Sunday, July 30, 2006

suppose there is a serial killer in your inbox

Suppose you are college professor already feeling overwhelmed by all you are not getting done at the moment (not to mention the burdens of maintaining a blog). You receive the e-mail below with no further information, from a complete stranger who has never e-mailed you before. Could you comment on this scenario? Please explain your answer.
-----Original Message-----
From: Gkonakis@aol.com [mailto:Gkonakis@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 3:22 PM
To: jfreese@ssc.wisc.edu
Subject: A question

Jeremy: I got your e-mail address from the school website. Could you comment on this scenario? Greg

Suppose there is a serial killer in your city. He has killed 12 people over a period of six months. You are the district attorney and receive a letter from him stating he will surrender to the police if you give him a guarantee he will not be prosecuted for these murders but instead be sent to a mental hospital where he will receive the treatment he needs; and that if you do not agree to his conditions he will continue killing two people a month for the rest of his life or until he is captured or killed or until you agree to his conditions. What is more important for you: punishing this man for the murders he has committed or preventing additional murders? Please explain your answer.

Gregory Konakis
[mailing address in Daly City, CA deleted]
gkonakis@aol.com
[phone number deleted]
Or, if you have an opinion on the scenario within the scenaio, let me know your opinion on that. Or send an e-mail with your opinion to the mysterious Mr. Konakis at the AOL address above. At least for the time being, my response is just "Deconstructing Playing with Katie", which I am finding works well as a general response to an even broader variety of questions than I initially anticipated (almost as handy in this respect as "Snakes on a Plane").

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Greg is looking for help with a homework assignment... and came up with your name/email on an internet search.

A+ said...

Yeah. It reeks of a desperate ploy. I love how he didn't even bother to change the wording of the essay question, basically asking you to do his exam/homework for him.

I would supposed there's an interesting sting operation one could do in this situation, but I don't know if I'd have the cojones (not to mention the time or interest) to do it.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

What I want to know is, why is this kid trying to get a sociologist's answer and not, say, a philosopher's?

But I guess if he could work that out, he might not be trying to get strangers on the internet to do his homework.

wolfa said...

But the answer is so obvious.

Since I am a misanthrope, I am perfectly happy for more people to die, so I choose to do nothing and hope he never gets caught.

Anonymous said...

While it's probably a student, the scarier thought, to me at least, is that it's actually a district attorney.

-Greg (from Madison)

Anonymous said...

I'm sticking with "it is so obviously a serial killer who has decided to make you an unwitting accomplice in his crimes."

-- Brady

Anonymous said...

I also received the exact same e-mail from "Greg" last week and hadn't decided if/how to respond. Now that I know I am just sociologist spam fodder, Greg will get nothing from me and like it!

Anonymous said...

I think Greg sounds like a truly sick twist. Having said that, could you ask Greg if he's seeing anyone right now? He sounds kinda hot.

just kidding.