5X5 Episode 13

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5X5 Episode 13
Molester 'raped by bigfoot'
30th March, 2008

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5X5 12 5X5 14
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
E: Evan Bernstein
M: Mike Lacelle
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Man convicted of molestation claims he was raped by Bigfoot[edit]

You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide 5x5, five minutes with five skeptics, with Steve, Jay, Rebecca, Bob and Evan.

S: This is the SGU 5x5. The topic for tonight is "man claims he was molested by bigfoot". 57-year-old Gene Morrill who has been convicted of soliciting minors for sex over the internet has claimed that he himself was molested when he was younger by none other than bigfoot.

B: And by minors you mean 13-year-old boys.

S: That's correct.

R: And by bigfoot you mean a large hairy mammal that doesn't exist.

S: I mean Sasquatch. That's right.

E: And by molest you mean, well...


R: The story is just completely nuts. I mean well the guy obviously has serious issues here but what really makes this a really outstanding case is the job that the local news stations have done to it. For instance, the one that's has been spread around the most is by a journalist Jessica Weinstein for the local ABC affiliate. And her method of investigating this was to first interview folks at the gas station and then to contact the Bigfoot Field Research Organization. And that is where she got all of her information on this breaking news case.

S: Right. Because as soon as anything like bigfoot or ghosts or UFOs, or anything paranormal or unusual enters the story it becomes instantly a fluff piece and then all journalistic criteria and quality control goes out the window and you can just talk to some, you know, random bigfoot true believer as an expert and you don't have to actually ask any interesting questions like "Is this guy ya know really as crazy as he seems?" Or perhaps his belief that he was molested by bigfoot stems from legitimate abuse that he had when he was a child. I mean this spawns a lot of questions that suddenly don't get asked by the journalist because bigfoot takes over the story.

E: Reporters are going out to the residents of the town and talking to them about this and when you take it in the context of here's this very very, very serious issue with this person and they are putting it in the context that this person was molested, or claims to be molested, by bigfoot and people are saying like "Are you serious? I just don't believe it." And I think it is interesting in that you put it against that kind of context and I think it is affecting people's thoughts about bigfoot in general. I kinda see it like they are less likely to perpetuate the myth because it is such a serious incident that people all of a sudden are becoming very skeptical about bigfoot overall in any context.

M: Plus, you know, like Rebecca you covered this in your blog. Maybe he was molested by a monster in the woods but he is maybe he does have psychological problems where he does see it in his memory as bigfoot, I guess.

B: My take on this was that actually he was, he doesn't really believe that he was molested, and he mentioned that solely to potentially get a lesser sentence because he is mentally impaired to such a degree. That's my take on it at least.

S: Well, and Bob, you may be right. This may be the bigfoot gambit. He may be throwing out bigfoot as an attempt to- either they'll buy it and at least go easy on him. I don't think there is any possibility of him being found innocent. He was found competent to stand trial so this wouldn't get him to be found not guilty by reason of insanity but he may have been going for leniency and if they don't buy the whole "I was molested by bigfoot" thing the alternative is that he is mentally ill which is just another reason for leniency. So it could be easily perceived as a win win.

R: And he is also charges elsewhere in the state so it could have an effect on his charges as well.

B: One thing that struck me kinda funny was the mugshot being passed around of this guy. For some reason when I look at that mugshot it seems like they took the picture when he was being boinked by bigfoot. The expression on his face. I don't know, that's how it struck me. I don't know how it struck me.

S: He has what we call the stunned ox expression on his face.

R: Should we stop there?

E: That will do.

S: SGU 5x5 is a companion podcast to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, a weekly science podcast brought to you by the New England Skeptical Society in association with skepchick.org. For more information on this and other episodes, visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. Music is provided by Jake Wilson.

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