For this post, I’m back on the subject of bullying as seen on TV. The television series “Criminal Minds” has given me three episodes worth of inspiration. The first one was posted about two weeks ago on school shootings. Today’s post was inspired by the eleventh episode of season nine, simply called “Bully.”
The story as far as I’m concerned, begins with a man being murdered while he was out jogging. What really astounds the BAU, as well as local police, is the ferocity of the attack. Here is a well conditioned man who appeared able to handle himself but he is beaten really badly to death. Things get more interesting when the team discover a young couple who suffered the same fate a year earlier. There is debate whether the two murders are linked and that provides an interesting counter plot but I’m not here to review the programme.
Another murder happens and that leads to the big breakthrough in the case. A husband and wife are murdered in their house and the team interview the young daughter who has to come back from university to deal with her parents’ affairs. She tells the team of a young boy who was believed to have committed suicide because he was bullied so badly. This boy was forced to wear girl’s underpants in front of the entire school. One can only imagine the humiliation and it makes me glad that I didn’t have such an ordeal. It turns out that the murdered jogger was a substitute teacher at the high school at the time and saw the bullying but didn’t do anything about it.
Here comes the murderer. We discover that in the years after he dropped out of high school, due to the bullying, he has become a physical fitness fanatic aided by taking steroids. Viewers get a full look at his now extremely aggressive tendencies. They also get a flashback to when he was bullied by having his head stuck down a toilet. In the end, the team locate him at the high school after he was beaten up but not yet killed another teacher who was present at the bullying of his friend but sorted the problem by making the victim and the bully shake hands. Unlike so many American cop shows, the murdering victim is not shot but taken into custody on the promise that he would get to tell his side of the story. After reading the books, “Nineteen Minutes” and “Endgame,” I wonder how much of his story would be told and would anybody listen?
While I be the first one to admit that murder doesn’t justify anything like this, I couldn’t help feeling a lot of sympathy for the killer. I know that Mark in “He Was Weird” would have felt it too. Both of us faced bullies but unlike the teacher who didn’t effectively deal with it on the programme, some of my teachers actually tried to turn it around and blame me, the victim. I highlight this quite a lot in the book. Another interesting personal link to this episode was that although I didn’t take steroids, I did join the marines after high school because I wanted it to give me the physical tools to deal with any bullies. Even though the horrendous bullying I endured was in junior high school, it had still left a mental scar that is still present today. It’s just faded a lot.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492712964&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird