DALLAS, TX - A man was finally captured after a decade long search and a crime spree ranging in offenses from car theft to armed robbery to rape. Somewhere along the way, he also earned a nickname for his rather peculiar modus operandi.
Last night, James Dewayne Searcey, 42, of Fenton, MO, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of the above crimes. Perhaps there should be a law on the books that makes it a crime to tell bad jokes.
If there was, Searcey would most definitely be charged with that one as well. Searcey gained the dubious title "The Standup Robber" and later "The Standup Rapist", for telling jokes to his victims while committing the crimes as if he were telling them to an audience in a comedy club.
At first, he was a relatively harmless criminal, only using a gun to assure his getaway. "He was really kind of nice during the whole time he was robbing us, and he tried to tell some jokes, I suppose to lighten the mood." Connie Melton, teller at First Community Bank in Dallas, said at the time. "He seemed nervous, and he asked me to please laugh at him when he joked. I didn't really think he was funny, but I laughed anyway, not so much at his jokes, but more at the circumstances. It's not every day that a robber tells you jokes while you're filling his bag with money."
Another robbery was recounted by the young teller who waited on Searcey during that crime. "He just stood there in his dirty ski mask with his gun pointed at me, and he was telling me about a woman who farts with her vagina." Rodney Thomas, teller with DeBours Savings and Loan in Denton, recalled shortly after his experience. "He said to me 'what's the matter with you...that's funny', and I did think it was humorous. I know I'd have laughed if my buddy had told it to me. I gave the guy a fake laugh, he took a bow and thanked me, and then he left with the money."
A turning point in Searcey's demeanor occurred at a Spec's liquor store in Houston about two years ago, where Searcey began to get belligerent with his victims. The clerk's name was Harold Anderson, and he remembered the whole nerve-racking ordeal from start to finish. "This guy came in and demanded the contents of my register. He had a big gun and a comedy routine that stunk." Anderson recalled. "He kept yelling at me to laugh at his jokes or he would blow my head off. I thought I'd better do what he said to keep my head on, so I laughed my ass off. The guy thanked me for laughing and with a bow, he quickly left with 500 bucks and a bottle of cheap Scotch."
That would be his last robbery, as Searcey then decided to up the ante and enhance his rap sheet with a new crime...rape. "Mr. Searcey is responsible for over a dozen rapes in the state of Texas, and each victim provided virtually identical details about how the crimes went down. Every one of the victims mentioned a man in a soiled ski mask with a bad sense of humor." Jonathan Murphy, Dallas County Sherriff's Deputy, said in a statement this morning, "The assailant was described as a wannabe comedian who's not much better at telling jokes than he is at having sex."
His first rape victim came forward immediately after the crime, and her experience was no different than those of the robbery victims, except of course for the crimes themselves. The unidentified lady described Searcey's "smelly, stained ski mask" and his equally malodorous comedy routine. "He went about his business, and all the while he told me these godawful jokes that he insisted were ones he had written himself and wanted to brighten my day with."
"When I didn't react to them, he screamed 'laugh, bitch, or I'll destroy that pretty face!' How could I laugh? I mean, under the circumstances, I couldn't see any humor in my situation. But I mustered a fake laugh anyway just to save myself, and after he finished with me, he made me applaud him as he zipped himself up and left my house."
Other victims have corroborated her testimony in much the same way, repeating the general comment that he was a bad comedian and even worse at forced sex. "He didn't last fifteen seconds before he was done, but he joked for an eternity." was one comment. "Even if it had been consensual, I would not have enjoyed it any more, the sex or the jokes." was another. The overall consensus is that Searcey was a flop all the way around. Perhaps there is a reason why he had to have a sounding board for his pitiful jokes that led to his turning to crime for an audience.
A psychosexual therapist was brought in after Searcey had been arraigned to observe him in order that his mental state be verified for competency in a future trial. From a lengthy, indepth meeting and evaluation of the accused, Dr. Stuart Sneed, chief psychiarist at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health, confirmed what he had suspected all along. "This man has deep-seeded personal problems, but he is not crazy. All his life, Searcey has been an outcast, and the only thing he thought he had going for him was his ability to be funny."
Dr. Sneed continues. "When he got enough courage to try out his material on classmates, family members, and later coworkers, he got very little positive response from his jokes. This brought about rage and resentment in him that eventually led him into a life of crime. Pathetic, really, but he made his bed, and now he must pay the piper." Sneed's metaphor, although mixed, makes perfect sense. Searcey must now pay for his crimes, and he surely won't find that to be very funny.
As another psychosexual therapist named Sigmund Freud once said, "Pertaining to the pursuit of sex, it is much better to be a lover with a good sense of humor than a comedian with a bad one. It is imperative that one get laughs before one gets laid. The other way around is disastrous." Or something to that effect.
Searcey should have taken Freud's advice and developed his stand-up routine a little better before trying it out on others. If he had, he might never have had to resort to committing crimes to get an audience. Now he will have a pretty big audience every day for probably the remainder of his life. James Searcey had better get funny soon or he might wish he had stayed quiet years ago.