Bill James

  • Aired:  05/05/11
  •  | Views: 25,353

Bill James discusses Lizzie Borden's innocence, Winnie Judd's murderous phase and John Wayne Gacy's valuable paintings. (6:10)

WITHIN WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN

EXPERT.

TURNING HIS ATTENTION TO

TRUE CRIME.

I WILL ASK HIM WHO HAS GOT

THE RECORD FOR HEADS BATTED

IN.

PLEASE WELCOME BILL JAMES.

HEY, MR. JAMES.

>> THANKS SO MUCH FOR

COMING.

>> ALL RIGHT, SIR, YOU WERE

FAMOUS FOR IN THE '70s AND

'80s YOU REVOLUTIONIZED

BASEBALL STATISTICS BY

APPLYING YOUR OWN, YOUR OWN

METH, YOUR OWN ANALYSIS.

WHAT DID YOU DO?

>> I-- DID A LOT OF STUPID

STUFF WZ.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS WATT

STUPID STUFF YOU CUT OUT,

SERB ASPECT APPROXIMATES OF

ANALYSIS.

>> I STARTED COUNTING A LOT

OF THINGS THAT PEOPLE HADN'T

THOUGHT TO COUNT BEFORE.

THAT WAS ONE THING.

AND I CONSISTENTLY ASKED THE

QUESTION, WHICH HAS NOTHING

TO DO WITH THE BOOK I'M HERE

FOR.

>> Stephen: I CONSISTENTLY

ASKED THE QUESTION WHAT IS

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS TO

THE QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE

ARE DEBATING.

>> Stephen: AND IT TURNS OUT

THERE WAS NO RELATIONSHIP

BETWEEN WHAT THEY WERE

SAYING AND WHAT THEY WANTED

TO SAY.

>> VERY OFTEN, YES.

>> Stephen: SO YOU BLEW

EVERYBODY OUT OF THE WATER.

>> YOU BLEW EVERYBODY OUT OF

THE WATER WITH THAT.

NOW YOU HAVE GOT A NEW LOVE

YOU'RE SHARING WITH PEOPLE.

IT'S AN OLD LOVE OF YOURS

BUT NEW TO US.

IT'S CALLED POPULAR CRIME.

REFLECTIONS ON THE

CELEBRATION OF VIOLENCE.

NOW YOU KNOW, YOU USED TO BE

KNOWN FOR FOLLOWING SPORTS.

NOW IT'S VIOLENT CRIME.

WHY NOT JUST FOLLOW FOOTBALL

AND KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE

STONE?

>> HOW MANY BIRDS COULD YOU

KILL WITH WAY BASEBALL BAT.

>> Stephen: WOW, HOW MANY,

YOU'RE THE EXPERT.

>> I DON'T KNOW.

I CAN'T TELL YOU BUT A LOT

OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED

WITH BASEBALL BATS.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

>> YES WZ WHONS'S THE BABE

RUTH OF BASHING HEADS IN?

>> I FORGOT TO DO RESEARCH

ON THAT I DIDN'T KNOW WOULD

YOU ASK.

>> Stephen: WHAT, WHY THE

LOVE OF POPULAR CRIME?

YOU'VE ALWAYS ENJOYED --

>> I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN

INTERESTED IN THEM.

CRIME STORIES ARE KEYS TO

WHAT PEOPLE GOES ON INSIDE

YOUR HEAD THAT YOU DON'T

ORDINARILY TALK ABOUT.

CRIME STORIES ARE ONE OF THE

MOST INTERESTING THINGS IN

THE NEWSPAPER OR ON THE

INTERNET BECAUSE THEY TELL

YOU THINGS ABOUT WHAT IS

GOING ON IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

THEY MAKE DETAILS OF

PEOPLE'S LIVES TREMENDOUSLY

IMPORTANT AND FOCUS

ATTENTION ON THEM IN A WAY

THAT, AND IT EXPOSES THE

SIDE OF PEOPLE'S LIVES THAT

THEY NEVER TALK ABOUT

OTHERWISE.

AND-- JUST BECOMES VERY

INTERESTING.

>> Stephen: IS THERE

SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO

TALK ABOUT RIGHT NOW?

>> IS THERE SOME SIDE OF

YOUR LIFE YOU'RE TRYING TO

TELL US ABOUT RIGHT NOW?

YOU CAN ADMIT ANYTHING.

NO ONE WILL PAY ATTENTION

BECAUSE OF BIN LADEN.

I AM A METH TWEAKER, YOU

KNOW THAT.

>> INDEED.

I HAVE HEARD RUMORS, YES.

>> Stephen: YES.

SO WHAT IS IT, YOU SAY THIS

IS AS SOMETHING ABOUT OUR

CULTURE THAT WE CELEBRATE

VIOLENCE SO MUCH THAT WE ARE

SO OBVIOUS-- OBSESSED WITH

THE LURID DETAILS OF CRIME.

>> PORE ABOUT HUMAN NATURE

THAN ABOUT OUR CULTURE.

ALL CULTURES ARE

OBVIOUSED-- OBSESSED WITH

CRIME STORIES.

