Join 3,434 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


makes me hate teenagers
November 27, 2004 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Girl murders mother, posts about it on her blog. Oh yes, it's real. Many of the 1300+ comments on her last entry are defending her actions, or saying it's unfair to judge her. (via Waxy via Glassdog)
posted by zelphi (111 comments total)

 
Too many murderers on lj lately
y/n?!


how many murders/suicides are there on LJ?
posted by destro at 1:49 PM on November 27, 2004


For those with a taste for the morbid, see also the story of Ripper.
posted by borkingchikapa at 1:53 PM on November 27, 2004


What's up with kids thinking they can lie about murders to police 'interviewers'? (She and the two guys thought they could frame it.)

Stupid choice. I guess the reason she didn't run away is that she wanted to stay in that lifestyle.... should have waited till college and gone away to a dorm or something.

(Mom kept holding food and wanted to send her to a fat camp.)

So yeah, it's no problem to judge her as a moron. About whether she's a monster with no empathy, that will have to wait till they can get a psych. to check her out.

(If it was really that traumatic, she should've reported her mom to child abuse!)
posted by Firas at 1:59 PM on November 27, 2004 [1 favorite]


Hooray LiveJournal. Via....

I have no issue with Live Journal, by the way.
posted by nthdegx at 1:59 PM on November 27, 2004


I feel sorry for the deceased's husband.
posted by joelf at 2:03 PM on November 27, 2004


Just to warn everyone, goatse and tubgirl, which are very much NSFW, make an appearance on some of the later comments on her last entry.
posted by euphorb at 2:08 PM on November 27, 2004


Just to warn everyone, goatse and tubgirl, which are very much NSFW, make an appearance on some of the later comments on her last entry.

Have they been questioned in connection to the murder?
posted by tittergrrl at 2:11 PM on November 27, 2004


The bio she wrote on her userinfo page is pretty hilarious (unintentionally I'm sure). Here it is in its entirety:

I live in the suckiest place on earth, a shit hole in alaska. I have a wide viritey of interests and talents.
posted by Kattullus at 2:21 PM on November 27, 2004


Her MSN name is "narcissa". HMMM.
posted by Vulpyne at 2:24 PM on November 27, 2004


Wow, this is a lifetime movie of the week in the making.
posted by andendau at 2:30 PM on November 27, 2004


Warning, careful as you peruse through people gawking at a murder confession, because you might see a picture of a stretched rectum, and that would be offensive.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:35 PM on November 27, 2004


Remember... only YOU can stop narcissism!
posted by muppetboy at 2:40 PM on November 27, 2004


Warning, careful as you peruse through people gawking at a murder confession, because you might see a picture of a stretched rectum, and that would be offensive.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:35 PM EST on November 27


strangely astute.
posted by ifjuly at 2:53 PM on November 27, 2004


I won't have computer acess until the weekend or so because the police took my computer to go through the hard drive. I thank everyone for their thoughts and e-mails, I hope to talk to you when I get my computer back.

This is so typical of children who kill-- she seems to have no concept of the consequences. She kills her mom, confesses about it, but assumes she is going to get her computer back and life will go on as usual...tra la.

Oh and the comments are priceless. Someone calls her a fucking psycho for killing her mom and the next person immediately snaps back:
Nice to see everyone here is so quick to judge.
like they are in journalism school or something. Yeah gotta stay cooly impartial.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:40 PM on November 27, 2004


Oh and the comments are priceless. Someone calls her a fucking psycho for killing her mom and the next person immediately snaps back:
Nice to see everyone here is so quick to judge


The exact same thing would happen on MetaFilter.
posted by languagehat at 3:47 PM on November 27, 2004


But how will this affect her burgeoning art career??
posted by butternut at 3:47 PM on November 27, 2004


i told u i was hardcore.
posted by Down10 at 3:48 PM on November 27, 2004


Is that dragon humping a rock?
posted by loquacious at 3:57 PM on November 27, 2004


Warning, careful as you peruse through people gawking at a murder confession...

She confessed? Where did you see that?
posted by euphorb at 4:01 PM on November 27, 2004


This is so typical of children who kill-- she seems to have no concept of the consequences.

Not only typically but exactly why laws generally treat children differently. Although at 16, without psychiatric evidence recommending otherwise, she is most likely to be tried and punished as an adult. Enlightened America and all that jazz.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:04 PM on November 27, 2004


her mother should have supported her art career
posted by Satapher at 4:45 PM on November 27, 2004


PEWTER MINIATURE COLLECTORS THAT KILL!
posted by Satapher at 4:47 PM on November 27, 2004


She kills her mom, confesses about it

as euphorb so astutely points out, certain people here seem to have invented a confession, or misconstrued a factual statement (my mom was murdered) as an admission of guilt.
posted by quonsar at 4:51 PM on November 27, 2004


Anyone else find it odd how she had two ex-boyfriends who were 24?

One angst-filled teenage girl who clearly wanted attention, two older guys who clearly didn't mind breaking the law to get some underage nookie.

It's easy to say it was clear something bad would happen. Just a pity that her mother apparently didn't see it.
posted by Saydur at 4:58 PM on November 27, 2004


Ya budding MeFi detectives.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 5:00 PM on November 27, 2004


Whoa, freaky. I grew up in the region where this girl lives (Southeast Alaska) -- that sounds like a vague, general region, but everybody on their separate little islands was a lot closer than you'd imagine, especially teenagers who were involved in travelling school activities, like sports teams, choir, etc.

Stuff like this is a whole lot more common in Southeast Alaska than you'd think. It's very dark, very rainy, and very isolated. People go bugfuck, get into fights with the people they live with/are closest to, and often end up killing them. When I first moved there (not in Craig, but close-ish), a woman was getting tried for murdering her husband and covering him up with a tarp, and it certainly wasn't the only "tarp murder" to occur in the region. When I was in 12th grade, a kid who went to my school (and was sort of acquainted with, but then, it was a small school and town, so everyone knew everyone else) murdered his father.

