Ander’s Tethered Field Trip

Image Courtesy VG/Scanpix
Suspect in Norway Reconstructs Killings for Police
Anders Behring Breivik, at left, showed Norwegian police officers on Saturday how he aimed at victims on the island of Utoya last month. He wore a harness and tether to ensure he could not flee.

As last month’s Norwegian massacre begins to fall off Americans’ finite spectrum of world consciousness, last weekend provided the next step in the growing chain of collected and bizarre imagery of Anders Behring Breivik. First the distant, grainy images of white-sheathed victims taken from a boat off the island, then the popped-collar-prep headshot grabbed from Facebook, followed by the Call-of-Duty-esque uniform fetish. We’re still gazing at Anders in wonder, watching him at the same telephoto distance that introduced us to his victims and chaos more than three weeks ago.

And now he’s back — on the island, that is, returning to the scene of the crime to reconstruct his killings (genocide?) for prosecutors. Dressed casually, blond hair neatly combed over, in light-washed denim, Anders leads police around the island in a harness and tether, a system of restraint generously polite for someone who’s admitted to mass murder. A Hannibal Lector mask wouldn’t allow Anders the free-range of motion necessary to whet the public’s appetite. There’s a reason why If I Did It at one point led Amazon.com in sales.

If a lack of media coverage during his attack was his oversight, it is no more. The police camera crew tailing him records footage that would shatter the last bit of distance Anders has from the public. But like the “Osama Bin Laden” tapes, we won’t see it.

The Jersey Shore camera crew behind him would give us the more personal glimpse of Anders, the kind of closeness that lets us call Snookie a guido and the Kardashians hot.

Video from VG, Norway’s most-read red-top, mirrors the photographs shot from a distance. To a non-Norwegian viewer, the report might compare to ESPN2’s Sunday golf coverage – the shots are wide and scenic, the narration monotone, the highlights of the segment unclear. Occasionally, the reporter pauses as ambient sound fades in—at our distance, this is the sound of the press cameras’ motordrives.

As Anders raises his arms to simulate picking off victims with a rifle near the shoreline, the press not-so-subtly fill in the blanks.

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