According to media reports 23-year-old Oklahoman Arthur Sedille was arrested for fatally shooting his 50-year-old wife, Rebecca, during a gunplay sex game. While the incident is still being regarded as a tragic accident, Paul Hesse, an assistant DA, said the circumstances of the case could warrant Sedille being charged with murder.
The grittier details surrounding the event were outlined by the NY Daily News, earlier today: Sedille said he and his wife often used a handgun for fantasy games. According to the affidavit, Sedille took a handgun from a shelf beside the bed, not realizing it was loaded, and “racked the slide back causing the gun to cock.” He then said he put the gun to his wife’s head when it went off.
Luckily, the tabloids have opted out on abusing the easy jokes involving any kind of ‘bang,’ or ‘banging,’ though the Daily Mail called the situation ‘bizarre’ and duly noted the following: The interests section of [Sedille’s] Facebook page list pages on pitbull dogs, the AK-47 assault rifle and the World War II M-1 Carbine rifle. Certainly odd tastes, but is this really any more bizarre than the media’s typical and increasingly tiresome reports of weird sex and with weirder death continually bombarding us? Isn’t this closer to the status quo for current events, human interactions, and even journalism – the act of reporting on them?
If anything’s bizarre, in our opinion, it’s that no pundits yet (at least that we’ve seen) have explicitly addressed the odd age discrepancy that would surely be the primary focus of any competent prosecution team.
As one particularly astute commenter on the NY Daily News article put it: She’s 50 and he’s 23? I SERIOUSLY doubt his story. He wanted her dead. Maybe, and maybe not. But shouldn’t a journalist also be, if in a more nuanced manner, addressing such an obvious notion?
Isn’t this story less shocking because of the graphically sexual and violent aspects, which are standard fare in the media (and especially tabloid media), than for its implicit hinting at an apparent reversal of a ubiquitous contemporary trope: the young woman marrying an older man for money, and proceeding to kill him? Which is telling of changing gender roles, economic desperation, the endlessly compelling interplay of reality with fantasy, and even, perhaps, the dangers of cougardom.