So, reading about this girl in Craig, I was put off by the ghoulishness but hardly surprised. I'm not saying it excuses her actions in any way, but I'd bet geography was at least a small contributing factor, at least to her state of mind. Alaska's a dark place in more ways than one.
posted by fricative at 5:00 PM on November 27, 2004


Saydur: Anyone else find it odd how she had two ex-boyfriends who were 24?

Normally, yes, but it's pretty common around those parts. Kids start having sex and drinking at a really young age there, and often the girls get with older guys (especially guys from nearby military/Coast Guard bases). Aside from the fact that she killed her mother, this girl is no different from hundreds of teen girls I encountered while growing up there. It all ties back into the dark/rainy/isolated stuff I was talking about above.
posted by fricative at 5:06 PM on November 27, 2004


How on earth do you make it into honor choir and not know how to spell "choir"?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:22 PM on November 27, 2004


Nov 27 2004 Eva - Well I was hoping to see some schizophrenic savant-ish masterpieces but clearly you are lame in all aspects of your life.
I hope you read this one day - from your stagnant jail cell.

Nov 27 2004 LOLLERSKATES - PWNED


from butternut's link above. god i love the internet.
posted by efalk at 5:27 PM on November 27, 2004


oddly her yahoo id is showing that she's online now. should I send a message to the detectives or no?
posted by efalk at 5:32 PM on November 27, 2004


OFFTOPIC

someone vomited all over glassdog.
posted by poopy at 5:40 PM on November 27, 2004


Needless to say, if she had exercised and eaten right this would have never happened.

A lesson learned.
posted by orange clock at 5:43 PM on November 27, 2004


How on earth do you make it into honor choir and not know how to spell "choir"?

a better question is, what the hell is honor choir?
posted by pruner at 6:10 PM on November 27, 2004


children who kill

coming up at 10 only on FOX
posted by Krrrlson at 6:19 PM on November 27, 2004


quonsar wrote:
as euphorb so astutely points out, certain people here seem to have invented a confession, or misconstrued a factual statement (my mom was murdered) as an admission of guilt.

This link in Glassdog's post is to what appears to be the Alaska state archives for State Troopers press releases. The first press release on the page is in regards to this case, and indicates that all three suspects (the 16 year old girl and her two 24-year-old hitmen) were arrested and confessed while in police custody. Quote: "This account was developed during interviews with the three defendants over the past four days. During the interviews all three made admissions as to their involvement in the murder. "

So, while she didn't confess via LJ, she has, apparently, confessed to her involvement in the case.
posted by dryad at 6:32 PM on November 27, 2004


a better question is, what the hell is honor choir?

I presumed it was some sort of advanced, more elite school choir. She seemed pretty happy about getting into it. I wonder if they'll have a choir in prison.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:05 PM on November 27, 2004


I guess I should start reading live journal.

LiveJournal: Real life drama. Really.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 7:36 PM on November 27, 2004


What fricative said.

I've never been to Alaska, but my girlfriend was born and raised in South East Alaska (Angoon and Sitka) and she had similar horror stories about the place. For one thing, child molestation and incest seem to be the norm rather the exception, which might explain the violence kids display towards their families and themselves. Alcoholism is rampant. There have been two suicides and an unsolved murder in her family, and she knew two other people who were murdered. The police failed to solve any of these killings, which seems strange given how sparsely populated these little islands are.

I'm just glad her mom had the sense to get her the hell out of that place when she was 12.
posted by Devils Slide at 7:46 PM on November 27, 2004


Kids start having sex and drinking at a really young age there, and often the girls get with older guys ...

Sounds just like those little brats in Insomnia.
posted by sour cream at 8:06 PM on November 27, 2004


OT: sour cream, that's really weird as I just this minute finished watching Insomnia.
posted by dobbs at 8:11 PM on November 27, 2004


That LiveJournal totally got 4channed. Those 4channers really know how to have a party.

I should do a FPP on the *chan thing sometime.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 8:20 PM on November 27, 2004


I still haven't seen the US adaptation of Insomnia, in spite of the fact that I'm friends with one of the producers. Most people I've talked to about it liked it, though. But I really liked the original and have it on DVD.

I always wonder about abuse and stuff when I read about kids killing their parents. But, really, just as likely as a child in extremis is that very real, sadly familiar amoral child that kills his/her parents...because. I saw Heavenly Creatures a few years ago, it was a good film and affected me. My sense is that if you ask these kids years later, when they've become adults, why they did it, they probably don't have very good answers.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:23 PM on November 27, 2004


Ah, EB mentioned it, but if you didn't catch the title of Glassdog's post, it was an allusion to Heavenly Creatures, a film about a true matricide by a teenage girl (and her friend). It has Kate Winslet, and was directed by Peter Jackson, and is the reason that I had complete confidence he would do well with LotR; it's one of my favorite films.

Incidentally, Alaska's murder rate is not that far out of the norm.
posted by dhartung at 8:49 PM on November 27, 2004


(Off-topic: Insomnia was good, but will someone please explain to me why Pacino didn't just buy a freaking sleep mask?)
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:55 PM on November 27, 2004


Yah, Heavenly Creatures was very good. I don't offhand know of other matricide/patricide films, but I do have a few "fucked-up murdering teens" films. I just recently bought Better Luck Tomorrow. Then Bully comes to mind, as well as River's Edge, both of which I have. Maybe I'm morbid.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:57 PM on November 27, 2004


LiveJournal has over 5.25 million journals, with 2.3 million of them rated as regularly updated... so what are the odds that someone is a murderer?! Pretty damn good, actually.

