December 14, 2013
Affluenza and the Media

Ethan Couch again, the spoiled 16-year-old killer of four given a walk by a kindly Texas judge. Yesterday I made a quick search of the initial coverage to find out who was responsible for spoiling this pathetic little rich kid. The only information I could find was that his parents were divorced. No names given. No occupations, no bio at all on this “wealthy family.” A psychologist testified that the parents were disasters, but again the news accounts left them nameless. The pickup Ethan was driving was owned by his father’s company, the watchdogs of the press reported, but apparently they were unable to dig out its name. To find it, I had to go to the Cleburne (Texas) Times-Review, in a December 3 story about the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against Cleburne Metal Works, owned by one Fred Couch. Plenty of interviews with the parents of the killed; none with the killer’s parents. No mention of unsuccessful attempts made. No word as to whether they were even present in court. Nobody seems to have staked out the Couch mansion, or mansions. No photos of the parents who apparently infected their brat with affluenza at birth, and followed up regular maintenance doses for 16 years.

Judge Jean Boyd, it seems, isn’t the only one passing out free rides.


Posted by Jerome Doolittle at December 14, 2013 02:37 PM
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I'll bet some enterprising civil attorney(s) are already licking their chops over the wrongful death suit(s) they could file. The kid himself probably doesn't have much in assets, but I wonder if this legal argument and the decision could be used to include the parents in it? I hope so.

Posted by: Tim on December 14, 2013 3:48 PM

Good work finding that company name. Mr. Fred Couch must have a tremendous amount of local clout.

My own searches had focused on the judge. In two previous cases where a teenager had killed somebody, she was ruthless. One kid got ten years, and another 40. No indication either of them were afflicted with 'affluenza'.

So why the sudden turn-around? Lots of speculation about a bribe, and that's certainly a possibility. But what if she had some personal 'dirt' of her own which might have been exposed if she hadn't done what she did? I'd be curious to find out more about the financial status of daddy Fred Couch, and his connections with the Total Information State.

Posted by: Zachary Smith on December 14, 2013 9:12 PM

Actually, the judge did try to get at least one previous offender into a drug rehab program, but the rehab institution wouldn't take him, and of course, Texas doesn't pay for real rehabilitation. So she ended up sending that kid to prison.

There's one standard of justice for the rich in this country, or at least in Texas, and another for the rest of us.

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Posted by: The New York Crank on December 16, 2013 12:23 PM
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