In a bizarre turn of events, some killers in the UK are getting reduced sentences by using what lawyers are calling “the Fifty Shades of Grey defence.” A few lawmakers are trying to change that.
The film adaptation of E. L. James best-selling Fifty Shades series caught some serious flack when it came out for its less-than-stellar portrayal of the BDSM subculture. In particular, critics of the series pointed to its shallow, one-dimensional understanding of consent and safety in BDSM contexts. Now, these concerns about James’ erotic series are having real-word, legal consequences.
image via the spectator
Harriet Harman, a member of parliament and former Labour party leader, called for a change in order to stop abusers who kill their partners from dodging murder charges by claiming their partners perished during consensual rough sex.
During a debate in the House of Commons, Harman dubbed this strategy “the Fifty Shades of Grey defence” and said:
It used to be the case that men used to routinely get away with murder and only be charged with manslaughter because they could say that, although they had killed her, it was not his fault, it was her fault because she provoked him. And that was the provocation defence which led to a charge being reduced down from murder to manslaughter.
Harman argued that defendants using the Fifty Shades defense are essentially doing the same thing in a different way. The precedent in the law is especially chilling because it allows the killer to control the victim’s narrative:
[The victim], of course, is not there to say otherwise. So, in the witness box, [the accused] gives lurid, unchallengeable accounts of her addiction to violent sex, and explains that the bruises that cover her body were what she wanted. The grieving relatives have to listen to his version of her sexual proclivities and see them splashed all over social media and in the newspapers. He has killed her, and then he defines her.
Ms. Harman brought up the example of Natalie Conolly, whose killer was sentenced for manslaughter rather than murder after he testified Conolly had died during “rough sex.” In order to get justice for women like Conolly, Harman argued the law needs to be changed.
image via Express & Star
Ms. Connolly’s constituency MP Tory Mark Garnier also spoke in support of the Domestic Abuse Bill, back Ms. Harman:
What we can do is we can make sure that somebody who really understands this can make the decision, so in the event of this type of injury and homicide under a domestic abuse setting that the Director of Public Prosecutions is the one that is consulted if a change is going to be made and that way those families get the support…If there’s any way that we can remember her, we have to do something to make sure this can never happen to anybody ever again.
Alright, so you know we’re obsessed with SparkNotes’ twitter. Or, I am at least. The memes are so dank. And now there’s a master list of everything they’ve posted about Hamlet, or at least a lot of it, and it’s all iconic. Here we go.
When Your Dad Tells You to Do Something
Clean my room? Murder your killer? Totally, I’ll do that right now. Just let me finish this chapter. Level. Book. I’ll TOTALLY remember the stabbing stuff after that. I’ll even clean up the blood. When I get to it. No one’s perfect, you know?
When You’re Totally Not Jealous
Hamlet might have been the first emo. Maybe. Certainly he was pretty early. Like, I get it man, intellectual and philosophical despair or whatever, your stepdad SUCKS, but maybe go outside. Get some sun. Maybe some soft serve. Commit a murder. Whatever works?
The Roulette Wheel of Murder Excuses
No, I totally didn’t kill my brother, it was, um… *turns around and furiously spins visible wheel* … a snake! Yeah. It was a snake. You know how it is. So many venomous snakes here in Denmark, it was bound to happen sometime. Totally innocent.
Ignoring the Obvious
Look. Your father died in a mysterious snake accident. Your uncle MARRIED YOUR MOM. That’s a yikes in any context, but it’s a super yikes here. Go and get all philosophical about it if you must, but Claudius is barely even trying to hide his misdeeds. Get to the decision, man.
Did You Ever Feel Like a Vine Could See You?
Look, Claudius, if you’re going to pull off a murderous coup, you’ve gotta have just like, a little tiny bit of chill. I’m not asking for a lot. This is like a vampire freaking out and running from the room every time you mention the sun. If you’re going to murder your brother, at least own it.
When the Paper is Due Tomorrow
Maybe just do to him whatever you did to Ophelia. Too soon? #opheliadeservedbetter Seriously though, you live with the guy. Literally just stand there and kill him when he STOPS praying. Kill him in his sleep. Do something. Honestly, Lettie, kill or do not kill, there is no try.
Absolutely No One
Formally. Informally. Hamlet had the emotions of a Romantic, about a hundred years too early. I feel like the romantics would have really Gotten him. (Or like, four hundred years before his time. Imagine Hamlet with a floppy fringe. I digress). Either way, he’s an emotional mess, but mostly valid. #opheliadeseRVEDBETTER
If you’re anything like me, SparkNotes has always been there when you need it. Now, they’re not only helping you pass your classes, but also serving you the spiciest of literature memes. They’re all pure gold, but here are just a few.
