Monday, August 14, 2006

I SAID, Shut Up and DRIVE!

The BBC tells us about the Hampshire Cell Phone Vigilante:

More than 20 motorists in Hampshire have fallen victim to a mystery vigilante who appears to target drivers spotted using mobile phones.

All the car owners have found their tyres have been slashed and, in many cases, a note on their windscreens.

The sinister message, made from newspaper cuttings, says the driver was seen using a phone.

Hampshire Police are investigating the incidents in Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Stubbington.

One victim was Rebecca Rendle, who was left with a £170 bill, when all four of her tyres were punctured outside her Gosport home.

"I was shocked and furious, I don't even own a mobile," she said.

"I think it must be (someone following me home) as that's the only way they would find out where you live.

"There's a loony who thinks they are doing the world a favour."

Police said they are investigating this incident and 20 similar cases that occurred in the area over the past several months.

Insp Kevin Cuffe, of Hampshire Police, said: "In most of the cases a note has been left at the scene and forensic specialists are in the process of examining these notes to gather potential evidence.

"These incidents are being taken very seriously as we appreciate that criminal damage has a very real and detrimental effect on the victims.

"Whoever is doing this may feel that he or she has some sort of justification but there is never any excuse to vandalise the property of others."


Stacey Cochran said...

"Whoever is doing this may feel that he or she has some sort of justification but there is never any excuse to vandalise the property of others."

In fiction, I love villains who have a solid reason for doing what they do. In fact, the more reasonable their reason, the more interesting the villain is to me.

I've had in mind a novel about a serial killer who patrols highways looking for aggressive drivers. The topic of road rage is pretty much universal in our culture, and what I had in mind was a guy who takes his road rage out by systematically (and rather coolly) hunting aggressive drivers in order to make beef stew out of them.

JD Rhoades said...

Go for it. I'd read that.

Anonymous said...

Yo Stacey

Sorry to say that the road rage serial killer novel has been done - 'OUTSIDE THE WHITE LINES' by Chris Simms

More info at


Stephen Blackmoore said...

Why is it that people like this get labeled vigilantes? If he were tracing calls made by meth dealers, tracking them down to their houses, killing them and their fellow gang members, then I could see this person as a vigilante.

But this. This is just... pissy.

Come on, people. You want to be a vigilante, step it up a little, would ya?

David Terrenoire said...

I'm with Stephen. Can you see Charles Bronson skulking around slashing tires?

Not a chance.

He'd shoot 'em out while the guy was still on the phone. Driving.

And Stacey, don't let that other novel stop you. It's not the idea. It's the execution.

Tasha Alexander said...

Stacey, listen to David. David's brilliant.

Stacey Cochran said...

And Stacey, don't let that other novel stop you. It's not the idea. It's the execution.

Thanks, David. Yeah, the idea I had in mind was the story told from this female psychology professor's pov, who happens to have as her specialty road rage. I thought maybe she would be contacted by the FBI to help with the investigation.

A fish-out-of-water tale. Peaceful academic psychologist thrown into the real-world environment and mind of a homicidal psychopath.

Clarice Starling-Hannibal Lecter style. But instead of Clarice being with the FBI (which I know very little about), I would make the heroine a prof.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

That's the thing with ideas that have been done before. They really haven't. Every time it will be different. It may have similar elements, bu it's going to be a completely new story.

Change the POV from Hamlet to Laertes, or Ophelia, or the Queen or, hell, Yorick, and you've got something brand new. It hasn't all been done before. If it had, we'd all be in a different line of work.

JD Rhoades said...

Stacey: I like the fish out of water idea...where Road Rage has always been something she read stories about, never saw...then she comes to the first crime scene with bood on the highway...and there's your title right there.

Pari said...

ahem, to meet me, you'd think I was sweet. But, I've been tempted many times to follow an inconsiderate driver and do something -- anything -- to slap some sense into him or her.

Of course, I haven't acted on it.

But, right now, I'm working on a short story about a serial killer waitress who offs obnoxious customers.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

"It's not the idea. It's the execution."

Truer words were never spoken, David. Which is one of the reasons I hate pitching ideas. Take any Connelly novel and boil it down to its basic idea and you don't have much. But when Connelly writes, it's magic.

As for the tire slasher, I think HE may have the right idea -- but the execution sucks.