Dear Chicago Reader,
Thank you for your insightful article about Dr. Helen Morrison by Cliff Doerksen ["True Crime?" June 4].
A couple of weeks ago I caught Dr. Morrison in an interview on the CNN program 360 with Anderson Cooper. The segment was about a link between brain damage received as a child and serial killing (Cooper introduced Morrison by saying, "Our next guest just said a lot of that is a bunch of hooey"). I guess I expect a little truth and investigation from CNN, but I was surprised at Cooper's attempt to minimize violent actions and break them down into wild generalizations.
This is a news station that claims to have a high caliber of journalistic integrity. Anderson Cooper's lack of follow-up on preposterous statements further reinforced the thought that the media needs to step back from the teleprompter and programmed questions and listen to what they are saying.
From a May 18th broadcast:
COOPER: Let's talk about what you know. Of the serial killers you've talked to, more than 80 of them, what is the commonality between them?
MORRISON: The commonality is that first of all, they are complete inhuman shells. They have absolutely nothing inside of them. No emotional attachments. No recognition that other people are human beings.
My follow-up question would be, "If they're not human, then what are they?" The way that the media attributes any violent event to a lack of humanity is frustrating. People that commit crimes are human. We need to look at the reasons they commit the crime and not dismiss anything we disagree with as an act of inhumanity.
I appreciate the Reader's decision to publish this article and pursue some of the generalizations Morrison claims as fact. In these times it's important that publications like the Reader publish stories from real journalists, particularly since your articles stand out from mainstream media claims. This article is important because it conveys the public's willingness to accept generalizations and lack of evidence as truth (very dangerous in today's media). I encourage others to question what CNN and other "news" networks that claim to spout truths feed them.