Jesus fucking Christ.
To say that these two Massachusetts State Police detectives look a little icy would be a compliment.
They look like diabolical aliens from an evil planet on the dark side of outer space. And it’s totally a deliberate look on their part. It’s meant to intimidate, not keep their scalps clean from occasional contact with dirty felons. To say their appearance is Nazi-like is to say they look like sissies. Their appearance is way beyond Nazi stuff, and way beyond anything needed for occupational hygiene.
Murphy and Egan surely must know that their appearance is intimidating, not only to bad guys but to a huge chunk of the general, law-abiding, everyday public; not 100 percent of whom exactly warms up to bullet-headed cops, even when they’re way down aisle seven of Walmart. (Oh wait. At an income of $150K-$200K a year, much of which comes from no-show, grant-funded traffic patrols and the strenuous job of playing war games on their smartphones while sitting in a heated/air conditioned state-owned SUV for eight hours on the side of the road, well, probably not too many of them, unlike the rest of us, can be found in Walmart these days.)
Their deliberately ugly looks just keeps on driving good people away. And yet cops like this keep on telling the public how much they need our help in solving crimes, which, supposedly, keeps everyone safe.
If these cops really did want people to chat with them, in order that we might provide useful information about a crime, thus helping everyone, then cops like Murphy and Egan would drop the I-hate-everybody-and-everything look. They would stop scaring people away. They would be approachable, like normal people. Which just might result in a better image and thus better encourage help from an understandably skeptical general public, thereby leaving the public safer. Isn’t that the point?
Take the Molly Bish case, for example. Say there’s a church janitor who comes across some relevant information stashed among various documents in a rectory basement. He reasonably thinks it could be really helpful. But he’s intimidated by these hyper-predatory goons who always look like they want to kill you. After the torture part.
Of course, mindless cop-groupies will immediately say that if the janitor is so easily intimidated by the appearance of these cops, then he forfeits his chance to help them out. This is what cops and cop-groupies actually think. It is how they think – as if it’s the janitor’s loss, not the public’s loss. In their minds, if you don’t like the way these cops look, then you don’t deserve to help them. In other words, cops would rather look unapproachable than solve crime.
A janitor like the guy in this example will take one look at guys like Murphy and Egan and think, nope, I got other things to do, not talking to anyone who looks like them. Not to mention that cops have a long history of shooting the messenger.
It’s well known that news outlets of all kinds have a quiet give-and-take relationship with police, politicians, business leaders, etc. That’s how news works. As everyone knows, stories are often strategically leaked to reporters eager for a scoop. Press conferences are scheduled around a news cycle. Cops call reporters and reporters call cops. They depend on each other. But it’s not a 50/50 deal. Cops have the upper hand most of the time.
It could not have been a surprise to Murphy and Egan that a photographer would be there to represent them to the public. And I doubt the reporter/photographer simply made a wild guess that these guys would show up at the Harvard MA police station.
The whole idea behind the Murphy/Egan appearance was to get publicity, presumably favorable publicity. They didn’t want to just talk with a small group of people for a while in a conference room, then go home. Egan and Murphy want the story, complete with the photos, out there, in the news, seen by the hundreds or thousands that read this paper so that someone will come forward. And photos are an integral part of a news story.
How a public official, or an authority figure like a cop, portrays him/herself to the public when asking for its assistance is really, really crucial to receiving the information they themselves keep saying they want to receive. But here, in what they know will be their public moment, Murphy and Egan seem more interested in projecting intimidating looks, which discourages the public from offering the very assistance detectives say they want.
Murphy and Egan apparently want to show dominance – quite physical dominance – more than approachability. It’s not like they were completely unaware of how their heads would make them look. They project this image for a purpose, which is at cross-purposes with fighting crime.
Criminals must just love it when detectives who look like this scare off the public. Sure, these cops may be rough and tough, and maybe that comes in handy during interrogations, but with kill-kill-kill looks like this, they’re not fighting crime as much as pushing good people away.
There will always be a certain, unavoidable tension between civilians and the authority to whom we, the general public, must be accountable. It cannot be otherwise. No society can continue for long without someone in charge. But Murphy’s and Egan’s appearance degrades what should be a more or less agreeable, informal, daily connection between authority figures like cops and the general, civilian population. We cannot afford to drift into opposing camps, especially over shaved heads and scowling faces. Some may laugh derisively at this opinion, but they should remember that our world is safer when it is more inclusive, when authority is regarded as accessible, as springing from the people, as it constitutionally does.
To substantiate that I know what I’m talking about here, I have in fact tried to help in a high profile murder case by providing a (now excommunicated and possibly deceased) priest’s pertinent phone records that came from his storage unit – about fifteen years after he was convicted of having raped two Worcester County teenage girls. But if a couple of guys like Murphy and Egan ever showed up at my door, which, according to the note below, they likely did, there would be exactly no conversation. Door closed. Immediately. The “please” part of the note does not cut it.
Can the public feel good about the way Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early, Jr. oversees his office, including the appearance of the cops who rely on the public – all of the public – in order to gather and process the evidence he needs to properly prosecute crimes committed against the people of his jurisdiction? If Joe Early approves of the way cops like Egan and Murphy look, then he’s not doing his job. Law enforcement has, with the steadfast help of the news media, replaced solving crime with belligerently telling us who’s boss.
All of which is not hard to believe once you realize that the discrediting, diabolical image of me so easily found online was, in fact, not spread around the internet by me. It was cleverly acquired and re-packaged by affiliates of cops like Murphy and Egan who are, as their own heads clearly demonstrate, experts at making anyone, even themselves, look crazy and dangerous. That seems to be what they do best in Wormtown these days.