The Dangers of Skinny Pop- Christun Erwin
“Who would have thought a one legged man could hurt anyone? Not even Teena would have, she is my wife. Julie (one of his victims,) thought I was harmless, took pity on me then I smashed her head in with a hammer.” – Michael Benjamin Sams- serial killer
“I’ve killed 13 women, raped dozens more, I have probably killed 54 in my time… Sometimes they talk to me and I let them live…. Others? Well they were dead the moment I saw them. I’d beat up on them, rape them, yea I have eaten human flesh…. Tastes like pork…. I prefer genitalia, period. But you ask Clara, she’s marrying me next year. She trusts me. Remorse? No way, period. They all asked for it, suckers, the whole lot.” -Arthur Shawcross- serial killer
“I had fantasies as a youth then went on to following women home. I got my sexual kicks from that at first, then I raped at least a dozen times, then I killed. Why? Because she knew me from college. They were easy to chat to, they all liked me because I looked so harmless. Most women are stupid. They trust good looking guys like me. I’d say they all deserved what they got. I carried one women’s shopping home, then when we got to her yard I lifted her baby out of the stroller and smashed its head into a tree. Then I raped and strangled the mother. She lived and that isn’t any fault of mine, that was a pure act of God.” -Michael Ross- serial killer
“I asked a girl for directions from my car, she stuck her head in the electric window (Don’t ever do this, like ever… in fact don’t approach the car at all) it was a busy street at night…. I dragged her 150 yards then smashed her unconscious, then I took her away and raped and killed her. Slut.” Arthur Shawcross- serial killer
In order to even start to think about a line of defense we must first and foremost understand the absolute evil and maliciousness that is in this world. Last week we talked about our humanity and compassion being the predators advantage and this week I want to venture a start into situational awareness.
A thought first….. I have noticed a trend here lately, and in my opinion it’s a dangerous way of thinking. It is a claim that women shouldn’t have to take precautions, that we shouldn’t have to worry about being raped or attacked on the way to our car and in such we should change our approach and focus. In recent years there has even been disapproval on women’s self defense claiming the direction should be on men’s classes teaching men not to rape. I am raising my boys to have the utmost respect for women, but I am not banking on a men’s course for saving myself; in a weird twist that’s a messed up version of me being the damsel waiting to be saved by some one else’s actions. The fact of the matter is in the history of man there has never NOT been rape or not been attacks on the most vulnerable by malicious people. There has never not been evil beings and no amount of rehab in a men’s class is going to change a person that thinks like those quoted above. That’s animalistic in its simplistic form. There is predator and there is prey and in their mind they are taking out what they perceive as the weaker links. I am not going to spend my efforts waiting on the rapists to be rehabilitated, I want to take my chances on learning what I can to get home safe to my babies at night and making sure they are safe too. You make your own call but understand you are a walking victim if you do not understand this.
Geoff Thompson author of Dead or Alive said, “The people we are talking about, those in society that attack for fun or for profit do not give a monkey’s f*€k about what is right or wrong, they have no morals and would take great pleasure in raping a girl. They have already decided to break the law and are on the very dark side of wrong.”
And that is just it in a nutshell, they have ALREADY decided to break the law.
Christopher Berry-Dee, Criminologist and author of Ladykiller, a well known book on the psychology of women serial killers said, “We must ask ourselves are we not living in a world where lead balls bounce, elephants fly, and fairies reign supreme? And have we somehow forgotten that our streets are infested with human scum who actually enjoy smashing their bullying fist into the faces of our children, wives, and the elderly?”
I don’t write this so much to create paranoia but to get in your head that the moment someone breaks into your space with the intention to intimidate or escalate to an attack you must not think of their humanity because they have none. Your brain must jump quickly to a violence that matches theirs in order to get away. That’s how we understand the predator. We must turn into something feral intent only on survival. We must move, we must be action.
You know that jump you get when something loud drops on the floor? That jolt to awareness of your brain trying to quickly calculate what is going on? That’s the type of sensitivity you need to be when walking across a parking lot alone, when you are in any potentially threatening environment. Your body being alert and ready for confrontation will show a predator that maybe you aren’t the easy prey he is looking for thus causing a deselection of you as his victim.
Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, Combat Pistol Instructor gives us a list of alertness and levels of awareness using code white, yellow, orange, and red:
Code White: This sadly is what most women walk around in and what I want to literally jerk you out of. This is a state of oblivion to danger. You are unaware of your environment, the types of people, and basically any human hunter mannerisms. You are the predators wet dream. You stare at your phone or are talking/texting on it while strolling to the car.
