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Alison Weir

Alison Weir teaches English at Antioch International in London.

Golden Boy

Alison Weir, 18 February 1988

On 22 December 1984, Bernard Goetz got into a subway car in New York City and sat down at the back with four young blacks. Wondering what this ‘white dude’ was up to, they teasingly asked him for five dollars to play a video game. When one of the four put his hand in his pocket, Goetz got up, pulled out his pistol, leant against the post to steady himself and said, ‘Yeah, I’ve got five dollars for each of you,’ as he shot them one by one. Two of the youths ran away towards the other end of the car. One ‘tried to run through the wall of the train’. After the shooting, Goetz took a good look at each of his victims ‘to make sure they were cold, that they’d been taken care of’. When one of them stirred, Goetz fired into him again, saying: ‘You seem to be doing all right, here’s another.’ Then he let himself out of the train, which had stopped short of the station in response to the emergency signal, and walked away down the tunnel.

Letter

In Ontario

7 February 1991

While extremely glad that Alice Munro should get the serious consideration she deserves, I must take issue with Carol Shields (LRB, 7 February) over her interpretation of ‘Meneteseung’, one of the stories in Friend of My Youth. It is not a case of a middle-aged spinster and a middle-aged bachelor failing ‘to connect’: rather, all the indications, from the outset of the story,...
Letter

Victimhood

18 February 1988

SIR: I refer Charles Dicken (Letters, 31 March) to Rubin’s book-Quiet Rage, for an account of the Goetz shooting: not having read the book himself, he is woefully at sea as to the reported facts. None of these young men (half Goetz’s age and all shorter than their attacker) had been convicted of serious crime; only two were carrying screwdrivers, found in their pockets after they had been...

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