Why am I writing this? Because some people seem to think Jeff is real.
I moved that up here, because that is why I wrote the blog post. I apologize for getting carried away with the "Jeff is badly written" comments.
I don't like the concept of Jeff the Killer - frankly, "disfigured serial killer" is overused - and the fact that the story itself is rather poorly written yet immensely popular gets to me. I wouldn't have so much of an issue with the quality of writing if Jeff the Killer hadn't become some sort of revered Creepypasta idol. If you are a huge JTK fan or are easily offended by reading about someone insulting someone else, do not read this. Also, if you don't want me ruining the "fun" of believing that Jeff is real, don't read on.
I am fully expecting someone to challenge the things I say, or to just straight-up insult me. Just remember: you chose to read this post. You were free to not read it. You still are, and you can stop at any time.
I'm not even going to point out the various grammatical errors in the story itself. This is not a literary criticism, but a breakdown of the numerous implausibilities
So, without further ado:
The Fight & Arrest
(Note: This section is largely subjective, i.e. based on general facts.)
Starting from the beginning of the story, we find ourselves reading about some random thug kids approaching Jeff and his brother and...pulling knives. Okay, so that's not entirely implausible; the only thing is, they're clearly living in a nice neighbourhood, not an inner-city slum. Moreover, why are these kids such psychotic head cases right off the bat? They're worse than Jeff!
But I digress; if kids are going to be sociopaths, then that's what they'll do.
"Sir, it...it was me. I was the one who beat up the kids. Liu tried to hold me back, but he couldn't stop me." The cop looked at his partner and they both nod.
"Well kid, looks like a year in Juvy..."
Cops don't sentence people, for one thing.
Two days went by, with no word from Liu at JDC.Wait...so his brother was sent to a juvenile detention center (JDC is a generic term, and not actually the full name of any facility I could find) without any sort of trial? He could appeal his case and win for that. Even as a minor he is legally entitled to a trial. Remember that thing called the Fifth Amendment?
...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...
Meanwhile this happens:
No friends to hang out with. Nothing but sadness and guilt. That is until Saturday, when Jeff is woke up by his mother, with a happy, sunshiny face.
If the police show up at someone's house and arrest their child for violent crime, I don't think they'll be bright and cheerful two days later. Or in any condition to attend a party. If the story had mentioned that the parents seemed strained or maybe that his mother had that Stepford wives smile, then that's one thing, but it's another to have them act like nothing happened.
"Hey, everyone! Let's stand around while three eleven-year-olds shoot up our house!"
Where the hell did these kids get these guns? Judging from the fact that they're firing in close quarters, they're probably using handguns (though they may be just stupid). You'd expect maybe one to have Daddy's hunting rifle, but this is something else entirely.
Not to mention that they started shooting in broad daylight, in full view of everyone. People were likely behind Jeff. There were small children there. This alone would have gotten these kids arrested.
And the adults just stand around staring the entire time. What happens when the head cases drag Jeff inside? Does everyone else just keep partying?
The Punch to the Heart
I'm going to ignore the whole bottle-to-the-skull thing for now. If I feel like it, I will add that section in.
(All force-based information is summed up rather succinctly here: http://www.livescience.com/6040-brute-force-humans-punch.html)
He gets on top of him and punches him straight in the heart. The punch causes Randy's heart to stop.
As a rule, an eleven-year-old is not going to be able to exert that kind of force.
In order to crack a human ribcage, it would take roughly 3300 Newtons of force at the minimum. For example, a 200-pound person jumping on top of me from a height of ten feet wouldn't necessarily crack my ribcage. The force of impact is in actuality about 1481 Newtons (after impact, both of us are moving with the force, reducing the effective impact).
If all of that force was concentrated on one single spot, right over my heart, that'd be a different story. I've been hit in the chest by eleven-year-olds. It doesn't even hurt; I doubt that it would stop my heart.
An eleven-year-old simply cannot simply permanently stop someone's heart with a single punch to the chest. If that were true, and the human body were that weak, CPR would cause extreme physical trauma. The ribcage protects the organs inside, and part of that protection involves absorbing shock.
If Jeff is some sort of otherworldly entity (as opposed to "simply" a psychopath, as the story calls him), then none of that would apply, and if Jeff is some sort of otherworldly entity, then the story is just that - a story. No evidence exists to suggest that he's real.
If the kid's heart stopped for just a split second - skipping a beat, in other words - then that's different, but nothing in the story suggests this. It flat-out says: his heart stops. (Never mind the sudden shift to present tense in the story itself.) The kid dies while Jeff keeps hitting him. End of discussion.
Abandoning any semblance of professionalism or maturity I may have had:
Are you kidding me? How can anyone be that gullible?
A thing of bleach fell down on top of him from the top shelf. It burnt both of them and they both started to scream.
Before I get into the whole burning thing:
"A thing of bleach?" You're killing me.
"It burnt both of them...."
Household bleaches consist of a heavy dilution of sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient), ranging in concentration from 3% to 8%. Considering this, it just isn't possible for a splash of bleach to burn the skin on contact. If it gets in the eyes, that's one thing, but burning immediately on contact with the skin is ridiculous. 8% is the highest concentration of household bleach available; 15% is used in wastewater treatment, while products ranging from 10% to 25% are available for trade use (i.e. only companies requiring such a high concentration may purchase and use them).