Actually, several people on LiveJournal have killed others this year, but we can all rest well knowing that most of the victims were anonymous Iraqis. After all, one form of killing makes more sense, is ethically justified, is legally sanctioned, and is funded by popular consent.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:00 PM on November 27, 2004


so what are the odds that someone is a murderer?! Pretty damn good, actually.

Near certainty, actually. Someone else can figure the probability. I don't know how. But say that the US murder rate is 7 per 100K, and assume that that represents seven different murderers, and assume that's evenly distributed across the population. That's about 160 murderers among LJ's regulars.

There should be at least one among MeFites, too, shouldn't there?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:08 PM on November 27, 2004


There should be at least one among MeFites, too, shouldn't there?

::casts sideways glance at quonsar::
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:13 PM on November 27, 2004


(Off-topic: Insomnia was good, but will someone please explain to me why Pacino didn't just buy a freaking sleep mask?)

Maybe it wasn't just the light that kept him awake, but his conscience?
posted by sour cream at 9:14 PM on November 27, 2004


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~shoa
i'm fukcin
posted by angry modem at 9:22 PM on November 27, 2004


The teenage girl I knew from Alaska was pretty screwed up. Great in bed, though. Ah, good times. What was I talking about? Oh, yeah: she told me that while people like her parents, who weren't natives, had a lot of trouble adjusting to the winter night; natives like herself and her brother didn't have any trouble. I haven't known any other Alaskans, so I've never heard if that was true or not.

And, in defense of these poor maligned Alaskans, I can say that I grew up in a small town (12K) and drinking, drugs, and sex were the main teen pastimes. I would imagine that since most of Alaska's communities are small towns, and isolated, this is a big part of the reason and it's not unlike behavior you'll see elsewhere in small-town north america (or wherever).
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:24 PM on November 27, 2004


insomnia_lj, thank you for reminding me that I'm reading metafilter. It enlightened me to realize that this little girl is like George Bush, and her mother was like an Iraqi. I also thought your likening the 24-year old hitman to our troops was positively scintillating. DOWN WITH THE REGIME - GEORGE W. BUSH HAS STOLEN TWO PRESIDENCIES AND HAS USURPED THE RIGHTFUL THRONE OF THE DEMOCRATS (P.S. WAR IS BAD BECAUSE IT KILLS PEOPLE)

Crawl back under the bridge.
posted by Veritron at 9:29 PM on November 27, 2004


For what it's worth, Narcissa is the name of a minor Harry Potter character (there's a huge Potter fanbase on lj), and so not likely a conscious statement about her psychological type.
posted by zadcat at 9:43 PM on November 27, 2004


I don't remember that character. Which one is that? [googling] Ah, Malfoy's mom.

Hmm.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:46 PM on November 27, 2004


One interesting fact in her blog - she was grounded by her mother for getting an 89% on a math test. Indicates a somewhat strict upbringing there (also computer restrictions for possession of wicca books, thereby punishing witchcraft by cutting off access to high technology -- not sure that one was thought out).
posted by QuietDesperation at 9:50 PM on November 27, 2004


Her userinfo is out of date. I don't see "Assassination" under "interests".
posted by shepd at 9:52 PM on November 27, 2004


Metafilter: From Murderers with Live Journals to minor Harry Potter Characters

I bet if we really studied her entries we would find all kinds of random cult-like connections.
posted by chatterbox at 9:59 PM on November 27, 2004


Errata!

pruner: Honor choir, in my old high school at least, was a fairly small group of the kids who could actually sing. None of that "forty altos singing five wrong notes" stuff. The honor choir was actually enjoyable to listen to.

Faint of Butt: It's difficult for me to fall asleep if there's virtually any light at all, and yet I can't use sleep masks because the pressure on my eyes drives me batty. Also, I can't sleep on my back, but that's neither here nor there. (Maybe I have an especially restless conscience?)

posted by jenovus at 10:11 PM on November 27, 2004


assume that's evenly distributed across the population

Why would it be? I expect there to be a positive correlation between level of income and having a livejournal, and I expect there to be a negative correlation between level of income and murders per capita.
posted by azazello at 10:14 PM on November 27, 2004


EB: What part of Alaska was your teenage ladyfriend from, if you don't mind my asking? In Southeast, where this girl was from (and where I used to live), we didn't have the 6 months of night/6 months of day thing (not far enough north for that). It's still pretty dark in Southeast, but the region is also covered in temperate rainforest, so it's also constantly raining. The town where I lived averaged about 12-13 FEET a year. Even during daylight hours, the sky was a near-perpetual gray-black. If she lived in a place where the issue wasn't so much precipitation as long stretches of darkness, maybe that's easier to get used to. But I know that in Southeast, it seemed that natives and transplants alike suffered terribly from it. As others above have affirmed, there's lots of alcoholism, and lots of sexual violence there. These people definitely haven't adjusted to it -- or maybe they've just adjusted in a negative way.

Also, I see the point you're trying to make about small towns, but I don't think it washes. I've lived in small towns all my life, in various places (Washington, Massachusetts, Georgia), and while I agree that sex, booze and violence are common threads that connect rural areas, Alaska takes it a step up. The place you lived in may have been isolated, but could you drive out of it? Not so in Southeast Alaska, where in most places your options are pretty much plane or ferry. In fact, where I lived, you had to take a ferry to GET to the airport. I could go on and on (I did live there for nine years), but trust me: Alaska's a completely different world to what most of you contiguous-staters are used to.
posted by fricative at 11:34 PM on November 27, 2004


Turns out she likes to draw. Here's a little bit of her art. Check it out before it becomes evidence and they pull it down.
posted by DirtyCreature at 11:39 PM on November 27, 2004


The guy accused of inflicting the death blow is Brian Radel of Thorne Bay, Alaska. Unless there are more than one by that name in that town this could be an (rather interesting) profile of the accused.
posted by DirtyCreature at 11:55 PM on November 27, 2004


It's creepy to go through her previous posts. I wonder how long it wil be before it get's taken down.
posted by dingobully at 12:09 AM on November 28, 2004


It wouldn't be funny if it was a conscious statement, zadcat. :)
posted by Vulpyne at 1:10 AM on November 28, 2004


Wow. Every time I think "nothing else could possibly shock me" something like this happens.

