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Gruesome lesbian chainsaw murder shocks US

Oh, man, is that a fabulous headline, or what? It should actually be “gruesome deaf lesbian interracial chainsaw murder shocks US.” Or it would shock the US, I feel quite sure, if any of us had ever heard of it.

Odd, that. If you do a Google News Search on “lesbian chainsaw murder,” you get hits on the Age (Australia), the Independent (UK) and the Australian. Plus the story’s local paper, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. But that’s all. Lord, does the international community love rummaging through each other’s dirty laundry.

Here’s the opening paragraphs of the story in the Age:

The trial in South Dakota of a deaf, black lesbian accused of murdering a rival and dismembering her with a chainsaw has shocked the rural midwestern US state.

Daphne Wright, 43, could become the first woman sent to death row in South Dakota, which has not executed a prisoner in more than 60 years.

Wright is accused of kidnapping and murdering a heterosexual deaf woman, Darlene VanderGiesen, 42, whom she thought was spending too much time with her girlfriend.

Emotional testimony and gruesome exhibits filled the first week of her trial, and worse is to come: prosecutors are expected to show jurors a video of a pig being dismembered with the same type of chainsaw Wright bought two days after VanderGiesen disappeared.

VanderGiesen’s mother sobbed and stepped out of the courtroom as jurors passed around her daughter’s charred brassiere on Thursday.

But she managed to sit stoically as a maintenance worker described finding her daughter’s head and navel wrapped in bags and bed sheets that other witnesses linked to Wright.

A navel? How the bloody hell do you find a navel? That’s like finding a nostril! Surely what they found was a piece of abdominal skin including said object.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader version is full of charming local color:

In the early afternoon of Feb. 3, 2006, Darlene VanderGiesen’s parents arrived at her eastside Sioux Falls apartment to search for their missing daughter.

Meanwhile, Daphne Wright bought a 1.5-horsepower electric chainsaw at an Ace Hardware and Hefty trash bags at a Walgreens.

It’s like you’re actually there, isn’t it?

The happy Sioux Falls reporter who filed this update pretty much used up his whole year’s irony quota in one cogent observation:

Jessica Lichty, forensic chemist at the Sioux Falls crime lab, observed the upper body at the scene. She told jurors she recognized the remains as VanderGiesen, who had gone missing Feb. 1.

Lichty said she could see the woman’s face through a clear, plastic bag, which carried a sticker that read, “Warning: Plastic bags can be dangerous. To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this bag away from babies and children.”

The trial is taking place in Minnehaha County.

Well, of course it is.


Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 9, 2007, 12:06 pm

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 9, 2007, 1:26 pm

From the article,”…charred remains” …”charred brassiere”…”smell of petrol”, sounds like she tried to burn her before the trip to Ace Hardware.

Gruesome African-American Lesbian Chain-Saw Corpse-Burning Murder Shocks US. Indeed.

You thought your search engine term hits creeped you out before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 9, 2007, 6:44 pm

During the trial, the judge was at one point heard to sternly chastise the jury for navel-gazing.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 9, 2007, 8:33 pm

My dear Weasel, if I go to Hell, I am partly blaming you.

I don’t think I have ever chuckled so hard in all my life.

Comment from itishwhay abbitray
Time: April 9, 2007, 8:38 pm

“During the trial, the judge was at one point heard to sternly chastise the jury for navel-gazing.”

That tickled.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 10, 2007, 7:00 am

The victim worked in the packing department of a trophy making company and drove her truck to Pizza Hut to meet her killer. It’s the sheer bland ordinariness of some murders that make them instant classics. You know, one minute you’re driving your truck to Pizza Hut after a hard day boxing up bowling trophies in styrofoam packing peanuts, the next minute a deaf lesbian is carving out your navel with an electric chainsaw.

It’s a wonderful life.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 10, 2007, 7:06 am

Can a deaf lesbian African American get a fair trial in South Dakota? The man on the street weighs in.

I like that first lady. She thinks Daphne’s guilty but won’t get a fair trial. I know what that means, but I have a hard time grasping what that means, exactly.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 11, 2007, 5:15 pm

She’s black and deaf. This means that the people who think she is guilty, are not only racists but also anti-hard-of-hearing-people as well. And I bet they’re sexist/misogynistic as well. Just for that she should be set free.

Comment from geoff
Time: April 11, 2007, 5:46 pm

We must register purchasers of chainsaws and trash bags immediately!!

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