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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Serial Killer or Killers Picking Off Young Male College Students…

posted by on April 29 at 16:35 PM

…and getting away with it? Investigator links 40 similar deaths, all drownings. Go read this storyŚit’s fucking chilling. It seems highly improbable that every dude that accidentally drowns in Wisconsin and Minnesota just so happens to be the same physical typeŚno ugly dudes, no fat dudes, no dudes with facial hair. All good-looking, athletic, clean-cut college boys.

Via Towleroad.

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Ack, someone call the Criminal Minds team!

Posted by Carollani | April 29, 2008 4:42 PM

As we've learned from reading Slog, no one cares about dead non-white, non-female, non-under-21 people.

Posted by K | April 29, 2008 4:48 PM

Oh, I agree, K. Who cares about those non-white, non-male old people?

It's good to see someone be honest for once. I don't think there's anything wrong with you feeling that way. After all, some prejudices are there for a reason, right?

Posted by L | April 29, 2008 4:55 PM

No one cares about journalistic integrity, either. As in,

1. the only hint of this being untrue is a question mark (as in, "Are condoms gaying your kids? Stay tuned after SVU to find out!"),

2. we mistrust the traditional news dailies and networks here in Seattle, but certainly the crack team in the Twin Cities can do better than us, and

3. the dude in the bandanna at the top of the story is in no way good-looking.

Posted by Ziggity | April 29, 2008 5:02 PM

Thanks for posting this link, Dan.

I first read about it last year and the spin was "accidental drowning" due to being drunk. But it seemed really far fetched that so many young men were dying this way in a relatively small area. So, it's nice to know that some police officers were actually looking at the bigger picture.

I wonder, if these had all been women, would police have connected them sooner?

It is a bit chilling that the detectives think this is an organized, multi-person murder scheme.

Posted by PopTart | April 29, 2008 5:05 PM


Posted by Mr. Poe! | April 29, 2008 5:14 PM


Posted by some dude | April 29, 2008 5:18 PM

At least they didn't commit suicide when the bridge got a fence on it ...

Oh wait, maybe they did.

But @5 is right, the MSM and police don't care about young white men, only young white women, in terms of suspicious "accidental" deaths.

Part of it is they presume the women might have been killed by men, part is they presume the men offed themselves, part is the Beauty Myth culture we live in.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 29, 2008 5:24 PM

Why didn't anyone try to kill me when I was an undergrad at the UofM? I was in good shape! My freshman year.

Posted by Big Sven | April 29, 2008 5:24 PM

You're too tall, @9.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 29, 2008 5:25 PM

Who let ECB out of her cage?... (They should have known that something like this was inevitable.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | April 29, 2008 5:26 PM

At least three had some facial hair. The line west of chicago looks like a truck route.

Posted by LMSW | April 29, 2008 5:36 PM

Wonder if that guy that went missing in Colorado over the holidays is connected. I think it was Aspen, and the implication is that he was too drunk and is lost somewhere, only to be found after the snow's melted.

Seems like there's definitely something going on here.

Posted by paul in kirkland | April 29, 2008 6:01 PM

My cousin went missing at a model UN conference in Chicago in November 06. When the story was big in the news there were a lot of truckers and amateur crime solvers blogs that brought up this theory. It is suspected that my cousin drown in the river, but no one has come forward with any info.

Posted by Dread | April 29, 2008 6:11 PM

I'm at college at Middlebury in Vermont, and a male student went missing in February of this year. He's athletic, plays lacrosse. No leads so far, but they're searching the river. So now I'm very creeped out.

Posted by ksm | April 29, 2008 7:30 PM

Sock puppetry.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 29, 2008 7:32 PM

jeff buckley.

Posted by maxsolomon@home | April 29, 2008 7:44 PM

I was going to school at the University of Minnesota when Chris Jenkins (the main victim in the article) disappeared. I always figured he got thrown over the bridge into the Mississippi because of the Indian costume he was wearing that night.

Posted by Andy | April 29, 2008 7:58 PM

About fucking time someone connected these "accidental drownings." The cops in towns like Eau Claire and La Crosse are completely ill-equipped to deal with anything other than your rank and file underage drinking violators.

Posted by Looptid | April 29, 2008 8:07 PM

I find it deeply ironic that posters in Seattle are talking about cops in Eau Claire.... where I actually live. Have you explored the geography round these parts? You wander over to Water Street, and all you see are the frat boy types at the Brat and the Pickle. Wandering back home past Haas or on First, take one step off the path, and you're LITERALLY in the river. It is that easy, especially in late spring when the river overflows. Yeah, it's tempting to label this as serial killers', but it completely ignores some basic logic.

