Text: Alec Coiro
Cover Photo: Johnny Gembitsky
Upon hearing Alissa Bennett read selections from issue number two of Dead is Better entitled “Legalize Crime” at Karma, it dawned on me that I’d left a few things out of our issue #1 article. So I thought I would address these omissions in our Issue #2 coverage:
First, Bennett is probably the Truman Capote of our generation. That was a pretty glaring omission in the last article, true, but better late than never. While Dead is Better has almost nothing in common with detached reportage of In Cold Blood, Bennett’s personal engagement with her criminal subject matter is certainly more enjoyable and relevant for the modern audience. And, frankly, if the Hickock-Smith murders had been covered on cable news and the internet, Bennett’s approach probably would have been better suited for those as well. Those who’ve seen the movies or read about Capote’s writing of the books will also recognize that both Capote and Bennett share the same conflicted fascination with their grisly subject matter.
Second, if you were ever even a little bit fascinated by the tale of Amanda Knox, Alissa Bennett’s zine will open up a whole vista of even juicier tales of criminal mischief and murder. In other words, if you liked Knox, you’ll love Luka Magnotta (et al).
Lastly, there was the astute point a friend made after the reading. Namely, the Achilles heel of Dead is Better is that when you get your copy, you want to immediately devour it before you even get home. The problem being that everyone on the subway is going to stare at you funny while you read your murder zine. But I say go for it anyway.