Not many people can count a convicted killer on their MySpace buddies list, but there are at least 32 people who have Byron Case.
Case is serving a life sentence in Cameron for the 1997 murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen. But he has, for the most part, the average profile of any Hot Topic-wearing, Cure-loving goth kid. His MySpace page, titled Monochrome, indicates that he likes David Lynch films, listens to Skinny Puppy and reads Philip K. Dick. He must get cable TV in his cell, because he's a fan of The Colbert Report and Mythbusters, both shows that hit the airwaves after his May 2002 conviction.
It's Case's MySpace blog that makes his profile interesting.
Before his conviction, he posted what we described in our 2002 profile of Case as "a series of bizarre, Victorian-style letters to an imaginary 'Mr. White.'" It's easy to see his newest blog items as a follow-up. Since launching his MySpace profile in February, he's posted four entries that provide some insights into Case's prison life. Take the posting 'Lunch' for example. (Case seems to favor one-word titles.) Here, Case shuts up a couple of older cons who were joking about another convict serving life for murder:
"Stabbed her thirty, forty times, I think," adds Lee, looking wide-eyed through those Coke bottle glasses. He chuckles a little. My stomach turns.
'"Well, I heard he shot her," Mack says.
"Yeah, well he admits to that," I answer, half in his defense. "He's just trying to get it out what she'd been doing to the kids."
You would think a guy who's always maintained his innocence would shy away from defending the admitted murderers. Incidentally, his last two appeals have been shot down.
The rest of the blog includes sprawling, melancholy descriptions of prison sites, sounds and smells: "Standing there like this, my cellmate silently breathing in his sleep a couple of feet away, I see the crystals at the crest of the drift one facet at a time as each momentarily casts the morning rays." Then there's memories of the days he haunted Kansas City coffee shops: "Oblivious, never recognizing the implications of that until the night she broke me over her knee like kindling." There's a certain detachment in the way these things are written, as if after almost five years in prison, Case identifies just as little with the fellow inmates as he did with most people when he was driving around with a chicken carcass impaled on the hood of his car. Maybe it's a case study of a man's removal from himself to survive the tragic injustice of his incarceration. Or he could just be a sociopath. - Peter Rugg