Monday, October 02, 2006

Perfect Murder 

Courtesy of our stouthearted colleagues Kel (at the Osterley Times) and Mike F. (at Crooks and Liars): Let's say there is a sonofabitch who happens to be a) banging your wife; b) stealing your money; c) taking credit for your brilliant invention; d) planning to scuttle the business deal that will make you rich; and/or e) demanding enormous sums of cash not to release the lubricious Instant Messages you really shouldn't have sent to an embarrassingly large number of congressional pages. Or maybe he's the doc who got drunk and prescribed the wrong medication for your dear old (late) mum. Motive doesn't matter. The key thing is, one, you want him dead, and two, he's one of those dark-complected semitic types. An Arab -- or even a sikh! -- is ideal, but a Jew will work just fine.

Here's what you do.

1) Wait until overwork catches up with him and he books a European vacation. Make sure the vacation is at least a couple of weeks long so your already-swarthy victim will have every opportunity to deepen his, ahem, "tan."

2) Follow him to his R&R venue of choice. Book a seat on the same return flight he's taking back to the states; contrive, if possible, to sit directly behind him.

3) Since a transatlantic flight is bound to last several hours, your target is all but certain to make a bathroom visit at some point during the trip. Wait for him to do so. Then, when he returns to his seat, hang tough until he reaches into his carry-on bag for an iPod, or some other electronic device. At which point you . . .

4) Jump up from behind and strangle the motherfucker where he sits! Given his indisputably suspicious behavior, the airline attendants are unlikely to stop you. In fact, your fellow passengers will probably congratulate you for taking decisive action to break up a sinister terrorist plot! And best of all, in George W. Bush's let's-roll America, there's no jury that would even so much as consider convicting you:
Seth Stein is used to jetting around the world to create stylish holiday homes for wealthy clients. This means the hip architect is familiar with the irritations of heightened airline security post-9/11. But not even he could have imagined being mistaken for an Islamist terrorist and physically pinned to his seat while aboard an American Airlines flight - especially as he has Jewish origins.

Yet this is what happened when he travelled back from a business trip to the Turks and Caicos islands via New York on 22 May. Still traumatised by his ordeal, the 47-year-old is furious that the airline failed to protect him from the gung-ho actions of an over-zealous passenger who claimed to be a police officer. He has now instructed a team of top US lawyers to act for him . . . .

"This man could have garrotted me and what was awful was that one or two of the passengers went up afterwards to thank him," said Mr Stein. He has since been told by airline staff he was targeted because he was using an iPod, had used the toilet when he got on the plane and that his tan made him appear "Arab" . . . .

In Mr Stein's case, he was pounced on as the crew and other travellers looked on. The drama unfolded less than an hour into the flight. As he settled down with a book and a ginger ale, the father-of-three was grabbed from behind and held in a head-lock.

"This guy just told me his name was Michael Wilk, that he was with the New York Police Department, that I'd been acting suspiciously and should stay calm. I could barely find my voice and couldn't believe it was happening," said Mr Stein.

"He went into my pocket and took out my passport and my iPod. All the other passengers were looking concerned." Eventually, cabin crew explained that the captain had run a security check on Mr Stein after being alerted by the policeman and that this had cleared him. The passenger had been asked to go back to his seat before he had restrained Mr Stein. When the plane arrived in New York, Mr Stein was met by apologetic police officers who offered to fast-track him out of the airport.

American Airlines apologised to Mr Stein, who was born in New York, but withdrew an initial offer of $2,000 compensation on the grounds it would be an admission of liability. In a letter dated 30 May, the airline said it had done everything possible to try and protect Mr Stein . . . .

In a twist to the story, Mr Stein has since discovered that there is only one Michael Wilk on the NYPD's official register of officers, but the man retired 25 years ago. Officials have told the architect that his assailant may work for another law enforcement agency but have refused to say which one.
We would like to claim that this perfect-murder plot originated with us, but honesty compels us to admit that a similar scenario has played out countless times in Iraq, where any number of irritating neighbors falsely fingered as "insurgents" have wound up being waterboarded, stripped, smeared with feces, anally raped, etc., at Abu Ghraib and comparable facilities. Expect to see more of the same right here in the U.S., now that President Bush is legally empowered to detain, and to employ "alternative interrogation techniques" against, American citizens who might thus be compelled to cough up interesting information about certain neighbors of their own.

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