September 2000

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13-year-old Penny Hestridge, feeling rejected by a member of the acid-rock group N'Sync, wished the cruel world a good "bye, bye, bye, bye" in a suicide note found at her bedside.  Mrs. Hestridge, Penny's mother, told police that she heard the nihilistic song playing in her daughter's bedroom and the word "bye" of the last chorus was punctuated with loud noises. She later realized that they were gunshots.   Three hours later, the song "Bye, Bye, Bye, Bye" was still playing at full volume on Penny's CD player. Mrs. Hestridge walked in Penny's bedroom to find her daughter, missing most of her head, still clutching her suicide note containing the vicious lyrics of the punk-rock group N'Sync:

"And I've had enough
I lived for you and me
And now I really come to see
That life would be much better
Once you're gone"

Pastor Deacon Fred of Landover Baptist, the Hestridge's place of worship, was quick to respond.  After a brief moment of respectful mourning, while the Pastor's own television make-up experts applied pancake and eye-liner, he asked Geraldo Rivera: "How many people is acid rock going to kill before it is satisfied?  These ungodly little atheists have no shame.  They even call themselves 'In-Sin!' And they put out songs telling innocent little children to go and kill themselves.  The liberals and the Jews want to take away our Godly right to carry concealed weapons with their so-called gun control.  Why aren't we saved folks allowed to ask for CD stores to be closed down with some "smut-control"?  They have already shut down Napster for spreading filth."

When asked to explain why the song drove Penny to kill herself, Mrs. Hestridge responded: "When Penny heard that song, she knew it was Justin Timberlake's way of saying he was leaving her for Brittany Spears and that she should just go ahead and kill herself.  It was a very cowardly way to break it to her."  Mrs. Hestridge told reporters that Penny had been dating Justin for almost two years. "She really liked Lance at first, but even I could tell he wasn't exactly into ladies, if you know what I mean.  So she started writing letters to Justin.  One or two a day for several months. Her whole allowance went for stamps.  Well, finally he wrote her back. You know how shy teenage boys are around girls they like.  Penny knew that he really liked her when she saw how much trouble he had gone to in responding to her.  He'd gotten a professional photographer to make a big glossy photograph of him.  He even had his name printed at the bottom for her.  And then he'd written across his cute little jumpsuit 'Love, Justin.'"

Mrs. Hestridge told investigators that Mr. Timberlake continued to lead her daughter on into thinking they would eventually get married.  "She must have gone to eight or nine of N'Sync's concerts and at every single one Justin yelled to her - in front of everyone - "I love you!"

Apparently, Penny became distraught when she read on the Internet that Justin was cheating on her with Brittany Spears.   "I should have known there was trouble when I came into Penny's room to vacuum.  The poster of Brittany over her bed caught my eye.  Penny had written "whore" in nail polish across her midriff and there were bullet holes in Brittany's head and bellybutton. My husband keeps a lot of guns around the house and it bothered me that Penny had used one of them without asking.  I mean, the wall behind the poster was ruined."

Mrs. Hestridge was so distraught over her daughter's death that even before the funeral, she was consulting with lawyers about a $230,000,000 lawsuit against the rock group that killed her daughter.  "Now I know that Justin was just toying with Penny's affections.  But you can't kill people without paying a lot of money.  Just ask those tobacco companies.  N'Sync murdered my baby and I'd at least like to get a real nice house in Orlando or something so I don't feel like she died for nothing."

Pastor Deacon Fred comforted Mrs. Hestridge with a Bible verse. "I believe that you told Penny to stop listening to that music long ago," he said. "Being a disobedient child, she refused to listen to you. In the Holy Bible, God tells parents to kill their children if they are disobedient (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). N'Sync probably just saved you the trouble, dear. According to scripture, it was God's will that she should die.



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