If the bleach was strong enough to burn on contact, then the homeowners are in violation of the law. I couldn't find the legal limit, but the concentration of chlorine in any bleach stronger than what's sold in the local supermarket would, according to common sense, be illegal to have in the home - chlorine is highly volatile, and even breathing chlorine gas at a dispersion of only 1000 ppm can be fatal.
I could, however, find the concentration at which bleach becomes capable of burning on contact:
That's five times the maximum amount of sodium hypochlorite in household bleach, and classified as an oxidation hazard by the NFPA. What the hell was the family doing with that?
Of course, I'd bet money that the author did not research into any of this, and that the bleach that fell was intended to simply be household bleach.
(Also, note that the container of bleach is apparently what's doing the burning. It's easy to understand what the author meant, but the writing just isn't great.)
The Alcohol/Burning Scene
Bleach isn't terribly flammable, for one thing (the NFPA classifies it as an oxidation hazard, not a fire hazard), but we can dismiss this quote as the kid being uneducated:
"What's so funny?" asked Jeff. Keith pulled out a lighter and switched it on. "What's funny," he said, "Is that you're covered in bleach and alcohol." Jeff's eyes widened as Keith threw the lighter at him.
Has this guy ever seen a lighter? Do you know what happens when you drop a lighter? It goes out. (A Zippo lighter won't necessarily, but these kids have most likely swiped those cheap plastic BIC lighters.)
There's a reason for that - to prevent accidental fires. If Keith threw the lighter at Jeff, the only way it would stay on is if he had a Zippo (unlikely) or they live in some parallel universe where lighters are switched on and off like a lamp (also unlikely). Assuming that this is not so, the kid would need to hold it there for longer than a second for the metal to become hot enough to burn anything. Even then, odds are that the plastic bit would hit Jeff instead. Keith would be better off throwing a rock at this point.
While the alcohol burned him, the bleach bleached his skin.
Here at last something that seems plausible!
It's true that alcohol is highly flammable, but the alcohol was also splashed all over him (and over the surrounding area, too). Liquid distributed over a wide area will evaporate faster. Taking into account any alcohol that has not yet dried, it would still burn off in a second, and the bleach - assuming that it's normal household bleach - wouldn't have any sort of severe effect without protracted exposure.
His lips were burnt to a deep shade of red. His face was turned into a pure white color, and his hair singed from brown to black. He slowly put his hand to his face. It had a sort of leathery feel to it now.Let's get one thing straight.
If his burns were so severe - it's implied that they're third-degree, considering the length of the hospital stay - then his face won't be pure white and leathery.
Do a Google Images search for "third degree burn." Nothing you see is pure white. I don't know how third-degree burns feel, but I'll guess that they don't produce a "leathery" feel. (The burns themselves aren't even painful at that point. Third-degree burns result in the death of the nerve cells in the affected area.)
"...and his hair singed from brown to black."
In my freshman year of high school, someone thought it would be funny to light my hair on fire. (It wasn't funny.) While my hair didn't burst into flames, the fire did burn off a small chunk of my hair, and I smelled god-awful for the rest of the day.
If Jeff's hair was on fire, it would have probably simply been burnt off.
With regard to his lips being "burnt to a deep shade of red":
This sounds more like a second-degree burn to me. Apart from being excruciatingly painful, a second-degree burn will cause the skin to blister and peel. We're assuming his lips have healed by this point, but if that were the case, the skin would still be raw and pink and extremely sensitive.
(As a side note:
Now he was left as a crazy killing machine, that is, his parents didn't know.
That's just so cliché.)
i crie everytim
"I burned out the eyelids so I could forever see myself; my new face."
Even if Jeff was just a nutcase by this point, he still must be crying 24/7. Because you kind of need eyelids to not cry 24/7.
Or, as EmptyrealInvective put it:
"Additionally, the human eye needs the eyelid to moisten it and remove detritus. Without the lid, the person would scratch and tear the cornea with dust and small particles, and would be blind within an hour. So Jeff is apparently a master of proprioception (a Daredevil or Zatoichi if you will) or he is constantly using visine on his eyes."
Where does he get food? How does he evade police capture? What about intercontinental travel? Also, wouldn't he have grown out of those clothes?
You could answer all of those questions, but the answer would be more or less the same thing a kid playing "invent a superhero" and explaining why their superhero is better than their friend's might say, in style if not in substance.
Not terribly realistic. Not of literary merit. As Rhialto so eloquently put it:
"[I]t manages to be simultaneously horribly written, to an almost exceptional degree, and yet inexplicably popular. It is the Michael Bay film of the Creepypasta world. It is the James Fenimore Cooper novel, only most of the adaptations don't improve things. It is Jeff the Killer, and we look upon its works and despair."
It's still around because it's popular, but story itself feels as if a kid wrote it. However, some people believe that the things they read on here are real, and I'm out to prove why exactly this one is not.
Credits to: EmptyrealInvective for the addition about Jeff's lack of eyelids.
Sykokillah for the bit about lighters.
Rhialto for the excellent quote at the end.