Sunday, March 04, 2012

The most dangerous name

LeBron's rumination on middle initials got me to thinking about triple named murderers. Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth, John Wayne Gacy, James Earl Ray....

First I wondered why people like Sirhan Sirhan and Jeffrey Dahmer got short shrift.

Maybe Sirhan Sirhan was distinctive enough that using Bishara in the middle was gilding the lily?

 But why not Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer?

Maybe it's only mellifluous if the middle name is a single syllable?

But see Lee Harvey above.

Then I wondered if there was a specific middle name particularly associated with mayhem and found this amazing article.

If your middle name is Wayne and you live in Texas, you probably are a murderer!


Anonymous said...

There's a certain name beginning with M that's associated with many, many more murders world wide. Oh oh, just realized the thought police are listening. I better go.

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Anonymous said...

Well I can't speak to Sirhan Sirhan, but Jeffrey Dahmer is the only murderer who made your list that wasn't an assassin of some major political or social figure. My guess as to why the triple name for the first four is because of media sensationalism...yes these guys were murderers, but they mostly did it for political reasons, which is a bit more noble than Dahmer's least in the eyes of someone trying to sell newspapers.

Anonymous said...

The middle names are used to specify the assailant in newspaper articles and then get picked up by the popular culture. By the way, did you know Jimmy Carter had to petition the court to use the name "Jimmy" in official campaign documents because he didn't want people associating him with King's shooter?