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Things Go South In This Twisted Tale Of Murder


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Things Go South In This Twisted Tale Of Murder


In August 1955, a 14-year-old Black boy allegedly flirted with a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Emmett Till, a teen from Chicago, didn't understand that he had broken the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterwards, the defendants sold their story, including their tale of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till's death was a spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.


First introduced in Bob Kane's "Batman" #1 in 1940, the Joker is a psychopathic clown with a twisted sense of humor and a talent for murder. His purple suit, white skin and ghoulish red smile have become a staple in Batman's pages, and readers can't get enough of his crazy rampages.


The first crime we'll cover in this list is one of the few things the Joker has done at the instructions of the readers. In 1988, DC published "Batman: A Death in the Family," a four-issue miniseries written by Jim Starlin and pencilled by Jim Aparo. In the story, Robin (Jason Todd) went on a search for his real mother, unaware that the Joker had blackmailed her into betraying Todd. When the Joker got hold of Robin, he beat the Boy Wonder ruthlessly with a crowbar and left him to be blown up by a time bomb.


The story was set shortly after "Batman: Year One," and showed a Gotham City trying to adjust to a world of costumed heroes and villains, but the Joker took things to a whole new level. He even killed nine people with his toxic venom just for practice, and when he began his real murders, Batman felt helpless to stop them. It was the beginning of the Joker's career as a crazy supervillain, and he got off to a great start -- or a terrible start, depending on your point of view.


The deaths of so many children would rank high on many lists, but not with the Joker. Much like some of the other murders in this list, it's the casual way the Joker killed that made it so horrible. He really blew up the school as the end of a joke. For the Joker, death is the best punchline of them all.


Up until the 1989 Tim Burton "Batman" movie, the Joker was best remembered by the public as the chortling prankster played by Cesar Romero in the 1966 TV series. Jack Nicholson quickly erased those memories with his twisted portrayal of a homicidal Joker with a permanent smile, and he did some pretty horrific things to get there. One of the worst had to be his contamination of hygiene products in Gotham City with a chemical toxin called Smylex.


While the Joker put Commissioner Gordon through a twisted ride showing nude pictures of Barbara -- more than implying that he assaulted her on various, horrendous levels -- the Commissioner managed to hold onto his sanity. By this estimation, then, the Joker ultimately failed, but Barbara Gordon's paralysis remained, leaving her unable to continue as Batgirl. She eventually used her computer hacking ability to become the secret crimefighter Oracle, and the New 52 reboot retconned her paralysis, but the focused cruelty and intimate viciousness of the attack brought up debates even outside the comic book community on whether the Joker, as a character, went too far.


There is a place in this world where the rivers run clear and cool, fed by natural springs. Where the air is sweet and clean. It has maintained its state as God intended, and the footprint of man has done little to mar what was created thousands of years before. There is no smog, or dirty rain, and in the winter Khione lays a blanket of pure white snow across the land here. Deep within th




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