1) It's all white people because guess what race makes up the majority of the population in EC and Lacrosse?
2) It's males because girls long ago learned not to go anywhere alone; they travel in packs. But guys are tough and manly and can make it home alone.
3) It's "clean-shaven" athletic types because that's the majority of drinkers on Water Street.

So, let's muzzle the journalism frenzy, hm?

Posted by Marty | April 29, 2008 8:23 PM

Marty @ 20 is sounding pretty suspect.

Posted by that dude | April 29, 2008 8:32 PM

This is horrible. Those smiley faces...ugh. I want to cry.

But Will @8, I can't for the life of me figure out what you mean by "the Beauty Myth culture we live in". What has this story got to do with Naomi Wolf's book?

Posted by Irena | April 29, 2008 8:42 PM

And Marty @20, sounds like you're scared to admit the possibility that young men could be victims of anything other than their own stupidity. What a dangerously obtuse attitude. Glad you're not a cop in my town.

Posted by Irena | April 29, 2008 8:57 PM

@20 That doesn't explain all the deaths elsewhere. Actually a lot of your argument confuses me. Even if the drunk girls walked together why wouldn't they be as likely to step off the path and into the river? Sure they wouldn't drown because someone would save them, but wouldn't that be newsworthy as well?

What has changed in recent years to account for the larger number of male deaths? Are the bars new? Are the frats new? Is the path new? Or were drunk men always drowning but in the past it was underreported?

And, journalism frenzy? Really? This whole discussion seems mild by Slog standards.

Posted by PopTart | April 29, 2008 10:01 PM

"But @5 is right, the MSM and police don't care about young white men, only young white women, in terms of suspicious "accidental" deaths."

uhm, yeah, the cops moved really quick on all the white girls who died at the hands of the green river killer. only took two or three decades for them to figure that out, and then after you do give a shit, you get elected to office and have crappy tv docu-dramas based on your half-assed efforts to solve the mass murders of low income women.

Posted by fu | April 29, 2008 10:04 PM

That Reitmans chick is driving me crazy.
Most guys that think they are hot Jocks like to swim and show off so it is likely that they would drown.
Overweight computer nerds do not swim much so they do not drown. Others might swim but probably are not showing off like some jock jumping off a dangerous cliff into a pool like some smooth skinned twit.
I can see how they would drown more. They die in speeding car accidents too. They are just idiots thinking they rule but really it is just natures way of thinning out the dumb ones.

Posted by -B- | April 30, 2008 1:17 AM

For fucks sake... All the major news outlets are reporting this as the work of the "Smiley Face Gang". Come on people! If we really want this solved the it's going to have to have a name that doesn't sound straight out of Encyclopedia Brown. Off the top of my head:

The College Boy Killers
The Midwest Massacare-ers
The Beefcake Drowners
The Repressed-Homosexual-Torturers-in-a-Black-Van-Who-Pick-Up-College-Kids-to-Assert-Their-Heterosexuality-in-a-Suspiciously-Gay-Way...-ers

Posted by karst | April 30, 2008 2:47 AM

The serial killer here is rum punch, or whatever it is that frat dudes drink to get fucked up. Extremely drunk frat dudes can't swim. This is news?

The smiley face connection reminds me of when someone finds the Virgin Mary's image in a tortilla, and people line up around the block to catch a glimpse.

Posted by Mahtli69 in Tokyo | April 30, 2008 5:44 AM

The Rapture?

Posted by Vince | April 30, 2008 7:56 AM
But @5 is right, the MSM and police don't care about young white men, only young white women, in terms of suspicious "accidental" deaths.

Oh god.

were drunk men always drowning but in the past it was underreported?

Slog won't let me post the link, but google "drownings by gender." I like the 2nd link; in Virginia there are over 100 accidental drownings a year, 86% men.

Posted by poppy | April 30, 2008 11:16 AM

Yes, actually, that is my point. Girls are just as likely to wander into the river, but their girlfriends go," Hey idiot that's water." Drunken boys on their own might just keep walking. And no, a few drunken girls wandering thigh-high before their girlfriends pull them out is not newsworthy, no matter how slow the news is here.

And while it doesn't explain the drownings elsewhere, I was talking specifically about linking these "accidental" drownings to drownings in EC and LaCrosse. There might be a homicide or two in there, but to call label it serial murder is to ignore the specifics of each individual case, and geographic location.

As several other posters have stated, accidental drownings by drunken guys.... nothing new whatsoever.

Maybe it is mild, but I'm not using Slog "Just. Powerful. Stupid" as my bariometer of journalistic restraint.

Posted by Marty | April 30, 2008 1:25 PM

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