Strange video Joseph Duncan made when he was shamming as a ‘normal’ computer student at a North Dakota university.

Serial child killer and molester Joseph Edward Duncan III is in California, facing yet another murder rap. From the Seattle Times‘s crime blog, “The Blotter”

Duncan, 45, faces the death penalty if convicted on Riverside County charges that he kidnapped, tortured and murdered Anthony Martinez of Beaumont in 1997. Anthony was abducted by a stranger while playing in an alley with his brother. The boy’s body was found 15 days later south of Joshua Tree National Park, bound with duct tape and partially covered in rocks in a ravine.

The suspect sketch of Anthony’s abductor was pretty much a dead ringer for Duncan. Chances are Duncan will be convicted for this crime — it fits his m.o., and a partial fingerprint found at the crime scene matched the convicted sex offender as well.

No matter what, Duncan already faces the death penalty after his conviction for the May, 2005 murders of the Groene family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as well as the abduction and murder of Dylan Groene.

There is a little-known term that seems to apply perfectly to Duncan, and I’m surprised that I never see it used to describe him. I mainly wrote this blog post to introduce readers to that word, because it so clearly defines a relatively uncommon but truly terrifying type of human predator.

Mind you, there are overlaps between psychiatric definitions, so no single term will be 100% accurate, but Duncan seems like an perfect example of what profiling literature might call a mysoped.

The following is from a Criminal Psychology webpage published by the College of Saint Benedict:

Preferential child molesters



Mysoped child molester and killer

  1. Sadist; has made the connection between sexual gratification and personal violence
  2. Usually male
  3. Typically the victim is a stranger to the aggressor
  4. May stalk the child rather than use a form of seduction; may take victim by force using his size as an advantage
  5. Abducts children from playgrounds, schools, shopping centers, and other places children gather
  6. Has no “love” for children; only interested in causing harm and eventual death to a vulnerable victim
  7. Crime is premeditated and ritualized
  8. Example would be Albert Fish

Based on his own confessions, Duncan matched every characteristic in the list above.

Mysopeds are the boogeymen. Duncan knew it, even if he didn’t know the term for what he was. He knew he wasn’t a typical pedophile — in a sense he was right. He didn’t really want to be bothered with grooming a child victim. He stalked, abducted, abused, and killed. As he proved with the Groene family, he also killed anyone who got in his way.

So there’s your word for the day: mysoped. And you have a perfect(ly awful) example of a killer to put with the word — in addition to Albert Fish and Westley Allan Dodd, just to name a few.

Part 1 of 4: Cambridge-area broadcaster Roger Nicholson interviewing James Lewis.

The FBI showed up today at 170 Gore St. in Cambridge, MA. They were there to search the home of James and LeAnn Lewis.

He has faded from the public eye, but if you were following the 1982 Tylenol poisonings that took place in and around the Chicago area, you probably heard about James Lewis. He went to jail for several years for an extortion plot directly linked to the mysterious poisonings. Lewis was also the main suspect in the murders. It appears as though that’s never really changed…


I’m working on some posts addressing crime stories new and old. Check the main page to read them first. Some basic links to accompany the posts:

Joseph Edward Duncan is now facing the music for a murder in California. Look for a post about Duncan and a pedophilia term related to killers like him that should become more well-known than it is.

— I’ll be posting something later today about the bomb that exploded in the car of a West Memphis physician early today. Who would want to blow up Dr. Trent P. Pierce?

— I was able to recover some online writing by Andrew Warren, the CIA officer who has been accused of rape while stationed in Algeria.

AP video package about the beginning of Kimberly Trenor’s murder trial.

It took a jury less than 2 hours today to find Kimberly Trenor guilty of murdering her daughter, Riley Ann Sawyers. After hearing about Riley’s horrific, pitiful death and learning of notes Kimberly wrote wherein she referred to having a “black heart,” this verdict doesn’t seem like a big surprise.

Kimberly Trenor will spend the rest of her life in jail.

Trenor’s husband and co-abuser, Royce Zeigler, also faces a charge of capital murder. He will be tried at a later date. Unfortunately, in spite of both Zeigler and Trenor facing justice in Texas, Zeigler will not face the death penalty, either. 

News segment about the murder trial of Kimberly Trenor.