THE BIBLE IS FULL OF CRIME

STORIES.

EVERY CULTURE AROUND THE

WORLD IS OBSESSED WITH CRIME

WHICH ARE VERY MUCH THE SAME

ACROSS TIME AND ACROSS CULL

DURES.

WE ARE VERY INTERESTED IN

WHERE THAT GIRL WENT.

AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT

SOME OF THE MORE FAMOUS

VIOLENT CRIMES IN AMERICA.

CAN YOU APPLY STATISTICAL

ANALYSIS TO VIOLENT CRIME

LIKE LIZZIE BORDEN.

LIZZIE BORDEN TOOK AN AXE,

GAVE HER FATHER 40 WHACKS

WHEN SHE SAW WHAT SHE HAD

DONE, SHE GAVE HER MOTHER

41.

WHAT IS HER WHACK AVERAGE.

>> YOU CAN APPLY STATISTICS

TO VIOLENT CRIME BUT IT

WOULD MAKE A VERY BORING

BOOK AND I DIDN'T DO IT.

>> Stephen: DO YOU HAVE

OPINIONS ABOUT WHETHER

PEOPLE ARE IN JAIL WHO ARE

INNOCENT?

LIKE WHAT ABOUT LIZZIE

BORDEN.

YOU THINK SHE DID IT.

>> NO, SHE DID NOT DO IT SHE

DID NOT-- .

>> Stephen: IT RHYMES.

>> IF IT RHYMES, YOU DID THE

CRIME.

THAT'S A LAW, I THINK.

>> IT CERTAINLY SHOULD BE,

YES.

AND JOHNNY COCHRAN HAS

PASSED ON, YOU CAN APPLY TO

REPLACE HIM.

>> Stephen: WHAT ABOUT SOME

OF THE BIG ONES GOING ON

RIGHT NOW.

LIKE AMANDA KNOX.

>> I DID NOT TALK ABOUT

AMANDA KNOX.

IT'S TOO RECENT.

I TRIED TO WRITE ABOUT CASES

WHERE YOU ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT

HAPPENED.

I MEAN, THE ONLY THING WE

KNOW FOR SURE ABOUT THE

AMANDA KNOX CASE IS THE

ITALIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM IS A

TERRIBLE MESS.

OTHERWISE NOTHING IS REALLY

APPARENT AT THIS POINT.

>> Stephen: BUT SHE'S

CLEARLY INNOCENT.

>> I THINK SO.

>> Stephen: YEAH, BECAUSE

SHE'S ATTRACTIVE.

>> WELL.

>> Stephen: ARE EVIL PEOPLE,

ARE MURDERS ATTRACTIVE

PEOPLE OR UGLY PEOPLE.

>> FOR THE MOST PART THEY

ARE UGLY PEOPLE.

NO, SERIOUS.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

NESS SERIOUSLY.

>> Stephen: SO THAT EVIL IS

UGLY.

>> WELL, NO, BUT MOSTLY

PEOPLE NOT LIVING THE BEST

OF LIVES.

AND THEY HAVE HARD LIVES AND

THEY EXPRESS IT BY-- .

>> Stephen: CHOPPING PEOPLE

UP.

>> YEAH, OCCASIONALLY.

>> Stephen: DO YOU HAVE A

FAVORITE MURDERER?

>> LET'S SEE, THE, THE ONLY

MURDER FOR WHOM I HAVE

SYMPATHY WAS WINNIE JUDD IN

1932 BECAUSE SHE LIVED TO BE

A NICE SWEET OLD LADY AND

KIND OF OUTGREW IT.

>> Stephen: IT WAS A PHASE.

>> RIGHT.

A PHASE SHE WAS GOING

THROUGH.

>> Stephen: ARE THERE GREAT

UNSOLVED MURDER CASES IN

AMERICAN HISTORY RIGHT NOW.

>> ONE OF THE THINS THAT

MAKES A CRIME ENDURINGLY

FASCINATING IS THAT WE DON'T

KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

ONCE YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED

IN A CASE, THE CASE TENDS TO

LOSE INTEREST.

THE PURSUIT OF TRYING TO

FIGURE, PUT THIS ALL

TOGETHER THAT MAKES A CASE

FASCINATING.

>> Stephen: BASEBALL HAS A

STATISTICS THAT MAKES THINGS

CHECKABLE.

IS THERE A LIKE IN CRIME,

WHAT IS THE ONUS WAGNER CARD

OF MURDER.

>> I'M SURE PROBABLY ONE OF

JOHN WAYNE DAYSY'S PAINTING.

I DON'T HAVE ANY.

>> Stephen: THEY DID SELL.

>> THEY DID SELL.

>> Stephen: EVEN AS A CHILD

DID YOU ENJOY CRIME STORIES.

>> WHEN EVEN WHEN I WAS A

SMALL KID, YES.

>> Stephen: AND DID THIS

ALARM ANYONE?

>> STATE SERVICES WASN'T AS

ROBUST THEN AS THEY ARE NOW.

(APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: THANK YOU SO

MUCH.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

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