Saturday, July 29, 2006

Not Only Did He Like Them Cute, He Liked Them Young

Looks like another victim of William Richard Bradford may have been identified.  The family of a 14-year-old girl found raped and strangled in 1979 have come forward after recognizing her picture in the mass of photographs released by the LA Sheriff's Department earlier this week.

That brings to three the number of new homicides that Sheriff's detectives believe are victims of Bradford.  If they're right, that brings the number of his victims to eight.

The article goes into some pretty graphic detail, and I really don't see the need to repeat it here.  Suffice to say that this man is a monster, and I don't think anyone's going to be sorry to see him die.  I just don't think that he can die soon enough or painful enough. 

And for the record, yes, I'm a big fan of the death penalty.  I just think it takes too long.  I don't think it would be too extreme with this guy to do what he did to his victims.  Failing that, kneecapping the sonofabitch with a 12-gauge and then feeding his intestines to coyotes while he's still using them would be a close second.

Have fun in hell, Bradford.  Hope you get there soon.


Richard said...

I've heard that at any one time in the U.S. there are about 25-30 serial killers still on the loose. Seems like we need more skilled detectives to catch these murderers.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

It wouldn't surprise me if those numbers were actually kind of low. Given how the population density in Urban areas has increased, it's easier and easier for these people to hide. Especially if they're targeting more marginalized people. Prostitutes, for example.

I think the problem is actualy less one of skill, though obviously there is that, and more of funding.

Check outo the Crime Lab Project. Though Congress passed a bill years ago to send federal dollars to forensic labs throughout the country, only a tiny fraction of that money has actually found its way to crime labs.

The labs are doing the best that they can with limited budgets and resources. It's remarkable to me, for example, that the LAPD has only begun sifting through its cold case files in earnest for the past few years.

They've got over a 9000 case backlog dating back to the sixties. The LA Sheriff is in even worse shape.

A lot of their funding comes from the incorporated cities that they contract out to for law enforcement. Places like Compton are a PR nightmare that is forcing more and more deputies into the area, even though they can't afford the price tag.

Then, of course, you have the problem where a Los Angeles Sheriff makes substantially less than an equivalent LAPD officer. And the LAPD is having trouble attracting new recruits.

Ultimately, it all comes down to money.

David Terrenoire said...

For the record, I am not a fan of the death penalty, only because prosecutors and cops can be wrong or dishonest or both and the wrong guy's convicted far too often.

But with this guy? Tell me where and when and I'll throw the switch myself. No problem.

I'll sleep good that night, too.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Absolutely right, David. Wrong and dishonest has taken down far more honest men than I.

And we'll be seeing a lot of that sort of thing as collection of DNA evidence and testing becomes cheaper and more mainstream. How many innocents are in prison or on death row who shouldn't be? Far, far too many, I think.

Of course, if we got rid of laws criminalizing some of the high resource, low yield crimes that lead to larger crimes like mass murders (war on drugs, anybody?), the number of people in jails and under investigation in the first place would be much lower, allowing law enforcement to focus on the more serious crimes, hopefully getting it right more often.

I kind of doubt that would solve the problem as there tends to be pressure to catch the crook quickly and to grab the most obvious, not necessarily the right, suspect. It's sort of built into the cop mentality.

And, of course, that does nothing for the dishonesty problem.

The death penalty is something that should be used very carefully and with great deliberation.

That said, some people just need killin'.