UPDATE — I was waiting to go on to record my portion of a segment with Jane when my phone freaked out — for the first time since I’ve owned it. So FYI — no phoner with me tonight on Issues.


I will be a guest via phone this evening on CNN Headline News’s Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell. We’ll be discussing the ongoing murder trial of Kimberly Trenor, mother of Riley Ann Sawyers, AKA “Baby Grace”.

This is easily one of the most abominable cases of child abuse and murder to hit the news in ages. Riley was the 2-year-old daughter of Kimberly Trenor. She moved to Texas with her mom in 2007. Trenor relocated to marry Royce Zeigler, a man she’d met playing games online.

The combo of Zeigler and Trenor apparently spelled death for Riley Sawyers. She was found, a tiny Jane Doe, in a storage container floating in Galveston Bay in October, 2007. She was dubbed Baby Grace and a nationwide search for her real name began.

Eventually Riley’s real father and grandmother recognized sketches of Baby Grace and police were on Kim Trenor’s and Royce Zeigler’s doorstep. Trenor tried to claim that a state child welfare worker had taken the baby from her, but no one really bought what she was selling.

The couple was arrested, and Trenor is currently on trial — Zeigler will be tried later.

The details of the abuse this child suffered at the hands of her stepfather and mother will enrage just about anyone. And the story of Riley’s death, as told by her own mother, is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever read — the child tried to forestall the abuse by telling her mother that she loved her.

I don’t think a normal person can develop psychic hide thick enough to read something like that and not want to puke.

For further details, check out the Web’s home for outrage over true crime stories in the news, the Dreamin’ Demon.  

An early news report about the deaths of the Lupoe family in Wilmington, CA. 

If you search the term “murder-suicide” in Google News, you receive over 1300 results. And they’re not all the same story, either. Economic woes are beginning to take a human toll that may only increase in the weeks and months to come.

At least it seems that way. The truth is that times like these reveal faultlines — in lives, in marriages, in psyches. The following is a short list of recent murder-suicides in the news that have some connection to financial troubles in the family or relationship in question:

Ervin Antonio Lupoe and his family: Mr. Lupoe and his wife Ana lost their jobs with a Kaiser hospital in LA after they were accused of fraud. While Ervin Lupoe pointed to this and other money-related issues as causes in a rambling letter he faxed to an LA-area media outlet, the Los Angeles Times reports that “[the]couple’s financial situation, though pressing in recent months, did not appear to be especially dire. The Lupoes were behind one month in their mortgage, investigators said. They found notices of two bounced checks — one for about $15,000, the other for almost $2,000 — to pay for property taxes and penalties, according to the police sources. Investigators said it did not appear they were behind on their credit card payments.” Death toll in the Lupoe murder-suicide: 7. The Lupoes marked the 5th time in the last year that an entire SoCal family has been murdered or killed during the commission of a murder-suicide. 

The Meeks family, Columbus, Ohio: The Associated Press didn’t name the family, but did report the following: “A neighbor said the father recently lost his job, something that may have been a factor in the deaths, investigators said.” The Columbus Dispatch reports that the deceased were “Mark Meeks, 51; […] Jennifer Dallas-Meeks, 40; and their children, Abby, 8, and Jimmy, 5.” Police have not officially declared the deaths a murder-suicide, but believe the scene they found at 918 Beechwood Rd. “has the markings of a murder-suicide.” Death toll in possible Meeks murder-suicide: 4.

Brittany Marie Givens-Copeland and Adam Keith Williams: Burnsville, MN resident Brittany Givens-Copeland was either drowned or asphyxiated prior to the fire that led to police uncovering her death and the death of her (possibly former) boyfriend, Adam Keith Williams. Williams intentionally allowed himself to succumb to the fire he set after killing Givens-Copeland. According to the Associated Press, Givens-Copeland had planned to break up with Williams, but he’d also “been fired from his job a couple of weeks ago and had started working at a restaurant nearby.” Death toll: 2. The combo of domestic troubles between the pair and quite possibly the job loss may have caused Williams to go over the edge, here.

Jason and Serena Montes: Like Givens-Copeland and Adam Keith Williams, Jason and Serena Montest were having problems in their relationship. The Concord, CA gaming journalist shot and killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself about two weeks ago. On top of their relationship problems, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that “Jason Montes filed for personal bankruptcy protection in June.”

