Friday, September 17, 2010

10 Good Murder Mysteries

From Law Enforcement Schools.orgFor some reason, murder mysteries really intrigue us. Some provide us with an escape from reality and we get tangled in the web that authors spin, leaving us hunting for more answers within the book. The following murder mysteries are great reads for the murder mystery mind:

          • # 1 The Postcard Killers
          • # 2 All Around the Town
          • # 3 And Then There Were None
          • # 4 Ice Cold
          • # 5 Roses are Red
          • # 6 The Nine Tailors
          • # 7 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
          • # 8 Murder on the Orient Express
          • # 9 The Killing Room
          • # 10 The Final Detail
And for #11 one of my personal favorites ...
      • MURDER BEHIND THE BADGE: True Stories of Cops Who Kill by Stacy Dittrich

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Taking Sides & Making Judgments

How is that divorce cases always become about sides? Have we learned nothing from our own lives -- that is: most things are not black and white and are often very gray? Let's take a peek at the divorce cases making headlines in the last two weeks: Elin Nordegren vs. Tiger Woods - and - Jamie McCourt vs. Frank McCourt. From the Blogsphere this week on Wood's divorce: "Her divorce all but a formality, Elin Nordegren Woods will very soon walk away from her six-year marriage with Tiger Woods with approximately $100 million ... I say, Kick ass Tiger. It'll only be a matter of time before the capricious media is on your side again."

There was a lot of banter on whether or not Elin "deserved" the money. I think this is ridiculous - how can we as a society decide the value of their marriage (let alone their divorce)?  Even courts don't try to decide that -- instead looking to a dissomaster to spit out the correct answer.  Most importantly, how can we criticize ELIN when it was Woods' zillions of affairs that brought their marriage to a tumbling crash? I usually don't like to comment on people's marital affairs as there is soooo much behind the scenes; however, in this case I really must say that Elin has been nothing but a class act.  She handled the infidelity news with grace and dignity. 

I was particularly impressed with Elin's interview in People Magazine. In her own words: "My immediate plan is for the kids and me to continue to adjust to our new situation. I am going to keep taking classes, but my main focus is to try to give myself time to heal." It was refreshing to hear from her directly to put some closure on the whole mess.  I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Elin to do that interview and I give kudos to her for being brave and forthright.

And from the Blogsphere on the McCourts: "The McCourt case may end up being the most-discussed case of all recent divorce cases. It is the ultimate Hollywood he said-she said, a saga that includes Malibu mansions, millionaire ballplayers, conflicting legal documents and some of the country's most accomplished -- and most expensive -- attorneys."

Like the Woods' case, the McCourts are dealing in a dispute in the hundreds of millions. Unlike the Woods' case though, allegations of Jamie cheating on Frank have not been confirmed (although I'm not surprised there is infidelity underlying both cases). The McCourt trial started this past week and we are definitely in for a bumpy ride.

Obviously in the law there are always at least two sides (A "versus" B). And the news media, while trying to remain fair and balanced in their reporting of the stories, inadvertently (sometimes) leads us to one side or the other. Whether or not you think Elin deserves her 100 million dollar settlement from Woods or whether Jamie should share in the Dodger empire with Frank, I'm sure we can all agree that public divorces are a source of some fascination (especially when the divorce involves a large amount of money) but really is a private matter where our big mouths and noses should not be.

We all know there is always much more to the story then what we hear. Even between non-divorcing spouses, people often cannot get the facts straight.  (Just ask Andy, we fight about the "facts" everyday -- he still is insisting that Hannah got up in the middle of the night Saturday when both she and I say KNOW she did not).  Divorces often begin with different views of the "facts" that gets rolled into other issues: childhood problems, our psyche, etc. 

Isn't the real issue that we all have flaws and its much easier to point the finger at others than look at ourselves? Well, I'm going to start (I hope a new trend) in that I'm going to admit that marriage is hard, that I'm a handful and I have a ton of flaws.  (Thankfully, Yom Kippur is not till next week so I don't have to start admitting and apologizing about them till next week.)

As we sit in here in judgment of others perhaps we should spend a few moments judging ourselves, looking at our own story, and deciding for ourselves whose side would you be on if you were being told your life/marital story. In the spirit of Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) we should take this time to reflect on our own relationships and see where at and how we could be better.

Whereas the Woods' case has wound down for now, the McCourt case is gearing up, and all of our own lives continue on each and every day.  How about using today to decide what side you are on in your own marriage, relationship, or in life? Are you happy?  What would you say about yourself on a gossip rag?  Don't worry you don't need to share, you don't need to write it down, just think about it... especially when you start talking about others.

Have a Happy 5771 and Jewish New Year to those who are celebrating!