Friday, October 05, 2007

Believing the worst

Last week, a woman disappeared and was found several days later the victim of a car accident, miraculously still alive. Police suspected her husband was somehow involved in the disappearance. The frantic man, in hopes they would stop looking at him and continue the search for his wife, cooperated fully with detectives: allowing them to search his home, his car, his property. At the time he was taking a lie detector test, his wife was found trapped in her car at the bottom of a ravine.

The question was raised, “Why are we so willing to believe the worst in people?”

Reference Scott & Lacey Peterson. Several years ago, Scott Peterson of California murdered his wife Lacey and their unborn child and disposed of their bodies in the Pacific Ocean. Scott Peterson also appeared to cooperate fully with Police; allowing them to search his home, his car, his property, all the while asking them to please leave him alone and continue the search for his missing wife. He even had the support of his in-laws until the bodies were discovered.

Reference the Krumwiedes: There is an unsolved case right now in my hometown of Lyons of a wife who disappeared and to this day has not been found. Her husband was an immediate suspect (due to a history of suspected abuse) but this guy was apparently better at destroying evidence than Scott Peterson was, because they never found enough of anything to convict him. He has since died of a heart attack, so it is assumed the case will never really be solved.

I was told by a friend of mine, who is a police detective, the husband or boyfriend is almost always an immediate suspect in the disappearance of a wife/girlfriend. This is based on a long history of cases such as the Petersons and the case in Lyons. My heart goes out to the innocent husband whose wife was trapped in a car for 8 days, but I believe the law enforcement agency involved was following SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to the best of their training and abilities.

I’m just glad I’m not a policeman.


Sue said...

Lyons has more than one unsolved murder. Donalyn Deeds - way back when I was in school, disappeared in the fall and her skeleton was found the following May by a farmer. No one was ever arrested.

Anna Anton disappeared and a few weeks later was found in a field in Thurston County. (If I remember right). The last person to see her was the chief of police who also disappeared for several years. He was found after the case was aired on Unsolved Mysteries. He was not convicted of the murder, but spent some time in the pen on other charges.

Mary Connealy said...

I heard someone count of six mysterious deaths in Lyons over the last fifty years. Including the Krumweide case, Anton and Deeds. It really got my imagination flowing. A serial killer, content to wait for years between killings, in a small town. Is he the kindly pharmacist? Is he the sullen retired principal? Is she the lady who walks the streets picking up pop cans, living in the decrepit old mansion inherited from her parents?---Cue the cawing crows.

Janell said...

Mary - sounds like a mystery novel in the making?

Sue said...

Other suspects - the ex-husband, the local merchant, the chief of police. All were gossiped about in the Deed's case. Or to add more interest, the local minister.
Mary, can't wait to read the book.

LaDawn said...

What happened to innocent until proven guilty? When we believe the worst don't we run the risk of persecuting the innocent and missing the guilty? I'd still rather the guilty go free than 1 innocent person be locked up for a crime they didn't commit. The whole US justice system is based on this premise.

Janell said...

I don't think "innocent until proven guilty" comes into play until an arrest has been made. If law enforcement is not allowed to be suspicious of anyone, where do the invetigations begin?
There is a pedophile named Devlin over here who pled guilty to two counts of kidnapping so he wouldn't have to face the other 80 counts of child molestations he was facing. Maybe if someone had been more willing to be suspicious of him, 79 other children would not have had to suffer at his sick hands.

Joe B said...

Agree with you Janell. Assuming innosence and vetting potential suspects are two different issues. It would happen to all of us. I am not sure I'd allow all the guilty to go free to save the innocent.

Did you all know the number two cause of for pregnant women are the babies father's?

If my wife went missing tomorrow, I'd still have to be looked at and cleared as a suspect. Its unfortunate, but necessary.

LA, I guess that's also GWB's fault?

On a different note yet, Devlin should be castrated and fried along with every other person like him on the planet. Or the penalty for crimes like that would be to let the parents have their way with them. Someone did that to my son, I would hope they not get caught so I can catch them first. The plead insanity and beat the charge myself.

LA, are you for or are against the death penalty? I am guess not, but don't want to assume and be unfair as the us justice system.

:-) Please note the name change.

Joe B said...

two corrections:

1. First paragraph - Save one innocent person

2. Cause of Death in pregnant women, not to be confused with the cause of the pregnancy (which is not a revelation)

Another statistic: Anyone want to guess the number one cause of death of death row inmates?

Try Old Age.

Janell said...

One more note: judging from the number of unprosecuted murder cases in my little old home town, there are already a lot of guilty people going free.