I hate writing blog pieces like this, they’re depressing, scary and hit too close to home. But pieces like this are important for all of us to read. Pieces like this serve as “slap in the face, wake you up” reminders of what we’re all fighting for and why we need to seriously amp up the fight.
Looking back at statistics, vigilante crimes against registrants have been occurring for over a decade if not longer. Murdered registrants don’t receive a lot of press and their deaths aren’t counted among those considered “hate crimes” even though anyone with a brain cell can see that that’s what they are. Murdered registrants deaths are “just homicides”, some solved, some not, probably many that we never even know about.
What I find appalling is the fact that no one is willing to openly “connect the dots” when it comes to these crimes. Public registry….Public names & addresses….Murdered registrants. The dots are all there, what more proof is needed? The registry fosters vigilantism and registrants end up dead.
Need more proof, let’s take a brief, horrific walk down memory lane.
2004 New Hampshire– Lawrence Trent, 57, is sentenced to 10-30 years after pleading guilty to attempted murder of two registrants whose names and addresses he found on the state’s public registry. He later told police he felt “morally justified in committing the crime.”
2005 Bellingham, WA. – Hank Eisses, 49 and Victor Vasquez, 68, residents residing in the same home are gunned down by Michael A. Mullen. Mullen pretends to be an FBI agent investigating threats made against “sex offenders” in order to gain access to their home. Later, Mullen admits to police that he found the victims information on the online public registry and just wanted to kill them.
2006 Maine– Stephan A. Marshall, a Canadian citizen used the online public registry information to locate and murder Wm. Elliott, 24 and Joseph Gray 57. Records indicate Marshall had browsed the online registry early the day of the murders, first killing Gray and later Elliott. Investigators also revealed that Marshall had obtained the names and addresses of at least 34 other registrants.
2011 Hazelwood, Missouri- John J. Huffmaster is charged with violently assaulting his 74 yr. old neighbor who was a registrant. Huffmaster reported he was “doing God’s work”. The victim sustained multiple skull and facial fractures.
2012 Washington- Patrick Drum was sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing Gary Lee Blanton, 28 and Jerry Wayne Ray 57. Drum admits to police that he was targeting “sex offenders” and had plans to continue to kill others until he was caught.
2013 South Carolina- Husband and wife duo Jeremy and Christine Moody murder registrant Charles “Butch” Parker, 59 and Gretchen Parker 51. The murderers were identified from the Parker’s home surveillance video and Jeremy Moody is recorded telling Charles, “I’m not here to rob you, I’m here to kill you because you’re a child molester.” Moody admitted to targeting other registrants and said he would have killed another on his “hit list” a few days later had he not been arrested.
2013 Temecula, California- David Ray Mills 36, his 16 yr. old daughter and Andre E. Dickerson 20, are charged in a vicious attack on Esteban Cruz, 21. Cruz had been accused of raping the 16 yr. old. He was lured to a park where he was beaten with a baseball bat by Dickerson while the others watched. The victim sustained skull fractures, broken bones, missing teeth and a lung injury.
2015 Nebraska- Registrant Phillip McDaniel was attacked at work by co-worker Jason Bates who assaulted him with a brass hammer while calling him “Chimo” (slang for child molester.) Bates had become enraged after discovering that McDaniel was a registrant. McDaniel suffered injuries of his nose, clavicle and left shoulder but was denied workman’s comp, the Nebraska Court of Appeals upholding the denial, finding that the attack was due to “personal reasons” even though the only relationship between the two was as co-workers.
2016 Anchorage, Alaska- Jason Vukovich, 41 is arrested for assaulting three different registrants with a hammer. He had found their names on the public registry. He showed one of the victims a notebook with a list of additional potential victims. During one of the attacks, Vukovich told a victim “I am an avenging angel, I’m going to mete out justice for the people you hurt.”
2017 Macon County Illinois- Police apprehend Samuel Henson, 19 who is a suspect in the 2015 beating death of a 53 yr. old registrant. He acknowledged knowing the victim was a registrant and is accused of the assault along with two other teenagers.
2019 Pottawatomie County Oklahoma- Harry L. Venosdel Jr, 60, was slain outside of his home. Police say he was shot twice and likely died in agony. Mr. Venosdel lived in an area that was not easily accessible and complicated to find for those not knowing the area. According to police investigators, the shooter had to “know what they were searching for.”
2019 Nevada- Former NJ priest & schoolteacher John Capparelli, 70 was gunned down. His name was on a list of Catholic priests in NJ who had been “credibly accused of sexually abusing children”. The list is released by New Jersey’s 5 dioceses and lists incidents of abuse of minors as far back as 1940.
These are but a few of the assaults and murders that have taken place over the last decade or so, this is only the tip of the iceberg. How many registrants don’t report assaults or are murdered and their deaths are chalked up to “just another homicide” rather than a vigilante “hate crime”?
Clearly there is vigilantism at hand. Murderers are admitting securing names and addresses from the public “sex offender” registries online. They admit to their sole purpose of assaulting or killing registrants, in the name of vengeance, God, justice or whatever other lunacy they can conceive of.
While most lawmakers probably wouldn’t publicly support assaults or murders of registrants, few seem willing to openly object to the negative and sometimes fatal consequences of the registry. Few lawmakers speak up in regards to curtailing registrant requirements or to protecting registrant’s privacy or safety when public registry information puts them at risk of vigilantism.
Registrants are being murdered or assaulted every day, in every state.
Why is it so damn hard for law enforcement, lawmakers and politicians to just admit that the dots connect?
Public Sex Offender Registry……..Leads to…….Vigilantism