CSI + Reality = Tragedy

25 Aug

Friends and neighbours, evil walks among us. I wish this were tongue-in-cheek, but it’s not. I’m talking evil with a little “e”, mind you, because I’m an atheist and I don’t go in for the big, black-and-white Evil with a big “E”. But evil with a little “e” is usually just as bad, if not worse.

evil spock

I read the news for a living. I enjoy it – it makes me feel worldly and intelligent and well-spoken. It also makes me a responsible democratic citizen, because I figure since I live in a country where freedom of information isn’t all that restricted, I have a duty to stay well-informed. All good stuff, in my estimation, for me and for you, since I get all my ammunition for this blog from the news.

m60 machine gun

But reading the news has positive and negative effects on my life. I mean, yeah, I can joke about a lot of stuff on this blog that most people probably wouldn’t find funny, and I do it to soften the blow of some of the nastier news I get across my desk here at the Compound. And then I get a news story like this, and there’s no way I can make this funny.

I’m not a big fan of modeling as a general rule. I think it can be a very dangerous business for young women to enter, and I think it can have a damaging effect on our society at large by promoting unrealistic standards of beauty, especially in women. That said, I like looking at models as much as the next guy does. And this one is particularly pretty:

jasmine fiore

Quite a looker, isn’t she? I certainly think so. This is Jasmine Fiore, and she was a gorgeous woman. At least, she was until somebody strangled her to death, tore out her teeth and chopped off all her fingers (hopefully in that order) to prevent police from identifying the body, and then crammed her in a suitcase and threw her into a dumpster in Buena Park, Anaheim.

It gets better. Top of the list of suspects? Her husband. Former reality TV star Ryan Alexander Jenkins, who appeared as a contestant on VH1’s Megan Wants A Millionaire. They met shortly after Jenkins finished filming the show, and were married two days later. In June of 2009 Jenkins was charged in Nevada with “battery constituting domestic violence” and got a misdemeanor charge. According to Fiore’s mother, Jenkins was a jealous type, frequently arguing with his blushing, bruised bride about her friendships with former lovers.

ryan jenkins

Turns out this wasn’t a new pattern for old Ryan, either – he was booked back in 2007 in Calgary for another assault case that garnered him 15 months probation, a restraining order, and court-mandated therapy for sex addiction and anger management.

This whole thing starts to sound a little like an episode of CSI after a while – jealous husband murders high-profile model wife, cuts off her fingers and yanks out her teeth to prevent Grissom and crew from I.D.ing the body, and then heads for the border where he plans to fuck off to Canada. Well, it turns out this story is more CSI than even I realized initially: according to this article, coroners were able to identify the body using – get this – the serial number on her breast implants.

breast implants

Every potential killer who watches any of those syndicated crime series probably figures they have a leg up on law enforcement, thanks to getting the skinny on crime-scene techniques from the TV show. Apparently Fiore’s killer didn’t think far enough ahead – wifey’s fake fun bags provided police with a name, and by association, a strong lead to catch the cowardly prick who offed her.

Now we do live in a democracy where you’re innocent until proven guilty, so I don’t want to go on record saying Jenkins killed his wife. But there are a couple of things about this case that give me the strong sense he may have been guilty.

rodin's thinker

First off: the last time Fiore was seen alive was at a poker party on 14 August 2009 with Jenkins in tow. They’d checked into a hotel the night before, but only Jenkins was seen leaving – with a big-ass suitcase. The next day, he reported her missing.

Second off: reporting your wife missing and then making all available haste to Canada isn’t a really good indicator of innocence. Leading U.S. and Canadian coast guards on a merry chase while trying to escape capture isn’t so upstanding either. In fact, some might say that’s sort of an admission of guilt on your part. I’m part of those “some”.

Finally: when authorities finally catch up with you only to find you dead by your own hand in a hotel room…well, that pretty much settles it, doesn’t it? I hate to overreach, but this sounds to me like an open-and-shut case.

The worst part is, 51 Minds (production company for Millionaire) brought this guy on as a contestant on a reality TV dating show. Could you imagine if he’d wound up with the girl? Don’t they screen these people? Oh, they do – instead of taking responsibility, they blamed it on some nameless Canadian court clerk who made a “clerical error”. I’m sure it had nothing to do with wanting to get another pretty face on your bullshit show with due haste, you corporate spawn.


I know if this were a case on CSI, there would be some kind of twist in which the real killer was brought to justice and the fleeing husband was revealed to have had some other explanation why he was trying to outrun the police forces of two separate nations. Grissom would crack the last clue and prove Jenkins’ innocence just in the nick of time before Jenkins did himself in, Mac Taylor would beat the shit out of the real killer, and Horatio would put on his sunglasses and say something clever like “this turned out to be a model case”. There’d be a fade-to-black and The Who would play over the rolling credits.

csi leading men

But it’s not television. There’s nothing clever or redeeming about this case. Those of us out there who cheer the fact that Ryan Jenkins’ guilt caught up with him before the law did – well, I can’t say I blame you. At least this way my tax dollars won’t be paying for his extended stay in a Canadian prison. But in a situation like this, I can’t see anything but tragedy. Two people are dead. Families are in mourning. And once again I find myself pouring a stiff drink and trying to finish this article as quickly as I can, because when you spend as much time immersed in the world’s news (which always seems to resemble just this sort of tragedy) there’s only so much you can put up with before you just want to shut down, shut down, shut down.


If I’m going to be honest, and if we’re going from the standpoint that Ryan Jenkins strangled his wife to death, I’ll go on record saying I’m glad that cowardly fuck is dead. But that doesn’t mean I’m glad for his mom, or whatever family he might have, who are left to deal with the fact that not only was their son/brother/whatever quite possibly a murderer, but now he’s six feet under on top of it, victim of suicide.

Sometimes in writing for this blog, I forget that I’m talking about real people. A story like this hammers that back home to me, and makes me take a step back and try to look at things from a bit more of a human perspective. I’m sorry this wasn’t a happy post, but I guess they can’t all be. With any luck somebody will read this before going back to their CSI and reality TV, and maybe they’ll draw the distinction I drew today – between reality and fiction, between good and evil if you want, but most importantly between caricatures and people. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll turn off the TV and go try to do some good, in reality, for other people. I think that’s what I’m going to go do.


One Response to “CSI + Reality = Tragedy”

  1. Malik April 23, 2010 at 1:10 PM #

    I think i want to know you. But, not for you to leave me. We have had enough of that, seen?

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