Tuesday, March 07, 2006

noir can't outdo reality sometimes

In Atlanta, in 1987, a hit man carrying a "delivery" of roses shot a socialite twice with a 9mm pistol in a Buckhead (upscale in-town suburb) townhouse when she answered the door to accept the flowers. The estranged husband's trial is going on in Atlanta right now. The husband, who was moving to Florida, asked the trucker who drove the moving van to "take care of" his wife. The trucker says he didn't believe the husband was serious until he got $12,500, half of the $25,000 the husband had offered him, in the mail. So the trucker picked up a bartender and a stripper in North Carolina, drove to Atlanta, bought the roses, and told the bartender to go to the wife's door posing a delivery man. He says he heard two shots and the bartender came back to the car sprayed with blood. I don't know how they caught the trucker, but he got 20 years after agreeing to testify against the husband. They've never caught the bartender and have no evidence he existed except for the trucker's statement. This is as close to a noir or TV crime show plot as reality gets, but no matter how hard they try, the writers and the TV shows just can't make "murder for hire" seem as tawdry as the reality (plus the fact that it took from 1987 to 2006 to bring the husband to trial isn't reflected in the TV shows, though in noir fiction sometimes the timeline is more accuate).

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