Detroit Free Press: The 72-year-old man gunned down by a former high school classmate in January over a 50-year grudge was a loving grandfather and respected by coworkers and the community. Norman Johnson was shot and killed at his doorstep by Carl V. Ericsson, 73, on Jan. 31. On Friday, Ericsson was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The sentencing brings some closure to a brutal killing sparked years ago by a sports incident when the two were in high school, in which a jockstrap was pulled over Ericsson’s head.
“I can’t blame you for being jealous of Dad,” testified Beth Ribstein, Johnson’s daughter. “In high school, he was popular, he was athletic, he dated Mom. They had 52 wonderful years together. He had two daughters that adored him, four grandchildren that worshiped him. Over 600 people attended his funeral.”
I’m firmly in the camp of those who say that kids who are bullied need to leave that sh1t in high school and simply move on as best as you can. Comfort yourself by knowing that your tormentors’ best days are likely behind them while you’re cashing your stock dividend from the the I/T company you started in your basement. You made it! Don’t wallow in sorrow and self pity. Rejoice!
But. Is Beth f*cking kidding me with the whole jealousy thing? “Popular?” “Athletic?” “Dated [ed. note: lol] mom?” Carl wasn’t jealous of Norman because he f-ed a lot of chicks in high school (spoiler alert for Beth). Carl simply wanted to kill Norman. This is a classic Back to the Future alternate reality playing out, only in this one, Biff/Norman has his way with George’s/Carl’s would-be love interest in his late model Chevy, they beget Beth and a bunch of other Perfect Johnsons, and George/Carl lives a depressing, solitary life sprinkled with regret and garnished with failure. Once Carl realized he was running out of time and his imaginary friend Doc STILL hadn’t perfected the time machine, he had to take matters into his own hands.
No movie script here, film fans. Just a classic case of being unable to f*ck with the space/time continuum.