December 26, 2012

"I still have to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best: killing people."

Wrote William Spengler Jr., 62, after ambushing and killing 2 firefighters who arrived at a fire he set.
“There was no motive in the note. There were some ramblings in there,” [said Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering].

“It spoke mainly that he intended to burn his neighborhood down and kill as many people as possible.”
Spengler committed suicide.

50 comments:

ricpic said...

Bad to the bone.

edutcher said...

The operative sentence in gun-free NY, "Spengler, who served 17 years in prison for murdering his grandmother in 1980, was legally barred from owning weapons, and cops want to find out where his guns came from".

The report makes much of his AR-15, but he might as well have been using a Pennsylvania Long Rifle for all the damage he did.

EMD said...

An armed firefighter in every station!

Pogo said...

This would have been prevented by the death penalty for his first murder.

Tank said...

Spengler was convicted of beating his own grandma to death with a hammer.

Why would he ever be released into society again? Ever?

See Pogo above.

This crime was 100% preventable.

TSE said...

Spengler used a gun.

Lizzy Borden preferred a hatchet.

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks,
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

phx said...

Don't be ridiculous. You can't give everyone who is convicted of manslaughter life in prison with no parole.

SteveR said...

So this guy murdered his grandmother and gets out to commit another crime, obtaining a gun, and then kills again. So what new laws do we need?

jr565 said...

We need to ban hammers!

Tank said...

phx said...
Don't be ridiculous. You can't give everyone who is convicted of manslaughter life in prison with no parole.


He beat his grandmother to death with a hammer.

People who think like you are responsible for this murder.

Simon Kenton said...

EMD, in our department several are always armed, as is basically the whole district. We teach our rookies what the sound of ammo and components is when they cook off in a garage blaze so it won't alarm them.

Paco Wové said...

Seems like beating an old woman to death with a hammer would get you more than a manslaughter charge. "Totally an accident, officer!"

phx said...

He beat his grandmother to death with a hammer.

People who think like you are responsible for this murder.


Tank now you are over the top. I believe he was convicted of manslaughter and I don't know other details of the case (do you?). But although IANAL I know a manslaughter conviction for a crime like that CAN mean that there were extenuating circumstances.

Maybe he should have been given life in prison but we need to know more than just "he killed his grandmother with a hammer" before we can say - at least I do. If you want to rush to incomplete and unsound judgments without knowing the facts fine.

Just don't tell me you believe in the "conservatives are thinking, libs are feeling" meme b/c if you don't know any more about his crime than I do and you argue for life in prison, you are being emotional and not rational.

SteveR said...

phx, he was charged with murder but pleaded to manslaughter to spare his family the trauma of a trial. So for the convenience of the process, he gets out after 17 years. By all means don't be ridiculous.

Paco Wové said...

"People who think like you are responsible for this murder."

Tank, that's a stupid thing to say.

The murderer is responsible for his murders.

William said...

As insane gestures go, this is passably evil, but it doesn't compare with that school shooting. With the exception of 9/11, the Newton massacre is the most mind numbing crime in my lifetime.....In every field of human endeavour, people try to top their predecessors. I wonder if that holds true for insane spree killers. I hope not, but it's a thought.

Paco Wové said...

"to spare his family the trauma of a trial"

Well, that strategy backfired.

EMD said...

EMD, in our department several are always armed, as is basically the whole district. We teach our rookies what the sound of ammo and components is when they cook off in a garage blaze so it won't alarm them.

That's good.

McTriumph said...

The prosecutors let Spengler plead guilty to manslaughter in killing his grandmother to avoid an embarrassing murder trial for his family. Is his family related to the Kennedys or just politically connected democrats.

McTriumph said...

BONUS!
The prosecutors on the original case are now law professors.

Hagar said...

There is a comment on some other thread by a guy who wanted to get a license for a M1911 in NY describing the troubles he went through and the abuse he accepted from the City of NY in the process.
He said the guy at the window next to him suddenly stood up, announced he was not going to put up with this chickenshit no more, and he was just going out to buy himself a gun on the street.

The guy himself stuck with it, just to see how bad it it would get, got his license and bought his M1911 legally for about $900.

He also then let it be known on the street that he was in the market for a gun, and soon had a good quality AK-47, no questions asked for $300.

machine said...

If only there was some organization that worked hard every day to make certain there were plenty of weapons available in this country so he could make his dreams come true...legally obtained or not....and a national political party that was more terrified of this organization than it was of the men who might use such weapons....we must have such liberty!

Paco Wové said...

Yes, machine. The ready availability of hammers in this country is a shame and scandal.

SteveR said...

Well, that strategy backfired

Hindsight is 20/20.

MadisonMan said...

The law didn't work. We plainly need more laws.

Hagar said...

@machine,

As indicated in my post above there are a number of such organizations in this country that will be happy to oblige if you are in the market for a gun.

However, the NRA is not one of them.

Tank said...

We've talked about identifying people who are evil / crazy and need to be isolated from society.

If beating up grandma with a hammer does not qualify, what will? There's nothing emotional about this, and I did not guess about the facts.

phx said...

I did not guess about the facts.

Nah, you didn't guess about facts. But from what I can tell, you wilfully don't want to know about the facts before making up your mind.

Tank said...

phx

Can't figure out what you're getting at. I read the facts on the front page of my newspaper this morning.

Tank said...

Question for phx

Do you think that a man who murdered his grandma by beating her with a hammer should be free to live in general society?

Would you want him living next to you and you family?

Phil said...

phx, just for fun, how about you spitball a scenario for us in which a man beats his grandmother to death with a hammer, and you accept that it's a case of manslaughter instead of murder? My own imagination isn't quite vivid enough to come up with one.

phx said...

phx, just for fun, how about you spitball a scenario for us in which a man beats his grandmother to death with a hammer, and you accept that it's a case of manslaughter instead of murder?

Just for fun, how about a brain tumor or other medical condition? Or a response to medications?

I don't know any of that. I'm only saying the rational thing to do in such instances before making your decision is to get the facts.

Then hang him.

phx said...

For information regarding the specific case why Spengler was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder one ask the Wayne County District Attorneys office.

phx said...

Do you think that a man who murdered his grandma by beating her with a hammer should be free to live in general society?

Do you mean "eventually should be free to live etc."? I have to know what the facts are before answering that.

Tank said...

Eventually he was let out and we know how that worked out.

phx said...

Eventually he was let out and we know how that worked out.

So by working backwards from this case we should say "Anyone convicted of manslaughter should be given life without parole or the death penalty"?

Is that reasonable?

Gahrie said...

So by working backwards from this case we should say "Anyone convicted of manslaughter should be given life without parole or the death penalty"?

How about we start with:

"People who beat other people to death with a hammer should not be allowed to plea bargain down from murder to manslaughter for any reason?"

If there are any mitigating circumstances, allow the jury to evaluate them.

Phil said...

Brain tumor or meds wouldn't result in a manslaughter charge, they'd result in a non compos mentis verdict of not guilty and involuntary commitment to an institution until such time as the perp was shown to be capable of rejoining society. Fail.

phx said...

Brain tumor or meds wouldn't result in a manslaughter charge, they'd result in a non compos mentis verdict of not guilty and involuntary commitment to an institution until such time as the perp was shown to be capable of rejoining society. Fail.

Are you a lawyer? I'm not. But I'll bet if a defendent had some evidence of medical problems that could have resulted in murdering his grandmother but the DA wasn't buying it they MIGHT offer him a plea of manslaughter.

Fail on your part.

Bob said...

For those not in the know Spengler served only two thirds of his sentance. We're talking New York State. When the parole board transcripts come out note the "surprise" that this occurred. His sister reported several times that he promised to kill her. Yes, the problem is not enough gun laws and 30 round magazines.

Phil said...

That's not the question I posed. I can also imagine scenarios where the DA accpepts a guilty plea to a lesser charge because he doesn't have a strong enough case. I asked what YOU would agree was manslaughter. The answers you gave were both illustrations of not guilty due to diminished mental capacity.

Bob said...

phx, there were no medical issues in the case. Only the "Monroe County soft on crime" issue. Its well know in NYS that once you get inside the six major cities the DAs go soft on crime. While Spengler's crimes are technically in Wayne, they fell outside Monroe by a couple of hundred yards. The DA at the time thought he "could be rehabilitated" because of his age so he did the plea. It also saved the family having some of the other nasty facts surfaced. If it had been in Seneca or Ontario county Spengler wouldn't have seen the other side of the prison wall.

Mick Havoc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mick Havoc said...

I was a cop for 28 years. I understand why some people don't like us. That is why we are armed.

But killing FIREFIGHTERS? I worked with them on the street and was an instructor for 5 years at the Police/Fire Academy. You will not find a more compassionate, unselfish and brave group of people.

This guy was a special kind of twisted. I hope Satan has him sodomized with a red-hot poker for eternity.

Time for a national debate about judge control.

Crunchy Frog said...

About 10-15 years ago some of the local LA gangs decided it would be good sport to make fake 911 calls and the proceed to shoot the first responders when they showed up. Now all 911 calls result in at least one cop car on the scene.

Sounds like NY should do the same.

phx said...

@Bob thanks for pointing that out. Just to be clear I wasn't defending this particular a*#hole. I was pointing out that it's foolish to have a one-size fits all sentencing guideline, i.e. life w/o parole or capital punishment, for someone convicted of manslaughter.

machine said...

Liberty!

Methadras said...

William said...

As insane gestures go, this is passably evil, but it doesn't compare with that school shooting. With the exception of 9/11, the Newton massacre is the most mind numbing crime in my lifetime.....In every field of human endeavour, people try to top their predecessors. I wonder if that holds true for insane spree killers. I hope not, but it's a thought.


Oh, I don't know, maybe the D.C. Sniper case was a close second. Oh, how quickly we forget.

Alex said...

Leftists are murderers.

Hagar said...

William & Methadras

Both of you guys forgotten Anders Breivik already?