Do you admire the anti-hero?
19 year old Colton Harris-Moore aka the 'barefoot bandit' has been taken into custody in the Bahamas after two years on the run and a string of crimes to his name. Colton has been compared to Leo DiCaprio's character in the film Catch Me If You Can and has inspired a following of over 80,000 on his Facebook page.
The hunt for the UK gunman, Raoul Moat, ended on Friday night when he shot himself after a six hour standoff with police in Rothbury in the north of England, but not before he had captured the attention of thousands of people by evading the police for so long.
He has quite a following of his own on Facebook (Warning, this site contains some very strong language):
Gary Topley explains why people are saying Raoul is a hero:
maybe its because of the laughing stock and embarrassment he made of 15 police forces, even more Northumbria Police... for over a week, 650 officers, trained snipers, RAF Tornado, dogs, armoured cars, and where was he? Right on their doorstep.
But Sean Atkinson posts on the same page:
just looked up the Oxford Dictionary meaning of the word "Hero"...A person, typically a man who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Anybody ignorant or naive enough to class this ... a hero then you need to take a really good look at yourselves.
What is it about the anti-hero that sparks our interest? This blog says it's about living vicariously through the lives of the criminals we admire.
Not everyone agrees that Colton Harris-Moore is worthy of his folk hero status though. This Bahama Islands Sheriff says his status is puzzling.
Claire blogging on 'Another Kind of Mind' says of Raoul Moat that some people see him as a folk hero because he managed to evade the police, others feel sorry for him because 'he had 'issues' and clearly needed help' but she thinks
Moat was no hero, he was a violent, abusive man who deserves no adulation - and the authorities deserve little praise either, because they could have stopped this happening in the first place.
What do you think? Are these people heroes or villains? Do you admire them or condemn them? Post your comments here.