Saturday, 22 August 2015

Richard Farley - Rejected Man Who Turned To Slaughter

There are innumerous stories of men and women who react explosively to the rejection of a perceived lover.  For some reason, they take it to the extreme; stalking, threats, violence and then finally, murder.  It is hard for individuals to accept that you cannot make somebody like you.  Something in their psyche tells them they can.  Richard Farley was such a man.  His descent into obsession began in 1984, when he was employed at Electromagnetic Systems Labs in California.  An attractive woman named Laura Black was working there also.  Farley tried to acquire her affections but she was not interested in the 36 year old.  He could not accept it.  He began stalking her, he used to wait outside her home and was sending Laura threatening letters.  This campaign of harassment carried on for two years.  Then his stalking took a very sinister turn; he threatened to kill her if she would not date him.

    Farley had managed to get his hands on her set of keys, and had copies made of them all.  Then he left the duplicates in her car, letting her know that he now had access to her home.  Farley was dismissed from his job for this but it still did not stop him.  Laura moved house a number of times, repeatedly changed her home phone number, but she still could not shake off this obsessive man.  Finally, she had to resort to getting a restraining order against him, but we all know these papers are only fit for the bathroom.  Farley had an extensive collection of guns (No surprises there!) and in February 1988, his anger boiled over.  He took some of his legally held arsenal into ESL and began firing at random.  He cold bloodedly murdered seven people but he did not manage to kill the target of his rage; Laura.  She escaped his rampage with a shoulder wound.  We have seen in other mass shootings, Hungerford, Dunblane, Columbine, Virginia Tech, that once their "mission" is ended, they usually put one in their own heads.  Farley did not.  He surrendered to the Police, but he received a just sentence; death.  Will he be missed?  I doubt it.