John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Swamp Gas v.008

Welcome to Swamp Gas in the Imajica.  Similar to the You Can't Make This Shit Up (YCMTSU) section, Swamp Gas will focus solely on news and items of interest in the sunshine state of Florida.

They say, "All the nuts in America roll downhill to Florida."  So let's just see how true that phrase really is.

Click on the Swamp Gas logo for the smelly menu.

Swamp Gas v. 008

 Daugherty and Hooks - 16 and 18


The beginning of 2006 during early January should be called 'troubled teen' week in Florida.  Brian Hooks, 17, Kevin Daugherty, 18 and William Ammans, 18, (not pictured) went on a savage spree of beating homeless people in the popular beach community of Fort Lauderdale.  They attacked three different homeless men with baseball bats over the course of one night.  Two of the three men survived their attacks, but Norris Gaynor did not.  He was killed by these thrill seeking teenagers.

One of the attacks was caught on a campus surveillance camera, and the shocking video of the teens beating a defenseless man with baseball bats was then played repeatedly on local and national news outlets.  The three teens now face aggravated assault and murder charges.  In Florida, they could face the death penalty for their night of thrills.  For an in-depth discussion of this story and homelessness, read "Homeless in Paradise" on Dark Skies.


 Boatman - 19


By all accounts, Leo Boatman, 19, certainly had a troubled childhood.  Nonetheless, he stole a relative's AK-47, travelled across Florida to the Ocala Nation Forest where he shot and killed two student campers, Amber Peck and John Parker.  According to authorites, he told his friend that he aspired to be a serial killer.   Who says kids these days don't have goals?


 Penley - 15 LONGWOOD

Chris Penley, 15, went to his middle school, in Longwood, Florida, with a pellet gun sprayed painted flat black to resemble a typical 9mm hand gun.  After students freaked out in Columbine fashion, Penley ended up stealing away to a restroom.  Despite some controversy raised about the incident in hindsight, the bottom line is that when he raised his gun and aimed at police, he was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy.  His organs were donated after his death.


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Posted at 11:03 pm by John Furie Zacharias

December 11, 2007   06:54 PM PST
I feel like a shit person to think this, but I'm glad these kids aren't black. Black youth, especially male, already get enough of a crap rap. Odd how quickly people like to point out gang shootings involve urban black boys but many of the famous gun sprees involved suburban white kids. Lesson: Race doesn't mean anything.
J f Z
December 11, 2007   08:55 PM PST
You know I feel what you're saying, G-funk. Poverty, identity, and angst are the cracks through which many teens fall through.

Personally, I saw urban blacks in Detroit and now I see ex-urban and rural whites in Florida counties, too.

I have been mugged, assaulted, and simply hated while working in the city. I've also been received politely for bringing my skillz to a business. Education and jobs could cure many urban ills in cities in North America.

We lost hands-on skilled labor to globalization but I think that a systematic effort toward a greening of the industrialized countries is a good notion. You can't outsource construction ... except for the immigrant population from Mexico, Central and South America.

Either way, the greening of the North American rust belts is the future in my mind.

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