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Jewish World Review
April 1, 2011
/ 26 Adar II, 5771
You Can't Make This Stuff Up
How about this as a plot line for a low budget horror flick? A professional clown stalks and seduces young children, then rapes them in full clown make-up and costume. If you tried to sell that pitch to a movie exec you'd probably get thrown out of the office faster than you can say "Howdy kids, I'm your old pal, Bozo." In this case however, you wouldn't get rejected on the grounds that the idea is too far-fetched, but because it's already been done…for real.
Prosecutors down in Orange County have filed felony charges against a professional clown accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl nine years ago. The clown is charged with two counts of lewd acts upon a child, a count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and a count of forcible lewd act on a child. The prosecutors say the 41 year-old guy was dressed as a clown when he grabbed a girl at a fast-food stand in January 2002 and drove to a school parking lot, where the attack occurred. A DNA sample taken after an arrest in another case linked him to the attack. Bail was set at $1 million. It goes without saying that this sicko should be put away forever.
But even in its most gruesome, life is nothing if not farcical. As if you needed any additional absurdity to this real life nightmare, the clown's real name is Jose Jimenez. For those under the age of 50, Jose Jimenez was a comedy character on television in the 60's played by funny man Bill Dana. The character's trademark opening line was always, "My name…Jose Jimenez." Dana looked straight into the camera with a blank stare that always brought down the house. Talk about adding absurdity and burlesque to horror; could it get any more bizarre than a clown rapist whose name is the same as a broad comic TV character?
To many of us, clowns have always been scary. Maybe it's something about a man hiding behind all that make-up. In 1986 Stephen King wrote a book about a homicidal clown which was later turned into a made-for-TV movie. Then there was a movie made in 1988 called "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" about a small town which is invaded by space aliens who look like circus clowns who capture and kill the townspeople. Decades before that there was a TV show called "One Step Beyond" that had a really frightening episode one week about a scary clown named Pippo. That one gave me nightmares for years.
I never liked the clowns in the circus. But then I never liked circuses in general. But clowns…I always knew clowns were bad news. Clowns, marionettes, and ventriloquist dummies can be scarier than monsters. "The Twilight Zone" wrote several episodes featuring spooky ventriloquist dummies. I guess maybe the worst thing might be a clown ventriloquist dummy.
There are actually several web sites devoted to scary clowns, believe it or not. One of them mentions "coulrophobia" as being "an exaggerated fear of clowns. It is most commonly found in children and teenagers. It is not as commonly found in adults." They claim that the origin of the word goes back to ancient Greece. I couldn't find the word in any of my dictionaries but it does show up on the internet dictionary sites.
Lots of kids are scared of clowns and thanks to Jose Jimenez they have good reason to be not only afraid of clowns, but afraid of burlesque comedians. Bad enough when it was just strangers on the playground going after the kids, but then it became the kindly family Catholic priest, then we had the young women teachers preying on their students, and now it's the clowns. No wonder kids turn to Play Stations and IPods, they're safer.
Jose, the clown rapist, needs to go to clown hell or wherever it is that evil child predators belong. Call me a judgmental beast, but if it were up to me all child rapists would be executed. The fact that this one is a clown is all the more reason to kill him.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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