Code Yellow: You are alert. You have an understanding of what areas are dangerous, dark doorways, if there are no exits, and understand how a predator may act. This is not a state of paranoia, but a tough observation of your surroundings. You have the mentality of a side seat driver. My grandmother has Alzheimer’s and when she is a passenger in your vehicle she tends to call out basically everything in her surroundings from hay bales to trees to signs. Ironically this is where I need you to be, habitually telling yourself what your brain sees constantly when out in public, or walking to your car, or at a party/bar, or basically any potentially dangerous situation. Talk out loud about what you see, at the very least you will look like you are crazy and maybe a predator won’t want to mess with you for that reason…
Code Orange: This threat evaluation represents what could happen. This is where you sense possible danger and you evaluate your circumstances. This state allows you assessment of how to handle the situation before it gets ugly. This is the thought process of what you are going to do. Ideally you will have gone though it enough physically and mentally beforehand in training to the point you have a plan. You recognize possible predatory advances so you can react before they are even in close to being in your space.
Code Red: Threat avoidance, this is your fight or flight situation that was evaluated in code orange. If there is a threat the plan is to flee. Always flee. Never stand to fight if you have the option to run. If you can’t the next goal is to stay on your feet and stay conscious. If threat dissipates then revert back to code orange and then code yellow…. Code red is where you are readying yourself to act immediately to flee if you can or fight if you have to.
STAY THE HELL OUT OF WHITE!!
A couple of years ago I was at my cousins wedding in Kansas City; the reception was over and several of us were still sitting in the hotel lobby hanging out. A man who seemed harmless enough was at the tables with us and I assumed he was from the brides side as I didn’t know him. Even though he was drunk he didn’t seem a threat, but at one point acted as if I was the crazy one when I brushed his hand off of my shoulder when he seemed to be too friendly. I had told him I was married and had 8 kids (that’s usually the best deterrent). He hit on my cousins too throughout the rest of the night and eventually we were all partied out and headed to the elevators sans strange man.
Earlier that day I had fixed all the hair of the bridal party and the maid of honor brought in the largest Costco bag of Skinny Pop I had ever seen; literally it was as long as my leg. Somehow it had made it through the snacking of bridesmaids, the reception, to the lobby, and I was the last hanger on of the still half full bag of Skinny Pop. The man had disappeared I assumed to go to his own room by the time we got on the elevator. I made sure my two cousins got to their doors safely before I went to the fourth floor where my husband and kiddos were sleeping.
This is where I failed. This is where my screw up could have been very costly and I want women to learn from it. I went from being in a code yellow with my cousins to being in code white when I realized my key card wouldn’t work. It was 3 in the morning and I knew I was going to have to go all the way back downstairs to get a new one because if I banged any louder on my hotel room I was going to wake the whole floor. Ryan and kiddos were obviously pretty tired and they were not answering. My room was directly to the right of the elevator that created the center of the “O,” where all the rooms encircled it. I sat the bag of Skinny Pop down, and with my back to the foyer and any possible threat, I decided to take a selfie with the still surviving popcorn. I thought I was quite hilarious at the time. When I finished I stood up, turned around, and directly behind me only two feet away was the man from the lobby smiling like a creep. My stomach dropped and I instantly went on alert to code red, I had made a grave mistake in situational awareness and I knew it. Thankfully it was a less costly lesson, though one I will never forget.
The guy was drunk and though he cornered me on the elevator while I was trying to go downstairs I was able to exit and warn him, this time not so nicely, to leave me alone. When he still continued in his pursuit, I called very loudly for my family who came shooting very calamitously out of seven surrounding rooms. They consisted of three veterans, several avid hunters, and all of them pro second amendment. Immediately this guy went on the whole, “this bit*h is psycho,” train, but the threat was eliminated and I went downstairs to get my new key card.
I tell you this because that is one mistake I hope you never make and one I know I will never make again. I hadn’t taken the time to know where the stairs were and that’s exactly where he came from. I very easily could have been hit from behind and taken anywhere; an ambush that no amount of karate would have helped at that point. I did not know his intentions, he may have just been a belligerent drunk, but hell he very easily could have been a person with the horrific personality of those I quoted in the beginning. Pay attention ladies, put away the distractions and the Skinny Pop and be vigilant in your surroundings. Know the codes and stay out of white.
Author- Christun Erwin
"Thank you for your words. They make an impact and its important that, human to human, woman to woman, mother to mother... you know that you make a difference, even to those you never knew your words" -Krystal