by BJW Nashe

When I lived in Santa Cruz, California from 1982-87, I had no idea that this pleasant seaside town was once dubbed “The Murder Capital of the World.” By the time I moved there to attend UC Santa Cruz, where I majored in philosophy (with an unofficial minor in hallucinogens), there was little or no mention of murder. The mass killing had occurred a decade earlier. The only murders I recall were found in existentialist novels by Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoevsky. I lived a block and half from the sea. We liked to stroll along West Cliff Drive late at night. Everything seemed perfect.

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commentary by Patrick H. Moore

After posting an article on 10-year-old Tristen Kurilla, who is being charged as an adult for allegedly murdering a 90-year-old woman in his grandfather’s care, I was not surprised to discover that many commenters are appalled at the notion that this troubled child could be tried as an adult. He is obviously a very immature child and to try him as an adult would be a travesty.

Several commenters have also stated that the story is full of holes and that the grandfather’s actions are highly suspect. After all, how could he possibly have not realized that Ms. Novak was seriously injured when he first checked on her?

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commentary by Patrick H. Moore

As many a man of the cloth has discovered, being the spiritual leader of a congregation that is 50 per cent female can result in temptations of the flesh. Although I’m aware of no statistics that satisfactorily reveal what percentage of clerics succumb and dally where they should not be dallying, I suspect that if the statistics were available, and were revealed, the percentage would be rather high, and perhaps shockingly high.

One cleric who just fell from grace rather dramatically is the highly respected Rabbi Barry Freundel, the spiritual leader of a Modern Orthodox congregation in Georgetown called Kesher Israel.

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by Mike Roche

Exhibit I: The Killing of John Lennon

In the darkness of a cold December night, the assassin waited for his prey to return home. He watched in silence as the limousine dropped off the celebrity couple in front of their exclusive apartment building. As the couple approached, the killer drew his weapon, and at the opportune moment, he fired five shots. Four of his shots struck his victim who slumped to the ground and succumbed to his mortal wounds. The killer paced about nervously — then extracted a book from his back pocket and read seemingly dissociated from the murder he had just committed.

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The Night Stalker was cold, colder and coldest. He was also not unintelligent, a fact which tends to get lost in the hyperbole he loved to unleash. Richard Ramirez is the stuff nightmares are made of. Here are eight of his most awful quotes courtesy of Angelfire.com.

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commentary by Patrick H. Moore

In an extremely disturbing case which may have set a new world record for age difference between a young killer and an old victim, a 10-year-old Wayne County, Pennsylvania boy named Tristen Kurilla has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a 90-year-old woman.

According to the boy’s mother, Martha Virbitsky, the boy had a history of “mental difficulties”. His mental state may be considered if he later petitions the court to transfer his case from adult court to juvenile court, the district attorney’s office said.

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by BJW Nashe

In Joe McGinniss’ Fatal Visionwe have a grisly triple murder at the Fort Bragg home of Ivy League doctor and Green Beret Captain Jeffrey McDonald. The doctor’s pregnant wife and two young daughters are stabbed and bludgeoned to death. The doctor suffers relatively minor, non-life threatening wounds. The crime scene investigation is botched. Charges are filed against the doctor, then dropped. Nearly a decade later, the doctor is put on trial. He enlists well-known journalist Joe McGinniss to tell his story. The doctor is eventually convicted of murder, for killing his own family. The journalist’s book, three years in the making, becomes a true crime classic. The doctor feels betrayed by the writer, so he sues him. The controversy surrounding the case shadows the journalist. He can’t get away from it. He is attacked by other journalists, criticized, called names. Thirty-four years later, the controversy still swirls, as attorneys push for a new trial in light of DNA evidence. It is a rich, multi-faceted tragedy, with tragicomic elements. The questions keep piling up and new books keep coming out. No one is quite certain whether Dr. McDonald is actually the murderer.

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commentary by Patrick Moore

Eight months ago I received a lecture for casting aspersions upon foster parents and Child Protective Services’ case workers. The woman who criticized my criticism pointed out that I was focusing on bad foster parents and corrupt case workers rather than realizing that these miscreants are the exception, not the rule. I took the advice to heart and have since bent over backwards to be fair and balanced with respect to this issue.

abee7Earlier this year, however, the Huffington Post and other media sources reported a case of such shocking malpractice (for lack of a better word) on the part of the Los Angeles County child welfare workers that the mind recoils in horror. (In fairness, this is not a foster care case; rather, it is perhaps the most horrific case of child abuse by a biological mother and her boyfriend that I have ever encountered.)

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commentary by Patrick H. Moore

In the last few weeks here at All Things Crime Blog we’ve covered the cases of two truly odd individuals, first the Horned Man – Caius Veiovis — and then last week’s prize Satanist — Pazuzu Illah Algarad. Caius is now a convicted murderer who will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole and Pazuzu, if convicted, will probably get a similar sentence.

paz6With the help of a Mr. Stephen Daniels, I now realize that both of these gentlemen, who I’ve referred to as “Look at Me” types, likely suffer from Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). These are the folks around whom every scene must revolve, the folks who can never sit quietly and appreciatively while others hold forth, folks who absolutely must be the center of attention.

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commentary by Patrick H. Moore

In Aileen Wuornos’ final interview with Nick Broomfield one day before her execution, she starts out calmly enough and appears to have made her peace with dying. She believes in an afterlife and seems to have no fear of what lies ahead. But then she gets angry and starts dissing on the system. In her mind, she has been used, abused and manipulated by society. Like many people who have been badly hurt, given the chance, she is quick to place the blame on others. Many people who have viewed her final interview, including Nick Broomfield, believe that Ms. Wuornos had succumbed to madness as the final hours of her life ticked away.

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