“Done-In By Committee?”


(December 31, 2018)*

by committe done?

suicide of Edgar Watson

what was being hid?

*(The though came to be near 3 a.m. this morning of 2018’s last day that the book I just finished reading but a few hours before, “Killing Mister Watson” might well have been about a suicide. You’ve heard of Suicide By Cop? The Peter Matthiessen novel based on the historical man and the historical event smelled funny to both me and then-Lee County Sheriff Frank B. Tippins, according to Matthiessen’s treatment of him in the book, well may have been an act of suicide – by committee. He knowingly had loaded hurricane-saltwater soaked shotgun shells into his double-barrel before he confronted the armed mass of Chokoloskee-mostly men awaiting his arrival that fateful day. He is alleged by those same men to have tried to fire both barrels and not much but a weak puff and pellets emerged before he was torn apart by such a rain of fire. But a further question disturbed my sleep an hour later: what about his first son, Robert? “Rob” Watson drifts in and out of the Matthiessen account and each time he leaves a questioning trail. This book has as many – if not more – trails through its storyline than the rivers, creeks, estuaries, bayous and sloughs in those selfsame 10 Thousand Islands about which the author speaks, not to mention the motivations and means and methods of all the men and women, boys and girls depicted and portrayed in Mister Theissen’s six-years-long research and writing.)

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