Thursday, July 21, 2022

Because Bigfoot

An Oklahoma man recently charged with murder came up with one of the most unusual self-defense claims I have ever heard. He admitted to killing his fishing partner, but explained that it he had to do it because the man was summoning Bigfoot to kill him. I was previously unaware that summoning Bigfoot was even a thing, and in this case it's likely a product of the killer's mental state and nothing to do with any "summoning" that the victim was attempting.

Larry Sanders, 53, stands charged with first-degree murder after allegedly admitting first to a family member and later to police to killing his noodling fishing partner Jimmy Knighten, who Sanders claimed wanted him dead by the hand of the mythical monster Bigfoot. Noodling is a popular fishing technique used in the southern United States to catch a fish by sticking one’s hand in its mouth.

The local sheriff, John Christian, told local media that Sanders “appeared to be under the influence of something” when he told police he had struck, strangled, and then drowned Knighten. “So, his statement was that Mr. Knighten had summoned ‘Bigfoot’ to come and kill him, and that’s why he had to kill Mr. Knighten,” Christian told local reporters.

And now I totally want to know how all this was supposed to work. If we assume that Bigfoot is a real and physical animal, summoning and controlling one would probably fall under Leo, "the power of taming wild beasts." If we also take Sanders at his word - and to be clear, it sounds like that's maybe a bigger "if" than whether or not Bigfoot exists - his friend would have to habe been some sort of wizard. Without real magical skill summoning Bigfoot won't work, and regardless of magical skill, nothing is going to happen if there's no Bigfoot out there to summon.

But regardless of what Sanders thought was going on, this seems like a really weird conclusion to leap to. "I feel like my friend is acting suspiciously. Clearly he's summoning Bigfoot to kill me!" And as a point, you can't always expect a spell to die with the caster - any operation anchored to an external object like a talisman will endure after the caster's death. But I digress a bit there. At any rate, we probably will never know what exactly happened in the lead-up to this murder. But my guess is that it must have been pretty weird.

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