Thursday, May 31, 2007

Patricia Cornwell, the FBI agents and Cornwell "stealing" autopsy reports

Quotes taken from Sachs' web-site

All right, let's roll once again!

"Patricia Cornwell's first well-known lesbian affair was with FBI agent Marguerite or 'Margo' Bennett, who was teaching communications at Quantico. Margo Bennett was married to Eugene Bennett, another FBI agent, and had two children. Patricia Cornwell has admitted in interviews that she has given money and gifts and done favours for these two FBI agents - which is important as a part of Cornwell's broader history of bribing government officials, and as a part of Cornwell's influence at the FBI regarding the cover-up of her own crimes."

Patricia Cornwell gives money to a lot of people and to a lot of organisations. It's called 'charity', not 'bribery.'

"Patricia Cornwell was named in the court papers as the person whose adulterous lesbian affair with Margo, was the cause of the destruction of their marriage, and also of pushing Margo's husband Eugene into a murderous rage. Cornwell had encouraged Margo Bennett to end her marriage, and also encouraged Margo to snitch out her husband to the FBI on vengeful claims of expense-padding, claims which led to the termination of not only the FBI careers of her husband Eugene, but also Margo herself, and this scandal led to the first of Eugene Bennett's prison sentences."

Well, if you steal $17 000 from the FBI and try to shoot someone, you'll end up in jail. That should be pretty obvious. You don't need Cornwell nor a "scandal" to end up in jail if you do something like that. Of course some people pinned this all on Cornwell. But as far as I know, Cornwell hadn't met with Margo in years and wasn't even in town when the shootout took place.

If you know better, do correct me. I pretty much go by the things that Cornwell has said (BBC radio interview at Radio 4 - Front Row 06/05/2002) and by what I think about these things.

Here's what Douglas Thompson ( ) says:

"His [Eugene Bennett's] wife told the FBI that he had stolen $17,000 from them. He admitted falsifying expenses and obstructing justice and spent a year in jail. All along he had ranted to anyone who would listen that his daughters, aged seven and nine, were going to be 'brought up by lesbians'."

Isn't it obvious why Eugene Bennett makes this comment about his daughters possibly being brought up by lesbians? He wanted to get the custody of these children and possibly avoid prison. How sane is he supposed to be then? If someone ruined his and Margo's FBI-careers, it was Eugene Bennett himself.

Eugene Bennett was planning to kill Cornwell and at least two other people and when Cornwell wasn't in town (she had moved) Bennett took a priest hostage, threatened his family and made him call Margo and ask her to come there. Would the Bennett children be better off with their crazy father than a lesbian couple? I don't think so.

"Another major scandal with an FBI agent, involved Cornwell's relationship with famous FBI behavioural scientist Bob Ressler. Ressler is the veteran profiler of numerous famous murderers, including killers Charles Manson, the Son of Sam and John Wayne Gacy, and Robert Kennedy's killer Sirhan. Cornwell was introduced to Ressler in 1990, with the idea that Cornwell would help develop a book on Ressler's life and work. After a number of meetings, it was clear the relationship between them was sour. Disliking each other, they did not pursue the book project further."

Cornwell and Ressler didn't get along, that's true. But the reason Cornwell and Ressler didn't pursue the book project was the fact that Ressler was trying to take credit for cases he hadn't even worked on (like Ted Bundy) and Cornwell disliked that and thus she left the project.

"That first crime novel solidified the pattern of Cornwell's not being fully original in her writing. 'Postmortem' was Cornwell's fictional re-hash of the South Side Strangler murders that bedevilled Richmond in the late 1980s. . . . It seems as well that Cornwell's book inspired another murder in Sarasota, Florida, where police felt the murder was a copycat of Cornwell's gruesome book."

Right, as if there'd be something strange about the fact that a writer uses real life events in his/her book. If you search long enough you'll find tons of mystery- and crime novels based on something real.