What I find most disturbing is not the Matricide factor, but the fact that she's just like: Hey, my Mom was murdered blah blah, police have my computer, blah blah, I'll be right back, blah blah, thanks for the emails.

This little girl is truly a dead thing.

I think when writers and poets talk about people without souls, they are talking about people like this little girl.
posted by erratic frog at 1:18 AM on November 28, 2004


fricative: she was from Anchorage, actually. Nothing exotic. :) Oh, I don't mean to discount the "X times two" Alaska factor. But I've long since discovered that my teenage years in my small town was surprisingly more wild than most people I've known from larger cities.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:19 AM on November 28, 2004


Fricative's view of Alaska is distorted. Ethereal Bligh's post is closer to the truth.

If her journal is accurate, we find that she'd been grounded for being overweight earlier in the year, and this fall for getting an 89% on a math test and having "wicca" books.
posted by D.C. at 1:21 AM on November 28, 2004


That's easy to say, erratic frog, but I think there's less that seperates us from her than you might suspect. Especially with teens—I think all teens have a very distorted sense of reality, or unreality I might say. Lots of confusion, strong emotion, and problems at home...well.

On Preview: my view of Alaska is second-hand and at least fricative has lived there. I'm guessing you lived there, too, D.C., so perhaps between you and fricative the truth is found.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:23 AM on November 28, 2004


Hey EB: I was a teenager once and I got grounded for lame things by my (now deceased) step-father all the time. I had all the fun mixed up emotions and all that and I was "misunderstood" a plenty.

Sure, she had all these problems, etc. and maybe her Mom really WAS Mommie Drearest - but the fact remains that she didn't seem, from her entry on the 14th (when it was supposed to be happening) or her entry on the 18th, that it HAD happened, to have any remorse whatsoever for having had her Mother killed.

This is the thing that I think defines someone living who is already dead.

I have heard/read a lot of stories where rage brought someone to the point of Murder. Where insanity brought someone to the point of Murder.

However, it is rare (thankfully) that the enraged people have no remorse or thought of consequence and that the insane people, when treated and faced with their actions have no remorse.

It is the utter lack of remorse shown through her actions and words which stuns me, not the fact that she thought murder was her only out.
posted by erratic frog at 1:31 AM on November 28, 2004


I lived in Cordova as a child, and even I saw a lot of weird stuff... Alaska can definitely be a strange brew.
posted by taz at 1:36 AM on November 28, 2004


Well, I just generally think that the line dividing "them" from "us" is much narrower than we commonly think that it is. And lack of remorse seems to be sort of a theme with these cases—don't mean to throw a bunch of armchair psychology around, but there's probably lots of dissociation and what's that "compartmentalizing" term? I wasn't assuming a bunch of "cause". Rather, I strongly suspect that teenagers are generally a little bit crazy and not totally aware of the consequences of their actions. Just because so few of us go the route that she went doesn't mean that it's impossible or difficult for us to have done so.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:40 AM on November 28, 2004


on MetaTalk
posted by erratic frog at 2:18 AM on November 28, 2004


Oops! I made a mistake. I misunderstood what Meta Talk was for and should not have posted this there.

I apologized over there and asked Matt to remove the post.

Gah. Sorry.
posted by erratic frog at 2:29 AM on November 28, 2004


Oh and: yes, you're right, very little separates us.

When I get pissed at someone and feel that I have been neglected/treated unfairly/abused I do not send 2 maladjusted boys to murder the person who I feel mistreated me. She did.

I am not even sitting here at my computer in JUDGEMENT of this little girl. That's what the court and the jury are for. I am merely stating that I feel that the obvious lack of any remorse for and consciousness of the severity and terminal nature of her actions is something that cannot be ignored.

She was not "temporarily insane" and acting on that, nor was she beaten half to death and striking back. She calmly and cooly planned her Mother's death and went off to buy boots and play volleyball and even bitched about getting 5th place. Then, she just posted "my Mom was murdered" no "I feel so bad" no "I will miss her" no "please keep my Dad and brother in your thoughts" Nothing. It's like it was the same as "I took out the trash" to her. No distinction between a completely mundane action and murdering someone.

Also (minor point), the fact that she was reading Wiccan books states that she was trying to find something to believe in, because unless that were the case (or unless you were just curious, I guess) what would be the point of reading them? What this shows me is that nothing "imprints" on this girl's brain. She has no idea of what right and wrong is and no conscience. The same basic impulses which define right and wrong to us simply do not exist in this girl's head - from what we've seen to this point. The girl is a dead thing. I see no two ways about it.

On preview: I also think that what separates US from THEM is indeed a narrow line. They kill people because they don't like something the person did. We do not. They go to prison or are condemned to death for their actions, we are not. We take responsibility for our actions and make rational decisions, they do not.

EB: I really am not trying to argue with you - but this was not a beathen, abused, raped, tramatized shell of a girl whose choice was to kill or be killed. This was not an insane person who has an untreated chemical imbalance or who was brought to insanity through abuse. I think that some people are simply void of any of the characteristics which the rest of humanity has in common. Maybe there is simply something wrong within their brain chemistry or maybe they have faith in nothing, thus feel that there is no reason NOT to kill people. I don't understand it and I don't know who would. All I do know is that this is not a typical teenage angst thing. This goes way beyond that. Or, maybe I could say: This goes nowhere near that.

Her actions, IMO, were equal to swatting a mosquito out of the way. She approached it and carried it off with the same demeanor. SHe didn't like being grounded/told what to do/etc and just thought: "To hell with that, if I kill her she cannot do that anymore." Where was the thought: "I'll go to prison and be told a LOT MORE OFTEN what to do and how and when." It wasn't there because this girl has no concept of reality because she has no conscience. She has no conscience because some intrinsic part of her mental makeup is missing.

