The killer and the killed on Facebook

Hard to say precisely what Givner was after -- the women were all young and not all obviously transvestites, though one was. The victim had been less than candid about his past, but had friends in both the US and in Nicaragua. Education, not yet.

Silva's didn't look that different from any number collection of friends, some international, some local, keeping in touch with his past, apparently. Givner's has no connections from the US and only one that appears German (a young girl. One of the things Facebook does is keep people in touch with their pasts and a man who has chosen to drop his past makes for a rather different sort of Facebook page.

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How about a link so we know what the heck you are talking about

See my reply to Juanno.

You may have to have a Facebook account yourself to see it.

Rebecca Brown

Assuming she does...

This is just what the science fiction writer wanted, a bizarre murder in her back yard.

And Rebecca, ....Look up or ask your new family about the general use here of the term El totally missed it in your google translate of the La Prensa Pandoras Box quote.

The Rule/The Empire -- yeah, that did occur to me

A friend came by and told me what she'd known about Basil Givner. Apparently, he claims to have had Mad Cow Disease and got a pension to go off and die, but didn't die. She was spooked by him and the rumors were that he was a pedophile (the usual interest in the young but not necessarily the pre-pubescent young). The photos of his Facebook Friends were suggestive.

The friend said that some people called to ask if she'd help them get Givner out of jail, help him. She had absolutely no interest in doing so. Nor do I.

Sociopath, crazy -- doesn't really need to be on the street. The Mad Cow Disease story sounds a bit like B.S. He claimed to have gotten it in the UK.

Curiouser and curiouser, but I'm glad none of my friends here were on his FB friends lists.

The rich parts of the world often use the poor parts of the world as a dump for their problems. Nicaragua has to figure out how good the money is compared to the hassles.

Rebecca Brown

It's the ex-reporter at play.

Looks like Givner might be wanted in the US, maybe Germany, too -- no FB friends who live in the US at all, and only one, a young girl, apparently in Germany. The victim's FB page was more like most people's FB page, people in the US where he used to live, people in Jinotega (including Givner), some strictly Facebook friends. Either Givner's wanted or he's such a jerk that nobody who'd know him in the US wanted to stay friends with him. Only one friend in Germany way younger than he is -- what's that about?

Givner's Google+ account disappeared between yesterday and today, so I didn't take a closer look at his circles there.

Still don't know if Givner had legal residency or not, but I can see why Migracion wants to actually meet the people they're letting in and crack down on the perpetual tourists. It's now so easy to get residency that the people who don't look bent (and often are in this area).

Rebecca Brown


You can sign up use for a time a go dark for years and that info will stay there forever so no gauge at all as to who this guy was/is.

As far as the Nica newspapers go they always post the dead man's age and what he did for money. Even if he has not worked in years that is the caste papers put the man in by whomever they ask-mother, wife, etc. Nicas are blue shifted in terms of news with what neighbors are doing and some gossip sucking up most of the pie. Some Middle stuff on politics but beyond that Nicaraguans are indolent and ignorant of world news or even the inner workings of their own government. Just a gray zone. This case will be trumped up only because it is Gringo on Nica crime which is rare.

Nicas are humble and may know a gringo or two personally but in the abstract many are not too fond of them. Would you be if you were Nica? Seeing old men with young woman seemingly spending money without care in the world, young gringos getting all the prettiest girls at the bars discos. ,etc. We remind these people they are poor (or at least the ones on vacation).

More of the sex trade is in CR by far. Especially the Gay department where young boys are seen in San Jose hustling. That is just one of the intersections where hustlers and creeps from the USA meet. 20 years ago I was at the McDonalds and saw 2 guys who sat next to me on the flight a few days earlier. They were sitting with a young Tico. I approached and during conversation I asked who he was-they said in chorus, "He is our interpreter"...

US law applies to any US citizen overseas anywhere. You can be prosecuted in the USA under US Law for sex crimes on foreign soil. They have been using this new law to prosecute Americans in Cambodia. As young as 7 and 8 year old girls these guys have been accused and sent back to US for prosecution. Never saw or heard of anything like that going on in Nic or CR.

