Arsonist with a Manure Fetish
“A pervert got thrills from covering himself in farmyard manure and performing sex acts, a court heard yesterday. Weirdo David Truscott loved pleasuring himself while wallowing in muck. And he terrorised a farmer’s family with another bizarre fetish for setting fire to things including outbuildings and machinery, causing thousands of pounds’ damage. Truscott targeted Clive Roth’s farm for seven months before he was caught in a police surveillance operation. Cops nabbed him prowling round the property near Red-ruth, Cornwall, at 1am in shiny red shorts and latex gloves. Truro magistrates heard jobless Truscott, 35, who owned 360 pairs of knickers and slept in ladies’ pyjamas, admitted he got a kick out of manure. Once he stripped to his pants and climbed inside a muckspreader to fondle himself. Another time he rolled around in dung while trying to set Mr Roth’s tractor ablaze. Prosecutor Simon Jones said his antics increasingly frightened the Roth family, especially when one fire he started caused the death of a cow. Truscott, from Redruth, admitted three charges of arson and one of burglary. He will be sentenced at Truro Crown Court next month.” — The Sun (UK)
It is not always easy to make out the line between perversion and insanity. Suppose this guy didn’t jerk off while rolling about in manure and setting fire to farm equipment. You might think he was mentally ill. You would expect him to be put on a regimen of antipsychotics while a battery of therapists ask him questions such as, “Why do you hate yourself? Because of your mommy?” But once masturbation figures into it, the picture seems to change. The guy’s not a lunatic. He’s a pervert. He doesn’t suffer from deranged ideas. He harbors disgusting fetishes. He doesn’t need antipsychotics. He needs “harsh medicine,” punishment, prison. It’s as though the sexualization of an essentially insane activity puts the guy into an entirely different category of existence.
Havelock Ellis, in his classic Studies in the Psychology of Sex, discusses this wavering line between insanity and perversion, particularly with regard to coprophagia (the eating of fecal matter):
Coprophagic acts, whether under the influences of religious exaltation or of sexual rapture, inevitably excite our disgust. We regard them as almost insane, fortified in that belief by the undoubted fact that coprophagia is not uncommon among the insane. It may, therefore, be proper to point out that it is not so very long since the ingestion of human excrement was carried out by our own forefathers in the most sane and deliberate manner.
Ellis goes on to give examples of “normal” coprophagia. Nowadays these examples could be supplemented with other forms of scatology — urine therapy, for example, or the intentionally polemical argument that “Americans should ingest more excrement” as a way of building up resistances that we have lost owing to an oversanitized culture. It all makes you wonder how an individual who eats or, as the case may be, pleasures himself with excrement ends up being defined. Why is it perverse to jerk off in a manure spreader when it is sometimes mad and other times normal to interact with excrement? Ellis indicates that, in his view, it is a matter of degree:
the impulse to bestow a symbolic value on the act of urination in a beloved person, is not extremely uncommon; it has been noted of men of high intellectual distinction; it occurs in women as well as men; when existing in only a slight degree, it must be regarded as within the normal limits of variation of sexual emotion.
Perhaps Ellis would have thought the arsonist with a manure fetish crossed the line — the guy sought feces, not urine; the excrement came not from a “beloved person” but from farm animals; and then there’s the matter of burning an animal to death… Perhaps the pervert was trying to “bestow a symbolic value” on the act, suggesting that, in matters of sexuality, we should rid ourselves of our sacred cows?