Monday, June 19, 2017

the last book I ever read (Denis Johnson's Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond, excerpt eight)

from Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond by Denis Johnson:

“This is for the FBI and the media,” Daniel Rudolph, brother of Eric, said into a video camera he’d rigged in his garage near Summerville, South Carolina, last February, and then turned to a whirring radial-arm saw and cut off his left hand at the wrist. Dressed in a white shirt and tie and wearing a tourniquet on his upper arm, he wrapped his stump with a towel and drove himself to the hospital. Paramedics retrieved the hand. Doctors reattached it. The local police chief of investigators who viewed Daniel’s videotape, “They never want to see it again.” Apparently feeling implicated, the FBI issued a statement: “Daniel Rudolph’s decision to maim himself is regrettable and totally unexpected.” Neighbors questioned by the media claimed Daniel had never struck them as anything but completely stable. Reporters hunted down a former landlady in Florida who highly recommended Daniel and his wife as tenants and said they’d once baked her elderly mother a cake. The videotape was sent to the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit.

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