Horrorcore Murders in Farmville, VA

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Horrorcore Murders in Farmville, VA

Postby nathan28 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:52 pm

placeholder post for when i get around to dumping data
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:06 pm

I'll start.

He rapped about the thrill of killing, now he's been charged with murder

Image

A California man who rapped about the thrill of killing remains behind bars in Virginia, charged with killing a pastor and likely to face charges in the deaths of three others.

US police charged Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III with first-degree murder, robbery and stealing the automobile of Mark Niederbrock, a pastor at Walker's Presbyterian Church in Appomattox County, on Saturday.

Farmville police Captain Wade Stimpson said McCroskey likely would be charged with killing three others found in the home of a Longwood University professor on Friday once the medical examiner identifies the victims. That is not expected before Monday.

Police arrested McCroskey, 20, of Castro Valley, California, at the Richmond airport on Saturday. The aspiring rapper in the horrorcore genre, which sets violent lyrics to hip-hop beats, was found sleeping in the baggage area as he waited for a flight back to California. He is being held in the Piedmont Regional Jail and has an initial court appearance on Monday. It was unclear if he has a lawyer.

On Friday, authorities discovered the bodies in the home of Debra Kelley, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies at the university in the town of Farmville, about 80km west of Richmond. Stimpson said Niederbrock and Kelley were separated.

Stimpson said police were called to the home on Thursday by the parent of a girl who was visiting the couple's daughter because she hadn't heard from her child. A man at the house told police the girls were at the movies. When the mother in West Virginia still didn't hear from her daughter on Friday, she asked police to go back. That's when they found the bodies.

Police have declined to say how the four were killed and why they have not been able to identify all of them immediately.

McCroskey recorded songs that spoke of death, murder and mutilation under the name Syko Sam. His MySpace web page said he has been rapping for only a few months but has been a fan for years of the horrorcore genre.

In a song called My Dark Side, McCroskey sings: "You're not the first, just to let you know. I've killed many people and I kill them real slow. It's the best feeling, watching their last breath. Stabbing and stabbing till there's nothing left."

A friend who owns a small, independent record label that specialises in horrorcore confirmed the site and the songs were McCroskey's. Andres Shrim, who owns Serial Killin Records in New Mexico, said others shouldn't judge McCroskey by what they see on his website or hear in his music.

Describing McCroskey as a "great kid," Shrim said he has known him for at least two years, and he last saw him on September 12 at an all-day music festival in South Gate, Michigan.

"You would never, ever imagine that kid even being a suspect," Shrim said. "If he is found to be guilty, I would be 100 per cent shocked."

Shrim said even though horrorcore focuses on murder and other morbid subjects, performers and fans shouldn't be labelled violent.

On his web page, McCroskey posted videos and pictures of a grave where a cross and miniature American flags had been turned upside down.

"We defiled the grave, and then lightning struck seconds ago. I think we were being warned," he says in the video, laughing. In the photos, the gravestone identifies the person buried there as a Marine.

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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:08 pm

'Horrorcore' killing suspect: Quiet, picked on

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, September 21, 2009

(09-21) 14:43 PDT CASTRO VALLEY -- Although he was immersed in a music scene driven by murderous images, the Castro Valley rapper suspected of killing his girlfriend and three others in a Virginia town was a quiet, insecure young man who had no criminal record and didn't seem capable of such violence, his sister said today.

She said Richard "Sammy" McCroskey III, a 20-year-old high school dropout, had been picked on as a boy and spent much of his time in his bedroom.

There, he designed Web sites, recorded "horrorcore" songs that celebrated macabre killings, and chatted online with other fans of the morbid genre, said Sarah McCroskey, 21, who lives with her brother and their father in a modest Castro Valley home.

Richard McCroskey also spent hour after hour on the phone with his teenage girlfriend, whom he met several months ago at a horrorcore concert, his sister said.

She had no idea why her brother may have killed his girlfriend and the other victims, who are believed to include the girl's parents and best friend.

"He wouldn't kill a spider if I asked him to," Sarah McCroskey said. "My brother was always a quiet, nice kid, and he got along with everybody. It's scary - you think you know someone."

She spoke after police raided her home early this morning, hauling away computers and other items.

In Farmville, Va., her brother made his first court appearance to hear charges of murder, grand larceny, robbery and driving without a license.

Appearing on a video feed from jail, McCroskey was given a Jan. 11 preliminary hearing date and assigned an attorney, said Selena Eppes, a deputy court clerk in Prince Edward County.

Police in Farmville, a town of 7,200 located 50 miles southwest of Richmond, said they believe McCroskey flew into Virginia on Sept. 6 and attended a horrorcore festival with his girlfriend, Emma Niederbrock, and others on Sept. 12 in Michigan.

Then, sometime last week, he allegedly killed the girl and three others in her home.

Police said none of the victims had been positively identified, pending autopsies that are also expected to reveal causes of death. But investigators believe the victims include Niederbrock as well as her father, Mark Niederbrock, a pastor at a Presbyterian church in the area.

Friends have said the other two victims are believed to be Emma Niederbrock's mother, Debra Kelley, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies at Longwood University in Farmville, and the girl's best friend, Melanie Wells, 18, who had been visiting from West Virginia.

The bodies were found Friday, apparently a few days after the killings. Wells made her last entry on her MySpace page Sept. 13, saying she would be back home three days later.

According to police, McCroskey stole the pastor's car Friday morning but disabled it in a minor collision outside Farmville. Prince Edward County sheriff's deputies reported ticketing McCroskey for driving without a license about 4 a.m. and towing the car, which had not been reported stolen.

McCroskey then got rides to a convenience store and finally Richmond International Airport, police said. He was arrested there Saturday, a day before a scheduled flight home.

Sarah McCroskey said she saw an interview after her brother's arrest in which he told a television reporter, "Jesus told me to do it." But she said it wasn't a sign of a psychotic break.

"He's just a complete sarcastic a-," she said. "That's just his sense of humor."

She said her brother grew up in Hayward and dropped out of Tennyson High School in his sophomore or junior year. In school, she said, he was "always the kid that got picked on. People always played on his insecurities."

In a family of musicians, Sarah McCroskey said, her brother became a horrorcore devotee and then, recently, a rapper nicknamed "Syko Sam" who combined death-themed lyrics with beats he created on his computer. He met Emma Niederbrock at a concert in Southern California, she said.

On Richard McCroskey's MySpace page, the girl - who went by the nickname "Ragdoll" - sent him a stream of affectionate messages in recent weeks, counting down the days until his visit.

"Babyyy you leave TONIGHT!" she wrote Sept. 5. "My time with you is going to be the absolute best everrrr. I love you."

"They were really, really lovey-dovey," said Sarah McCroskey, who said her brother had saved money for months to pay for the trip. "I've never seen him that excited."

Last Tuesday and Thursday, she said, her brother left her messages saying he was calling to check in.

"He said, 'I love you,' " she said. "In this family we swear and burp - that was just really weird that he said that."

She said she doesn't believe her brother had been influenced to kill by the music he listened to or wrote.

