From Foxy Knoxy to Son of Sam: Are Facebook Fan Pages the New Trend in Jail Mail?
Amanda Knox, the college student convicted in December of murdering her roommate while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, receives hundreds of letters in jail every month, and says they are "great support." But jail mail no longer means just letters. Slews of other supporters and haters share their feelings, thoughts, and ramblings on the walls of her 31 Facebook fan pages (31!).
If Knox doesn't have Facebook access in the Italian slammer, we imagine a family member probably passes along the messages -- or at least screens them and recaps those that won't make her life worse than it is already.
Here are a few highlights from the wall of Amanda Knox the "club," which has 1,177 fans.
"i wonder if she gets conjugal visits? lol"
"AMANDA KNOX is not guilty of murder free her"
"What's wrong with you people some of you are absolute savages - holding your kid in your profile picture and condemning knox and then saying 'she's gorgeous' - are you a fucking animal???"
Meanwhile, Amanda Knox the "public figure" page has 2,879 fans and a mission statement to get her home, while other pages range in size and message from "Free Amanda Knox," to "I <3 Amanda Knox", "We Can NOT LET THE EVIL AMANDA KNOX Win Her Appeal!!!!!!" and "Who the f-uck is Amanda Knox?"
Oddly appalled and fascinated yet? There are Facebook pages for just about any famous killer you can recall. Joran van der Sloot, for example, is practically a Facebook fame whore. The most inventive van der Sloot page, and a personal favorite, is Let's plug the BP oil leak with Joran van der Sloot, which has 66,126 fans. One "fan" writes on the wall, "Maybe we can go another way and plug Joran van der Sloot with the BP oil leak," ha.
There's also the Joran van der Sloot Fanclub with 164 members, and 26 Joran van der Sloot profiles, most of which are fake and a few of which may belong to those unfortunate enough to share a name with the accused lady killer, who, like Knox, receives piles of jail mail, including marriage proposals (Ladies, you're making a bad name for all of us!).
There is something inherently wrong with such Facebook pages being called fan pages, and people having to "like" a page to join. A more apt title would be fascination page, with an "I want to know what others are saying" button to join -- but that's really another post for another day.
For now, just marvel over the fact that pages exist for just about every killer you can remember, dead or alive, from both recent news and history. Where once creepy handwritten letters were the main way to communicate with your serial killer du jour, now we have: Facebook.
Ted Bundy (No, not the one from Married with Children)
John Wayne Gacy, "Pogo the Clown"
Aileen Wuornos, inspiration for the movie Monster
Ira Einhorn, the Unicorn Killer
Note: If you're tooling around on Facebook spending an afternoon looking for killers, notice how many bands name themselves after the most vicious of them all (Son of Sam, Ed Gein, etc.)...and then there's just The Killers. So hardcore, right?
Really, though, this Facebook trend is probably the easiest part of jail initiation.