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Untrue Crime on YouTube

By Steve Huff
Monday, September 29, 2008 at 11:44 pm

True crime isn't fun. It is, on the whole, a relentlessly serious subject. However, I recently discovered someone who apparently figured out a way to have something like fun with true crime.

Funny enough, they do it by inventing true crime tales. Which renders them, of course, untrue... but I'll stop that merry-go-round and just tell you about it.

Here is the description for the video posted above, as published on YouTube by user "FunWithStuttering":

Vintage 8mm video highlights the true crime case of Edith Grant, a kindergarten teacher who murdered three of her students in 1974 and dumped their bodies in a ravine. Details of the murders are mentioned in subtitles on the video, which was filmed two months before the murders...

Wow. Awesome true crime story, right? And it rings true, on the surface.

Then there's the experience of watching the video. With the superimposed narrative and the deliciously creepy music, what would normally seem like a rather innocuous, 34-year-old super 8 mm recording of some little kids participating in some kind of kindergarten-related ceremony becomes a slowly-unwinding tale of horror.

Only it isn't true. Pride dictates that I tell you I smelled something right away, but just to be sure, I decided to go check out all the usual sources for some record of Ms. Edith Grant, the murderous kindergarten teacher. Not a single AP story in any newspaper available online from December of 1974 or the early months of 1975. The tale of Edith Grant killing three of her students, of Edith's bloodied green vehicle, of her simple explanation for the murders -- "Children Smell Bad" -- never happened. The person who chose the footage and then edited the video clearly made the whole thing up.

After checking out some other videos uploaded by the same person, I thought I should be a little pissed. After all, the creator (or the uploader -- I'm assuming they may be one and the same, but I could be wrong) is touting the "vintage 8 mm video" as being somehow related to these bizarre "true crime" cases. On the face of it, that's just a lie.

But after watching another video, I had to stop myself from applauding (because everyone else was asleep, and it would have been kind of weird). I watched "Murdering Mother Poisons Her Family in 1966" and all I could think was, "DAMN, wish I'd thought of that." The producer of these videos isn't lying -- they're simply entertaining.

These UN-true crime videos are "Diabolical Brainiac" productions, and in my opinion, that's the perfect name for the mind behind the stories being told. In a way, the Diabolical Brainiac(s) has/have invented something like a new narrative art form.

I can never look at old home movies the same way again. And I'm just strange enough to think that's pretty freaking cool.

So -- just remember (and check it out for yourself) -- there was no Edith Grant, the Killer Kindergarten Teacher, and the other "true crime" stories aren't true, either. Don't let that change the way you watch these fascinating, awesomely creepy videos. In fact, try and spread them around, because they're some of the more original entertainments I've stumbled across on the Web in quite some time.

I hope to see more of them soon. More than that, I kind of wish the Diabolical Brainiac(s) was/were taking source video submissions. God only knows what they could do with my Uncle Phil's 8 mm shots of me and my cousins pretending to be Steve Austin, the 6 million dollar man, on some sunlit suburban sidewalk somewhere north of Nashville in 1977. I imagine it might involve some fictional buried school bus and an ice cream truck driven by a psychopath in a clown suit.

[YouTube - FunWithStuttering's Channel]

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