"In horrorcore they sing about stuff that's unimaginable," she said. "I play 'Grand Theft Auto,' but I'm not going to have sex with a hooker and take her money."

She said, however, that her brother had been under the strain of their parents' recent separation. A few weeks ago, she said, he talked about joining the Army.

"He's been keeping stuff in. Something must have provoked him to snap," she said.

"I'm really shocked he could actually do something like this. All I want to know is, what was going through his head? I feel like I failed as his big sister. He had a lot of potential, he was smart and he was going places."

E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/21/BA6719QAUS.DTL
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:12 pm

Castro Valley's "Syko Sam" Obsessed with "Son of Sam"
By LORI PREUITT

New and chilling details are surfacing about the Castro Valley man who is accused of killing four people in Farmville, Virginia. Auhorities found their bodies in a quaint Dutch Colonial home in the rural college town about 50 miles southwest of Richmond last Friday.

Richard "Sammy" McCroskey III, an aspiring rapper in the little-known horrorcore genre, sits in a East Coast jail facing charges in the quadruple homicide.

Among the dead is 16-year-old Emma Niederbrock, who was romantically-linked to McCroskey. Emma's parents, Mark Niederbrock and Debra Kelly and Emma's friend, Melanie Wells, were also killed.

The motive for the killings remains unclear.

"Syko Sam" Video, Bedroom Show Disturbing Obsessions

WATCH "Syko Sam" Video, Bedroom Show Disturbing Obsessions
McCroskey's sister, Sarah, described him as a kind person who never fought back when people picked on him.

"He was extremely passive," Sara said, "so just hearing that my brother is the main suspect just really blows my mind."

McCroskey's father played guitar in a band called S&M. Sarah McCroskey says the family was not a "lovey-dovey ... 'Leave It To Beaver' kind of family." She said she thought something might be wrong after she heard a voice mail her brother left at the family's house last Thursday that ended with "I love you guys."

McCroskey posted video of his Castro Valley, California bedroom just three weeks ago. His walls are plastered with posters that celebrate bloody, gory imagery of music centered on killing, suicide and violence. Family members said he spent most of his time in his room on his computer.

Alameda County authorities searched that home before dawn Monday, taking with them a computer and more than a dozen paper bags full of evidence.

McCroskey was known as "Syko Sam" to the Web world because of what is being described as an obsession with notorious serial killer "Son of Sam." His MySpace page features his raps about killing, maiming and mutilating people. On his YouTube channel, McCroskey goes under the name "Lil Demon Dog." That is another reference to serial killer David Berkowitz.

He also posted a video of himself after he flipped over a cross on the grave of a U.S. Marine.

On Tuesday, a woman known as "Kinky Suicide" sent a message to McCroskey that read, "i dont know what to think... i thought u loved her... u said u loved me 2.. u would of killed Me too wouldent you?! you had the chance u had the oppertunitys Why them i dont understand!? this isnt like u!"

As deputies escorted McCroskey to the police station Saturday after his arrest at the Richmond airport, McCroskey was asked by a reporter why he did it. He said, "Jesus told me to do it," WRIC television reported.

McCroskey has not cooperated with police since his arrest on Saturday. Police found him napping in the baggage area of an airport waiting to fly back home to the Bay Area.

Police said there was no indication anyone else was involved and would not say when the victims died.

A judge has set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 11, and Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney James Ennis said prosecutors needed the extra time to look over the evidence.

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local-beat/Castro-Valleys-Syko-Sam-Obsessed-with-Son-of-Sam-60732532.html


_______


Quadruple-murder suspect's sister has received death threats over Virginia slayings

By Kristofer Noceda
The Oakland Tribune
Posted: 09/24/2009 04:03:25 PM PDT
Updated: 09/24/2009 04:03:26 PM PDT

At first, Sarah McCroskey was in denial. She thought there was no way her brother could be the prime suspect in four Virginia killings.

But it hit when investigators called and she became overwhelmed after seeing the reports all over the Internet and television.

"I just fell to my knees. I couldn't see. I couldn't talk," McCroskey said. "I feel I failed as his big sister."

Her brother, Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III, 20, was arrested Saturday in the slayings of four people in Farmville, a small college town about 50 miles west of Richmond.

He has been charged with killing of Mark Niederbrock, a Presbyterian church pastor. Others killed in the same home were his estranged wife, Longwood University professor Debra Kelley, 53; their daughter Emma Niederbrock, 16; and her friend Melanie Wells, 18, of Inwood, W. Va.

Since the bodies were found last Friday at Kelley's home, Sarah's life has been in a whirlwind.

Death threats have been left on her cell phone voice mail.

Alameda County Sheriff's Office deputies — on behalf of the Farmville Police Department — served a search warrant on her Orange Avenue home, near Grove Way, about 1 a.m. Monday.

"They tore the place up. Everything is on the floor," Sarah said. "They took house phones, computers and anything relevant to the situation. They even took baby books."

Sarah, 21, and her brother — who the family calls Sammy were raised in Hayward before moving to Castro Valley about six years ago.

Her parents split up five months ago.

The household is more like a place filled with roommates instead of family, she said.

"We weren't a 'Leave it to Beaver' type of family," she said. "We each had our own space and did our own thing."

In high school, Sarah and her brother were teased and picked on at school, mainly because of their weight and "ginger" hair.

"It broke our confidence and we grew up with a lot of insecurities," Sarah said. "I always fought back, but Sammy was way too passive. He didn't say anything."

The siblings each dropped out of high school. Sammy dropped out of Tennyson High in Hayward, then went to Hayward High and dropped out again.

"We both fell into the wrong crowd. But high school was just uncomfortable for Sammy," Sarah said. "He was just unhappy. He couldn't do it."

What he could do, however, was make music.

The aspiring rapper would spend endless hours recording in his room.

"It was our way of escaping reality and finding a way to cope and relax," said Sarah, who also is a musician now working for a music production company.

In addition, their father plays guitar in a band.

Sammy found a niche in the underground horrorcore scene — rap's equivalent to film's horror genre — and took on the name Syko Sam.

He rapped about killing, maiming and mutilating people.

"Much of horrorcore rap is taking you through the mind of a killer and their point of view," Sarah said. "Syko Sam was just a stage name. It wasn't his alter ego."

Sarah also denied reports that her brother was obsessed with notorious serial killer Son of Sam, David Richard Berkowitz, who killed six people and injured seven others in New York City during 1976 and 1977.

Since his arrest, Sammy has not been cooperating with police, according to Associated Press reports.

Sarah said her brother has been placed on suicide watch.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_13413230?nclick_check=1
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:15 pm

Slain Va. mom, daughter had counseling over music

By DENA POTTER and ALLEN G. BREED (AP) – Sep 23, 2009

FARMVILLE, Va. — A criminal justice professor and her daughter, who police say were slain by a horrorcore rapper, were in counseling over the teenager's obsession with the macabre music, and the mother took her daughter to the concerts to keep an eye on her, a family friend said Wednesday.

