But I did get from the library Ann Jones' feminist-sociological tome Women Who Kill. It is mostly pretty dry for me, I like my tomes on female murderesses to be sexy. But I love what she writes in the preface:
And this book is mostly about fear: the fears of men who, even as they shape society, are desperately afraid of women, and so have fashioned a world in which women come and go only in certain rooms; and about the fears of those women who, finding the rooms too narrow and the door still locked, lie in wait or set the place afire.
Which kind of echoes Durkheim's idea, or reverses it, that suicide is often a desire to murder another. I also remember Durkheim writing that suicide is to be an "author of one's own end." Violence as a means of authority, some means of communication for the muted. And with setting the place afire of course I think of the two Berthas, Charlotte Bronte's and Jean Rhys', both setting fire to Thornfield Hall, Jean Rhys additionally setting fire to the pages of Jane Eyre and jumping out, her Bertha free from the oppression of character.
I like when Jones talks about the fear and anxiety circulating around the persona of the female criminal, and in a way linking it to feminism, but overturns the idea that feminism causes criminality. I think too of the figure of the femme fatale in the fin de siecle, coinciding with the New Woman.
I think the most interesting female killer, or alleged female killer, nowadays, besides Amy Bishop, is Amanda Knox. I've been glued to her story. I even appropriate it in Under the Shadow of My Roof, linking Knox to a Sadean heroine, or like a new Manson sister.
I love the details in the case of Foxy Knoxy, whether she did it or not. I love that she did cartwheels and splits at the police station. I love everyone's horror of her schoolgirlishness, her gleefulness. Like she is one of the Lisbon sisters, these strange pretty enigma, instead a murderess as opposed to a suicide. I am fascinated that Meredith Kircher, the young woman killed, dressed as a vampire for Halloween the night before, Amanda remembering the blood coming off her chin. The manga comic books. That reporters found a story Amanda wrote for a creative writing class describing a woman raping another woman. I think my favorite part of the Knox story is that her defense on the night when she supposedly tied up her roommate and tortured her and stabbed her to death in some ritual sex orgy was that instead she was fucking her boyfriend and watching Amelie. I fucking love that last part, that they were watching Amelie. And smoking pot and fucking. How banal is that.
I bet Joyce Carol Oates is working on a book about Amanda Knox. She would have to make Meredith blonde and passive, compelled by the strong force of Amanda's personality. Frizzy haired and blonde like an angel. Like a pop-Persona. I am now reading JCO. For research. To measure against Jelinek. I picked up Rape: A Love Story, I thought the title was amazing, and reminded me so much of my Under the Shadow, which is subtitled a love story. But JCO's love story is more of the Lifetime movie-of-the-week variety, which I will write more about later.