The appearances deceive
The Geezer Murder Factory and Beyond Belief
The appearances deceive
People always have different points of view in any event. Usually what people see is what they believe to be the truth. Most of the time, people rely on circumstantial evidence which will cause them to make wrong conclusions, and they let their first impressions and appearances to distract them from the actual event.
The truth can be defined as having the complete information of a particular event, person or object which will help people to make an objective criterion .There are two main types of truth: when someone lies, and when someone gets to wrong conclusions of something. Sometimes people in order to fulfill others expectations, they will act in a way they are not truly, causing people to believe they have a different identity or a particular ability. For the second type of truth, sometimes people in order to fulfill their curiosity and anxiety to know everything; they will try to fill in the blanks with events that did not really happen. People will use wrong clues to make incorrect conclusions of someone, something or an event. For either type of truth when the truth is not known, it will always cause trouble when being discovered because after someone has been lying and trying to keep the truth a secret, the people that have been lied to will have some problems changing their mind from what they believe to be the truth.
One always has the necessity to believe in something, even if what one believes in is not true, and it is only what one thinks to be true .One does not always have sufficient information to make a good judgement because one only hears what one wants to hear , one might think that what one believes in is the truth, which is not always the case. Not everything is what it seems. One might be distracted by the exterior appearance of particular objects, actions, or individuals. People are never objective; one always has his own point of view and perspective. To look at things in an objective way is hard to do, but in order to be able to assess a situation with the true aspect one has to see all the perspectives. One could overlook the authentic aspect of certain things, events or persons following to disillusionment or disappointment by not receiving the expected results. When someone has expectations of an individual that are not realistic, the person who has the demands of these expectations will try to accomplish these expectations. Sometimes one could act the way one believes one is expected to be and when this happens it might cause one to lie in order to do expectations one does not have for one-self. The only expectations one should, and must follow are the ones each person has about themselves.
Sometimes people refuse to realize that they believe in a lie. In the novel Beyond Belief the leader of the Millennial Cult knows that Jesse does not really have telekinetic abilities, he wants to believe in something and he refuses to believe Jesse's powers are a lie and he does everything in his power to convince the other members that Jesse is the one. He accomplishes to make the members of the millennial prophet cult to believe that the prophecy stating that a darker-skinned boy of uncommon sensitivity and who is born under the ninth month has become true. Jesse has the background the prophecy states, making the members of the cult believe that he is going to save them. Lyles has the idea that Jesse is the one and he refuses to see that Jesse does not have the ability to move things with his mind and that he is not the one, when Lyles is about to die he has faith in Jesse and thinks that Jesse will save him. A similar situation exists in the novel the Geezer Factory Murder, when Caledonia and the rest of the women are in denial that Conrad Stone is not perfect and that there are some suspicious things about him, they believe so much that he is the perfect man that they neglect his mistakes and peculiar behaviour. People need to have faith in something and when they discover that is not true; accepting that it is not true will be very difficult, unless there is a major proof showing that it is a lie.
When someone lies, the truth will eventually be discovered. In the novel Beyond Belief, Joe Bailey is a detective who is specialized in discovering people's tricks to stop them from lying to other people and get people's money. He has always discovered how they do the illusions. Lieutenant Vince Powell says to Joe Bailey when he ,as usual , discovers the truth of an unsolved mystery “You bust up all the phoney séances, psychics, and witch - doctor scams” p.5 Joe bailey has the reputation of `the spirit basher'p.5, he has never failed to discover a person doing their tricks, sooner or later he would catch them . On the liar's side, Conrad Stone from The Geezer Factory who lies to everyone and thinks to be smarter than the detectives, has everything carefully planned to escape and not be captured, he is captured anyways because he makes some little mistakes that lead Caledonia and the police to catch him. Although he kills a lot of innocent people to keep the secret he is eventually discovered by a person as smart as Joe Bailey, Caledonia. These events only prove that lying is not a good thing. Another incident that confirms this is when Jesse from the novel Beyond Belief at the end of the book is discovered that he does not have telekinesis abilities and all the time he spends tricking the doctors, family and society are worthless because they find out about the truth anyways. People will try to use extreme measures that will harm other people in order to keep the lie undiscovered but they will make a mistake sooner or later that will bring the lie to the exterior.