Debra Kelley, 53, an associate professor at Longwood University, was hoping that Emma Niederbrock was just "going through a phase," said James F. Hodgson, a former colleague who had known Emma since she was about 1 year old. He said Kelley took her to horrorcore concerts, which feature artists who rhyme violent lyrics over hip-hop beats, in Michigan and Illinois.

"She's either going to go on her own or I go with her and make sure she's OK," Hodgson, a former police officer and now an associate criminal justice professor at Virginia State University, said of Kelley's reasoning. "She said that she needed to be there for her, and that she was going to grow out of this."

Kelley and Emma were found bludgeoned to death Friday at their Farmville home in central Virginia along with Kelley's estranged husband and Emma's father, the Rev. Mark Niederbrock, 50, and Emma's friend Melanie Wells, 18, of Inwood, W.Va.

Police have charged Emma's boyfriend, Richard "Sammy" McCroskey III, 20, of Castro Valley, Calif., with first-degree murder in Mark Niederbrock's death. McCroskey, who rapped under the name "Syko Sam," is also suspected in the other killings.

McCroskey and Emma, who went by "RagD0LL" online, appear to have met through the underground horrorcore scene. On Sept. 6, McCroskey flew to Virginia so they could attend a music festival together.

Authorities believe the killings occurred shortly after the group returned from the Sept. 12 concert in Southgate, Mich. The girls last logged onto their MySpace accounts Sept. 14. McCroskey was arrested Saturday at the Richmond airport while awaiting a flight back to California.

McCroskey's sister, Sarah, said her brother's friends told her that he and Emma had some kind of falling out at the concert.

Hodgson said Kelley, who specialized in violence against women but has taught classes in homicide, had been struggling since Emma got into horrorcore a couple of years ago. She and her husband separated about a year ago, and all three were in therapy "trying to move through this."

"Clearly, she was very upset with it and didn't necessarily approve of it," he said. "I mean short of locking them in their room or something and putting wires on the windows, I don't necessarily know what you do."

Hodgson said Kelley never mentioned McCroskey, but it was clear Emma was smitten with him. She had been sending McCroskey passionate messages on MySpace about his impending visit.

She was also looking forward to the Michigan festival, but complained in a post that her father, a Presbyterian minister, was coming along on the 16-hour drive.

"talka bout a long ass drive sharin the car with a (expletive) preacher," she wrote. "its gona suck but no doubt is it worth it :D"

Andres Shrim, owner of the horrorcore label Serial Killin Records, said it was not uncommon for parents to accompany their children to these concerts.

"I mean, her father being a pastor, that proves he was a true Christian man," said Shrim, who raps under the name SickTanicK the Soulless about killing Christians. "The Bible says, `Judge not, lest ye be judged.' He knew that this was just entertainment. He may not have agreed with what statements we make, but that made him a good father. Because he was interested in being a part of his daughter's life and the things SHE was interested in."

Hodgson said Kelley had tried to keep tabs on Emma, even installing software on her computer to monitor the Web sites she visited. She had been home-schooling Emma for the past several years because of bullying and discipline issues in middle school, and some of Emma's postings talked about smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol.

Hodgson, who co-wrote a book on sexual violence with Kelley, acknowledged that people might find it strange that someone like Kelley would indulge such a fascination with music that glorifies rape, mutilation and murder. Kelley had been on paid leave this academic year to conduct research and had resigned from the university effective in May, school spokesman Dennis Sercombe said.

Students were shocked when they found that out two weeks before the semester began. Katie Austin, 21, of Portsmouth, said Kelley was a popular teacher who often hosted cookouts for students in Lambda Alpha Epsilon, a criminal justice fraternity Kelley helped form. She would occasionally bring Emma to class.

"I remember instances where she would talk about how she didn't understand some of the things that were going on with teens these days, and she could have been referring to Emma," Austin said.

Hodgson last saw Kelley and Emma about three weeks ago, when he and his daughter were driving through Farmville. He remembered joking with Emma about her pink hair. Like his friend, he hoped horrorcore was something she would get over.

"Back in the day, you grew your hair long and wore bell-bottom jeans and listened to rock 'n roll and who knows what else," he said. "Our parents thought it was the end of the world, and we were acting so damned crazy. But somehow we grew out of some of that and got jobs and moved on with our lives. I mean, some of us did."

Breed reported from Raleigh, N.C.
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:18 pm

Bay Area suspect allegedly bludgeoned victims

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer
SFGate.com
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

(09-22) 14:51 PDT CASTRO VALLEY -- The Castro Valley death rap devotee suspected of killing his teenage girlfriend and three others in a small Virginia town bludgeoned each victim in the head, authorities said Tuesday.

Richard "Sammy" McCroskey, 20, remains jailed in Farmville, Va., where prosecutors confirmed the identities of the victims Tuesday but said they did not yet know exactly when they died or what the killer's motive was.

The victims were McCroskey's girlfriend, 16-year-old Emma Niederbrock; her parents, university Professor Debra Kelley, 53, and church pastor Mark Niederbrock, 50; and Emma's best friend, 18-year-old Melanie Wells of Inwood, W.Va.

"I really don't have enough time to tell you the extent and scope that this investigation entails," James Ennis, the top prosecutor in Prince Edward County, said at a news conference.

Police said McCroskey - a fan of violence-themed "horrorcore" music who recently started rapping under the name "Syko Sam" - killed the victims after flying into Virginia on Sept. 6 and attending a horrorcore festival with Emma and others in Michigan a week later.

Sometime last week, McCroskey allegedly bludgeoned the girl and the three others in her home, then stayed as the bodies began to decompose. Investigators have not said what kind of weapon they believe was used.

Finally, police said, McCroskey left early Friday in the pastor's car but disabled it in a minor accident. The bodies were discovered later Friday, and McCroskey was arrested Saturday at Richmond International Airport.

Farmville police Sgt. Andy Ellington said McCroskey had not spoken to police since his arrest. The attorney who was assigned to represent him has not returned calls.

McCroskey's sister, 21-year-old Sarah McCroskey, said in an interview that the suspect was a quiet, insecure young man who had often been picked on before dropping out of high school. But she also said he was smart and gifted in Web design.

She said her brother had planned the Virginia trip for months and seemed to be in love with his girlfriend.

A horrorcore rapper from Pittsburg, 29-year-old Mario "Mars" Delgado," said he had seen McCroskey at several events around the country, including the festival in Michigan.

"Everybody looked happy," he said of McCroskey and the two girls with him. "I didn't sense anything wrong."

Delgado, whose latest album cover shows him wearing a Hannibal Lecter-style mask and carrying a pistol in a classroom full of shooting victims, defended horrorcore as escapist entertainment but admitted it might be dangerous for some young fans.

"The point is to constantly push the envelope and shock and offend people," Delgado said. "It's marketing - it's so shocking and in your face that kids want it, they need it."

However, he said, "If your kids are into stuff like this, you need to sit down and talk to them, and say, 'Are you OK?' "

Many young horrorcore fans, Delgado said, are trying to shock people themselves.

"They're saying, 'Hey, look, I want you to think I'm crazy and I'm weird,' " Delgado said. "It's a cry for help that most parents don't pick up on."