Facebook now has a Time Line

Silva friended Givner on July 18. TimeLine on Facebook tells when events happened.

Anyone who says that Nicas are humble has never ever met an upper class or upper middle class one. I don't even find the local working class Nicaraguans here (Jinotega) humble. I doubt all regions are alike though.

One of my Nicaraguan acquaintances who has family in Sweden and who has lived in the US said that people in the US think the world begins and ends with the US. My two doors down neighbor often watches international news. Her son is a lawyer who has been doing graduate work in clinical psychology (just came back from having breakfast with them). They also have family in the US.

I suspect that most middle class urban Nicaraguans are basically indifferent to gringos -- they've got their own lives to lead. People who themselves have family in the US are perhaps more likely to befriend North Americans here (small sample, but thinking about it, it's 100% for me -- I don't know at regalo-exchange, visit for meals level any Nicaraguans who don't have family in the US or Europe).

What I think happens here all too often is what would happen in rural Virginia -- people who were themselves not members of the US upper middle class or upper class, or even particularly well-educated, would figure they could come to some poorer part of the US or the world, and be significant people by virtue, basically, of having more money. That these are the people who are perpetually getting ripped off is no surprise to me. Knowing or not knowing the language really doesn't change this obliviousness -- everyone involved in similar things in rural Virginia spoke the same language.

And it's the same cliche -- mountain people were supposed to be humble, God-fearing, yadda. yadda, and anyone who wasn't was a fake Appalachian person. Can't someone come up with a new set of cliches for country people? Another common cliche -- "nobody does a job as well as where I came from." In rural Virginia, it was that the best local workmen wouldn't work for people from away. Here, maybe they are all in Costa Rica.

"Before the revolution, poor people didn't look rich people in the face. After the revolution, they did." Nicaraguan observation. That matches what I've seen, but then Nicaragua isn't my hobby. Jinotega is where I live.

Again, my sample is small, but the quickest way to be robbed multiple times, to be hit up for loans, and to get stuck for the drinks appears to be believing in your own great importance in the Nicaraguan scheme of things. Nicaraguans who aren't crooked and who are self-respecting will avoid you quite nimbly and share nothing of themselves with you, even if they speak English or you Spanish. The Nicaraguans who are dishonest will calmly borrow money, cadge drinks, and walk off with your stuff. And this happens to people who are fluent in Spanish but blinded by their own self-importance, perhaps more than people who are learning Spanish and feel more vulnerable and so pay more attention to body language (again, small samples), and don't assume they know the Nicaraguan people, all almost 6 million of them.

I've been charged fair prices from my tailor, the people who made my boots, and my wooden storage box, and all of these people delivered on time or earlier (the expat who introduced me to the tailor said he was often really late with work -- probably a one off-due to a family emergency or his health) . Got the price of the chiltomas down to maybe $5C of the market price from my sometimes crooked but fairly desperate street vendor, but then she's bringing them to the door. I was sure I was paying more rent than the people in the other side of the house, but that doesn't turn out to be true, either. I avoid people who seem crooked, Nicaraguan or foreigner.

This particular murder may not have involved gay sex at all. Neither FB page has any particularly gay feeling to it (Givner just didn't seem to look at his little friends that closely, which actually suggests straight than gay -- a gay person would spot the cross-dressers pretty quickly). Drug and alcohol buddies sometimes have fallings out and murder each other.

If I were to commit a cliche about Nicaraguans, it's that they're unsentimental about drugs. Kids in the street mock people they think are pot heads. No silliness about how drugs free your mind or make you creative.

I met two kids recently, Americans on some sort of alternative agriculture project out in the country near Matagalpa, who'd been to San Juan del Sur. They said they were stopped by people offering them cocaine about every other block. I wondered if that was going to really be cocaine or robbery.