Ugh. This is hard to write without writing a Novel - but I just don't agree that this is teen angst or anything even remotely like it.

Maybe I don't agree because I don't want to believe that this is what our Society in general is coming to. Maybe I would rather stick my head in the sand and hum really loud or sing LALALALA out loud to drone it out. However, given the fact that I have always faced everything head on and dealt with it as it came, I find that possibility highly unlikely. I am willing to admit that the possibility exists, but I am not willing to submit to it, not based on my evidence to date and my own past experience with how I react to things in general.
posted by erratic frog at 2:33 AM on November 28, 2004


We really know very little about this girl and her life. I don't think we have much cause to either diagnose her with insanity or as a rational killer, or whatever.

I don't disbelieve that there are sociopaths and/or people that are simply "evil", but I do really believe that the teenage years are chaotic psychologically and many things are more possible then that are not as possible before and after. Particularly, I think that the teen years are a very delicate period in terms of developing morality because the kids still have a child's innate solipsism but with a much greater capacity for action and less restraint from authority. And hormonal changes. Also, matricide by a child is not that common and I wouldn't be surprised if its rate is much more uniform across time and cultures than many other crimes. In this way, I suspect it is similar to the crime of a mother killing her children. So in this sense I don't think there's cause to bemoan the decline of civilization.

I also don't doubt that there are children and teens who are in every sense morally a "lost cause". But I am also sure that it's more likely that some children and teens can be rehabiltated than is likely for adults who commit similar crimes. It's certainly a mark of my liberalism, but I deeply distrust the contemporary US trend of trying teens and pre-teens as adults.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:54 AM on November 28, 2004


Particularly, I think that the teen years are a very delicate period in terms of developing morality because the kids still have a child's innate solipsism but with a much greater capacity for action and less restraint from authority. And hormonal changes.

I had typed up some more stuff, but on preview EB says it better. Conscience/morality is not something intrinsic: it's learned/developed. And given that even adults often disagree on right/wrong (refer to any heavily politically charged thread: war, abortion), it shouldn't be a huge surprise that some teenagers can't make the distinction.
posted by juv3nal at 3:07 AM on November 28, 2004


If her journal is accurate, we find that she'd been grounded for being overweight earlier in the year, and this fall for getting an 89% on a math test and having "wicca" books.

her mother sounds like she was a complete fuck up.
posted by t r a c y at 3:10 AM on November 28, 2004


We really know very little about this girl and her life.

I don't think we have to know all that much to determine that she acted without remorse or thought of the consequences of her actions.

I don't think we have much cause to either diagnose her with insanity or as a rational killer, or whatever.

I'm not saying that she was insane. Insane I could understand. This does not speak of insanity to me.

I was being "generous" by saying maybe some part of her brain/conscious is missing. I was leaving some room open for her there.

What I think is that she has no concept of reality or right and wrong. While there are mental illnesses which include this trait (disassociative disorders, etc) I don't really think that this was the issue here.

Sure, she might be able to be rehabilitated, so that she learns that "Killing People Is Wrong because then you Go To Jail" and may never kill again, but for that reason only: The consequence to HER.

However, I don't think that she will ever be able to truly understand or grok the concept that "we don't murder our parents" and why we do not, aside from the consequences to our own lives and well being.

I think she is a child and should be tried as a child, sure. I agree with that. However, I don't agree that a child's penalty for pre-meditated murder should be less than an adult's. If you can think up a plan and execute the plan the same as an adult, then your penalty for committing to those actions should be the same as well.

Just like if you drive a car. If you're 16 and have a license and get a ticket you pay the same as an adult who got the same ticket. I see no difference just because boo hoo, a child might have to actually face a consequence that is pretty damn scary, much moreso than a ticket. If the child had not done what she did, she would not have to face the penalty for it, any penalty, whether it's the gas chamber (or whatever they have in AL, if anything) or being reprimanded to a youth detention center.

In her case, I do not think that she is a "Murdering Psycho." Even psychos have reasons. We may not understand them, but they have them nonetheless.

I think that in her eyes, her Mom was a bug in her face. She swatted the bug. I don't think there was more to it than that, in this girl's mind. She had a problem, she didn't like it, she handled it.

No, I do not know what's in her mind, but by her actions and words before and since, I have no reason to draw any other conclusion.

Further, (normal) kids who go through abuse and neglect and all of that do not keep peppy little journals detailing every mundane little detail and then post their Mother's murder with the same frivolity.

Finally, I will concede that we don't know what all has gone on in her life behind closed doors, but I will tell you this: This kid was allowed to travel and do quite a lot of things away from home and with her friends, etc. and that is just not something you would see allowed by an abusive parent. Abusive parents tend to cut the kids off from outside activities, etc because those social engagements lead to questions which the abusers don't want to answer every time something is amiss.

So, given that she was always trotting off to do this or that and driving here and there and going to prom and all of that, I have to say that I doubt that there was much going on there that she did not detail on her journal.

As always though, you're right, in that we never really know.

On preview: Well if she was reading actual Wicca books, then you know what? She would have at LEAST got an impression of some morality from those. The main premise of Wicca is: An it harms none, do what thou Wilt. So, I don't buy that at all. By 16 (or the first time a bully calls you a name or knocks you on your ass at school) you should have some concept of morality. If you're reading the "public watered-down fluffy version" of "Wicca" in most those books then you have at least read the "harm none" bit a few or more times. These "beginner wicca" books published by Llewellen (most common house for these kinds of books) are rife with "Never hurt anyone" and "The Rede this and that" and "The three fold law blah blah" so she would have seen it there, if NOWHERE else. So no. Not buying that part.