E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f ... 19QQT5.DTL

This article appeared on page D - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:23 pm

Castro Valley rapper suspected in Virginia killings kept low profile

Robert McCroskey may have been visiting teen he interacted with on MySpace.

By Jason Sweeney
Daily Review
Contra Costa Times
Posted:

A Castro Valley rapper arrested in connection with the deaths of four people in a Virginia college town kept a low profile in his neighborhood, nearby residents said Sunday.

The family of Richard McCroskey moved into their Castro Valley neighborhood five years ago but the 20-year-old kept to himself, said a neighbor who declined to give her name.

"Really, nobody knows them," she said.

McCroskey has been charged with killing a Virginia pastor, whose body was found along with three others inside the home of his estranged wife.

McCroskey is suspected of murder, robbery and stealing the automobile of Mark Niederbrock, a pastor at Walker's Presbyterian Church in Appomattox County.

Niederbrock has been tentatively identified as one of four people discovered Saturday in Farmville, about 50 miles west of Richmond, at the home of Longwood University professor Debra Kelley.

Niederbrock and Kelley were separated, said Farmville police Capt. Wade Stimpson. He emphasized that the state medical examiner's office would not officially identify any of the victims until at least today.

McCroskey will be formally charged with the other three killings once the bodies are identified, Stimpson said. He said "there are a number of factors relating to why" police couldn't identify the victims. He would not say how they were killed.

McCroskey's home in Castro Valley was besieged by reporters but the McCroskey family was not home. The parents left to avoid the media, one neighbor said, though McCroskey's father returned briefly a few times during the day.

A truck with skull decals inside was in the driveway.

McCroskey was involved in the horrorcore rap music scene. Performing under the name Syko Sam, McCroskey's music described death, killing and mutilation.

The neighbor said she often heard loud music coming from the house and that one night about two months ago the music went on until 5:30 a.m.

"It was very violent," she said.

Another neighbor, Laurie Griffin, said she was friends with McCroskey's parents. She often heard music at the house but it didn't bother her.

"They never made me nervous. I never worried about them. They were always very nice."

She said they were a quiet family and that she rarely saw Richard McCroskey.

Griffin said she spoke to McCroskey's mother on Sunday and said, "She's a basket case."

Police went to Kelley's home Thursday after a West Virginia woman called to say that it had been days since she heard from her teen daughter, who was staying with Kelley and Niederbrock's daughter, Emma, Stimpson said.

Investigators went to the home, where a man matching McCroskey's description told them the girls had gone to the movies. When the mother still didn't hear from her daughter Friday, police went to the home and found the bodies.

Police arrested McCroskey at the Richmond airport Saturday as he waited to take a plane back to California. He is being held in the Piedmont Regional Jail and has an initial court appearance today to determine if he needs a court-appointed attorney.

Stimpson said messages posted online led police to believe McCroskey knew Emma Niederbrock and that he may have been visiting her.

On McCroskey's MySpace page, someone who goes by Ragdoll, whom friends identified as Emma Niederbrock, wrote several messages to McCroskey. In a post dated Sept. 7, Niederbrock says she is excited for McCroskey's visit to her house.

"The next time you check your myspace, YOULL BE AT MY HOUSE!" the post reads.

Stimpson called McCroskey's songs and writings "a little disturbing," and said police were looking into that.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:37 pm

Police tell of encounters with Farmville suspect
By Reed Williams
Richmond Times Dispatch

Published: September 23, 2009
FARMVILLE -- Farmville police now say they were inside a Longwood University professor's house with a California man less than 24 hours before officers would find four bodies in the home and pinpoint him as a suspect.

Police last night described an eerie encounter they had with Richard Samuel Alden McCroskey III -- making it three times the suspect came face to face with law enforcement in the space of a few hours and before the bodies were found.

Earlier yesterday, Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney James R. Ennis formally identified the victims and said all four were killed by blunt-force trauma to the head. He did not discuss a motive.

Ennis declined to discuss any weapon used in the deaths and did not say when they were killed at professor Debra S. Kelley's house on First Avenue.

Ennis identified the victims as Kelley, 53, an associate professor of sociology and criminal-justice studies at Longwood; her daughter, Emma Niederbrock, 16; Emma's visiting friend, Melanie Wells, 18, of Inwood, W.Va.; and Kelley's estranged husband, the Rev. Mark Alan Niederbrock, 50, pastor of Walker's Presbyterian Church in Appomattox County.

This past weekend, Farmville police described their first encounter with McCroskey. McCroskey answered the door at the home of Kelley and Emma on Thursday at 11:58 p.m. after a single officer went to check on Wells at the request of her mother, police said.

But yesterday, police said McCroskey called one hour later, Friday at 12:58 a.m., and said he heard something in the basement and wanted police to check it, said Wade Stimpson, the town's acting police chief.

Two officers arrived, and McCroskey let them into the house and the officers went down some stairs into the basement, which was covered with animal feces, Stimpson said. The officers then left without suspicion.

The bodies were not in the basement and were in a "totally separate part of the house," Stimpson said.

Less than four hours later, about 4:40 a.m., a Prince Edward sheriff's deputy ticketed McCroskey for driving without a license after he got a stolen car stuck in a ditch, authorities said. McCroskey is accused of stealing the car from Mark Niederbrock.

The car had not been reported stolen, and a tow-truck driver gave McCroskey a ride to a nearby Sheetz convenience store, police said. McCroskey arrived at Richmond International Airport by taxi later that day.

Wells' mother called police again Friday after she still hadn't heard from her daughter. Police went back to the house that afternoon and found the victims after noticing what smelled like decaying bodies, Stimpson has said.

Stimpson said two dogs and two cats were found alive in the house, away from the bodies. The animals were taken to a shelter in Prince Edward.

"Everything about this case is weird," Stimpson said.

Airport police took McCroskey into custody Saturday after they found him sleeping in a baggage-claim area as he waited for a flight to California.

Ennis said yesterday that the medical examiner confirmed the identification of the victims Monday, and relatives were notified.

Ennis said authorities had interviewed McCroskey friend Andres Shrim, who starred in a music video that shows actors pretending to murder religious figures, according to Jacob Virgil, who said he worked on the set.

Ennis did not say what was learned from the interview with Shrim. Authorities say they have identified no suspect other than McCroskey.

McCroskey, 20, of Castro Valley Calif., is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mark Niederbrock, robbery of cash from Niederbrock and grand larceny of his car.

Ennis said he expects McCroskey will face more homicide charges "at some point in the future, after forensics results have been received and the evidence has been reviewed."

Ennis also discussed the massive scale of the investigation that has prompted authorities to explore McCroskey's fascination with the horrorcore genre, which involves violent lyrics accompanied by hip-hop music. "It certainly is alien to me," the prosecutor said.

"I really don't have time to tell you the extent and scope that this investigation entails," Ennis said. "We are going coast to coast on this investigation, and every lead is being followed as it develops."

Police raided McCroskey's home in California on Monday.