Certain people come here for the legal pleasant vices (legal prostitution, over the counter downers), others figure they can get away with smoking pot or underaged sex because those activities are under the radar here. Other people come here because they think it will be easier to start a business here than in the US, that they can make more money because labor is cheaper and they're smarter and better educated than the sorts of Nicaraguans who are also into running businesses or who have coffee fincas. They protect that illusion by avoiding meeting Nicaraguans who are doing these things.

It makes a certain amount of sense that the Nicaraguans who seem to be the friendliest to me are people who have family in the US -- they're hoping that other people in the US are being friendly and helpful to their kin. I certainly would put any of their kin in touch with mine in the US in at least two cases.

Rebecca Brown

A nicaraguan observation

A bit off subject, but anyway that nicaraguan observation ¨before the revolution, poor people didn´t look rich people in the face. After the revolution, they did´, is an old and tired scene played out endlessly in movies and novelas of old. It did happen for sure, but it was something that happened more often in the country side, not as much in the city. Now looking at a lowly guardia that maybe couldn´t read and write in the eye that was a different story. Some people did experience that kind of liberation from that kind of attitude or behavior that statements like that nicaraguan observation sugests, but believe you me not eberybody in Nicaragua went around taking their hat off and bowing their head down as the rich walked by.

I think Jinotega was where the well-off had town houses....

...and fincas out of town. Still that way to a certain extent, quite connected to the country life. My next door neighbors have a farm out and rent the other half of the house I'm in, though they're not as well off as the family who owns the house.

Even the best cliches are never true of everyone.

Rebecca Brown

Rich and poor just about everywhere.

As I am more familiar with Chinandega, I can tell you about one of the many rich families from Chinandega, the Callejas. They had houses in Managua, Chinandega and a beach front house in Corinto when El Chorizo was considered one of the best beaches in Nicaragua, no longer the case. In Chinandega we knew who the rich folks were and where they lived and the land they owned, Some of them were your typical rich land owners but don Poncho and his wife where very decent and down to earth and made sure their kids were nice to everybody,, I know this because I had the opportunity to see the two sides of the coin. I have also found that the not so rich were the worst when it came to treating the poor, this I saw it myself many times, pretty sad. Another area where the rich had their country houses was around Managua, and still, on Carretera Sur all the way to El Crucero and on Carretera a Masya. Lots of quintas on both places.

Often the enemy is the class just above or below

...and the allies are much higher or lower. The not so rich may not want to be mistaken for the poor, sometimes can be desperate about that.

No one size fits all for any of it.

Rebecca Brown

nice post

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson


It's now so easy to get residency that the people who don't look bent (and often are in this area).

Do you visit Tony's grave or only channel him?

(Che: coffee alert)

jump on it!

did you see the movie about the New York author who wrote a best seller about a murder in Kansas?

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

Huge amount of work and emotionally draining -- Capote, Mailer with Gary Gilmore. Both brought their earlier reputations to the books -- and my reputation is for other things and not at their levels.

Rebecca Brown

but if you do

decide to do your great novel, I have a catchy title. How about ``Chopped Dragonfruit``? Exotic, no? In cold blood has already been taken.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

I Understand The

"Chopped Fruit" part but where does the "dragon" come in (unless that's a brand of aguadiente, or the local Jinotega "weed").

Definitely a book here. Definitely a book about Jason. [Susan: snipped out the misleading part, as requested]

It just came to me: what Jinotega needs is an El Gato Negro; a venue for all these books, a great cup of coffee, consistently good food, attentive service, and wi-fi. If Givner had an outlet like that he might not have gone off the reservation.

Actually, according to the guy's FaceBook page,

....he's into women.

He just didn't notice that at least one of them were guys. I understand that this isn't that uncommon -- one of the most politically aggressive sex workers in Virginia was a transvestite whose clients probably didn't notice, much less know that he'd sued a police department for harassment and won.

Jinotega has a very nice restaurant, owned by Nicaraguans, that has a very interesting collection of Spanish and English books that I've been working my way through.

For those of us who live here, there's a concern that Jinotega will be more hostile to expatriates post Givner. And unlike with some of the other cases, there's really no doubt that he killed Harley. Likewise, there's no doubt that many people come here sure that they're superior to the Nicaraguans around them.