Further, she said in her OWN journal: Violent people suck. So there's your morality.

Finally, while a lot of adults cannot agree on right and wrong - in a matter of opinion (politics, abortion) most people can agree that murdering one's mother is wrong.
posted by erratic frog at 3:46 AM on November 28, 2004


I'm a little surprised by all the surprise shown about the girl; she evidently thought she had her reasons, and she acted over quite a long period of time, so it wasn't something that just suddenly came up, and then got out of hand. It seems likely that there may be certain mitigating circumstances - but whatever. The problem was between the girl and her mother. What shocks me much more is that she could persuade two adult men to commit this act. She is obviously a stupid kid with emotional and perhaps mental problems who really, really wanted to get rid of her mother. They are grownups with, presumably, nothing much against the woman they murdered. That, to me, is the bizarro part of this tale.
posted by taz at 4:12 AM on November 28, 2004


I agree taz, that is bizarre. I've been wondering how she did that.

I once saw a 48 Hours thing some time ago that was about kids who'd been tried as adults. One of the segments was about this guy who had served 16 years for a murder committed when he was a high schooler. A female classmate of his had gotten him to murder her father who had been abusing her. The girl was let off on probation, but the guy got 8-24 years.

It makes me wonder whether Rachelle Waterman told the two guys some such story. Now, as has been stated many times in this thread, we don't know any specifics, so there's little to go on, but it's hard to see what else got these two 24-year old men to kill someone's mother.
posted by Kattullus at 5:13 AM on November 28, 2004


And no one's come to the conclusion that these two 24 year-old paedophiles - and if they were banging 15/16 year-olds, they're paedophiles - heard about how their friend was being pissed off by her mother and decided to do something about it with little or no encouragement? A statement made in jest taken too far, perhaps?

Not that I'm giving any of the three any excuses. There's been a lot more comment on the daughter than on her two 'boyfriends' who actually committed the act.
posted by tapeguy at 5:20 AM on November 28, 2004


D.C.: Distorted? Perhaps! But then, all of our experiences and opinions are colored by so many different factors, yeah? I'm assuming you live/lived in Alaska, too. I've certainly known a lot of Alaskans who definitely disagreed with how I viewed the place -- they thought it was a unique, splendid paradise, or at least a nice, funky place that wasn't as bad as I thought it was. (I may've come off earlier as thinking the place is a dark, evil abyss -- I really don't, I've even found myself developing a strange, nostalgic fondness for the place since I've moved -- but it's probably the worst place I've lived, for what that's worth.) The fact that we moved there when I was 11 probably colors my opinions, makes them differ from those of the people who've lived there all their lives.

But you know, I've known more Alaskans who've shared my take on the place than those who haven't. For what that's worth. I would be interested to know if you lived in a different part of AK than me or not, though -- might influence our difference of opinion. Friends of mine from Anchorage, Fairbanks, and even Juneau have had more positive, "normal" takes on the place than me. But friends from Sitka, Wrangell, Haines, Homer, Petersburg, etc. have tended to share my feelings on the place. *shrug*
posted by fricative at 5:44 AM on November 28, 2004


tapeguy: It's the blasé way in which she stated that her Mom was murdered. Even that she posted it at all, was odd.

Those two combined was what threw up a red flag and made me think the way I do about the whole thing.

It's creepy and weird. Also, some time back, when her Aunt died, she went on about all this BS at work, then ended wirth one sentence about her aunt dying that she just found out and that she was sad.

However, she said that AFTER she went on a "this client at work" rant.

There's something wrong with that picture.
posted by erratic frog at 5:45 AM on November 28, 2004


looking through her early journal entries, i noticed that most of the comments came from a single person, one of rachelle's friends. here's his take on the matter.

Some people....they don't know how t commit murder inteligently. My finger hurts.
posted by jimmy at 5:49 AM on November 28, 2004


One interesting fact in her blog - she was grounded by her mother for getting an 89% on a math test.

I hope this is admissable in court. If the jury hears it, they'll have no choice but to acquit her.

And no one's come to the conclusion that these two 24 year-old paedophiles - and if they were banging 15/16 year-olds, they're paedophiles - heard about how their friend was being pissed off by her mother and decided to do something about it with little or no encouragement? A statement made in jest taken too far, perhaps?

Oh noes! Pedageddon! Obviously, this innocent girl was led astray by baby rapers. What won't someone who humps a teenager do?
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:20 AM on November 28, 2004


Heh. This whole conflation of ephebophilia and pedophilia is an odd cultural trend given that American culture increasingly holds as it feminine ideal a very teenager-y shape, along with the fact that it wasn't so very long ago that 15 year olds were considered in every respect adults. There is this collision of cultural trends: the defining of childhood "up" against the aesthetic anti-senescence movement that defines feminine beauty "down".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:34 AM on November 28, 2004


This is much better than any of those "reality web games" where you have to piece together a mystery from different peoples' lfictitious online diaries ("Today, Professor Smith told me about the secrets of the Mayan jewels...")
posted by inksyndicate at 8:17 AM on November 28, 2004


And no one's come to the conclusion that these two 24 year-old paedophiles - and if they were banging 15/16 year-olds, they're paedophiles...

