Monday, March 01, 2004

In the end, it was all about the money 

YAZOO CITY, Mississippi (CNN) -- A man investigators believe may have been jealous over an inheritance was charged Monday with killing his cousin, the cousin's wife and their 4-year-old son.

Earnest Lee Hargon was charged with three counts of capital murder in Yazoo County Court and was ordered held without bond.

I've been following the Hargon family case for a while, and while I'm saddened about the ultimate result for them, at the same time, I shake my head at the sheer simplicity of the motive. In the end, murder results from a fairly small number of reasons: passion, greed, revenge, anger, and occasionally, sheer baseless opportunity.

Totally unrelated to the story is that the city where the Hargons lived and died rang a bell, and I realized why: it's the name that's listed in the copyright section of Thomas Harris's novels. As it happens, Yazoo City is about 127 miles from Rich, the Mississippi town where Harris grew up. It's been five years since HANNIBAL was published, and rumors have circulated that he's got a book ready to go in the next year (we'll believe it when we see it, of course.) Perhaps, after the grandiosity that was his most recent book, his next book--should there actually be one--will explore more mundane waters.

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