Same thing apparently happens in Mexico:

We live in ways that are counter to Nicaraguan way unless we marry into a Nicaraguan family. If there are too many of us, we're going to be even more on our own. I suspect one of the common questions in at least some Nicaraguans' is what's wrong with us that we aren't with our families, especially for those of us who are single. Why are people wandering into Nicaragua as old people? If we're lucky, some Nicaraguans will try to fit us into their extended families, will look out for us, but we're more like the local homeless woman who doesn't have a family than we are like normal people.

And, to a certain extent, most of us do have issues. Givner's were just extreme.

Rebecca Brown

I really hope you re-word this, it looks terrible.

Jason is in Jail for drugs and money laundering, not pedophilia.

Wasn't Implying Jason

is a pedophile. Quite the opposite. I think that he is an innocent man. His situation is heart-breaking; what happened to him could happen to anyone living in Nicaragua, gringo or Nicaraguan.

I see how the context could be mis-leading, but I no longer have access to the post to edit it. My apologies to Jason. He's suffered enough.

Jason is a book waiting to be written. Volz did OK with his. I was just suggesting book opportunities for our favorite author. Someone living in Nicaragua would have the upper hand writing a book about the circumstances of his arrest, trial - If you can stretch the meaning of that word to cover what happened to Jason, conviction and imprisonment. Great way to work on your Spanish . . .

I don't see any evidence yet that Givner was a pedophile either. The 20 year age difference between him and Harley is certainly not out of line.

I haven't seen any evidence of pedophilia in Nicaragua. Let's do a survey: Has anyone on the site been offered sex with a child in Nicaragua? I haven't . . .

No, but you probably wouldn't know how to be approached....

If you went to any larger centre, to the right places and knew the right language you would find what you were looking for.

That Is Sad

I'm sorry to hear that.

Still, It Would

be an opportunity to grind a lot of axes. I really don't think that there is that much tourist pedophilia in Nicaragua. It depends on how you define pedophilia, of course, but if CR pegs their age of consent at 15, and had our lawyer taken his new friends to CR instead of Granada, would he still be a pedophile? Why come to Nicaragua unless you are a very poor pedophile? Age of consent in the Philippines is still 12 and cost of living is probably not more than Nicaragua, why not go there? I suspect that most of the Nicaraguan pedophilia is home-grown.

Capote's "attraction" to the "good killer", his relationship with Harper Lee, all made for a great story. The death of the family was really just an after thought, a vehicle, as Hayley's death would be. Fiction offers a lot of opportunity to paint reality with whatever brush you choose.

" Dreams From My Father " would offer some great lessons in fiction, fantasy and reality if you decide to do a Givner book.

I think everyone needs to remember Costa Rican law

Consent between two people who aren't paying one or the other for it is 15, but it's 18 to work as a prostitute. Here age for prostitution went from 14 to 18 relatively recently. If you're hiring under 18 hookers, you are breaking Costa Rican law. Frankly, some of the "pedophilia" isn't really the horrific act of sex with a pre-pubescent child, where there's going to be physical damage as well as the using and abusing emotionally, but I really don't think anyone under 18 should be working as a whore. It's not a profession that says all that much for the human species in several different ways, but trying to outlaw it completely tends to be harder on the sex workers than making it legal and busting people who abuse them.

If a younger woman isn't working as a prostitute and has sex with someone she wants to freely have sex with, it wouldn't be an old coot who went down there to buy immature bonks. If you're paying for it, it was to be 18, same as Nicaragua.

I wouldn't be surprised if one reason for someone wanted in the US to come here would be imagining that the Nicaraguans wouldn't extradite to the US. Some drug traffickers have found out that this is not so. Nobody knows yet what the deal was in the US, but I've seen enough Facebook and Google+ profiles to have seen immediately that these were far more people who weren't anywhere near his age than were, and nobody from his past in Germany (unless that was his natural daughter), no family from back home, no friends from Baltimore when he lived there. Someone in the newspaper comments speculated that he may have done the same thing elsewhere and left before getting caught. As everyone knows, the police can check Facebook without a warrant and people have been caught that way.