Theseus or not, YOU. ARE. VALID.
Unfortunately there’s no third option, so if you want to set the Minotaur up on a blind date with your friend, you’re kind of out of luck. Otherwise, you’re good though. What color do your sails need to be if you didn’t slay the Minotaur but you’re seeing it this Friday?
Some people appreciate attitude
I mean, he’s already in love with her by that point, but you get the idea. He’s always talking about how mean she is, and then boom, marry me! Of course, the same could be said of her. What a stressful ship. Still though, you know, I’m on it.
Want to delay your problems forever?
Curiosity may not have killed the cat, but it sure killed Dorian Gray. Still, he lived a while looking fresh and evil in stead of old and evil, so if you’ve got the attic space, why not? In this economy though? The thing’s going under the bed.
Do You haunt an old building? Then you need…
Sure, you might not be the most conventionally attractive, but your secret underground hideaway is second to none, and isn’t it what’s on the inside that matters? What’s under the surface? (What’s directly under the opera house?)
People can’t know we sit! And… murder!
Maybe not as relatable as the original video, but definitely a strong mood, and just as futile. The body stays right under the floorboards after all. If only there’d been seashells on the doorknobs, maybe things would have gone better.
Hindsight is… Ah man I botched it.
Don’t look back in anger (or at all). Going to the depths of hell is a nice gesture, and who doesn’t like musicians, but you’ve gotta stick the landing by actually fulfilling the deal. Just one opinion, but if both of you don’t come back alive, that’s a bad date.
The final season of Game of Thrones is set to air this Sunday, and we’re all sad about it, but Saturday Night Live is having their fun, so good for them.
Image Via LoveThisPic
But can this SNL skit cheer me up? Is it even good? Or is it bad? A mixed bag? Or does one part save it? Should you watch it? I can’t tell you what to do with your life, but here’s my opinion.
Let’s talk about the intro!
Image Via Pinterest
That intro had me smiling: talking about how even though Game of Thrones is ending it’s really not. Even discounting the books, we’re going to have prequels and spin-offs and so much more until this series stops making money.
Image Via Finance.com
Now the first part of this skit was the parodies of Game of Thrones, and personally I want to see these shows become a real thing. Why? Well, just look at them!
Daria is a great show about an intelligent girl who cursed to go to a school filled with idiots, and if she had a sword it be way better. The shows is already great, but I like swords and blood. Call me sick, you wouldn’t be the first
But a sitcom with Jon Snow and a White Walker and a sitcom with a Sam and Gilly? I don’t know about you, but sitcom parodies are funny. I think it has to do with the music, the lighthearted attitude, and the laugh track expecting us to giggle on command because they made a reference, in this case, a reference to someone getting killed.
Image Via GfyCat
That’s comedy gold, right there. It’s something Rupert Pupkin would be proud about. But the video continues with CROSSOVERS, and they just spit ball them right here. One of them being a show called ‘No Ballers’ which apparently stars Theon and Varys. Honestly, it’s a low hit.
But at least we know Theon won’t feel it.
Image Via Meme Generator
But then they get to the single worst part of the video: ‘Wildling Out’.
Image Via Imgur
I hate rap now. This is cringy, hard on the ears, and the worst thing humanity has made since the Atomic Bomb. Even the ‘HBO Kids’ parodies don’t help – especially considering they have “Hodor’s House”.
Oh yes, they go there.
Honestly, this whole thing hurts on so many different levels – some good, some not so good. Personally, at this point, I was done with the video. But then magic happened.
Image Via Make a Meme
If you want don’t want spoilers, then watch it right now. RIGHT NOW.
I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT but that might just be for the ending. So what did you think? Did you watch the video? Did you just skim through the article to find the video? Sound off below.
Just because you wrote a good book doesn’t mean you haven’t killed someone. In fact, just because you haven’t written a good book doesn’t mean you haven’t killed someone. Heck, you could not write a book, not intend to write a book, and still kill someone. But that’s not what this site is about. This site is about books, and occasionally the worlds of literature and murder overlap. Here are 5 authors who murdered someone.
