Eddie Dean’s contrived style, combined with his thoughtless point of view, spits in the face of the facts. As Eddie Dean tries to convince us that “country” bumpkin prosecutor Paul Ebert and “misunderstood” murderer Tony Mackall have much in common because they both kill without pity, he goes too far by suggesting that Mackall may have more dignity because Mackall’s last words are spoken with humility.

As he describes the true horrors committed by death-row murderers, Eddie Dean sticks to the cold facts of the criminal cases—but when it comes to the character assassination of prosecutor Ebert, he relies on cheap shots like: “As cold-blooded killers go, Ebert isn’t much to look at” and “[Ebert is] the sort who doesn’t shy from a pile of wood that needs chopping” and—perhaps the worst line I’ve ever read in the City Paper—”When he’s perturbed, he can flash a don’t-mess-with-me glare that conjures up D.H. Lawrence’s quip: ‘The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.’” He even ends the article with a cute line: “The hunter has gotten his prey.”

While Eddie Dean may have helped get the word out to D.C. that Prince William County is not the best place to commit a murder, he has mostly revealed his own prejudice. By ignoring the fact that the murdered victims didn’t have time to prepare a “final statement” and by assuming that prosecutor Paul Ebert will not be as repentant or “dignified” (as killer Mackall was) on his day of Judgment, Eddie Dean has muddied the truth. He invites us to forgive one killer (because he is sorry? because he reads Salinger and Brontë?) and condemn another (because he hunts? because he speaks with a drawl?) without really telling us why.

For some reason Eddie Dean has decided to end his lengthy feature by giving the last word to a convicted killer—a move as trendy as his point of view.

Fairfax, Va.

via the Internet

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