November 28, 2023

Lindy Would Have Blushed


It never fails to amaze me how focused our species can become when the subject becomes the misery of another. Case in point: the Dottie Hariass trial. Hariass was accused of luring her boyfriend into the bedroom, having sex with him, then carving him up like a Christmas turkey before shooting him in the head and stuffing him into the shower. Her trial concluded this month with a guilty verdict followed by three resounding huzzahs from the wired-eyed crowd of onlookers camped on the courthouse steps.

But they weren’t the only ones transfixed by the trial’s endless stream of lurid testimony, or found cheering the conviction. For nearly four months, much of the nation, many presumed to be unemployed, retired or stay at home goof-offs, had been glued to their flat screens. Long-deprived of the gallows, a sizable portion of our population waited out their precious earthly days and nights soaking in the bitter details of a case that seemingly defied our ability to ignore it.

While some of us, this writer included, spent our precious earthly moments searching the back streets of Sedona for a fitting replacement to the famous-but-long-ago-shuttered Wrenwood Bar, the Dottie Hariass trial became the biggest news story in the country and the single largest magnet for lost souls since the Lindberg baby was stolen from its royal bed, then left dead in the Jersey badlands. The Lindbergh kidnapping set off a lynch mob that cackled from coast to coast. It kept many a pitchfork raised high and many a torch lit throughout the cruel winter of ‘35.

But all those torches don’t hold a candle to the twisted love-hate relationship between Ms. Hariass and her now-deceased boytoy, Twavis Anaximander, played out on television screens and computer monitors across the nation. What Lindberg utterly lacked, Dottie Harisass served us in person and in spades. In today’s day and age when pornography streams 24/7, and cleavage has replaced the cameo pin, it takes more than an American hero with a missing son to light our sense of retribution and return us to our baser instincts. Hariass managed to overcome our apathy in ways that will be difficult to top anytime soon.

Like a good Woody Allen, she kept our attention with generous doses of sex and death. And the media willingly passed it on as fast as she could serve it up. In this reporter’s opinion, Hariass’ murder of Anaximander was a crime awaiting its time. In 2013, the Lindbergh kidnapping would have barely warranted a mention on a weekday edition of TMZ. In this day and age, a famous victim has as much staying power as President Clinton after a case of Billy Beer. Today our titillation comes from our collective underbelly. It’s why Duck Dynasty has consistently high ratings.

It’s what makes the Kardashians so real. Lacking the talent once required for celebrity status, Hariass only needed to crawl out from beneath a rock, wielding a knife, a gun and a digital camera, to attain stardom. She was made for TV—not to mention the video-crazed streaming Internet.

She was made for a new generation of gallows-watchers who are not only able to tolerate her graphic testimony, but wallow in it and squeal with glee at each new revelation. From what I was able to gather, while perched on my many bar stools, the trial proved that our desire for human sacrifice has not changed—only the altar.

Hariass told a story that does not bear repeating in this somber publication. It was a saga in blood and lust that even those who brought us the Good Book would be hard pressed to invent. It would be a perfectly legitimate question to ask as to whether or not Ms. Hariass would have had her 19 days in court, had she testified in 1935, given the story she told. Little has changed since that fine Southern gentleman Hunter S. Thompson noted we had become a generation of swine. That was 1985. To be sure, a pair of disco balls balanced in lady justice’s hand would have been a fitting backdrop to the Hariass trial.

At the very minimum, Lindy would have blushed, assuming he wasn’t spending his precious waking hours searching for a good bar.

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