I made the news last night

An interview with me appeared on the 10 and 11 o’clock news at WLIO, the local TV people. You can see it at the aforementioned link. It was filmed on my mom’s front porch.

They didn’t say exactly when it would be on — “sometime tonight” — and when Dad and I got together we watched the five o’clock news, but it wasn’t there. It didn’t hit the airwaves till later, by which time I had gone home. But my boyfriend’s parents DVRed it.

Dad’s tickled to death by it all. Not only is his dear darling daughter on television, but it’s because of him: he notified all the local papers about me, and someone did an article, and the TV news people saw it.

Arnold Sodeman

An obscure Australian serial killer was hanged seventy-seven years ago today, and I’ve profiled his life and crimes on Executed Today.

Arnold Sodeman’s murders were pretty ordinary and his crime spree not all that impressive — four victims in five years — but what I found interesting is the issue of diminished capacity. Sodeman was an alcoholic with a history of mental instability both in his family and in himself, and he had previously suffered a serious closed-head injury. The autopsy turned up evidence of fairly extensive brain damage. It turned out he also had leptomeningitis. When a person with leptomeningitis drinks — and Sodeman was drunk at the time of all four murders — their brain becomes inflamed and the resulting symptoms include irrational behavior and poor impulse control. In other words, was he responsible for his actions? One Australian forensic psychologist doesn’t think so.

I told my boyfriend about the case and asked his opinion re: leptomeningitis. Sodeman didn’t know he had the condition and they didn’t discover it till autopsy. Michael thought about it for awhile and said he didn’t think leptomeningitis was a good enough reason to cut the guy a break. He reckoned this: maybe Sodeman didn’t realize he had a degenerative brain disorder, but he knew he was a mean drunk. He knew the kind of person he turned into when he had a couple in him. And he continued to drink, consequences be damned. I had to concede that Michael had a point.