I follow several crime news sites, including CNN Justice, which I visit several times a week. No matter what the headline stories are, my eye is always drawn to the section that reports local crime stories on the East Coast. Why? Because I have to see what happened in Florida. The Sunshine State never disappoints when it comes to outlandish criminal activity. Don’t get me wrong–bad stuff happens all around the country, and there are some wonderful areas in that state. But let’s face it–Florida seems to be the epicenter of the weird, heinous, and tragic.
I’m not just talking about the recent murder of Travon Martin and brouhaha surrounding it. Think about it. The tragic slayings of little Caylee Anthony and Jessica Lunsford happened in Florida. Supposed female serial killer Aileen Wuornos committed her crimes in Florida. The insanely convoluted home-invasion murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings happened in Pensacola. Serial murderer David Alan Gore, who hunted, raped, and killed women with his older cousin, was just executed at Florida State Prison. Infamous coed-killer Ted Bundy migrated all the way from the Pacific Northwest to northern Florida for his final rampage. And these represent just a very small piece of the putrid Key Lime pie. It seems that every single day someone is shooting, stabbing, strangling, beating, burning, dismembering, poisoning, drowning, Crazy Gluing, or burying alive someone else down there. No wonder so many mystery novels are set in that state.
You think I’m exaggerating? Take the Pepsi challenge and follow the Florida police blotter for a week and see if I’m wrong.
I have no idea why Florida excels at this kind of craziness. Who knows? Maybe there’s something in the water down there.