Yesterday, the Orange County District Attorney held a press conference to warn the community (about)... England, 65, who spent 29 years as a fugitive after being found guilty of sexually assaulting three female children, also for 11 years molested Jackie Zudis, whom he purchased from her mother in Vietnam in the 1970s and claimed was his adopted daughter. He was not sentenced for those crimes because the victim did not report them to law enforcement until the statute of limitations had expired.The second is the "clean cut" man who asked a woman to dance at the Manhattan bar, Social, and when she refused, he followed her into a bathroom stall and beat her so badly that he broke her jaw, her eye socket and her nose. The third, and perhaps most important for my argument here, is none other than Bachelor number one, Rodney Alcala.
Alcala was convicted and sentenced to death Tuesday for the rape and murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe in 1979, and four other previously unsolved murders from between 1977and 1979. He had been convicted twice before for Samsoe's murder but got the decision reversed on appeal both times.But in addition to his career as serial rapist and murderer and photographer, Alcala had a career as an eligible bachelor on the dating game and was even chosen by the contestant as "the most eligible bachelor." This is the creepy part and the part that explains why there can be so many monstrous males in our midst, the kind that beat the shit out of a woman for refusing to dance, then walk into the bodega next door and blithely steal a beer. There is a very thin line between what is fetishized about masculinity within the trope of romance- the ability to overpower and dominate and even be violent- and what makes for actual monsters who go around raping and killing girls and women. Edward the vampire does eventually have sex with Bella the human and he leaves her bruised and the pillows on the bed torn to shreds. But she wakes up happier than ever, fulfilled and at peace with her first sexual experience. This story is so compelling to at least certain segments of our population (female, white, heterosexual) that over 70,000 of them traveled to the very remote and difficult to get to Forks, WA last year just to experience the "magic." But magical monsters are the stuff of fairy tales. In real life, the monsters among us are not magic at all. Just horribly violent men who prey on women and children. The reason it takes us so long to see them in our midst is that the fairy tale monsters, the ones we want, make us far too unwilling to see that the real monstrosity of male violence that is all around us.