On the promotional cover, a hideous Madalyn O'Hair caricature has a clenched left fist, and holds a crushed crucifix in her extended, bleeding right hand. In this documentary, John MacCormack, Texas journalist/reporter, and Tim Young, private investigator, explain how they collaborated to crack the O'Hair case when the Austin police, the FBI, and American Atheists were apathetic about solving the disappearance of the three atheists. The film shows how Madalyn condescended toward Christians, and loved to belittle and insult their faith. The film's title is derived from the Austin community's collective feelings that they were happy this pest disappeared for whatever the reason. However, Phil Donahue, talk show host, expressed his view that Madalyn should be remembered as an American patriot for fighting for Constitutional separation of church and state. The film has excellent archival video footage of the police forensics team exhuming the skeletal remains at Cooksy Ranch. And David ... Written by
I was so thankful to see this on DVD (unfortunately, no EXTRAS!). It is very good, but I feel a few inaccurate points are within.
ONE; There is a scene when Madalyn is on stage and is insulting a largely Christian audience - calling them 'witless' and 'very rude'..... Well, you do have to wonder why so many Christians would show up in an auditorium to be berated like this. According to Madayln's son, Bill Murray - in his 'mommie dearest' book - this was a staged event. She appeared with the Rev. Bob Harrington, the so-called 'Chaplain of Bourbon St.' in these shams to receive large donations from the mostly Christian audience members. It was later exposed by a newspaper reporter and the 'debates' eventually ended. Even in this documentary it sounds like Madalyn is reading a script (acting for effect, In order to raise the take!) in these segments, and why did they never show Rev. Harrington that was connected to this? I can only guess because he is now old and ailing, so they didn't want to drag him into the picture. Too bad because that would have been an important factor.
Regarding her son, Bill Murray, however, I was amazed how he seems so emotional-less regarding his daughter, Robin, who was brutally murdered. He doesn't shed a tear while talking about her gruesome death. I cried more for my sweet cat when she died. Maybe this isn't his personality, but it is very bizarre regardless.
Well, one thing about Robin, she did seem to have a brilliant mind, but I suspect this had more to do with her Jewish mother (I still wonder whatever became of her? This is never mentioned.), and to Madalyn, than to absentee-father, Bill
Also, normally I like Phil Donahue, but I'm surprised how misogynistic he comes off (typical Catholic, I guess. I bet he raved about Bill Maher's 'Religulous' documentary...who basically did the same job as Madalyn at criticizing religion) as mercilessly badmouthing Madalyn. He constantly used her for his ratings, and then his comment (ridiculing her) of Madalyn with her using the word, GAAWD!, but Bill Murray said the word the same way. Perhaps it's simply their Baltimore, Maryland accent and not a condescending remark? Just Sayin!
Also, while being deposed in a lawsuit with 'The Truth Seeker' publication, this is where Madalyn says something about, "hiring dancing boys in sequin jockstraps...Is that a living?" (a great sound bite) when lawyer, Roy Withers, asks where she gets her money to live. A fair question, but you soon learn Madalyn can hold her intellectual own!
My only wish is the entire documentary of Madalyn being interviewed back in 1970 (I think it is) when she speaks about how much she hated her mother (a Bob Elkins film, I believe)...and The Truth Seeker deposition, would have been included in its entirety as DVD extras!
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