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"TV Killer" released

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posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 01:40 PM

A man who blamed his crimes on television in 1977 was released from prison recently. He stated then that crime television shows like "Kojak" had warped his sense of reality to the point he couldn't be responsible for his actions. His attorney said that if the trial had been held today, he probably would have gotten off.

What are your thoughts on this? There's been a lot of discussion on this board recently about how the media (specifically TV) impacts the brain. Would you hold this person responsible? If you believe that TV desensitizes the viewer to violence, who would you say is at fault?

To me, this particular case seems like a lame excuse. Then again taking into account the offender's age at the time (15) and the brutality of the crime, I am of the opinion that there would be a good chance he would be acquited in today's blame happy society.

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 01:43 PM
That's a ridiculous thing. How old was this guy when he committed the murders? If he was over the age of atleast 10 I'd say his excuse is complete crap. If people can't grasp the difference between right and wrong by the time they're into their teens, much less an adult, there's a lot more wrong with them than TV "warping their minds." Using violence in the media is a ridiculous excuse.

TV doesn't make people kill people, case closed.

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 01:46 PM
Individuals are placed in prison because, in some sense, they are a danger to society. It is irrelivent wheither this person went nuts because of a television show or a movie or the neigbhor's talking dog or a mashed potato mountain that resembles an alien landing site. The fact of the matter is that the individual was unstable to begin with and something, if not tv, would have set him off eventually.

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 01:47 PM
Jonna, I agree with you. If he was a danger, he should have been put in jail. But claiming that it he killed people because violence on TV warped his mind is ridiculous. It's like saying The Matrix and Marilyn Manson caused the Columbine massacre (and those were kids anyway, I might see some correlation in that case).

EDIT: Ok, after paying more attention I see that the guy was 15 when he was put in jail. That doesn't really affect my opinion on the matter, because by that time still I think you should know the difference between right and wrong. And know that what you see on TV is different than reality. Maybe TV images could affect a child, but by the time you're a teen? No. I don't buy it.

[Edited on 1-6-2004 by Faisca]

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 01:57 PM
If he was mentally retarded or emotionally handicapped it is quite possible that something like that could have happened. The guy was fifteen when he commited the murder.

T.V effects everyone differently, some people take it too seriously and some don't, the fact is, his brain might be affected by t.v alot differently than you or I. It may be some rare amount of people like one out every million people who take t.v too seriously.

To say that T.V doesn't make people kill people is a rather ignorant thing to say. Unless your the leading scientist brain disorders/ effects of television on them, then you can't state that t.v doesn't in some way effect people.

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 01:57 PM
Wasnt' this in the same decade as the Milk Murder and the "twinkie defense" when the councilman said that his twinkie diet caused him to kill Mayor Milk? Ah, the good old days of bizarre and unique defense theories.

Interestingly enough, the article mentioned the following:

The killing occurred during a robbery and burglary. Zamora and his accomplice stole $400 and the woman's car, which they took to Disney World.

I'm curious how Kojak, a cop, would encourage the burglary/robbery of an old woman. Sounds more like a spoiled brat tantrum to me. Maybe they should have used the Brady Bunch defense.

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 02:15 PM

Originally posted by MrJingles
To say that T.V doesn't make people kill people is a rather ignorant thing to say. Unless your the leading scientist brain disorders/ effects of television on them, then you can't state that t.v doesn't in some way effect people.

TV affecting people and MAKING them do things is quite a leap, don't you think? Sure television affects people, but so does never single external stimuli that we come into contact with. No one MAKES you do anything! Sure sometimes people get wrapped up in the idea that the HAVE to do things, but that is really only the illusion that is concieved when you are looking at things in the way of a means and an end. I HAVE to go to work in order to make money in order to buy food in order to eat. The simple truth of the matter is that you do not HAVE to eat at all. It (the means) is only a stipulation of an End (nurishment/survival) and not something that HAS to be done.

Anyway my point is that the television program did not force the individual to kill. Perhaps that person was sick to begin with and falsly believed that the television did tell him to kill, but that just goes on to prove that the problem originated in the individual and not some sort of control emitting from the television.

If you are insinuating the the television did have the power to control his brain waves like a puppet, then that is a whole different ball of wax you're attempting to melt and outside of subliminal messaging or HAARP, I would love to hear some new theories on the matter.

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 05:02 PM
its the culture of today, blame others for your actions.

Murderers blaming TV or computer games for their crimes.
Fat people suing McDonalds for making them fat.
Parents blaming songs for the suicides of their kids.
Soldiers blaming superiors for their warcrimes.

The list goes on and on.

posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 10:22 AM
Yes, the TV is just a terrible excuse for a murder. People like to not have the blame on themeselves. Unfortunately if he would have been tried in todays societey he would have got off free or possibly with a couple years in prison. It is sickening people can't take responsibility for their actions. Did it affect him? Doubtfully. Would he still be a danger to society even if it did affect him in anyways? YES.

posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 10:29 AM
I don't know, after watching Kojak I've sometimes wanted to kill somebody myself.

Hey, at least it's better than blaming your Dog or Jodie Foster.

He was probably already nuts to begin with, but he probably would've got away with it today on mental grounds. He was probably full of doo doo though.

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