“He was a good kid,” said Ruth Charles about her son Rudy Eugene. “He gave me a nice card on Mother’s Day.” And then he died naked under a hail of gunfire as he refused to stop eating the face of a 65-year-old vagrant, growling at a fairly surprised policeman as he shot him.
The card was a sweet gesture, Mrs. Charles, but the whole “Nekkid and eating a man’s face off while not responding to gunfire” trumps it fairly solidly: The verdict is in and the gavel has fallen, with a resounding “ZOMBIE!” being screamed in judgment. “Bailiff, shoot him in the head. The head, mind you. Next case?”
This story is so big that no one has focused on the racial make-up of the officer and suspect, which is all that ever matters (as opposed to the offense for which he was shot). Sure, out of pure instinct a family member is quoted by one press outlet as trying to argue that “they should have just pulled him off of that man and arrested him” for the excessive use of force angle. But apparently people have such a hard time getting past “Holy Sweet Crap! He was actually eating that man’s face and growling!” that the “excessive force” aspect of this incident is getting a mulligan, having been overshadowed by the fact that he was actually eating that man’s face and growling, making shooting his crazy homicidal ass seem more reasonable than wrestling with him (and risking infection—we’ve seen the movies too, folks).
A story this bizarre happens from time to time, but I’m like the rest of you and starting to see a larger picture emerging here:
Three days ago, I read about a 21-year-old Maryland student named Alexander Kinyua who just admitted to killing his roommate and consuming his heart and (you guessed it) brains. Zombie? No. But he was eating a dude’s brains. His freakin’ brains, people.
• A college professor in Sweden decides to punish his young wife for a suspected affair by cutting off her lips and eating them. He didn’t want the lips to be able to be sewn back on, he explained, for which I have to give a nod to his attention to detail. (Zombie? No. But Hannibal Lechter-like stories related to cannibalism get an honorable mention, and timing is a factor.)
• Bergen County SWAT officers in Hackensack, N.J., encountered a 44-year-old man who stabbed himself in the gut more than 40 times and began throwing his intestines at the police officers.
Zombie? This one is your call. Don’t let me sway you, but despite the lack of cannibalism, I am still leaning towards him being one of the undead. He threw his own intestines at police and that is “Zombie Cred” if I ever heard it before.
(Tell you what, let’s just pause here a second: This man cut himself open and threw his own guts at responding officers. What the hell? I have seen some comparable shit, folks, but damn. What day did they teach you how to deal with that in the Academy? I mean, holy … freakin … crap. You know their liquor costs skyrocketed that week.)
The Maryland, Florida, and New Jersey suspects were all black males, which clearly makes this a racist epidemic, but even that aspect has been untouched due to the truly horrific nature of these crimes. They don’t need that extra traction, that “Holy shit—you mean this isn’t a white guy in the Trayvon Martin shooting?!,” that extra “zing” to keep the conversation going. Because what sells better than signs of the End Times and coming Zombie Apocalypse? That’s a story that doesn’t need any extra bells and whistles.
Be aware of your surroundings, faithful readers, and take these two bits of advice: Machetes don’t run out of ammunition and not all the undead will be naked drugged up maniacs, so don’t let your guard down.
Until next week. I hope.
Alex Teach is a full-time police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/alex.teach.