Technically, I don't believe that's the case. If she's 16, the age of consent in Alaska is 16 so it would only be illegal if the males were related to her or they "occupied a position of authority" in relation to her. In other words, a teacher, social worker, etc. Also, because of her age, it would not be considered pedophilia in any case. Rather, the appropriate term is ephebophilia, which is an attraction between an adult and a postpubescent adolescent.
posted by mstefan at 9:06 AM on November 28, 2004


erratic frog: you are jumping to all sorts of morbid conclusions on scanty evidence. i mean, you can't judge ANYTHING about this person from a livejournal entry. before one can feel remorse, one must acknowledge what one has done. people are in a constant state of self-delusion, mostly harmless. they guy who goes out and spends too much money on an inferior product will often expend much energy being deleriously happy with it, because to acknowledge its inferiority makes him wrong. it's called justification. someone who blows past the borders of civilised behavior in the manner of these kids is especially prone to self-deception about the reality of what they've done. did you expect a searing self-critique, an honest introspective examination from someone who just nuked their life and that of thier own mother? calling her dead and souless is simply another form of self-deception: it's us, desperately trying to distance ourselves from her in order to (falsely) assure ourselves that WE aren't capable of something like this. on some level she is totally cognizant of the reality of her actions, but that level is subsumed under tons of self-justification and selective, defensive "amnesia". it may never surface. it damn sure won't be evident in a livejournal post shortly following the event.
posted by quonsar at 11:50 AM on November 28, 2004


To sort of continue on Quonsar's line of thinking, it seems no one has considered that her live Journal post may not be entirely accurate of the girl's feelings. Perhaps she was trying to be "adult" about the situation and not show any emotion; acting as stoic adults are often portrayed. Or perhaps she was still in shock over what happened and incapable of accepting that the situation was real.

I'm not saying she wasn't a monster, just saying because one post in a journal on a publicly viewed web page wasn't sufficiently remorseful sounding, does not necessarily mean she isn't.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:59 AM on November 28, 2004


so what are the odds that someone is a murderer?! Pretty damn good, actually.

Nico Claux has a LiveJournal.
posted by ScarletSpectrum at 12:26 PM on November 28, 2004


these two 24 year-old paedophiles - and if they were banging 15/16 year-olds, they're paedophiles

Not pedophilia, ephebophilia. It's different, and not nearly so weird or evil. Rachelle Waterman is post-pubescent and probably physically indistinguishable from her future 18-year-old self. And it's just common sense to realize that a 24-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old is not at all the same thing as a 24-year-old having sex with an eight-year-old. Nor are either the same as whacking a kid's mom on her say-so. That's all.

On preview: What everyone else said.
posted by skoosh at 1:03 PM on November 28, 2004


Nico Claux has a LiveJournal.

I followed both those links, ScarletSpectrum, and now I feel really icky. I may need to take another shower. I was, however, slightly relieved to discover that Claux and I have no listed interests in common.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:03 PM on November 28, 2004


Thanks, ScarletSpectrum. Now I'm never, ever, going outside again.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 1:15 PM on November 28, 2004


quonsar makes me very happy sometimes.
posted by ifjuly at 2:56 PM on November 28, 2004


I think she is a child and should be tried as a child, sure. I agree with that. However, I don't agree that a child's penalty for pre-meditated murder should be less than an adult's. If you can think up a plan and execute the plan the same as an adult, then your penalty for committing to those actions should be the same as well.

Huh, erratic frog? If the penalties are the same, then what's the point of having a separate justice system for children?
posted by Vidiot at 4:02 PM on November 28, 2004


hee hee! i wonder what erratic frog THOUGHT being "tried as a child" meant? the lawyer's have to be extra nice?
posted by quonsar at 5:36 PM on November 28, 2004


while i agree with the sentiment, vidiot/quonsar, just to play devil's advocate for a second...

the penalty could be the same, but other things could differ. I don't know anything about how courts actually work, but possibly things like:

trial before jury (would a jury of a child's peers consist of other children?) vs. trial before judge, amount of time given to appeal a decision, how expeditiously the case is brought to trial, right of the defendent to decline counsel, etc.
posted by juv3nal at 9:55 PM on November 28, 2004


Huh, erratic frog? If the penalties are the same, then what's the point of having a separate justice system for children?

No. The point would be not to make it a press feeding frenzy and to keep the details out of the public eye for the protection of the minor and to put the kids in the correct facilities for their ages. juv3nal's points were also good.

I think that if a "juvenile" can exhibit the same ability to execute a crime as an adult, then they deserve the same penalties. (Unlike that kid, Billy Shrubsall who served 16 months for beating his mother to death with a baseball bat because he was a "mixed up kid" according to "expert on kids who kill their parents" Charles P. Ewing - who later went on to commit (and be convicted for) the rape and/or attempted murder of several women. Linky: http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com/editorial49.html )

Quonsar: I didn't JUMP anywhere (I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were -Buffy). I am saying that I think, based on what I've seen (past entries as well) the girl has no moral compass.

You say I am jumping to conclusions. Well if I am then so is everyone else who does not think the same way I do.

Maybe she's this, maybe she's that. All the maybes are indeed valid or invalid - because we don't know.

I am not someone who walks around with blinders on - not in any way whatsoever. In fact, I have been called "negative" by more than a few people simply because I believe in seeing things as they are, not as I or others wish they were.

For example: I don't feel the need to distance myself from anything in order to convince myself what I am or am not capable of. I know what I am capable of.

However, I also know that no matter what I am capable of, there are still things I feel bad for if I have to do them. There are still things that capable or not, I would not do, because I have a moral compass and and a conscious which causes me to feel guilt and not sleep well if my actions are to me, unconscionable. I believe some people don't have that "mechanism" or if they do, they do not have it switched on - for whatever reason.

Anyway, you are right of course, that I could be wrong, but then I could be right and my gut instinct on this tells me that I am correct in my assumption. However, like all opinions without the fact to back them up, this is nothing more than discussion.

What did I expect? Nothing. Literally.

Finally, it's a bad idea I think, to paint everyone with such a broad brush, because honestly? We really don't know each other well enough to do that. No offense intended at all, but most of our ideas as to what we are capable of and what we would see as wrong or injust are most likely quite different person to person. There are lots of things I would/could not do which others would/could and there are lots of things I would/could do which others would/could not.

Still, there are things which most people, including a jury of this girl's peers, will agree is the wrong thing to do. That doesn't mean people have blinders on or want to distance themselves. It means "We do not get people to bludgeon and burn our Mothers because it is a despicable and cruel thing to do. That is why."

