Sunday, June 19, 2016

Vivienne Segal – "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" (1950)

I've sinned a lot
I'm mean a lot . . .
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered, am I

As I noted in the previous 2 or 3 lines, I get a daily e-mail from the Washington Post that highlights the most popular stories in that paper that day.  It’s called The Post Most.  

Here are the subject lines from four recent The Post Most e-mails that sound more like something you’d find in the National Enquirer than in the Post – which has won 47 Pulitzer Prizes and is usually considered one of three best newspapers in the United States:

Why a South Carolina man got bail after he shot, buried and ‘slow-cooked’ two people.

“They cut my son’s head off, and they took my son’s head. Who would do that?”

“Her blood was drained”: Graphic novelist charged with killing girlfriend in Hollywood.

Teen killed his girlfriend’s parents and celebrated with sex. He’s being released after 5 years.

Each of those headlines is irresistible, but I think the last is the most irresistible.  It’s also quite misleading.

The victims
From the Post:

When police arrived at the yellow-brick house in Garland, Tex., on the afternoon of August 17, 2010, they found Alan Nevil lying near death in a neighbor’s yard.  He had been shot five times.  One bullet was lodged in his throat.  His wife, Darlene, was found dead inside the house, shot in the back and head.

Despite the blood in his mouth, Alan managed to gargle the name of their attacker.

It was his stepdaughter’s 13-year-old boyfriend, he said.

(Note: because the boy and girl were juveniles, newspaper accounts of the murders do not disclose their names.)

The Nevil home
The two teenagers had met a few months earlier, after the girl had moved from her father’s home in Ohio to live with her mother and stepfather in Texas.

The boy had had a difficult life, according to the Post:

One of his uncles had murdered a family member. Another uncle had been killed. And he watched his mother endure domestic violence. He began smoking marijuana at age 10 and became involved with a gang.

Not surprisingly, the girl’s mother and stepfather didn’t approve of the relationship.  So the girl began to plot to kill them, according to the police.

“The final straw was when they took away my coloring books,” she told Detective Bruce Marshall, who interrogated her after the murders.  “I knew they had to die.”

Rather than commit the murders herself, the girl used her feminine wiles to get her boyfriend to do the dirty work.  From the Dallas Morning News:

Marshall said that in police interviews, the girl bragged that she was smarter than the boy and could get him to do anything she wanted.  It was the girl’s idea to kill her mother and stepfather, Marshall said. . . .

Family members at the graves of
Alan and Darlene Nevil
It was several weeks between the time she introduced the idea to kill the Nevils by showing him Alan’s gun and when it became the murder weapon. At first, the boy wouldn’t touch it, Marshall testified.

The Nevils didn’t approve of the relationship and tried to end it — the boy reacted with profanity laced messages to Darlene that were used as evidence. The girl pushed harder and the boy agreed to the plan.

“She told [the boy] she was pregnant and that Alan Nevil tried to sexually abuse her,” Marshall testified.  None of it was true.

The police quickly tracked the couple to the boy’s home, where the two were having sex.  I’ve never personally committed murder, but apparently it makes you very horny.  (When you’re 13 years old, of course, pretty much everything has that effect.)

The boy and girl were sentenced to prison terms of 28 years and 20 years, respectively.  But the boy will be paroled next month when he turns 19.

 The Texas Juvenile Justice Department told Judge Andrea Martin that the boy had taken responsibility for his crime and was remorseful for it, had an exemplary disciplinary record, and had excelled in job training and educational programs.  So she went along with that agency’s recommendation that he be paroled rather than transferred to an adult prison, where he would have had to serve at least ten years.

Judge Andrea Martin
The TJJD believes that the boy will likely make a successful transition to life outside of the juvenile facility where he spent the last five-plus years – in large part because he no is longer bewitched, bothered, and bewildered by the girl.

Why do they believe that?  For one thing, he tattooed her name on his wrist soon after he was sentenced in 2011, but had the tattoo removed in 2014.

Sam Spade would be proud of the boy.  He’s not going to play the sap for the girl again.

By the way, the girl will be up for parole when she turns 19 next year.

* * * * *

“Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” is the most popular song from the musical Pal Joey, which was first produced on Broadway in 1940.

Vivienne Segal
Vivienne Segal and Gene Kelly co-starred in the play, which featured the music and lyrics of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Here’s Vivienne Segal’s 1950 recording of “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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