What I’ve Learned from Compulsively Watching True Crime for 20 Years

1. If you absolutely have to go to Washington state, do everything in your power to avoid going to Snohomish County. Nothing good happens in Snohomish County, Washington. Just look at Ann Rule’s body of work – she made an entire career out of writing books about horrific crimes that have been committed in this one small region of the country. (Seriously, she wrote, like, 50 books about terrible, random murders that have all taken place in Snohomish County.) Judging from the Ann Rule canon, which I am deeply familiar with, if you spend enough time in Snohomish County, there’s an extremely good chance that you will be viciously attacked close to your bus stop and battered about the face and head by the light of the Washington moon.

If you’re a sportier type and prone to hiking, you could also get killed on Snoqualmie Pass. Snoqualmie Pass seems to be a mountain that is extremely dangerous not because of its treacherous terrain, but because it attracts psychopaths like moths to a scenic flame. If you absolutely have to go to Washington state and you absolutely have to go hiking, do everything in your power to avoid hiking Snoqualmie Pass – that is, unless you’re in the mood to grapple with a knife-wielding, AWOL soldier who thinks he’s still in Vietnam.

2. If someone seems like a pervert or a killer, he might very well be a pervert or a killer. Humans have a sixth sense for a reason – that little voice in your head is millions of years of evolution telling you that it’s probably a good idea to quicken your pace when passing that gentleman who’s dressed in a soiled trenchcoat and scratched aviators and screaming expletives at no one. Is there a weird dude driving your cab? It’s okay to get out of the cab if you feel like you’re about to get Bone Collectored in it.

3. If you discover that the lock on the window of your ground-floor bedroom is broken and you’re missing a few pairs of underpants and your hairbrush, leave the apartment immediately. There’s clearly a creepy teenager loose in your neighborhood who may very well have masturbated into your sock drawer while wearing one of your hats. Go stay with a friend or a relative until that lock gets fixed and call ADT.

4. Always be extremely punctual when going anywhere and never miss or cancel any plans with anyone. Also, pick up your cell phone every time someone calls you. That way, people will realize pretty quickly if you go missing. They’ll say things like, “Well, I knew that Sarah must have been in the trunk of a sadomasochist’s Kia when she didn’t text me exactly at 11pm like she always does.” What I’m trying to say is, don’t be a fucking flake like me, or else if you do get kidnapped and call someone for help, your lifeline will just be like, “Yeah, sure, Sarah, you’re in the trunk of a sadomasochist’s Kia. It’s always something with you. I’m just going to order without you,” and hang up.

In which Caroline discusses Tonya Harding.

This weekend on TruTV, I saw a commercial for “The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest” in which Tonya Harding herself says the following: “My track record may not be great…but it’s NOTHING compared to these guys!”

Wait. What? No. That’s just not true. You, Tonya, helped plan and execute a malicious criminal assault on Nancy Kerrigan that involved a crowbar, a spooky, unexpected attack by a random dude and this memorable/awesome moment in sports history (at the 2:00 mark): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T09XWRkq5M. Then you were banned from ever being an ice skater again, so you became a wrestler. And then a boxer. Or something? And then there was a porno tape? Barf x 20,000, Tonya, because you look like the ugliest Cabbage Patch Kid that they never made because it was too ugly to sell.

Also, apparently this happened (says Wikipedia): On February 12, 1997, Harding claimed that she was abducted at knife-point outside her home by a bushy-haired man who forced her to drive to a rural area, where she rammed her truck into a tree and escaped by running into the woods. Police found no evidence of an abduction. This alleged incident happened on the opening weekend of the 1997 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.[35]

So, to recap: Tonya Harding is batshit crazy. And ugly. And in denial, apparently, because here’s a teaser of an episode of “World’s Dumbest” from www.trutv.com:

The Smoking Gun strives to make the planet safer by exposing the idiotic antics of the world’s dumbest daredevils. Watch twenty dangerous stunts you won’t want to try at home, including a man trying to hang-glide while being towed by a snowmobile and a motorcyclist standing up on his seat, eating a sandwich as he rolls down the road. Not to mention the inline skater who breaks one arm, then gets back on his skates the very next day to attempt a stupid stunt that breaks the other arm.

Sure, eating a sandwich while motorcycling is probably a bad idea (unless it’s ham), and inline skating with a broken arm is a fucking stupid thing to do, but neither of those things involve a crowbar, a spooky, unexpected attack by a random dude, a sex tape OR a made-up abduction at knife-point by an invented “man with bushy hair.” (NB: some of us can’t help our frizz, aight? Sheesh).

Final score? Well, I WOULD have said Everyone that isn’t Tonya Harding: 1. Tonya Harding: 0…but she has a standing gig doing comedy on TV. Cut to my head exploding like a Fembot’s from disbelief.