I've always liked this song a LOT. My old bandmates from Philly in Double Dose never really liked it much, so we never did it. My current bandmates in theCAUSE don't much care for it, either, so I'm screwed!!!
BUT, yes - it's eerie. It's dark. But it's SO tight when GD would do it. It kicked in one of the best trips I ever had too...I don't do that stuff anymore, but back on tour in 1989 - Philly, 10/19 - They opened with a blistering Bucket, West LA. I started feeling tingly...then I started hearing Jerry tune up to Victim...they kicked it in, and it kicked IT in. By the middle of the song, the boys were all turning into monsters...busting out of their clothing the way the Incredible Hulk used to...their hair was getting all scraggly and they had fangs....the most vivid I ever hallucinated.
Regardless of THAT....I love the tune. I've played it myself just sitting around. That B5 chord is a great "Bobby chord". You play a B chord, as you normally would on the 2nd & 4th frets, then lift off the 3rd altogether. In other words, you flat the minor 3rd (or play the dominant 2nd). It's also called a Bsus2. Basically, bar the entire 2nd fret (less the 6th/Low E string) and only play the 4th/D string and 5th/G string on the 4th fret. I often play Esus 2 whenever I'm playing rhythm in Bird Song, too....nice chord.
If I recall (and I may be wrong), Victim Or The Crime appeared on a Bobby album circa 1982. The story I heard was that he presented it to the band back then and everyone was like, "That song's terrible!" He tabled it until 1988 when he felt the band was taking more chances, musically. Again, this is all heresay and I can't even remember where I got that info. I love Weir's comment in the 1989 Halloween issue of Musician magazine when asked about this song..."It ain't Sugar Magnolia!"
"Once in awhile, you can get shown the light in the strangest of places, if you look at it right." - R. Hunter
"If we had any nerve at all, if we had any real balls as a society, or whatever you need, whatever quality you need, real character, we would make an effort to really address the wrongs in this society, righteously." - Jerry Garcia