Copycat killers could and can just as easily get their ideas from movies or other books (like something by Val McDermid or Karin Slaughter for example?). Maybe someone indeed did copycat Cornwell's books but I don't think it's fair to try and blame that on Cornwell. It's not her fault that some crazy person starts killing people. And if Cornwell 'copied' the events of real murders to her book, isn't it more likely possible that the copycat was copying the real murderer, not the one Cornwell made up for her book?

" 'Body of Evidence' has a mentally disturbed character named Al Hunt who commits suicide. Al Hunt, however, is a real person. Al Hunt is a Wall Street Journal employee who had met Cornwell briefly, and refused to give her a job."

Pick up a phonebook. See how many people named 'Al Hunt' you can find. Or how many people have the same name as you do. While you're at it, see how many "John Smith's" you can find. :)

As far as I know, writer's are pretty much allowed to use whatever names they want to. And that's how it should be. It's hard to think a name for a character that no actual person could possibly have. Well, at least if you're not writing fantasy and name your characters 'Bloombasticouisus' or something like that.

"Patricia Cornwell committed one of her gravest crimes while kibitzing there with the Virginia coroners. She stole the private autopsy reports of the murdered children of two families, the victims in the well known New Kent Parkway rest stop murders of October 1989. Patricia Cornwell copied, essentially verbatim, the secret autopsy reports on victims Annamaria Phelps and Daniel Lauer, ruthlessly exploiting this tragedy to create Cornwell's third book, 'All That Remains', in 1992."

Well, the stuff about autopsies in Cornwell's books could easily be from any autopsy ever done. Nowadays privacy about autopsies doesn't seem to be such a big deal - has anyone seen the tv-show called 'Autopsy'? They show and talk about real things.

If Cornwell can so easily bribe her way in so that she's allowed to do whatever she wants in the morgue then why would she bother to steal anything? Cornwell knows the people there, I don't think that she would have to bribe or steal anything to get research-help from her friends.

And if Patricia Cornwell hadn't written a book that in some ways seems similar to these real murders, someone else would have. So quit milking it, Sachs.

Just in case Patricia Cornwell wouldn't happen to have anything better to do than to Google her own name and she happens to find this blog: If you decide to send "thugs" to paint swastikas onto my house, could you please tell them to paint the wall in the back? That wall could really do with some paint. Thank you, come again! ;D

But seriously: Every author uses experiences from real life - from their own life or from stories they've heard/read - in their books in some way. If there's something that makes a writer really happy or sad or angry, there's a chance that the writer will write about that thing in some form. Because that's where books come from - from the writer's heart, mind and soul.

"We don't like it when you tap the glass."


Anonymous said...

haa sandy you're funny! you have a good way of approaching this thing with humour and i'm sure that if cornwell would read this she'd like it. at least if she has any sense of humour and ability to laugh at herself.
best wishes

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imallears said...

Again with the humor, i love it!
I agree with the sad case regarding the fbi agents..if a woman leaves her husband for ANYone..its likely because the husband, wife w,hoever...has ceased to satisfy in whatever way, their spouse. I dont dig cheating but i can tell you cornwell wasnt performing voodoo or engaging in sophisticated mind control techniques. Dude she left your ass because you were a liar, a thief..and your wife was gay. Sorry, bro.
and the stab at postmortem? Thats like suing folks who wear smoky kohl eyeliner, "welllll the egypians really had a market on that in 500bc..." come on man, youre a writer(of sorts),an artist in your own right(sarcasm), that is the function of art in all its forms..sharing ideas, inspiration, etc.
Her books make people commit crime? Well you could also argue that it likely prevents crime, they always catch the monster, sachs. Like some average joe is sitting at home, not watching television or watching movies, no access to computers, (and certainly no criminal history or psychiatric diagnoses)no contact with humans...but hes got a...LIBRARY CARD!!! And this man reads a cornwell novel and goes on a murder spree..seriously, really? Wow. It all makes sense, thanks for taking our rose colored glasses off sachs.
Personally i think this guy had beef, he doesnt write from an objective point of view whatsoever. His allegations are desperate and personal, the facts ocluded by barbed judgement. No one could take this guy seriously.

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