Some individuals might sometimes use extreme measures, such as killing, in order to keep information undisclosed or to protect something/someone they care about. Conrad Stone from the novel The Geezer factory murder states the following because he does not want to be discovered that he has been lying all the time to his acquaintances and that they have the wrong impression of him. The residents at Camden-sur-mer think that Conrad Stone is a decent man: “I [Conrad Stone] had to kill Nancy because we had front to front apartments and she saw my `special' deliveries, it was too risky to have her alive and I killed Mr. Cherry too because he found out about everything… I just made it look like a heart attack; I put a pillow over his nose…”p.244. This quotation proves why Conrad Stone feels the necessity to kill these people because he cares about his business and keeping it a secret, which is useless, he is exposed eventually. In the novel Beyond Belief there is a character similar to Conrad Stone, his name is Lyles and he does not have empathy to no one and his aspiration in life is to keep Jesse safe because Lyles believes Jesse to be his saviour the prophecy talked about .Conrad Stone as well as Lyles have the same values as Lyles cites: “My philosophy is: No regrets. No guilt. No remorse.” p.49. Because of this beliefs both characters do not have empathy for anyone and if someone is blocking their way, they would just kill them and move on .Lyles and Conrad Stone prove how sometimes people with no remorse in the world outside the novel can use extreme measures, they let their desire and their impulses to get the better of them. For people similar to Lyles and Conrad Stone, they get discovered and they cannot continue harming and killing people. Responsible people sometimes make decisions without having a lot of thought in what they are about to do, causing to later regret their actions because we have feelings.
To have the wrong impression of someone or something will distract one from the truth. Joe Bailey is so determined to find the bad person who is trying to harm Jesse that he is searching for the wrong man and clues that might have helped him, he is using wrong clues. ”We were looking for the wrong man, that red-haired that was running away from us is only a scientist trying to know if Jesse is for real” p.173 Joe Bailey is distracted by a mysterious red-haired man who appears in some tapes with Jesse, he turns out to be a German man who is trying to prove that Jesse's powers are authentic. Joe Bailey thinks that if the red-haired man is running away from them, he must have been trying to hide something. Having the wrong impression of someone because of the way they act or their reputation might lead to untruthful expectations or unrealistic potential. In the novel the Geezer Factory Murder all the characters see Conrad Stone as a perfect gentle-man who is respectful, handsome and perfect, little they knew because they do not suspect at all that he would turn out to be the murderer, a drug-dealer and a criminal escaping from the law. Caledonia has the wrong impression of the case; she is unfocused from the truth. At the end Caledonia discovers the truth. She says: “It started as a ghost story and it finished with murder and drugs.” p. 259. This quotation expresses that one never knows what to expect until one has completed the action and can stop and think everything that happened.
Never misjudge someone's abilities and skills by using stereotypes. In both novels besides misjudging the antagonists (Conrad Stone and Lyles), the author make us think that Caledonia from The Geezer Factory murder is not capable of doing anything because she is old. “A lot of people think the older you are, the less you're able to read instructions”(p. 180) At the end we know that she is not just able to follow instructions but to find criminals and solve mysteries because some crucial details that ordinary characters missed ,Caledonia investigates everything thoroughly and she does not miss any details. Even the killer feels that Caledonia is a threat and he tries to exterminate her. Caledonia's deductive reasoning helps her to find evidence to find the killer and she helped the police to have enough evidence to incriminate Conrad Stone, the murderer. Conrad Stone after he is found states: “You are smarter than I (Conrad Stone) thought, `Cal'” p. 244. Another example of this misjudging is in the novel Beyond Belief, all the characters except Joe Bailey, were jumping to conclusions of the situation before having all the information. They also stereotype Jesse by thinking that since he is a kid, he is not smart enough to trick grown-ups. When Joe Bailey sees a videotape of Jesse, the eight-year old boy who everyone believes him to have telekinetic powers, Bailey observes the tape and watches that Jesse's eye is moving in an unusual way and Bailey makes further investigations and discovers that Jesse does not have abilities. “He (Jesse) moves the things by expelling air from the socket of his eyeball where there was a perforation in the membrane behind it; this is called per orbital perforation.” P.342 Joe Bailey is the only person to find out about this. When one prejudges someone without knowing them or having enough information, one is giving them the chance to lie and use any measure to distract one from their genuine identity.
The authors give information about the truth in small sections, making the reader to have different perspectives of the truth. These different perspectives make it harder to find out what the truth is. The judgments the characters make versus the ones made by the reader sometimes differ a lot because the characters know small portions of the truth and sometimes they try to fill out the blank spaces with the wrong perspective because the characters are often tricked by the author by giving them wrong clues making them to go on wrong directions distracting the reader and the characters from the truth. Because of these different perspectives the characters sometimes have a different judgemental criterion than the reader, the characters think that what they know is the absolute truth and it turns out to be only one point of view of the problem, and that point of view might be narrow-minded. The authors give each character different clues to solve the mystery and throughout the novel the characters interact with each other compiling all the clues and discovering the complete truth at the end making the whole story to make sense and solving all the lose ends.
Both books start focusing in a particular investigation and at the end besides solving the original cases, a complete different story takes place at the same time proving that what seems to be something really simple and small turns out being a complicated , exciting and unexpected adventure with more than one event involved.
Johansen, Roy (2002). Beyond Belief
Holt, Corinne (1999). The Geezer Murder Factory
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