Shrim, who performs under the name SickTanicK, owns Serial Killin Records, an independent record label in New Mexico that specializes in horrorcore. Shrim said during the weekend that he saw McCroskey at a Sept. 12 music festival in Michigan. Friends say he was there with Emma Niederbrock and Wells.

Shrim did not return phone calls yesterday or Monday.

Virgil said he designed the set for a rap video starring SickTanicK filmed in 2006 at an art studio Virgil was renting in Albuquerque, N.M. It shows a man with a chain connected to the neck of a woman defiling what looks like a picture of Jesus. The actors then pretend to kill religious figures, including a Catholic and a Muslim.

Virgil, 29, said he no longer is interested in the macabre and wouldn't want his parents to see the video.

"Their music is idolizing serial killers," Virgil said. "It's a horrible thing."

Contact Reed Williams at (804) 649-6332 or .
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http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/ ... 01/294871/[/url]
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:46 pm

Tow Truck Driver Describes Encounter with Murder Suspect
09/23/09 7:19 pm | reporter: Margaret McHugh producer: Amy Foster

WSET/ ABC 13

Farmville, VA - We are learning more about the hours leading up to the discovery of four bodies in a Farmville home and Sam McCroskey's arrest.

We're told he had three interactions with law enforcement before he was picked up at the Richmond Airport on Saturday.

At one point he actually invited law enforcement into Debra Kelley's home, where the bodies were found according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

The first encounter was just before midnight Thursday. An officer came to the Kelley house to check on victim Melanie Wells, at the request of her worried mother in West Virginia. McCroskey answered the door and said she was at a movie.

An hour later, McCroskey actually called police himself, saying he thought there was an intruder in the basement. Two officers found nothing but animal feces there.

Then around 4:30 a.m. McCroskey drove what police now know was victim Mark Niederbrock's car into a ditch and was ticketed for driving without a license. Officers say at no point, did McCroskey raise their suspicions.

The tow truck driver that gave him a lift says the same thing. It was a typical kind of call for Elton Napier's towing service.

"I got down there and it was stuck in a ditch," Napier said.

After towing Mark Niederbrock's white Honda, Napier offered to give 20-year-old Sam McCroskey a lift to a nearby gas station.

"I just asked him where he was from, he said California, I said what are you doing here and he said his girlfriend lived there," Napier said.

Napier says one thing right away he noticed right away was that he “really had a bad body odor, really bad." He said he drove with both windows open. “I drove with my head over to the side."

Still, Napier made conversation during the 10 minute drive. "And I said, 'whose car is this?' and he said, 'my girlfriend's father's car.' And I said, 'ok.'"

Along the way, Napier noticed another unusual thing. "He had a lot of hickeys on his neck, I said what's that on your neck and he said my girlfriend did that to me and I said, Loordy."

The two pulled up to Sheetz and Napier says McCroskey made a phone call. That would be the last time Napier saw him.

"I gave him my card and told him where I was going to be at and he said I'll pick it up tomorrow. But tomorrow never came."

After Napier learned McCroskey was a murder suspect, he says he cleaned his truck out with bleach.

Now he says he thinks he may know what that smell was- and he hopes never to experience it again.

http://www.wset.com/news/stories/0909/662107.html
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Postby robotilt » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:54 am

Father made futile trip in search for slain daughter

By REED WILLIAMS

Published: September 30, 2009

SPECIAL REPORT: Slayings in Farmville

The father of Farmville quadruple-homicide victim Melanie Wells drove from West Virginia to pick her up and waited outside her friend's house in Farmville for seven hours Sept. 16, knocking on the door several times and receiving no answer, authorities said yesterday.

Thomas G. Wells Jr. could not reach his daughter and eventually returned home to Inwood, W.Va., without her, according to a missing-person report he and Melanie's mother, Kathleen Wells, filed with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office in West Virginia.

That report was made about 5:40 p.m. Sept. 18, shortly after the bodies of Wells and three other people were found in the home.

After Thomas G. Wells Jr. drove about 200 miles from Farmville back to West Virginia, Melanie Wells' parents made several calls Sept. 17 and 18 to try to find their daughter. Kathleen Wells had at least two telephone conversations with Richard Samuel Alden McCroskey III before the bodies were found and McCroskey became a suspect, said Berkeley County sheriff's Lt. R.L. Gardner.

"Every time she spoke to him, he told a different story," Gardner said.

Bludgeoned to death inside the Farmville home were Wells, 18; her friend Emma Niederbrock, 16; Emma's mother and Longwood University professor Debra S. Kelley, 53; and her estranged husband, Mark Niederbrock, 50, who was Emma's father.

Authorities have not said when the victims were killed or what weapon was used. Efforts to reach police officials and Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney James R. Ennis on Monday and again yesterday were unsuccessful.

McCroskey, 20, of California, met Emma Niederbrock online through their interest in horrorcore rap music and flew to Virginia on Sept. 6 to meet her for the first time.

Wells was dropped off Sept. 6 at the house that Kelley and her daughter shared, Gardner said. It was the third time she had visited Emma's home. The missing-person report did not say who dropped her off.

The weekend of Sept. 12, Emma's parents drove her, along with Wells and McCroskey, to a horrorcore music festival in Michigan. The group returned Sept. 13 to Farmville.

Wells' parents told Berkeley County authorities that the last time they were in contact with Melanie was 1:23 a.m. Sept. 15.

Thomas Wells had arranged to pick his daughter up Sept. 16. They agreed he would call her one hour before he arrived, Gardner said, but Wells could not reach her and returned home after waiting seven hours and knocking on Kelley's door.

A Farmville officer went by the home Sept. 17 just before midnight after Kathleen Wells asked them to check on her daughter. McCroskey answered the door and told the officer that Melanie Wells had gone to the movies. McCroskey told Kathleen Wells the same thing, although it is unclear when he spoke with her.

An hour later, at about 1 a.m. Sept. 18, McCroskey called police back to the house, saying he had heard noise in the basement. Two officers checked the basement and left. They did not find the bodies, which were in another part of the house.

The Wellses also said McCroskey told Kathleen Wells that a car Melanie was in had broken down, Gardner said. The last time Kathleen Wells spoke with McCroskey was about 3:30 a.m. Sept. 18, about 12 hours before the bodies were found.

At 4:20 a.m., a Prince Edward County deputy ticketed McCroskey for driving without a license after he got Mark Niederbrock's car stuck in a ditch. McCroskey caught a cab that morning to Richmond International Airport.

Kathleen Wells called friends of Melanie Wells the morning of Sept. 18 and later asked Farmville police to check the house again, prompting officers to return to the house and find the bodies that afternoon. Airport police caught McCroskey the next day at the airport, where he was waiting for a flight back to California.

Thomas and Kathleen Wells made their missing-person report at the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office about 5:40 p.m. Sept. 18, after the bodies were found. Berkeley County deputies contacted Farmville about 8:56 p.m.

"We had no way of preventing the crime," Gardner said. "It's a shame. I just don't know what else to say. People are devastated."

