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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Weer is not dead.
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 23:57:53 

Alex David Groce (adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu) said:

>> As far as murder goes, I think a better case can be made for Weer killing
>> someone other than Bobby Black. Because I am out of time  for today, I will
>> leave this as an exercise for the reader. <g>
>> William Ansley

I shouldn't have left this hanging. Sorry, I was tired.

>Aye.  I know the various Weer as murderer/Weer as serial killer
>eliminating the
>whole cast of characters theories.  I'm just skeptical.  You can make a case
>for the librarian, possibly, more tenatively for Sherry Gold.  I just
>don't buy
>the cases I've heard.  On the other hand, I think the Professor did kill Aunt
>Olivia (Wolfe in the interview suggests there is at least one
>like "I'm trying to remember who killed who in that book") with his car.

Nope. I don't think Weer is a serial killer and I never have, although I
have heard this theory before. But there is one caused death in the book
that might be said to be morally equivalent to murder, even if it doesn't
fit the legal definition. Weer may have had nothing to do with it and even
if he did he was not solely responsible.

I am talking about the worker at Julius Smart's OJ plant that froze to
death in the juice freezer. The incident is described on p. 247 (_Peace_,
Orb ed.) and further illuminated on p. 249. The death has been publicly
been attributed to accident - the latch on the freezer froze up while the
guy (a young man of eighteen or so) was inside stacking boxes of juice.

But, on p. 249, Weer reveals that it was actually a practical joke that
turned fatal. An object was put through the hole in the latch designed to
receive a padlock hasp by some men who worked with the guy. The guy stacked
juice crates near the door and sent them crashing against it to try to
batter it open. The man on the outside (who was not much older than the guy
inside) was frightened because he couldn't imagine what was happening
inside the freezer. The door and latch were bent and the hinges partly
sprung, so he couldn't open the door when he tried and he was frightened of
what the guy would do to him when he got out so he went home.

When the guy was found dead the next day, plant management hushed it up and
didn't discipline the man who failed to let the guy in the freezer out.

Weer tells the story as if the man outside the freezer were someone else
(although he doesn't name him or anyone else involved) but it is very
tempting to believe it was him. His description of the events is very vivid
and he was working at the plant at the time and was the right age.

If it was Weer, then I would say that this incident was a conscious choice
and an action for which he could be legitimately judged.

William Ansley

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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