To Keep Your Daughter Out Of Jail, What Not To Name Her Is Crystal-Clear
The other day, Hair Balls was discussing the case of Crystal Sosa with a friend.
Sosa is a young prostitute. Two years ago, her dead infant was discovered stashed in the freezer of the motel where she was staying with her boyfriend. She was eventually convicted of nothing more serious than attempted evidence tampering in that case, and has already served her 16-month state jail sentence. In fact, Sosa was picked up for prostitution again earlier this month...
The story prompted my friend to note the very high number of very bad girls named Crystal.
"I blame Dynasty," she said. "There's something about the kids of women who would name their daughters after Krystle Carrington."
Fast forward to yesterday, when this story came in over the wire:
A woman is accused of throwing her year-old son into her SUV in a failed attempt to stop the vehicle from being repossessed in Dallas.
Krystal Gardner of Tool was jailed Wednesday on bail of nearly $3,800 on charges including child endangerment related to abandonment, no driver's license and no insurance.
Hmm, another one...It got us to thinking about given names and crime.
In fact, New of the Weird's Chuck Shepherd once tracked crimes by guys named Wayne, but no longer does so because they are so commonplace they are not weird enough. Freakonomics noted the odd hobby of a Dallas woman: collecting clippings of Waynecrimes. She sent a list of 21 to Freakonomics, all culled from the Dallas Morning News over a mere six months in 2006.
The name has crime star power. John Wayne Gacy and Houston's own Elmer Wayne Henley are the most infamous, but did you know that after upstate New Yorker Corianna Thompson was arrested for the murder of her mother, she became the first person to be charged with a killing as both a male and a female?
Thompson, you see, had once served nine years for a killing she committed when she was a man, a man who was born Corey Wayne Balashek.
But back to Crystal...
Without telling her anything about Krystal Gardner of Tool, Texas or my Crystal-as-Female-Wayne theory, I asked my colleague Katharine Shilcutt to tell me what name would be the female equivalent of Wayne.
Shilcutt pondered the question for maybe half a second.
"Crystal," she said. "I have never met a Crystal who amounted to much."
Encouraged now by two fine minds, I did a news search, whereupon I came upon the following cases, all but one limited to South Texas and all within the last two years:
Crystal Berryhill, Cleveland, Texas: resigned after "inappropriate relationship" with high school student.
Crystal Dawn Wallace, Houston: charged with possession of kiddy porn. How many women have you heard of getting caught with kiddy porn? Leave it to a Crystal.
Crystal Desormeaux, Jasper County: accused and later acquitted of capital murder in the beating death of her 21-month-old stepson. The boy's father was later convicted of that crime in spite of testimony from the dead boy's mother that she believed that Crystal did it.
Crystal (sometimes spelled "Cristal") Taylor, Beaumont and elsewhere: Dirk Nowitzki's crazy-ass ex-fiancee.
Crystal Mercado, San Antonio: Self-described "annoying" woman sentenced to eight years in prison for stalking and harassing numerous people.
Krystal Lynn Lewis, Muskogee, Oklahoma: We included this token Okie from Muskogee due to the heinousness of her crime: arranging for a friend to kill and skin her six-week-old Jack Russell terrier puppy and make her a belt out of its hide.
(And note that we didn't have time to check all the dozens of variant spellings of the name.)
While other say that Crystal is simply a trashy name, we're not so sure it stops there. Maybe it's the nod to hard drugs that tips it over the edge to ultimate bad-girl name...
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.