Opera Boy, The Corbin Case, Leslie Beebe.
How does Opera Boy end up writing about so much crime? Eh. I love writing, obviously, but I have only begun to admit in the last year or so that my ‘love’ – seems a perverse word – as far as non-fiction goes is “true crime”. I blame my mother, who wouldn’t take me to an R-rated movie until I was 14 – and even then we saw The Changeling, starring George C. Scott, a movie that might get a PG (no 13, even) rating today – but yet didn’t object to my reading Helter Skelter, the story of the crimes and trials of the Manson Family, by Vincent Bugliosi, when I was 11. Do I want to be some strange, opera-singing Ann Rule? No, except for her paychecks, maybe. There are other reasons, including family stuff, like suspicions that, um, a direct ancestor was a double murderer and a devotee to the fine art of insurance fraud.
To note something from my original place in the Atlanta metroblog universe, I will be in the Atlanta Opera Co’s upcoming production of La Boheme, making my official credited debut with them in a small role (I’ve done two uncredited solos with them in past productions as a chorus member). This came about at a time when I was feeling rather depressed about singing, and how my MS could affect it, so it’s a joy to be able to do it.
Go to the AOC’s website linked above for further details as to ticket pricing and seating for the Opera. Boheme is among my top 3 favorite operas, and even if I’m not the lead tenor in this production, it will be a great pleasure and honor for me to be a part of it as a ‘secondary’ principal.
(What you read below can also be found in a different form in my new ‘true crime’ blog, www.planethuff.com/darkside.)
Jennifer Corbin’s internet friendship with “Hearn” took a strange turn shortly before her death, when “Hearn” revealed that she was a woman, not a man as Jennifer appears to have assumed or possibly even was told.
It appears that Jennifer had no romantic interest in her, but she said that what “Hearn” did was show her she didn’t have to be unhappy for the rest of her life. It indicates to me that Jennifer felt both loneliness and had compassion that she remained friends with this person even after she may have felt deceived.
The full details can be found in this article in the AJC. Here’s an interesting quote from the article that says a lot to me:
“…In cyberspace, people can take on any identity they choose. For months, Jennifer assumed that she was corresponding with a man. Just before her Dec. 4 death, she was surprised to learn that she had been communicating with a woman, according to her family.
Jennifer’s last conversation was on the phone with this friend. They talked until 12:30 a.m. …”
“Any identity they choose.” Too true. Cyberspace is truly new place in human experience. A place that allows the inadequate and insecure to present themselves as far more than the actual sum of their parts. A place that lets people change identities as easily as clothes. It lays bare the worst in human psychology, the strangest.
I quote another paragraph from the article here, because it may tell a huge chunk of the story, in the end:
“…On Thanksgiving, Barton discovered his wife’s Internet correspondence, in which she had discussed her marriage, according to Tierney.
It is unclear if Barton Corbin saw the contact’s last name or realized that the person was a woman, Jennifer’s family said. They say they did not know about Barton Corbin’s connection to Dolly Hearn until after Jennifer’s death, and they don’t believe Jennifer was aware of it either…”
When I based my title of yesterday’s entry on that Harlan Ellison story, (if you read sci-fi or horror you should read Harlan’s work. It has elements of what we now call the gothic, of William Burroughs-esque sci-fi/beat prose-poetry, a certain punk sensibility that, considering Harlan’s age, was way ahead of it’s time when he first started publishing in the late 50’s – early 60’s), I had no idea how accurate that might seem in light of today’s article.
Sure it’s not yet known whether Barton Corbin knew that “Hearn” had revealed herself to be a female, but think about the psychological thunderclap that could have set off in the head of a man who might be sociopathic and neurotic enough to have faked Dolly Hearn’s suicide back in 1990. Not only is his wife having a spiritually intimate friendship via the web with another person, possibly expressing her true worries, concerns, fears, her unhappiness with him, but the person signs off as “Hearn”? DAMN. Most men would be mortally freaked out, but a man crazy enough to have already allegedly killed once? It could have been like a wrathful ghost unfurling itself from the pit of his psyche, like a terrible rattling of bones in his closet. Because, if you read the article, you will see that the fact that the woman in question goes by “Hearn” is pure coincidence:
“…That the Missouri woman says she shares the same last name with Dolly is ‘a bizarre coincidence,’ said Leigh Hearn, who is married to Carlton Hearn Jr., Dolly’s brother. ‘We don’t know a relative in that area…'”
Maybe, if he is guilty of any of this, the good doctor’s mind did an almost Poe-like sort of math, a homicidal alchemy occurred as he read those e-mails. It was Barton Corbin’s own personal “Tell-Tale Heart.”
There is still too little known about the death of Leslie Beebe, at least publicly.
I am not sure what law enforcement agency is investigating her death, but I have to say my wife and I have been less than happy on occasion with the Roswell, GA’s police department, due to what seems to be a lack of action on their part in investigating the theft of Dana’s identity. Neither Dana nor I have written much about it lately, but she still receives turn-downs for credit she never applied for. Admittedly, I think we’re dealing with a rather thick-witted attempt at identity theft, one that could probably be a lot worse, but we’ve heard very little from the Roswell detective assigned to the case. I know it’s likely a boring, less-than-glamorous assignment, but it’d be nice to know when progress has been made. If the Roswell PD is investigating Leslie’s death I hope they are as aggressive in pursuing it as any other police department would be. Leslie was a woman in her mid-20’s with a good education and a decent job, she disappeared from a pretty safe part of the northside of the Atlanta area, Alpharetta. She was a low-risk victim. Therefore her murder – and the police have admitted they are treating it as a homicide – should be of great concern, because it could indicate a rather confident, intelligent killer. The kind that could kill again, particularly if it was a stranger murder.
S’all I’m sayin’.