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Deranged

Crazy is as crazy does (Associated Press)

It has been said that you should never judge a book by its cover. Unless, of course, the cover is this image of Connor MacCalister, a deranged woman—transitioning to a man—from Saco, Maine.

Last week, MacCalister went to Shaw’s supermarket in Saco, tailed 59-year-old Wendy Boudreau from the parking lot into the store, grabbed her from behind in the ice cream aisle and slit her throat.

Apparently, she thought Boudreau “looked at [her] funny” and, since she was off her meds and not thinking straight, decided to attack her. Boudreau later died at the hospital.

Following her arrest, MacCalister confessed to planning the random attack over the course of a month. She was “angry with life and wanted to get back at someone.” The bug-eyed killer targeted older women “whom she knew wouldn’t resist” and her initial plan was to murder “several random people.”

Yes, the world is a crazy place full of crazy people—and judging from this picture, MacCalister is undoubtedly at the top of this list. So watch your backs, people. You just never know who might be lurking there.

The Need to Kill

Mickey and Mallory Knox from "Natural Born Killers" (Warner Brothers)

Mickey and Mallory Knox from “Natural Born Killers” (Warner Brothers)

On March 12th in Phoenix, Arizona, 12-year-old Austin Tapia was sitting at home, playing video games while his mother and two sisters went out to get dinner. As they were leaving, they noticed 27-year-old Andrew Ward—Austin’s half-brother—walking toward the home, but still went about their business and left the young boy home alone.

This is a decision Austin’s mother will likely regret for the rest of her life.

Around 5:30 that afternoon, Ward phoned police from a local convenience store and told them he had stabbed someone. When the cops arrived, they found Ward covered in blood and—a short time later—discovered Austin’s body. They questioned Ward about the murder and asked him why he killed the young boy—and his reply was pretty chilling, to say the least.

“Honestly, I just felt like killing.”

Needless to say, Ward was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and child abuse. He pleaded not guilty, but his confession was enough to land him in Lower Buckeye Jail—his 12th jail visit since 2006.

Andrew Ward just felt like killing (AP)

Andrew Ward just felt like killing (AP)

In other words, Ward and crime seem to go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, though, jail wasn’t enough to contain his need to kill because last Wednesday night, he claimed yet another victim: 33-year-old Douglas Walker, a convicted armed robber and Ward’s cellmate for three weeks.

Officers discovered Walker dead in his cell after inmates reported a fight. A peanut butter sandwich and plastic bag had been shoved down his throat, he had been beaten severely, his neck had been slit using a playing card and his eyes had been gouged out with a golf pencil. Ward immediately confessed to beating and choking his cellmate. He also told detectives that he had “no regrets for the attack,” but his motive remains unknown… or does it?

If you ask me, what we have here is a natural born killer… not someone especially skilled at killing, but someone who feels impelled to kill. And since psychiatric experts cleared Ward following the murder of his half-brother—sending him to jail rather than a mental hospital, which he originally requested (as if criminals have a right to choose)—it’s probably safe to assume that other natural born killers with deep emotional issues or mental problems still walk among us.

It’s a comforting thought, isn’t it?

Grandma Goes Nuts

The weapon that killed a baby girl (Conservation Groups)

The weapon that killed a baby girl (Conservation Groups)

What might cause a 61-year-old grandmother with no criminal background or history of mental illness to suddenly—and quite brutally—murder her own granddaughter?

That’s the question the parents of a 6-month-old girl  in Chicago are asking themselves right now. Unfortunately, they may never get an answer.

Last Sunday, the girl’s father dropped her off with her grandmother—Alfreda Giedrojc—so he could help with repairs on a nearby home. What happened while he was gone, however, would change his life and his family’s lives forever.

“Her father and grandfather had stepped out of the grandparents’ house for a short time when this horrific event took place,” a spokeswoman for the Cook County State Attorney‘s office said later. And trust me… the word horrific may be an understatement.

While her husband and son-in-law were away—and for no apparent reason—Giedrojc laid the child on the floor, grabbed a sledgehammer and proceeded to bash in the child’s head and body. As if this wasn’t enough, though, she then found a carving knife and used it to slit the baby’s throat… while she was still alive!

