It was ten years ago today that 16-year-old Jennifer Parks of Randolph, New Jersey, was murdered by her neighbors, the Zarate brothers, Jonathan and James.
James Zarate had invited Jennifer over to watch TV but it was just a plot to lure her into the Zarate household. The Zarate brother’s held a grudge against Jennifer after she had complained to her school about being bullied by James. The brothers brutally stabbed and bludgeoned Jennifer to death. Then to try to cover up their crime they dismembered Jennifer’s body and hid her remains in a trunk which they then put in the back of the family SUV for over a day. The brothers were arrested when they were caught trying to dump Jennifer’s remains into the Passaic River. Both brothers were sentenced to life in prison.
I first wrote about Jennifer back in 2005 due to the sheer brutality of it and the complete disregard for Jennifer’s life that the Zarate brothers had. During that time I had the pleasure of corresponding with Jennifer’s mother, Laurie Parks. She thanked me for what I was doing to make sure that Jennifer’s memory would never be forgotten. I also had the opportunity to meet two friends of Mrs. Parks that I consider close friends to this day. Unfortunately Jennifer’s father died from a heart attack but not before seeing his daughter’s killers sent to jail.
Today Jennifer would be 26 and we could only imagine what her life would have been like now. Would she be married with a daughter if her own or would should be years deep into a successful career? Unfortunately will never know since the Zarates stole the life of a girl filled with so much potential.
As long as I am writing I swear that Jennifer will never be forgotten.
I had heard about the family that had been killed in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It’s hard not to sound condescending when I say this but I didn’t read much about it at the time because it’s not the kind of story I typically write about. While I felt horrible for the family I thought this story could be handled by better bloggers than me. Then a new detail in the story was made public that made me feel compelled to write about it.
For those who may not have heard the Bever family was almost entirely wiped out by two of their own. 18-year-old Robert Bever and 16-year-old Michael Bever allegedly stabbed and killed almost everyone in their immediate family. The fatalities were their father, 52-year-old David Bever, their mother, 44-year-old April Bever, brothers Daniel, 12 and Christopher 7, and their sister, 5-year-old Victoria. Daniel’s death was especially tragic as he was able to call 911 to tell police that his brothers were killing his family before he died. Surviving the attack was 13-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and 2-year-old Autumn who was unharmed.
Recently the alleged motive for the killings have been made public. According to reports the brothers wanted to be more famous than the Columbine killers and that the murder of their family was only the beginning part of their plan. Police even said that Robert Bever confessed but showed no remorse. Micheal Bevers has been charged as an adult. As far as the elder brother is concerned Oklahoma does have the death penalty and have executed someone as recent as this past January.
I thought about not doing this story because I didn’t want to give them the fame they were looking for but you can’t talk about family annihilators without talking about the family itself and the Tumblr fangirl brigade already have their shrines dedicated to the brothers. I’d be shocked if these two cowardly assclowns weren’t columbiners on Tumblr. They certainly were cowards like their scumbag heroes, Harris and Klebold. Unfortunately they’re not the first mutants to kill their family. In 2005 Richard Edgar Henderson Jr. of Bradenton, Florida, bludgeoned his family to death with a pipe. He had been arrested in 2001 for plotting an attack against his high school.
Speaking of Tumblr I wonder what excuse will be given for this mass murder. It will probably be the blanket ‘mental illness’ excuse which again further stigmatizes people with true mental illness. Or maybe we’ll hear how they were bullied by their family including a 5-year-old girl. What will probably happen is that when it comes down to it they’ll start blaming each other.
Here’s the thing about ‘fame’, outside of a handful of maladjusted individuals on whatever website the special snowflakes of the world congregate, you two will be forgotten once your sentenced. After the hoopla and ballyhoo fades to most of the world you’ll just be a number assigned by the Department of Corrections.
UPDATE 10/6/2015: The attorney for the younger brother is challenging the constitutionality of his client being charged as an adult. In the juvenile crime stories I’ve posted in the past this tactic has been tried but to my recollection ahs never been successful.
