You could not make this story up.
One day I entered my "Statistics For Social Research" class, and found the professor setting up a TV/VCR unit. After the class got settled, the professor - Dr. Cynthia Jakob-Chien (real name) - told us that she had a "surprise" for us that day.
She then turned on the TV/VCR, and began showing a segment from the TV show: "America's Most Wanted." The host - John Walsh - introduced the segment and began talking about a bad guy named "Terry"(*). The narrator took it from there, and described Terry as being from inner-city Chicago, and how his path in life was less-than-desirable. Terry was a possible suspect in a few murders, drug dealings, and all sorts of other gang-related activities.
Needless to say, Terry was a bad ass mo-fo.
They also re-enacted one particular crime (with actors) where Terry was suspected of committing some major wrong-doing. Then John Walsh's voice comes back saying that if anyone has any information about the whereabouts of Terry, to call the number on the screen or call local law enforcement. As he is saying this, they are showing multiple pictures and mugshots of the real-life Terry. John Walsh follows this up by saying "do not try to apprehend Terry yourself as he may be armed, and is a very dangerous individual."
No problem there John Wash.
When the story was over, Dr. Jakob-Chien turned off the VCR and asked us what we thought about the little program. No one really said anything as her point of showing us this segment wasn't apparent. She then walked to the door, opened it, and said:
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, Terry."
In walks this BIG black dude who just happens to be the SAME DUDE we just saw in mugshots and pictures on TV. Ho. Lee. Shit.
This wasn't the actor that played Terry on TV.
This was the real Terry. The bad ass mo-fo Terry.
After the initial shock of this guy being in the room wore off, Dr. J.C and Terry begin describing how Terry had turned his life around, and instead of being a crime statistic, he was now studying crime statistics in the "graduate" program. Dr. J.C.stated he was doing quite well, and that he was a very good student. He then allowed the class to ask questions about his "prior life" and things of that nature. One of my favorite questions that someone asked was if he was "wanted" by any of his former gang colleagues for being a narc or anything. - In other words - were WE in any danger by being in the same room as this guy. He said he didn't think so, and that most of the people he used to run with were probably jailed for other reasons or were dead. Oh okay. That's nice.
Then someone asked if he had "served time" for his crimes, and he said he did serve time for the crime that was re-enacted on America's Most Wanted. I should state that he failed to mention whether or not he had actually killed anyone. Nobody had the guts to ask him either.
Class ended, and everyone was able to leave the room unharmed, albeit very weirded out. I graduated in the spring and thankfully never ran into Terry from America's Most Wanted again.
Oddly however, this story does not end here.
A few years later, I was reading the paper and I saw this news clipping that added a VERY weird and unfortunate twist to the story:
|Cynthia Jakob-Chien's mugshot
In doing research for my little blog here, it looks like she is still doing criminology work and appears to have recently had a book published with another person. I'm guessing she's probably out on parole, but maybe she's doing her work on "the inside."
Either way, I'm glad to see she is following in Terry's footsteps by not only being a crime statistic, but also continuing to study them.
Man, W. T. F.
(*) Name changed to protect the guilty/innocent. In this case however..... the characters were totally guilty.