Imagine this poor child’s father when he returned to find his newborn daughter not just murdered, but slaughtered. I can’t even fathom what he must have been feeling and thinking, for that matter.

Personally, my first thought would be that grandma should be the next victim, but thankfully this father let law enforcement do its job. Giedrojc was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. She is currently being held without bail after appearing in court yesterday.

What led Giedrojc to murder? (Oak Lawn Police Department)

What led Giedrojc to murder? (Oak Lawn Police Department)

What is most bizarre about this story—and this should in no way detract from the tragedy of this poor child’s death—is that Giedrojc immediately showed remorse for her crime. She didn’t offer any explanation as to why she committed it, but she did claim to feel badly about it.

I should hope so! You killed your own flesh-and-blood, woman! What the hell is wrong with you!

More details about this grisly murder will undoubtedly surface soon. And perhaps we will soon know what led this grandmother to do such a horrible thing. If you ask me, she likely had some undiagnosed mental illness, but may not have been willing to address it. Or maybe she couldn’t afford the proper treatment. Who knows?

The important thing to remember is something I echo on my blog all the time: you may think you know someone well, but only they know the evil that dwells within them. Trusting anyone is difficult—especially these days—but family should be a given, right?

Apparently not…

Amanda Bynes pulls a Lohan

Bynes smoking pot (courtesy of TMZ.com)

Amanda Bynes — Serious Mental Issues | TMZ.com.

A decade ago, Amanda Bynes was a successful television star making her film debut in 2002’s “Big Fat Liar.” The years that followed brought her even more success as she landed her first leading role in 2003’s “What a Girl Wants” and even launched her own fashion line, Dear, in 2007.

Unfortunately, things have gone downhill for her ever since.

In 2008, the company behind Bynes’ clothing line, Steve & Barry’s, filed for bankruptcy and officially went out of business in 2009.

There was a brief upswing in Bynes’ career that year, when she signed a two-picture deal with the production company Screen Gems. Her first role was in the 2010 teen comedy “Easy A” alongside up-and-coming Emma Stone. Bynes’ second film was to be a starring role in the sequel to “Hairspray,” but the production was cancelled before getting off the ground.

Bynes apparently had enough and decided to quit acting in 2010, when she tweeted “I don’t love acting anymore, so I’ve stopped doing it.” Later, she changed her story and simply said she was taking some time off. Unfortunately, this break from acting gave Bynes plenty of time to start getting into trouble.

This past March, an LA police officer stopped Bynes for talking on her cell phone while driving. The following month, she was arrested and charged with a DUI after side-swapping a squad car. June saw her charged with another DUI, this time for refusing to submit to a drug test. And earlier this month, Bynes was charged with hit-and-run for fleeing the scenes of two accidents. Her driver’s license was subsequently suspended.

Obviously, a lot can happen in one year. And I’m not even done yet.

Bynes at “Easy A” premiere

Bynes has been observed at her local gym both talking to herself and engaging in sudden and uncontrollable bursts of laughter. Her neighbors have even seen her speaking with inanimate objects and fear that her condition may be deteriorating.

Whatever the reason, it does seem like Amanda Bynes is on a downward trajectory. I can accept that a promising and talented young actress could fall so far from grace because it’s such a common story in Hollywood. The difference here is that Bynes may have deeper, more serious psychological problems working against her. And without strong support in place, I fear things could get worse before they get better.

Here’s hoping that someone in Bynes’ life steps up and helps her through this dark period. One Lindsay Lohan is enough, to be sure.

UPDATE: Yesterday morning, Bynes was pulled over by police and ticketed by police for driving with a suspended license. Her black BMW was impounded, so we probably don’t have to worry about seeing her on the road anytime soon. I should also mention that the illustrious Lindsay Lohan weighed in on the situation when she tweeted the following: “Why did I get put in jail and a nickelodeon star has had NO punishment(s) so far?” Maybe it’s because you break the law almost daily, Lindsay, but I’m sure that couldn’t be the reason. If you sense sarcasm, it’s probably because I’m laying it on pretty thick!

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