53-year-old Kent Storrer of Twin Falls, Idaho, was shot and killed while he and his son-in-law were trying to sell his son-in-law’s car on craigslist. Police say that 22-year-old Jerry Burton Kimball and 20-year-old Jacob Lyn Marshall responded to the ad and took the car for a test drive. After the drive Marshall allegedly shot both men and he and Kimball then took off with the car. Mr. Storrer succumbed to his injuries while his son-in-law, 32-year-old Jasper Qualls, survived. Marshall was arrested after a police chase where he is said to have rammed a police cruiser with the stolen car while Kimball later turned himself in.
Sadly this is not the first major craigslist related crime to happen in Twin Falls. Back in 2012, Justin Crawford tried to have his wife raped multiple times through craigslist. He posed as his wife of the classifieds site and claimed to be into rape fantasies.
So just because you live in a small town or rural America don’t think craigslist is safe by any means.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Storrer.
UPDATE 6/11/2016:Marshall has pleaded guilty in order to avoid the death penalty and is looking at life with the possibility of parole in 70 years.
Recently in Auburn, Massachusetts, a sex party in a Holiday Inn room was broken up by police. The party was said to have been facilitated on both craigslist and Backpage. Some of that facilitation must have been prostitution since the alleged party organizers, Jon A. Lowell, 45, and Courtney C. Nicholopoulos, 39, have both been charged with deriving money from prostitution.
In a statement from earlier this month, Healey said, ““As we have seen through our office’s work, Backpage.com and the internet have become increasingly popular vehicles for commercial sexual exploitation. In fact, most of the human trafficking cases that our office has prosecuted specifically involve advertisements on Backpage. It is clear that Backpage must do more to end the kind of exploitation that is advertised every day on its site. Today, I am calling on Backpage to immediately shut down the ‘adult’ section of its website – a long overdue step that I urge them to take now.”
While Backpage is on its financial knees we need more politicians to keep pounding away at them until they submit. So far Backpage has been an evil that has triumphed because too many good people have done nothing.
When I posted about former owner of MyRedbook, Eric Omuro, being prosecuted and convicted of facilitating prostitution one of the reactions I received was that MyRedbook was ‘different’ and that no children were being trafficked on the site.
I can already hear you saying “But Trench, this is only one instance of child prostitution on MyRedbook”. To that I say MyRedbook had a much smaller userbase than a site like Backpage. Not only that but usually where there’s one instance of a crime going on there’s more that is either not caught or we don’t hear about.
Thankfully this avenue for trafficking women and children has been closed and hopefully another and more major closing will be happening soon.
I believe that Backpage is arguing that since Sheriff Dart used official county letterhead that this can be seen as censorship. Let’s see what other lovely things Backpage had to say…
On Thursday, Backpage.com lawyer Robert Corn-Revere told Tharp, “Let’s not confuse escort ads with prostitution ads.”
That’s like saying let’s not confuse an assassin with a hitman. Escort ads are just barely veiled ads for prostitution.
Lawyers for Backpage.com are calling the judge’s order “an important reaffirmation of the critical role of the Internet in free speech and the continued evolution of e-commerce.”
I didn’t know that being ‘allegedly’ complicit in the sexual slavery of women and children was the ‘evolution of e-commerce’.
As far as I can tell what the restraining order doesn’t do is force the credit card companies to start accepting Backpage payments again. Isn’t it their constitutional right to choose whomever they see fit to do business with? Also, as I’ve asked before, why does Backpage’s first amendment rights trump the thirteenth amendment rights of the people being trafficked on their website?
I still think we’re seeing the death throes of Backpage however I wouldn’t be surprised if the company survived this like the cockroaches they are.
Sue Klebold, the mother of Columbine coward Dylan Klebold, is set to have an interview with Diane Sawyer aired om ABC in February of 2016. The date of the airing is set to coincide with the release of her book which I first wrote about here. The book is entitled “A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy.” All proceeds from the book will go to charity and mental health research.