Attempts to reach Wells' parents were unsuccessful.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/ ... 02/296385/
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Postby robotilt » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:27 pm

Timeline of Events Leading to the Arrest of Richard "Sam" McCroskey III in the Farmville Murders


Timeline of Events Leading to Richard McCroskey's Arrest , Confirmed with the Farmville Police Department:

Sunday, September 6th, – McCroskey arrives in Farmville and stays at Debra Kelley's house on First Avenue.

Saturday, September 12th – McCroskey, Mark Niederbrock, Debra Kelley, Emma Niederbrock and Melanie Wells attend concert in Michigan.

Sunday, Sept. 13: Melanie Wells posts on her MySpace that she's back in Virginia, and that she plans to return to West Virginia on Sept. 16. (Source; CBS 6 obtained this information from Melanie Wells' MYSPACE Page).

Thursday, September 17th, 5p.m. – Melanie Wells' mother calls Mark Niederbrock on his cell phone and asks him to check on her daughter. She says Melanie won't answer her cell phone, and McCroskey who is answering the phone at Kelley's house keeps giving her excuses.

Friday, September 18th, 12 midnight – Melanie's mother calls police and asks them to go to Kelley's house to check on her daughter. Police say McCroskey answers the door and tells them the girls are at the movies.

Friday, September 18th, 12:58 a.m - McCroskey calls police and tells them he hears noises in the basement. Police come to the front door and McCroskey escorts them to the basement. Police do not find anything.

Friday, September 18, 3 p.m. – Melanie Wells' mother calls police, again. They go to the house and discover the bodies.

Friday, September 18th between 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Shrim (rapper) calls police and tells them that a friend of McCroskey from California said he got a call from McCroskey on Thursday, September 16th in the afternoon saying he had killed one or more people. McCroskey's friend says McCroskey was "upset" on the phone. Farmville police identify McCroskey as their suspect.

Saturday, September 19 1 a.m.: Farmville police e-mail McCroskey's photo to the airport.

Saturday Sept. 19, 4:30 a.m.: A Prince Edward County sheriff's deputy tickets McCroskey for driving without a license after he gets a 2000 Honda stuck in a ditch. Tow-truck driver, Alton Napier, takes McCroskey to a nearby Sheetz convenience store. Napier says McCroskey had a strong odor. He tells the Napier the car he wrecked belong to his girlfriend's father (Mark Niederbrock). Napier also notices bruises around McCroskey's neck. Napier leaves McCroskey off at the Sheetz, and he himself goes in to get a cup of coffee. When he comes out, he notices McCroskey speaking to a deputy.

Saturday, Sept. 19, 6 a.m.: McCroskey is seen at the Huddle House restaurant in Farmville.

Saturday, Sept. 19, 8:20 a.m.: McCroskey is picked up by Curtis Gibson of Access Taxi in Charlottesville for a ride to the Richmond airport. Gibson says they talk about Emma Niederbrock, horrorcore music, and the festival in Michigan. Gibson gets pulled over for speeding, and McCroskey smokes a cigarette during the brief stop. Gibson later recalls that McCroskey seemed normal, except for an unexplained odor.

Saturday, Sept. 19, 11:30 a.m. – McCroskey is arrested at Richmond International Airport.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/topic/wt ... 4770.story
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Postby robotilt » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:30 pm

Idol, friend of horrorcore victims, alleged killer says quadruple slaying not music's fault

ALLEN G. BREED

AP National Writer

2:30 AM CDT, September 28, 2009

The quadruple murder allegedly committed by a horrorcore music fanatic is just the kind of scenario so-called "death rappers" write songs about.

But the woman whose music brought Richard "Sam" McCroskey and his victims together says no one in her circle will be rapping about this case.

"People can call it hypocritical, but I call it respect," Razakel, the self-described "Queen of the Wicked (expletive)," told The Associated Press Saturday in an exclusive interview. "I'm not going to talk about people I loved like that. ... It would be disrespectful."

Normally, the genre is all about murder, gore and vilifying organized religion, particularly Christianity. But the recent slayings in the little college town of Farmville, Va., have shaken the underground music scene.

"We rap about it, and it finally happens," Razakel, 25, who refused to divulge her given name, said by telephone from her home near Albuquerque, N.M. "It should be like a slap in our face, right? Well, no. S--- happens."

McCroskey, 20, of Castro Valley, Calif., is charged with first-degree murder in the death of the Rev. Mark Niederbrock, 50. Similar charges are expected in the killings of Niederbrock's estranged wife, Debra S. Kelley, 53, their daughter, Emma Niederbrock, 16, and her friend, Melanie Wells, 18, of Inwood, W.Va.

All four were found bludgeoned to death Sept. 18, in Kelley's home. McCroskey and Emma had met online through the horrorcore scene, and all five had just returned from the Sept. 12 Strictly for the Wicked festival outside Detroit.

Razakel and boyfriend Andres Shrim, aka SicktanicK the Soulless, were among the festival's organizers and headliners. McCroskey, an aspiring rapper himself, was a Web site designer and promoter of Shrim's label, Serial Killin Records.

Razakel said it was she who first introduced Emma and Melanie.

Emma discovered Razakel's music about two years ago and began communicating with her through instant message and MySpace, the rapper said. They shared a love for such diverse musical acts as Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, Porcelain and the Tramps, and Slipknot.

"We both liked the same stuff, like photography and makeup and doing hair and all that," said Razakel, whose MySpace page features a crowned female demon holding a fetus in one hand and a severed head on a pike in the other.

The Chicago native didn't know it at the time, but they were also both daughters of Presbyterian ministers.

"I always had an idea that she ... was brought up strict," she said. "I was brought up strict. And so I thought I could relate with her, because I know how it goes, and I messed up a lot, and I just, I didn't want to see her go down the same path. And so I was there for her."

About a year into their online friendship, Melanie contacted Razakel. The singer noted they lived just a few hours apart and suggested Emma and Melanie meet.

"They were inseparable," she said.

She and Shrim first met Emma and Melanie — who went by the names "RagDOLL" and "Ms. Free Abortions," respectively — last summer at the Underground United concert in Chicago, Razakel said.

McCroskey, who went by the screen name "LiLdEmOnDoG," had been doing Web work and promotions for another horrorcore label, Wicked Intent Records, when he first approached Razakel about a year and a half ago. They met in January at a gathering in Apple Valley, Calif.

"He was actually really shy to approach me or Sick," she said. "And I had to call him out."

She said McCroskey was a wizard with Flash Art and really beefed up the label's and its artists' Web pages. He filmed concerts and took photographs.

In the meantime, Emma and Melanie had become members of Razakel's online promotions team, dubbed "the unholy apostles."

Contrary to earlier reports, Razakel said McCroskey and Emma did not meet until he flew to Virginia on Sept. 6. Emma wrote gushing messages to McCroskey's MySpace page, professing her love for him.

"But she never flat out told me, 'He's my boyfriend,'" Razakel said. "I just knew that they were close and getting closer, and at the show they were going to meet up and take it on from there."

