Friday, June 24, 2005



Donald Fell murdered his mother, Debra Fell, and her friend Charles Conway. Then he kidnapped a stranger, Terry King, took her across the state line, and beat her to death while she prayed. His accomplice, Robert Lee, hanged himself in prison.

Too bad Fell didn't hang himself, was not felo de se. Because he crossed a state line in the commission of his crime, Fell is being tried in U.S. District Court. Vermont doesn't have a death penalty, but the feds do.

Donald Fell has an aptronym, a name that suits his character.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913), s.v. fell as an adjective:
[OE. fel, OF. fel cruel, fierce, perfidious; cf. AS. fel (only in comp.) OF. fel, as a noun also accus. felon, is fr. LL. felo, of unknown origin; cf. Arm. fall evil, Ir. feal, Arm. falloni treachery, Ir. & Gael. feall to betray; or cf. OHG. fillan to flay, torment, akin to E. fell skin. Cf. Felon.]

1. Cruel; barbarous; inhuman; fierce; savage; ravenous.
True to his name, Donald Fell is a cruel, barbarous, inhuman, fierce, savage felon.

Fell has another meaning and another derivation, just as apt in a grisly way. Webster's, s.v. fell as a transitive verb:
[imp. & p. p. Felled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Felling.] [AS. fellan, a causative verb fr. feallan to fall; akin to D. vellen, G. fällen, Icel. fella, Sw. fälla, Dan. fælde. See Fall, v. i.]

To cause to fall; to prostrate; to bring down or to the ground; to cut down.
True to his name, Donald Fell felled his victims.

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