I’ve said all I wanted to say about the book in my previous post however it seems that the interview is already being set up as an excuse fest with this quote from ABC…
Journals kept by Klebold, who was reportedly in a program for highly intellectual students and was his father’s chess partner, revealed that he had grown increasingly shy in his teenage years. He was bullied and had turned inward to journals.
I guess we have to go through this at least one more time. There is no evidence to indicate that Klebold or his scumbag buddy Eric Harris were ever bullied. Conversely there is plenty of evidence that they were the bullies themselves.
Too many news shows these days try to portray criminals as victims or falsely accused and a number of gullible viewers believe whatever is spouted from the mouths of talking heads which in turn is helping to lead to a society where no one is held responsible for their actions. As having said before that she has nothing to apologize for, Sue Klebold will be their champion.
After his arrest for the movie theater murders in Aurora, Colorado, a number of James Holmes fangirls showed up on the internet, mostly Tumblr, because…well…it’s Tumblr. Having dealt with a murder groupie or two in my time I wrote about the self-proclaimed ‘Holmies’ here.
With his recent conviction this article from Slate by Amanda Hess revisits with the Holmies to see if their attitude has changed towards their mass-murdering heartthrob. Surprisingly it has but not necessarily for the better. A number of them now see him as some sort of martyr for mental illness in this country. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety on a daily basis let me make it clear that in no way, shape or form should this assclown be used as the poster boy for mental illnesses. To do so would be wrong for a number of different reasons.
First to portray him as some sort of sympathetic figure is akin to excusing him for the brutal murders of 12 innocent people. Secondly, there’s enough of a stigma against mental illnesses already that this would make people think that anyone with even the slightest psychological defect is a potential mass murderer. Lastly and most importantly it would further discourage people suffering from a mental illness from seeking treatment lest they be thought a danger to those around them.
If you want to make anyone the spokesperson for mental illness and treatment make it the person who suffers in silence since no one around them can understand how they’re feeling and who receive advice like “Have you tried not being depressed?” by people who don’t know any better.
In response to the major credit card companies cutting all ties with Backpage, they have filed a lawsuit against Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Tom Dart. The suit asks for damages for the revenue they’ve lost from their ‘adult service’ ads.
Let’s hear from Backpage’s legal team including head legal weasel Liz McDougall…
“Sheriff Dart’s actions to cripple Backpage.com and all speech through the site are an especially pernicious form of prior restraint,” the suit said. “He has achieved his purpose through false accusations, innuendo, and coercion.”
Liz McDougall, general council to Backpage.com LLC, said, “Our goal is to ensure that one elected official, particularly a county sheriff, cannot dictate what speech is or is not appropriate.”
I love how Backpage and McDougall act like they’re the only ones entitled to rights. Sheriff Dart has the right to ask the credit card companies to assist on ending online sex trafficking. The credit card companies have every right not to do business with whomever they want. None of which is a violation of Backpage’s right to free speech. I also find it ironic that Backpage is accusing anyone of coercion since so many of the girls and women that have been advertised on their site have been coerced, a lot off times violently, into sexual slavery.
This is an act of desperation from a company that’s sinking fast. Hopefully they won’t be able to stay afloat much longer.
Last year Elytte Barbour and his wife Miranda pleaded guilty to the murder of Troy LaFerrara in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and were both sentenced to life without parole. The husband and wife pair lured LaFerrara to his death by posing as a prostitute on craigslist. Once they got LaFerrara into their vehicle Miranda Barbour stabbed him while Elytte restrained LaFerrara by his throat.
Elytte Barbour is now asking for a retrial stating that his counsel was ineffective. He claims that there was evidence that he was insane at the time of the murder and that his attorney only urged him to take the guilty plea of second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty. Not surprisingly Barbour is representing himself.
Personally I’d like to see him get a new trial. I could use the laugh since he’s representing himself and if he went back to trial he’s probably be convicted on first-degree murder which would make him eligible for the death penalty.
UPDATE 9/14/2015:Here is a more current article about Elytte Barbour wanting to withdraw his plea. Apparently he is no longer representing himself as he now has a new attorney.