what are you gonna do?

stab me?

Sorry for the late email. I’m putting this together at REAL COUP HOURS and REAL VIRUS RATES SPIKING HOURS — so it’s not like you’re doing anything anyway. If any of you know the president, can you ask him what’s up?

First, I want to congratulate president-elect Joe Biden, who may or may not become president. Here he was just eight years ago.

Obviously, we are having a laugh. This is actually a tweet from musician Joe Budden. His name sounds like “Joe Biden.” Many people have pointed out this tweet this week but it still holds up! A masterclass in efficiency: highly lurid, cartoonish in its prurience. I’m glad to share it with you.


ANYWAY:

there’s not much going on this week so I’m dipping into my archives to share one of those halfway-finished stories I’ve had lying around forever in the hope that it’ll knock something loose. Come with me, to the great state of Washington…

Years ago, Spokane local news station KHQ reported on a stabbing. To make a long story short:

This particular image has floated around the internet for almost a decade, a perfect encapsulation of hubris and foolishness that the hivemind loves to ridicule. It’s especially evocative because it is completely devoid of context. “Quote from Man Stabbed” has the same ring as The Onion’s generic “Area Man” character, who’s always getting up to stuff. You can apply it to anyone acting stupid and suffering an obvious outcome. And we have no idea whether the man stab was seriously wounded or it was just a flesh wound (or if it was a Monty Python flesh wound in which case it becomes funny again).

Because I love to ruin a good thing, I tried to find the man stabbed a few years ago. A few places who have written about this graphic, such as Cracked, have attributed the incident to a July 2012 stabbing in East Spokane. A short KHQ news item headlined “FIRST ON KHQ: Man Stabbed In The Throat In East Spokane” tells the tale. In August of 2016, I emailed Cory Howard, the reporter who wrote that short piece, to ask about the newscast graphic.

“Ahhh... that thing. :) Good stuff,” Howard wrote back, clarifying that the newscast graphic was not related to the 2012 incident.

[clears throat]

🚨🚨🚨this is a BNet exclusive. funny/morbid newscast jpeg unrelated to throat stabbing that occurred in 2012🚨🚨🚨

Howard added, “From what I can gather, the stabbing actually happened on September 23, 2011, in west Spokane, though it doesn't appear we have any archived articles on it.” But Howard, god bless, went above and beyond the call of duty and passed along two newscast scripts about the incident.

Here’s the first report, from September 23, 2011:

And from the next day, the moment we’ve all been waiting for:

Okay! That’s more to work with. Here’s what we know:

  • Location: Northwest Spokane, intersection of Dean and Cochran

  • Date of stab: 9/23/11

  • Victim: Timothy Johnson

  • Stabber: Timothy’s roommate

  • Witness: Timothy’s wife

Unfortunately, none of this was enough to get the story over the finish line. Without the name of the stabber, it’s difficult to find a police record, especially from across the country five years after the fact. I googled, combed police blotters and public records, tried to find the exact address, but nothing stuck. I’d really love to know what it’s like when your stabbing achieves internet immortality.

It’s now almost nine years later and I have this dead-end investigation sitting around, so like I said, I’m putting it out into the world and hoping something comes back. Like The Secret(??). So, if you are Timothy Johnson, or his wife, or his former roommate, or you work for the Spokane police, or you have any other leads, please get in touch.


Elsewhere…


Thank you for reading BNet. I don’t care about the thing about Patti Labelle’s son(?) and you can’t make me.