For a lot of gringos, I don't think it matters to them where they go. They're sure they're going to be able to buy anything they want in a poor country. I know one guy who is sure he can buy a cedula without the proper paperwork. Me, I'm not here to make Nicaragua worse.

This is precisely the kind of guy that a real health report and a meeting for evaluation for residency would probably have kept out, and probably why Migracion is doing interviews at least some of the time now (since my application, I only know one person who didn't get interviewed separate from applying and he also represented himself at Intur). If Givner creeped out some of the more spectacularly tolerant local expats, he would have really raised questions with anyone else.

We had a sheriff where I used to live in rural Virginia who checked out every new resident (small county, the size of San Juan del Sur, so he could do that) and found out that one of my new neigbor's sons had skipped before sentencing after a burglary conviction in New York State and also captured killer from Colorado who'd been hiding out at a local KKK Kompound. The sheriff knew we had enough of our own problems without getting the county a reputation among various bad communities as a good place to hide, so he was very vigilant about dealing with that (he even checked me out).

Nicaragua may not be able to afford to do that level checking, but cracking down on the extended tourist thing might be a good start.

Rebecca Brown

" ..I Know One

guy who thinks he can buy a cedula .. ."

Why should he think otherwise if Nicaragua sells them to narcos?

There's no guarantee that Givner would have creeped anyone out (as you say); he looks pretty normal to me. From what I've read, Eric Volz gave a lot of people the creeps. He looked very normal to me recently in an Anderson Cooper interview talking about Jason Puracal. More of this and the INTUR and Migracion staff won't have to worry about too much work.

" . . .This is precisely the kind of guy that a real health report and a meeting for evaluation for residency . . " What factual basis do you have for that statement? All this pedophilia talk is being used to smear Givner -and other Nicaraguan expats- by inference. He may be a murderer, but I see no evidence (beyond speculation about his facebook page) that he was a pedophile. We have compelling testimony from the victim that DO is a pedophile; nothing that I'm aware of implicates Givner in this activity. WHERE does pedophilia enter the picture in the case of Givner?

Givner was probably the victim of an emotional meltdown brought on by extended alcohol and drug abuse. He kills his boyfriend for whatever reason, and his dysfunctional brain -awash in aguadiente and whatever other substances he was using- came up with the brilliant idea of chopping the body up. We had an incident not that long ago in northern Nicaragua of a Gringo being killed, and his body dismembered and burned by his girlfriend (and her family). In this case, the motive was simple robbery, precipitated by Ken's intention to terminate his relationship with the girl.

If Givner gets the same sentence he'll be out in a couple of years.

I know two people who met him

I find his photograph utterly creepy. The two people who met him didn't want to have further dealings with him.

Seventeen year old girl who took the rap for her family is not the same as a 57 year old guy who had left the US and appeared to have absolutely no connection with anyone there on Facebook. That was the curiosity, not so much the young Nicaraguan friends.

Anyone who has been following the legal aspects of Facebook knows that cops have caught people by seeing who they're contacts with or by reading posts. Maybe there's a legitimate reason for not having any contacts from his time in the US or any contacts with family or old friends in Germany, but it strikes me as very odd, more like someone covering his tracks. Or perhaps he's seriously creepy. Not so much the young chickies and chickie looking people (all could be of legal age). It's what was missing: his past before Nicaragua.

The police have also wanted to know where he was and what he did before this.

My guess is Givner has an interesting history.

I wouldn't trust your judgment of people in a situation where being able to read body language and styles is utterly critical.

Rebecca Brown

turn the channel

This has all the makings of a "quality" telenovela. Geez, now there's an oxymoron.

Lots of pyscho-babble analysis of social networking sites and leaping inferences of pedophilia and nasty gringos (well, he was German, too you know? nudge nudge).

Just another whack job on the stage that is Life.

NOTHING to see here, move along?

But Islander...

There are Psycience Fixon writers on this site you know!