If you know of other stories where the current economic problems may have contributed in some way to the deaths of two or more people, feel free to leave a comment with a link at the end of this post.

Remember, though — the current crisis hasn’t caused these things to happen, per se. To say that is to imply that the people who commit the murders before killing themselves are somehow not responsible for their actions. Make no mistake about it — murder-suicides can result from impulsive acts of passion, but usually, they are a narcissist’s final act of control over those whom they view as, in a way, extensions of themselves. Straitened times simply reveal the brittle constructs some people have put in place to keep life outwardly normal.

This morning a man called a KFWB, a Los Angeles radio station. The man also called LA’s Channel 7. At some point the man sent a fax to the TV station. In the fax he stated that was going to kill his two sets of twin children and another daughter, then commit suicide. The man explained that he was motivated by a problem he was having with his employer, a Los Angeles hospital. The LAPD went to the family home in the 1000 block of McFarland Ave. in Wilmington. They found 2 dead adults and 5 dead children. The man who made the phone calls had apparently been true to his word. Still developing…

[LAT, NBC Los Angeles, see also KFWB.].



Thanks to reader BlueSky6, I learned this morning that Showbiz Promotions President Jaime Salcedo has decided the evil known as the Inspirational Caylee Doll might not be such a good idea, after all. Go figure.


It was our intention to begin the sale of the Sunshine Caylee Doll at 12:00pm January 27, 2009. As we mentioned to the media in our press release it was very important that we allow the press to present our idea to the public first, in an effort to measure the reaction to our fund raising efforts. As the story developed we also announced that we would be donating 100% of the profits to charity. However, after reviewing the response to our media introduction of the Sunshine Caylee Doll and listening to the advice of the general public. We feel that is it best to suspend the launch of The Sunshine Caylee Doll.

While we still feel it is important to raise awareness and raise money to help stop this type of crime from being committed. We feel we can be more effective using more traditional methods.

We would like to that everyone who made comments or called us to express their opinion.


Jaime Salcedo


Showbiz Promotions


Really, Jaime? You want to “raise awareness and raise money to help stop this type of crime from being committed?” How does that work, bro, when the alleged killer was a mother who, however troubled, was not necessarily viewed beforehand as a potential murderer by anyone, as far as I know?


If you want to go with that line, Mr. Salcedo, it’s your choice. People with sense see right through what you tried to do there, and of course the Caylee Doll itself. If there is a hall of shame for promoters/PR people of any stripe, then they are surely reserving a spot for you right now.


And let’s just be clear here — “suspended” doesn’t mean, ‘this was the worst freaking idea we ever had and we’re ashamed of ourselves and pray you will forgive us for even conceiving of such a thing’ — it just means ‘we might decide to go ahead and do it anyway, later.’


Showbiz Promotions of Orlando has easily concocted the worst doll idea of the decade. 

The Inspirational Caylee Sunshine Doll is officially on sale from these fun folks beginning tomorrow. If you want to buy your doll representing a murdered child, you can pay 29.99 for an 18-inch long moppet with blonde hair wearing a little T-shirt with a sunshine logo and the legend, “Caylee Sunshine.” 
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, though, the doll will sing “You Are My Sunshine” if you punch her belly button. I wish I was making this up. I wish it didn’t appear to be totally serious. But you know, if wishes were horses, yadayada…
I’m guessing duct tape and a little heart sticker will be extra.
Seriously, though — what the hell is wrong with people? I wish I had something more sophisticated to say, but I don’t. Reps for Showbiz Promotions say the doll is a tribute, but come on — it’s obvious what it is — an attempt to cash in. Even if the proceeds from Caylee Sunshine go to charity — it isn’t the only product these folks promote. They’re counting on bringing extra dollars in, regardless. They want you to check out their Jacksonville Jaguars stuff, or their Christ Life Store. What sane folks should do is boycott these people to teach them a lesson — but I won’t hold my breath. 
So… to really check out the meaning of puke-worthy or to get an idea as to what your friendly neighborhood pedophile will be purchasing just after midnight tonight, take a look at, why dontcha? If you don’t mind your soul being slowly eaten each time the Caylee Sunshine Doll appears on the screen, that is.
Maybe we now know the real reason George Anthony finally snapped and headed out to off himself late last week. This was the Talky Tina straw that broke the old silver-haired camel’s back. [Orlando Sentinel]