Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From Hiccups to Handcuffs

You're probably sick of the story by now. Not me. I find this stuff fascinating.
One reason I'm a P.I. is because of a lifetime obsession with attempting to  understand what drives people to do horrible things... specifically murder.
I think my curiosity came from two places: a morbid curiosity.... and a desire to learn enough to keep myself, my family and friends, from being murdered.

I have always wondered about the individual components involved in the process of becoming a killer... or being involved with killing another.
I used to think murder was a combination of two key components: nature and nurture.
I  used to think someone could raise you to kill just by what was done to you as a kid.
I also used to embrace the natural born killer theory, the theory being something was not wired right from day one in the brain.
Now, over the years and with experience not only studying murderers, but interviewing them in the course of defending them in the past...
I know now the equation is not so simple as variations on the nature vs. nurture theme.

Sometimes, killing is a response to what someone perceives as an injustice.
Other times, it's an issue of "if I can't have you no one can".
Often a hair-trigger temper brings a finger to a trigger.
Some of my investigator friends are armed investigators who are hired to stand guard at companies where employees are laid off.
And there are those cases where someone's life turns on a dime... they get left or betrayed; they go broke; they get caught doing something bad.
Florida teen, Jennifer Mee....A.K.A. Hiccup girl.... while not the murderer, was a catalyst to it.
I was taken by surprise  by her involvement in this case.
She lured the victim to the spider's web.

What a complete and total waste of  so many lives.
First and foremost, the life of the man who was killed in the robbery gone bad.
His killing is like a pebble in the water.... its effects ripple to the  the victim's and the perp's family and friends and will resonate forever.
And then there's Hiccup Girl.
She's helped turn Shannon Griffin from a living human being to a memory, leaving a  shattered family in her destructive wake.
And she's ruined any chance she had of being a normal young girl who would grow into a woman one day.
All because of the choices she made and the people she chose to hang with.

It's all over for Hiccup Girl now.
the only future she has is her history.
She's gone from hiccups to handcuffs and lock-up.
Oddly I have not an ounce of sympathy or empathy for her.
I do understand though, how life can shift for some... and how we face decisions that are questionable when desperate.
Still, crossing the line... any line... is a choice.
Make good choices and good prevails.
Make bad choices, like Hiccup Girl did in the company she chose to keep and bad prevails.
The defense will say, robbery gone bad, she was influenced by bad guys, she was exposed to the media too young, whatever
For Hiccup Girl all that's left is damage control.
For the young man  Hiccup Girl and her boys killed.... Shannon Griffin...  my heart goes out to his family, his friends, his community. He was only 22. The well of emotions is unfathomable.
Unfortunately, when the media spotlight fades, Griffin will be just one more statistic on a list that keeps growing while we keep trying to understand it all.

I think Hiccup Girl's mom made an interesting comment  in an interview given to a radio station.
"I've said for a while now, her case of the hiccups wasn't a case of the hiccups, it was a curse of the hiccups," Mee's mother, Rachel Robidoux, told the 93.3 WFLZ "MJ Morning Show" in Tampa on Monday.  She said she didn't know what happened, said  the situation was a nightmare and said for a year, her daughter had not lived with her. 
While I don't buy into mom's "curse of the hiccups" defense theory, I can't help wondering how her life would have gone had she never been Hiccup Girl in the first place.


  1. I don't even understand how that's a defense. So she had hiccups for a few weeks. How is that related? I feel a bit bad for the mom. She has to be mortified.

  2. when i flippantly wrote it, it was meant tongue in cheek, or hiccup in throat, as case may be. though, thinking about it now, some clever defense attorney could say the hiccups caused a brain malfunction, maybe a short circuit in frontal love? or maybe the defense could say her accomplices sought her out because of fame and kept her captive?