Friday, 15 March 2013

The Murder of Jessica Carpenter

Jessica Carpenter was a young, conscientious teenager who was brutally attacked in her home, raped and then savagely murdered.  This happened in the town of Aiken in South Carolina.  The Police launched a massive manhunt and some very good looking suspects were interviewed, polygraphed but ultimately released.  It seemed that the case would go cold and despite DNA evidence, there was no match on any of the databases, and so it became a matter of waiting for a match.  Eventually, after a long period of time, a match came up to a man called Robert Atkins, who was in jail at the time.

   A detective went to the jail and after a lengthy interview lasting several hours, he confessed.  Atkins was working as a delivery man for a courier firm and had delivered a parcel to the Carpenter household.  Jessica was at home on her own at the time, and Atkins decided that he was going to repay the house another visit, as he wanted the young girl.  When he went back, she was on her own.  He made a pretence of needing to use the telephone, and as he had been there days before, she recognised him and thought nothing of it.  Once in, he attacked her, raping her and then killing her.  Incredibly, the police discovered that he had delivered a parcel to the station just after the murder was committed, and was calm as anything.  Atkins pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.  Mitigating circumstances were put forward as to what drove him to commit such a heinous crime.  He had reputedly been raped and beaten by his own father and was regularly abused throughout his childhood.  His lawyer said to the judge, "Like father, like son!"

    Sorry, but I do not buy all these accusations that child abuse turns people into murderers and serial killers.  Many people have suffered the most appalling physical and sexual abuse as children, yet, why does this NOT turn them into monsters?  Whatever you do is a conscious decision.  Atkins chose to do what he did, he was not driven to it.