Dances With Corpses:
They always knew it was worth it to keep JonBenet Ramsey's mummified corpse in a back closet, locked in a padded case, like Charlie McCarthy or Howdy-Doody (who were also dead children, but that's a horrible story for another time). Greta Van Susteren brought the case with her from CNN to Fox "News," with the understanding that the dead child's body was community property among all the news networks. But Greta, oh, Greta was her guardian. It was Greta who decided what kind of puppet JonBenet should be. A marionette would be too obvious - everyone would expect JonBenet's corpse to have strings attached to it. And the thought of creating a hand puppet, while tempting, would have made the corpse too fragile.

So Greta, in her infinite artistic wisdom, decided to go with bunraku style. For in a bunraku puppet, unlike the marionette or the hand puppet, the performance doesn't attempt to hide the puppeteer. No, the manipulating hands, bodies, and even faces of the often several performers are nearly always visible. True, the puppet itself is in front of them, but, damnit, the men and women moving the rods and joints are as much a part of the show as the puppet itself. Yes, Greta thought, bunraku it shall be.

And she worked for years on the body, snapping at people like Nancy Grace or Dan Abrams who would dare to offer assistance. No, this was hers and hers alone, her art, her grand goal. For, in her heart of hearts, Greta Van Susteren knew that the day would come when the JonBenet Ramsey bunraku puppet would make its debut and its glory would shine so brightly that it would outglow every other corpse around it. How could it not? With its porcelain glaze, bright blonde hair, and outfit of sequins and spangles. Greta revised the little girl's bloodied, garroted, assaulted corpse so that it would properly reflect back whatever light was shone on it.

Now, now, at long last, ten years later after she first received the surreptitiously sent body bag, Greta, working with Nancy and Larry and Tucker and Sean and all the puppeteers who had been honing their skills, could make that little beauty queen do the catwalk once again. At home, Dan Abrams weeps a silent tear that he cannot offer his manly hands to even make small adjustments to the puppet's head.

In heaven, JonBenet Ramsey, who, although her body stopped growing, has acquired the wisdom of ten years of soul-living, wonders why everyone is so excited to see her puppet dance, thinks it's grotesque and even a little embarassing for the same pictures to be trotted out. She asks, to no one in particular, how making her corpse dance, however prettied up it might be, can be so entertaining for hour upon hour, even if the image of her puppet body is interwoven with the immobile features of her alleged killer.

Two Marines and one sailor walk by her and hear the question. They are still trying to accept where they are. In the distance, they see a crowd of other soldiers who are waving them over. They pause behind JonBenet and watch the television she has on for a moment, and, it being heaven, a moment can be anywhere from a split second to four weeks. In that time, they see nary a mention of themselves. Finally one of the Marines tells her, "It's easier to make one single porcelain little girl dance than it is to make puppets out of three thousand grown-ups."