Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse
It seems as if police brutality has been consistently increasing within the last few decades. A quick look at the latest reports reveal that it’s not an issue of police ganging up against a certain race, it’s an issue of police not being accountable for the excessive use of force on common citizens.
The story of James Chasse, better known as Jim Jim, is similar to many others out there; he was a singer and songwriter born in Portland, Oregon who struggled with mental illness. But what makes it spooky is the fact that years before his death he told a friend that he didn’t feel happy living at home and wanted to run away because he felt like an alien, like he didn’t belong anywhere. From that conversation the song Alien Boy was born. His friends now believe that this song was somewhat of a prophecy of the way his life would end.
James was a very colicky high-strung baby. His mother describes him as being hyperactive but bright and loving. His childhood was very good and he enjoyed school right up until when he reached high school. That’s probably when things started to change and James seemed unable to cope with the culture.
James was constantly searching for whatever channel he could find to express his art.
Sometimes that meant that he acted as if he were in another world. He wore women’s clothes sometimes and even though he got beat up for it, he didn’t really care what people had to say about him.
Those closest to him could see on his face that he was dealing with some inner demons. He kept a suitcase that was sealed with wax under his bed. It was where he kept the demons locked up.
James was frightened all the time. Sometimes he wouldn’t sleep for weeks. He would wrap himself in black scarves and pour garlic all over himself. Once he walked out in front of a bus and got hit by a car. Another time he jumped off a bridge. He begged those closest to him to help him because he was living in hell.
As a young adult he seemed to be managing his mental illness well and his behavior was exemplary. He spent most of his time at the library or bookstore working on his comic books.
James was not the kind of person that would have a run-in with law enforcement officers and end up getting killed. Something went horribly wrong. Find out what happened now.