Whew. I could go on and on about this - but this is one of those things where we all go on and on in order to get nowhere - because we just don't have enough facts to come to an end.
posted by erratic frog at 3:15 AM on November 29, 2004


I am saying that I think, based on what I've seen (past entries as well) the girl has no moral compass.

no, you said she was dead and soulless. now you are restating that, but there is no doubt you said dead and soulless.

I could go on and on about this

you just did.

- but this is one of those things where we all go on and on in order to get nowhere - because we just don't have enough facts to come to an end.

precisely my point. PRECISELY MY POINT.

you don't know jack about this person or the event. and armed with exactly zero usefull knowledge, you've concluded she's the dead, soulless harbinger of society's imminent collapse.
posted by quonsar at 10:34 AM on November 29, 2004


erratic frog: Also (minor point), the fact that she was reading Wiccan books states that she was trying to find something to believe in, because unless that were the case (or unless you were just curious, I guess) what would be the point of reading them? What this shows me is that nothing "imprints" on this girl's brain. She has no idea of what right and wrong is and no conscience.

Yeah...I'm gonna call bullshit on that. Now while I personally find most commercial "wiccan" books to be silly nonsense, it's just as valid for someone to read books from that aisle of the bookstore as it is to research the kabbalah, or Zen, or the secret ingredient of the Cosmic Muffin.

Using someone's alleged reading material to generate a personality profile is absurd. Hence the reasons that librarians and bookstore owners are fighting the provisions in the Patriot Act that allows the government to make the same wild leaps in logic that you just exhibited.
posted by dejah420 at 11:36 AM on November 29, 2004


Oh geez. I *am* BTW.

I was not using her reading to generate a personality profile - what am I, CSI?

I was simply saying that many people who read spiritual material are doing so for a reason, not just because YAY! I'm reading a wiccan book to piss off my parents.

Geez, talk about taking a little point out of context. I just noted the books in passing and stated what I thought about it. I am not saying in any way that I am the end all be all of RIGHT here. I am sharing my thoughts on my opinion, period. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant.

and Quonsar: I never said she was a harbinger of doom or any other glorified crap like that. She, IMO is miles beneath that. I said she was a dead thing, and I said I think she's soulless and I still do.

You don't know jack about her either - and that doesn't mean she's NOT all you just said that you think I was saying that she was.

All this stuff is nothing more than opinions - so you state yours, I will state mine.
posted by erratic frog at 1:17 PM on November 29, 2004


afk, arrested for matricide
posted by solistrato at 2:48 PM on November 29, 2004


Someone has removed the last entry (that I saw just a day ago) and made others protected. If she's still in the slammer, who has the keys to her LJ?
posted by dabitch at 3:59 PM on November 29, 2004


"If she's still in the slammer, who has the keys to her LJ?"

Probably someone whom she told the password to.

In any case, didn't it occur to anyone that she may be bluffing in her last couple entries? After all, it seems that she wanted to pass it off as an accident before the idiots set stuff on fire:

From the Alaska Troopers' press release:
Their plan was to murder Waterman and to stage what appeared to be a fatal drunk driving motor vehicle accident, but after Radel had murdered Waterman they changed their plan.

Also, the most disturbing thing about the girl and the profile posted by DirtyCreature of Brian Radel is that these people were so, so normal..
posted by Firas at 6:17 PM on November 29, 2004 [1 favorite]


In my late teens I took an interest in astronomy which lead to my present intrest of theoretical astrophysics. Finding some personal talent for sketching and watercolor I also began learning art which I found helpful in sketching local plant life. About the time I was sixteen I began working in the local logging industy and also hired on with several carpenters.

really? that seems normal to you? That person's profile seems fairly terrifying to me.
posted by rhyax at 10:20 PM on November 29, 2004


...my present intrest of theoretical astrophysics.

I prefer experimental astrophysics, myself.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:46 AM on November 30, 2004


This murder and the debate here remind me of a conversation I had with an ex-boyfriend once. One of his high school classmates was in jail for murdering his (the classmate's) father after his father beat up his (the classmate's) mother. To me this sounded like a thing a person could plausibly do in the pressure of a situation, if they had been the object of years of abuse and witnessed years of domestic violence. My ex was scornful of the incident and said it was a "stupid thing to do," nothing more. Before I stopped talking to my ex I observed his father emotionally abusing him, and learned that one set of his grandparents were abusing the other. Go figure.
posted by halonine at 2:11 AM on November 30, 2004


Does it bother anyone else that the entire Alaska public school system seems to be turning out illiterate cretins? This girl was the star of her academic decathlon team, and she can hardly spell or reason (and neither can her friend who praised her for taking "calculess"). The man whose profile was linked here appears to be a subliterate idiot as well.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:09 PM on November 30, 2004


To sort of continue on Quonsar's line of thinking, it seems no one has considered that her live Journal post may not be entirely accurate of the girl's feelings. Perhaps she was trying to be "adult" about the situation and not show any emotion; acting as stoic adults are often portrayed. Or perhaps she was still in shock over what happened and incapable of accepting that the situation was real. (from [insert clever name here])

Two weeks ago she came online and told me she was eating ramen because her mother wasn't home, and she didn't know where she was. I told her I didn't really like ramen, and we talked about thai food for a while. A couple days later I learned her mother had been killed. The next week, I learned that she had actually killed her mother. (from here, posted by jimmy)

I think that says it all, really. Death didn't much seem to touch this girl.

Oh, and Sidhedevil, that struck me as depressing too.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:16 AM on December 1, 2004


Recent article from the Anchorage Daily News mentions the journal, its deletions, the fact that the police are looking for whoever made the deletions.
posted by whatzit at 12:47 PM on December 2, 2004


« Older Power the Earth with Moon gas...  |  Dapper dresser Charles Teenie ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments