Patterico's Pontifications

2/3/2008

“Law and Order” in Texas

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 3:08 pm



[guest post by DRJ]

Last week, I saw the rebroadcast of a 1999 episode of Law and Order entitled Disciple where a “rebellious child dies during an unsanctioned exorcism ceremony” in which the “defendant claims that St. Michael instructed her to perform it.”

Apparently life does imitate art:

“A 60-year-old West Odessa man charged with killing his wife told deputies he was attempting to remove a demon from her when she died.

Jan David Clark told investigators he was holding Susan Kay Clark’s face down on their carpeted master bathroom floor in their 3547 Ferguson Street home when she died, according to a probable cause statement. When authorities arrived at the residence, they found the woman’s body wrapped in a bed sheet. A cross and a sword had been placed atop the body. Clark also told deputies that the demon entered his body while he was holding her down and caused him to kill his wife.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Duesler said the sheriff’s office went to the home about 4:30 a.m. Friday after being told that Clark had called a friend and said his wife was dead. Clark gave the investigators permission to enter the home when they arrived at the modest tan house. While it’s uncertain exactly when Susan Clark, 59, was killed, investigators believe the death occurred sometime after 11 p.m. Thursday.

Clark was charged with murder on Friday. “

As I recall, the defendant in “Disciple” was found guilty. If so, I suspect life will imitate art in that respect, too.

— DRJ

14 Responses to ““Law and Order” in Texas”

  1. I know someone will state the obvious: Why didn’t you title this “The Devil made him do it”? The answer is equally obvious: Because I didn’t want to.

    Now go watch the Super Bowl and if you aren’t a football, Patriots or Giants fan, watch the commercials.

    DRJ (517d26)

  2. Hell of a thing.

    As for the Super Bowl, we only have one TV in the house and my girls are using it for one of those things where you connect it to a keyboard to help you learn piano.

    nk (12118a)

  3. Are you saying you need a live-blog on the Super Bowl?

    DRJ (517d26)

  4. Now who could possibly be so kind?

    nk (12118a)

  5. It doesn’t really say the cause of death. However, restraining people, especially children, can be extremely dangerous. There was a Romanian priest that was recently sentenced for killing a young nun during an exorcism. The poor young woman had a history of schizophrenia.

    tired (6ae407)

  6. I’m not really the sportscaster in the family, NK, but I’ll do my best:

    The Giants took an early 3-0 lead but the Patriots came back to score a touchdown (short run up the middle) following a 43-yard return and an interference play in the end zone. So the score stands 7-3 at the beginning of the second quarter.

    DRJ (517d26)

  7. Wow, NK. You just missed an incredible “Hail, Mary”-type pass from Eli Manning to get the Giants inside the Red Zone. The Patriots brought a blitz but the Giants line held and he completed the pass to Toomer, who somehow managed to keep his toes in bounds.

    I didn’t realize this but the Giants lead the league in delay penalties and dropped passes. And they are showing it today.

    DRJ (517d26)

  8. Patriots intercepted to stop the Giants’ drive. It was tipped off the receiver.

    DRJ (517d26)

  9. I’ll move this to a new post. It doesn’t make much sense to talk Super Bowl on this thread.

    DRJ (517d26)

  10. Don’t forget the autistic boy in Indiana (IIRC) who died from an attempt to exorcise him by members of his family’s church last year.

    kishnevi (806949)

  11. It would be interesting to get statistics on the percentage of people injured during exorcisms vs. the number injured during treatment by professional psychiatrists. You would have to correct for experience levels to make the comparison meaningful.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  12. The devil you say, doc.

    nk (12118a)

  13. Two things came to mind as I read this report:

    Thing 1: In 1977, the late high-profile say-anything defense attorney Ellis Rubin defended then-15-year-old Florida resident (and Costa Rican illegal immigrant, FWIW) Ronny Zamora.

    From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 1, 2004:


    Rubin claimed the teenager couldn’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy because of his obsession with the television show Kojak.

    Jurors convicted Zamora and a 14-year-old friend, Darrell Agrella, of murdering and robbing Elinor Haggart, 83, and then using the woman’s 1972 Buick to go on a trip to Disney World.

    Zamora appealed his conviction, charging that Rubin made a mockery of his defense and was only interested in self-promoting publicity. But an Atlanta federal appeals court upheld the verdict.

    Zamora’s friend pleaded no contest to second-degree murder, robbery and burglary. He was paroled at age 23 in 1986 — after serving seven years out of three life terms — when a state psychiatrist found he posed little risk to society.

    On May 12, the parole commission voted to release Zamora.

    Today, Rubin stands by his “television intoxication” defense.

    “I regret the defense didn’t work,” Rubin said. “If I was allowed to introduce that today, there would have been a different result.”

    Thing 2: This song by Golden Earring (“Radar Love,” “Twilight Zone,” etc.) from 1982.

    Chorus: The devil made me do it, oh, oh, oh,oh
    It was an act of a man possessed, now
    The devil made me do it , oh, oh, oh, oh
    Your honor, I am innocent

    Video here.

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  14. why didnt just take her to a exorcist instead of doing that?

    krazy kagu (0c7fb2)


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