5. William S. Burroughs
As the story goes, he didn’t mean to kill her, but he did. Key member of the Beat Generation, William S Burroughs appears in Jack Kerouac’s breakout 1957 novel On The Road. Written on one long scroll of paper so he didn’t have to change pages on his typewriter, Jack Kerouac wrote this iconic piece of literature in three weeks in April of 1951, fuelled by coffee. William S. Burroughs was the inspiration behind On The Road‘s character of Old Bull Lee.
William S. Burroughs had his own writing career long before On The Road was published. In fact, his first novel, Junkie, was released in 1953, a first-person narrative about a man struggling with heroin addiction. This novel was published initially under the pseudonym William Lee.
But let’s go back to 1951. While in Mexico City, the story goes that Burroughs and his second wife, Joan Vollmer, were drunk. Plus, word has it that Joan was undergoing withdrawal from a heavy amphetamine habit. Drunk and a little high, they decided to play William Tell.
For those who don’t know, William Tell is a game in which one plays shoots an apple off the top of another person’s head, usually with a crossbow, however in this instance, Joan placed a highball glass on top of her head and William S. Burroughs used a pistol to attempt to shoot it off. Unfortunately, he missed.
While awaiting trial, Burroughs wrote the novel Queer about a young man looking for Yage, a hallucinogen, in South American. At the end of his trial, Burroughs was given a two-year suspended sentence and in 1959 his magnum opus, Naked Lunch, was published.
William Seward Burroughs II, post-modernist author and primary figure of the Beat Generation, died on August 2nd, 1997 at the age of eighty-three.
5. Anne Perry
Author of the Thomas Pitt detective series and the William Monk detective series, Anne Perry is an English author whose life story was the basis for Peter Jackson’s film Heavenly Creatures. Released in 1994, the film follows the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder case about two teenage friends, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, who eventually murdered Parker’s mother.
Parker was sixteen at the time, while Hulme was fifteen. According to The True Crime Library, in Christchurch, New Zealand the girls bludgeoned the woman to death with half a brick enclosed in an old stocking before running into town and claiming that Parker’s mother had fallen and hit her head.
Their story fell apart upon closer inspection and the two were arrested. Too young for the death penalty, the girls each received five years in prison.
At the time of the film’s production and release, it was not known that upon her release from prison, Juliet Hulme had changed her name to Anne Perry.
After the film was release and Perry’s identity discovered, the New Zealand Herald claims that, “…Perry has told the London Times Saturday Magazine that although they were never lesbians the relationship was obsessive”.
On her website, Anne Perry write that, “I began the ‘Monk’ series in order to explore a different , darker character, and to raise questions about responsibility, particularly that of a person for acts he cannot remember. How much of a person’s identity is bound up in memory?”
3. Blake Leibel
Not everyone who authors graphic novels with graphic descriptions of murder is a murderer themselves, but this guy is.
In 2015 the graphic novel Syndrome was published, containing graphic depictions of bloodletting and, straight from CBS Los Angeles, it transpires that Blake Leibel murdered his girlfriend and left her body “drained of all of her blood in a crime that a prosecutor said mirrored the script of a graphic novel he co-wrote.”
The Los Angeles Times also notes that Leibel “was expressionless. Dressed in a yellow jail shirt and blue scrubs, he uttered only one word, answering “yes” when the judge asked if he would waive his appearance at an upcoming court hearing”.
Back in 2005, Chinese writer Liu Yongbiao broke onto the scene with his story collection, A Film, which won China’a highest provincial critical achievement: the Anhui Literature Prize. In 2010, his novel about a writer implicated in a wave of unsolved murders, The Guilty Secret, was published.
In 2013, he cemented his literary status when he was elected to the China Writers Association.
Image Via All That’s Interesting
In 1995, on November 29th, 1995, Liu and a friend, Wang Mouming, checked in a guesthouse. All That’s Interesting tells that they had “the intention of robbing other guests” but “[w]hen the two were caught stealing by a guest, Wang and Liu are believed to have used clubs and hammers to kill the guest as well as the guesthouse’s two owners (an elderly couple) and their thirteen-year-old grandson in order to completely cover their tracks.”
Twenty-two years later, Shanghaiist reported that blood samples led investors to the fifty-three-year-old writer and the sixty-four-year-old legal consultant.
The NY Post states that Liu told the investagors who arrested him that, “I’ve been waiting for you all this time”.
According to ABC News, Mark Read spent his early ears by robbing drug dealers before kidnapping and torturing members of the criminal underworld. Eventually, he was caught and charged with armed robbery, assault, and kidnapping. Perth Now reports that he only spent only thirteen months outside of prison between the ages of thirty and thirty-eight. He also cut off his ears in prison.