever?  To that, my friends, I have no answer. Maybe all my love is gone.    


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