McCroskey's sister, Sarah, said his friends spoke of a falling out they had at the show. McCroskey, who recently began rapping under the moniker "Syko Sam," told the cab driver who took him to the Richmond, Va., airport the day before his arrest that the two had fought over an amorous text message Emma had received from another man.

Razakel knew nothing of that. Before the concert, the girls hung out in her hotel room, and she spent hours putting dread falls in Melanie's hair.

"I thought everything was cool," she said.

When she heard of the killings, and that McCroskey was the suspect, she said she couldn't believe it.

"This sounds kind of messed up, but to me it makes more sense if some random person would have broken into that house and did all that before it makes sense with Sam," she said. "You could push over this kid and walk all over him."

The Monday before she died, Emma texted Razakel a little heart on her cell phone.

Many have blamed Razakel and horrorcore music for the killings. She said she gets her ideas from books and the news, and refuses to accept responsibility for what happened.

"To me, it's people do whatever they do," she said. "Our music wasn't playing in his ears when he bludgeoned four people. He did that on his own."

But while Razakel said she has no feelings of guilt, people should not assume she is unfeeling.

"We rap about some ugly, evil, evil stuff, but that doesn't mean we're not human," she said.

http://www.whotv.com/news/nationworld/s ... 3783.story
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Postby mentalgongfu2 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:17 pm

Farmville no stranger to grisly crimes
Media General News Service
Published: October 5, 2009
» 1 Comment | Post a Comment

FARMVILLE—The initial shock of last month’s quadruple homicide has begun to fade for some town residents, allowing them to step back and examine the impact of a baffling crime.

Some Farmville residents have lost sleep thinking about the bludgeoning deaths of Longwood University professor Debra S. Kelley; her estranged husband, Mark Niederbrock; their daughter, Emma Niederbrock; and her friend Melanie Wells, who was visiting from West Virginia. Police found the bodies Sept. 18 in the home that Kelley and Emma shared near the Longwood campus.

Residents say the killings have marred the town’s peaceful image, but Farmville is no stranger to grisly or bizarre crimes.

Nine years ago, a town police officer stopped a man in a car who had blood on his hands and an ax on his front seat. He was convicted of killing his ex-wife and her mother outside the town limits. The two women ran a vintage-clothing store on Main Street in Farmville.

Then, in 2001, a psychiatrist killed his wife in their Farmville home and then shot himself while on a deer stand. Authorities found him hanging from a rope tied to a tree.

But the scale of last month’s crime—four victims killed in one home—had not been seen in central Virginia since the murders of the Harvey and Tucker-Baskerville families in their Richmond homes by two men in early 2006.

Prosecutors who handled those killings in Richmond say they can identify with how consuming such a case can be for the law-enforcement officials involved, and the toll it can take on them.

Richmond Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Learned Barry, who helped prosecute the Harvey and Tucker-Baskerville killings, said those cases came to mind when he heard about the Farmville quadruple homicide.

“I just thought for a very peaceful, pleasant community, that’s a huge number of people to be killed in one place at one time,“ Barry said. “It really struck me: nice people being killed. That’s not normal for Farmville.“

Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring, who also was involved in the Richmond prosecutions, said he believes it will take the town a long time to come to terms with the losses.

. . .

On the night after police discovered the Farmville victims, Town Manager Gerald J. Spates stood outside the Kelley home on First Avenue.

“It’s tough on the officers that worked the crime scene, because I’m sure it was very tragic,“ Spates said. “I had one tell me that he wouldn’t want to go back up there again.“

Spates and Mayor Sydnor C. Newman Jr. praised the handling of the case by the Farmville Police Department led by acting chief Wade Stimpson, who assumed that position after Police Chief Stuart Dunnavant retired in May, citing health problems.

Newman said talk of the killings has quieted down, although he noted that residents have been driving by the Kelley house to gawk.

Farmville native Betty Eike said the community still wants answers about what motivated the killings.

The day after the bodies were discovered in Farmville, suspect Richard Samuel Alden McCroskey III, 20, of California was arrested at Richmond International Airport while awaiting a trip back to California. He had met Emma Niederbrock through their mutual interest in horrorcore, a form of rap music that is replete with violent lyrics and was little-known in Farmville or beyond until after the crime.

So far, McCroskey has been charged only with the death of Mark Niederbrock, although Farmville authorities said they expect to file additional homicide charges. Authorities say the suspect is not cooperating.

Police have not named the weapon used in the killings, and they haven’t said when the victims died. Police have said the killings might have occurred on different days.

Eike, who lives a few blocks from the Kelley home, said she couldn’t read news accounts or watch them on TV before bedtime because they would cause her to wake up and think about the killings. The Longwood employee said several of her colleagues have said the same thing.

The killings also prompted several old high school friends who have moved away from Farmville to write and call her to express support and see how she was doing.

“It’s been so overwhelming for people that I think they’ve been reaching out more and more,“ Eike said.

Melissa Seamster, who runs the Sunnyside Farms fruit and vegetable stand in town, said many residents have remarked that the killings taught them that horrible things can happen even in Farmville, and that parents should caution their children about meeting people online.

Dale Lee, 60, who lives a block from the Kelley home, said the killings were especially tragic because they took the lives of two teenagers.


not sure of the original source, but I found it here:

http://www2.newsadvance.com/lna/news/local/article/farmville_no_stranger_to_grisly_crimes/20104/
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Re: Horrorcore Murders in Farmville, VA

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Sun May 09, 2010 11:18 pm

Va. students ask prosecutors not to seek death
By DENA POTTER Associated Press Writer
Posted: 05/07/2010 10:28:38 AM PDT
Updated: 05/07/2010 10:28:39 AM PDT

RICHMOND, Va.—In the home of the nation's second-busiest death chamber, some former students have an unusual plea: don't execute the man accused of murdering their professor and her family.

Chesapeake residents Jessica Hintz and her husband, Scott, were devastated when they heard Longwood University professor Debra Kelley and her family had been murdered. Then they had a second, more powerful reaction: "My husband and I both had this overwhelming feeling that Debra would not want her murderer to be put to death," Hintz said.

They created an online petition that asks Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney James Ennis not to seek the death penalty when he prosecutes capital murder charges against Richard "Sam" McCroskey III of Castro Valley, Calif.

McCroskey is charged with the Sept. 18 bludgeoning deaths of Kelley; her 16-year-old daughter Emma Niederbrock; Emma's father Mark Niederbrock; and Emma's 18-year-old friend Melanie Wells of Inwood, W.Va.

The case has received national attention because McCroskey met Emma online through their interest in "horrorcore" music, which sets violent lyrics of rape, murder and torture to hip-hop beats. He was an aspiring horrorcore rapper.

Ennis did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Pleas from victims' families or loved ones can—and often do—influence prosecutorial decisions, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty
Advertisement
Information Center.

None of the victims' family members have signed the petition. Working telephone numbers could not be found for most of them, and those who were contacted by The Associated Press did not wish to comment.

McCroskey's sister, however, has signed the petition.

Sarah McCroskey Forrester said she signed not only to save her brother, but to honor the victims.

