12.0344 seriously bad love bytes

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 19 Jan 1999 21:58:07 +0000 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 344.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 21:32:40 +0000
From: Jascha Kessler <jkessler@ucla.edu>
Subject: Re: 12.0337 love bytes

Well about email, a former student of mine showed up via email, and
from Voltaire-Ferney, the town where some big money types live, so as
to be able to hope into Swiss sanctuary, it seems, as did Voltaire.
In the course of finding out what she had been doing for some years,
I got from her several pages by email of a horrendous tale, much of
which lacked important explanatory subtexts. Suffice it that she
began by saying she had been much shaken up upon being arrested at
Kennedy some months back in early 1998, to be held i safe custody as
a crucial material witness in a case. It seems that in her various
unhappinesses she had conducted a very pleasant email affair, all
friendship and such. Upon losing her apartment after a breakup in
NYC, and in despair, she had contacted her pal, who kindly, in NYC,
offered her his place to stay for a weekend or so. They had dinner,
and he was off to his weekend, but she woke up in his bedroom,
duct-taped and tied down to his bed, whereupon he began to conduct
slow but awful experiments and such. After a day of horrors, he went
out, telling her she would never leave alive, but she managed to
break free enough to do 911 and get freed by the police, upon which
she fled to France. It seems she was arrested on her return some
months later, because they had finally got to the man, and found that
he had on his computer a whole scenario of "love" letters in a
progression from distant to intimate in content. And that he was
running a whole series of women by the same letters step by step, and
was indeed a serial torturer and worse. That got him 20 years to
life, on her testimony, etc. Talk of CYRANISM, as it 'twere? It was
a shocking story, and she has been writing it or has written it, and
was grateful to get it out to me to hear it from herself objectively
to an old prof who indulged her vagaries in poetry writing over the
course 6+ years, in an out of seminars. Little did I know much of
her oddity came because she was either on speed or cocaine or meth,
or whatever.

There is a very dark mirror side to all this personal impersonality,
I expect, only the difference between the old penpal seducers and
Rippers is that a killer can run any number of women on the same
string of letters and send by the speed of light, choreographing the
rising intensity like a maestro.

If it had happened to me, I doubt if I could have recovered even what
little equanimity a neurotic drug abuser and drunkie might have
residual after coming back to "cleanness."
Jascha Kessler

Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: (310) 393-4648


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