So last night I was drawn into the netflix documentary Evil Genius about a bazar set of crimes that happened in late August 2003. Brian Well’s died after robbing a PnC bank. He had been coerced, having a bomb cuffed to his neck which went off. Spoiler alert, In the end it comes out that he was a very unwillling participant, not a co conspirator as some thought at some point in time. The mastermind according to the documentary, one Majarie Diehl-Armstrong, a brilliant, highly intellgiant musician (violinist), who also seemed to have a lack of empathy. But one thing that bothers me greatly is how Brian Wells was treated by the police. He need not have died, but they took their time in getting a bomb squad there, and may have thought the aparatise attached to him was a fake. It was not.

Another movie I have been attracted to today is Schindler’s List. I had seen the movie when it first came out and it is very well made, course it is a Steven Speilberg. Oskar Schindler was not a nice man. He had a girlfriend on the side, used slave labor, and made friends as it were with the nazi’s. BUT he could not forget that the Jews who worked for him even as slaves, were people, and because if his list (of workers he chose) the Schindler Jews had family. So many of the Jews who survived the holocaust were sole survivors.

So here is the thing. Oskar Schindler who was not a nice man, did one great good. He had empathy and was in a place where he could do something. Marjarie Diehl-Armstrong on the other hand had no empathy, or so it seems, killing two boyfriends, and being a part of a big plot to rob a bank that ended the life of Brian Wells. BUT, to me watching the documentary I see that the police did nothing for Wells. Are the in part to blam? Could he have survived had there been a medical team there at the scene? Why was so little done for him?

Jesus tells us even as you do to the least of these you do to me. So who is the least here? In a way it is Brian Wells, but isn’t it also Marjarie? She had mental problems, was akward as a kid, seems to not have had a good childhood.

Stuart Brown has a great Ted Talk on the importance of play. It was he who was tasked with discovery why some violent crimes happen, like the highway shooter he talks about in his Ted Talk.

It is at play that we discover what we really can do, and also what empathy is. Could a lack of play be what happened to Marjorie? Could it be that simple?

I kinda don’t think so, but I do wonder about her and the apparent lack of empathy. When I see video of her talking I really don’t like her. So isn’t someone I would willingly be around. But with her various problems, should she even be considered as one of the lesser ones that jesus talks about, and what of Brian Wells? Her certainly is and I only hope his soul has found home. And the Schindler Jews, and Oskar Schindler?

The workers give Schindler a ring that has a saying from the Talmud, which basically says, “save one life in time save them all”.

I want to belive in hope, believe that good will win over evil, believe that kindness can take over unkindness, but I look at Brian Wells and wonder, could more have been done for him. Why was so little done from the police, seemingly so scared of another bomb?? And being labeled a co conspirator means that no one has ever been charged with his murder. Having seen the 4 part documentary I can only see him as an unwilling participant unable to do anything about his fate once that bomb had been put on him. And Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong should have had more help as well, and she sought it in her younger days.

Mental health in Amerca needs to be looked at. I don’t think stigmatism is the problem. I do believe that meditation and purhaps more play would help everyone, young and old.


Moira Levant © June 7 2018

One thought on “Evil and Good

  1. Same here, some years ago there was a commission of inquiry which established that govt and community needed to do more on this, but it has faded and mental health is largely underfunded and ignored, it’s like – it’s a problem but we don’t really care.


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