January 28, 2003


THE RALPHIE TREATMENT, CONT'D: Remember the nonsensical scapegoating of Hollywood and video games for the Columbine massacre? Get ready for more, as America has just seen its first "Sopranos"-inspired murder. Two brothers in Orange County, CA, killed and dismembered their mother, apparently attempting to mimic the famous "Sopranos" episode from this past season in which Tony kills Ralphie (Joe Pantoliano) and he and Christopher dismember the corpse.
If the boys' intent truly was to imitate Tony and Christopher, they didn't do the greatest job of it. The entire point of dismembering Ralphie, of course, was to eliminate evidence of fingerprints and dental marks- Ralph's body was thrown in a river while his head, hands, and feet where buried separately miles away from the rest of him. While the boys threw the torso in a dumpster, they kept the head and hands hidden somewhere in their house. Bad move. And perhaps more importantly, they killed their mother, something Tony Soprano never did, despite being cursed with perhaps the most difficult mother in the history of recorded fiction.
And finally, I don't want to hear a single person suggest that this murder happened because of "The Sopranos." It happened because these two guys were extremely depraved and disturbed; if they hadn't adopted the scenario from 'Sopranos' it could've come from just about anyone else. And these aren't little children- one is 20, the other 15. So shut up, Bill O'Reilly, shut up Bill Bennett: blaming any crime on popular entertainment is nothing but a fool's exercise.

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 28, 2003 09:04 PM
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