"I feel really, really bad for what happened to the family, whether my brother did it or not. But I think that this is something we can do for her family," said McCroskey Forrester, a resident of Castro Valley, Calif. "If he is guilty, then I think that giving him the death penalty is the easy way out and he should suffer the consequences for what he did."

Hintz and her husband were sociology majors who had Kelley as a teacher. They developed a deep friendship, and Hintz baby-sat for Emma weekly when she was an infant. After they graduated, the Hintzes often returned to Farmville and stayed with Kelley and Niederbrock. Emma was the flower girl in their wedding in 1998.

"If there is one thing that was consistent across all aspects of Debra's life, it's that she had an amazing understanding of the human condition," Hintz said. "She wanted people to understand that we are not just one thing or act, that we are all products of a myriad of circumstances and our social environment."

So seeking the death penalty in this case would dishonor her mentor's memory, Hintz said.

Hintz started the petition in January, and it has attracted about 75 signatures through colleagues, Longwood alumni and Facebook. She's not sure when she will present the petition to Ennis.

Hintz said she never considered herself an activist, but she hopes the petition will convince prosecutors that taking another life will only add to the tragedy.

"You never know what might inspire someone," she said.

While petitions asking to spare criminals are not new, prosecutors and advocates said, pleas most often come from the families of those killed.

SueZann Bosler of Miami worked more than 10 years to get the man who stabbed her multiple times and killed her father off of Florida's death row. Her father, a minister, was a death penalty opponent, so Bosler made it her mission to get his killer's sentence reduced after prosecutors refused to listen to her pleas not to seek the death penalty.

Bosler is the co-founder of the anti-death penalty Journey of Hope.

"Even when I saw him laying in the floor bleeding to death, taking his last breath," she said of her father, "I knew he did not change his mind."

"I am so positive that he forgave him before he took his last breath."

Death sentences have declined by about 60 percent since 2000, even in Virginia, which is second only to Texas in the number of executions since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

Prosecutors are seeking capital punishment less in favor of plea bargains for life in prison, which are less expensive for states and save the families from reliving the crime over and over throughout lengthy appeals.

But in the end, it's the prosecutor's call, said Dieter, with the Death Penalty Information Center.

"It's not the victim versus the defendant, it's the state versus the defendant," he said.

In North Carolina, district attorney Jim Woodall must decide whether to seek the death penalty against a man who pleaded guilty to killing University of North Carolina student body president Eve Carson two years ago. Federal prosecutors dropped the death penalty and allowed a plea bargain for life, but Woodall still could pursue death on state charges.

Carson's family has said they oppose the death penalty. Woodall has not announced his decision.

"It's one of many, many factors, but it's a big one," Woodall said of the family's concerns. "It can't be the controlling factor."

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15039562
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Re: Horrorcore Murders in Farmville, VA

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Sun May 09, 2010 11:20 pm

Va. students ask prosecutors not to seek death
By DENA POTTER Associated Press Writer
Posted: 05/07/2010 10:28:38 AM PDT
Updated: 05/07/2010 10:28:39 AM PDT

RICHMOND, Va.—In the home of the nation's second-busiest death chamber, some former students have an unusual plea: don't execute the man accused of murdering their professor and her family.

Chesapeake residents Jessica Hintz and her husband, Scott, were devastated when they heard Longwood University professor Debra Kelley and her family had been murdered. Then they had a second, more powerful reaction: "My husband and I both had this overwhelming feeling that Debra would not want her murderer to be put to death," Hintz said.

They created an online petition that asks Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney James Ennis not to seek the death penalty when he prosecutes capital murder charges against Richard "Sam" McCroskey III of Castro Valley, Calif.

McCroskey is charged with the Sept. 18 bludgeoning deaths of Kelley; her 16-year-old daughter Emma Niederbrock; Emma's father Mark Niederbrock; and Emma's 18-year-old friend Melanie Wells of Inwood, W.Va.

The case has received national attention because McCroskey met Emma online through their interest in "horrorcore" music, which sets violent lyrics of rape, murder and torture to hip-hop beats. He was an aspiring horrorcore rapper.

Ennis did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Pleas from victims' families or loved ones can—and often do—influence prosecutorial decisions, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty
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None of the victims' family members have signed the petition. Working telephone numbers could not be found for most of them, and those who were contacted by The Associated Press did not wish to comment.

McCroskey's sister, however, has signed the petition.

Sarah McCroskey Forrester said she signed not only to save her brother, but to honor the victims.

"I feel really, really bad for what happened to the family, whether my brother did it or not. But I think that this is something we can do for her family," said McCroskey Forrester, a resident of Castro Valley, Calif. "If he is guilty, then I think that giving him the death penalty is the easy way out and he should suffer the consequences for what he did."

Hintz and her husband were sociology majors who had Kelley as a teacher. They developed a deep friendship, and Hintz baby-sat for Emma weekly when she was an infant. After they graduated, the Hintzes often returned to Farmville and stayed with Kelley and Niederbrock. Emma was the flower girl in their wedding in 1998.

"If there is one thing that was consistent across all aspects of Debra's life, it's that she had an amazing understanding of the human condition," Hintz said. "She wanted people to understand that we are not just one thing or act, that we are all products of a myriad of circumstances and our social environment."

So seeking the death penalty in this case would dishonor her mentor's memory, Hintz said.

Hintz started the petition in January, and it has attracted about 75 signatures through colleagues, Longwood alumni and Facebook. She's not sure when she will present the petition to Ennis.

Hintz said she never considered herself an activist, but she hopes the petition will convince prosecutors that taking another life will only add to the tragedy.

"You never know what might inspire someone," she said.

While petitions asking to spare criminals are not new, prosecutors and advocates said, pleas most often come from the families of those killed.

SueZann Bosler of Miami worked more than 10 years to get the man who stabbed her multiple times and killed her father off of Florida's death row. Her father, a minister, was a death penalty opponent, so Bosler made it her mission to get his killer's sentence reduced after prosecutors refused to listen to her pleas not to seek the death penalty.

Bosler is the co-founder of the anti-death penalty Journey of Hope.

"Even when I saw him laying in the floor bleeding to death, taking his last breath," she said of her father, "I knew he did not change his mind."

"I am so positive that he forgave him before he took his last breath."

Death sentences have declined by about 60 percent since 2000, even in Virginia, which is second only to Texas in the number of executions since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

Prosecutors are seeking capital punishment less in favor of plea bargains for life in prison, which are less expensive for states and save the families from reliving the crime over and over throughout lengthy appeals.

But in the end, it's the prosecutor's call, said Dieter, with the Death Penalty Information Center.

"It's not the victim versus the defendant, it's the state versus the defendant," he said.

In North Carolina, district attorney Jim Woodall must decide whether to seek the death penalty against a man who pleaded guilty to killing University of North Carolina student body president Eve Carson two years ago. Federal prosecutors dropped the death penalty and allowed a plea bargain for life, but Woodall still could pursue death on state charges.

Carson's family has said they oppose the death penalty. Woodall has not announced his decision.

"It's one of many, many factors, but it's a big one," Woodall said of the family's concerns. "It can't be the controlling factor."

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15039562
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