Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Bright lights of South Carolina

SC State Senator Lee Bright (challenging the notion that the confederate flag was related to the Dylann Roof incident):
Is it about that flag [or] is it about that lunatic that was waving that flag… I can’t imagine it was over a flag. I think it was just pure evil incarnate. What happened out in Colorado? There wasn’t a Confederate flag. What happened in New Jersey?
What did happen in New Jersey? Was there a recent mass killing there? I couldn't think of any and I live right next to New Jersey. I checked this list of rampage killings and the last one in the Garden State was 38 years ago (August 26, 1977)

I never heard of that NJ mass killing or heard the name Emil Benoist until I googled up that list for this blog post. But there's a funny thing in this August 27, 1977 AP article about his shooting spree:
Friends of Benoist in this tree-lined community blamed a short stint in the Marines at Parris Island, SC, about a year ago, for what they say was a personality change in Benoist.

"He wasn't as tense or as bottled up before he went in. He came back really messed up," one friend said.
I'm not claiming that Benoist was motivated by the confederate flag--there doesn't seem to be any evidence of that. And probably Senator Bright was just mixing up his Northeastern states when he cited New Jersey in his speech in the SC Senate (He probably meant Newtown, CT). But I still thought it was amusing that Bright would inadvertently lead to me to the lass rampage shooter in New Jersey who seems to have gone bad because of his time in  South Carolina.