This is worthy of a Sherlock Holmes story.

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Incredible story (and long) but I think I've read it before. It's strange to me how people think murder will work. You murder for money, so you find a middle aged man without family and connections, then you lure him to some place an . . . . . . . . . . .

Wait a minute! Does it sound like this person will have money? Did you even make it through grade school? Are you a moron?

He murdered to steal these other men's identity.  That's part of what reminds me of a Sherlock Holmes story.  And it has a lot of literary quality. 

He was sentenced only last April, so you didn't hear it a long time ago.  Beasley was sentenced to death. 
The Atlantic also had an interview with his teenage accomplice, who was sentenced to life without parole.

It's so sad reading the interview.  You really get a feeling for what it was like to be that teenager. Life w/o parole for that teenager, seems so unjust.  He was only 16, and Beasley threatened after the first murder, to murder his mother and (?) sister if he said anything.  He describes very well how terrified he was.  And Beasley was a father-figure for him before all this happened. 

It's a gruesome story that turns to heartbreak, especially when they detail the story of Timothy Kerns. His relationship with his sons is of a man holding his life together with threads. It's a story that has something we should all learn from.

One point however regarding the 16 year old accomplice. As I read the story, he only imagined his mom and sister might be harmed by Beasley. I may have missed it but he was never actually threatened by Beasley, nor were his relatives threatened.

I'm kind of on the edge with respect to his prison sentence. On the one hand, he was only 16. On the other, murder isn't something you just kind of go along with, even at that age. I'd probably have given him a long prison sentence but then again, it might do more harm than good. He didn't really strike me as a terrible risk to society, given that he didn't hurt anyone personally. He might just be one terribly mistake away from being a decent member of society. Tragic.

The teenager says in the interview,

After Mr. Geiger was murdered, Beasley told me he would murder my mother and sister if I told anyone about it. He never mentioned my father specifically, but I assumed he would kill him as well, especially after a surprise visit Beasley paid my father and me at home, which left me white as a sheet.

He also had an extremely harsh childhood, and Beasley acted as a kind of lifeline. Which is probably part of what made it so difficult for him. 

I can so much see how a kid - he was only 16 - would be completely blown away by being in those circumstances.  Sending him to jail just seems wrong. 

I did miss that. I read the article when you first posted the link and only recalled the other section where the threat seemed to only be imagined. My mistake.

That anyone would witness a murder and not do ANYTHING is a line I don't think we can tolerate as a society. I do sympathize with his position but sometimes you've just got to say or do something to stop further mayhem. It's a topic for a different thread but I've always been bothered by the whole bias we have against snitches. The only thing that keeps some people in line is the threat of being caught.

Too bad he didn't feel close enough to his father to talk to him about it.

He was a traumatized kid though.  It doesn't seem like he didn't go to the police out of anti-snitching feelings.  More like terror and emotional bonding.  Once he'd seen the first murder, he would feel afraid he'd been incriminated himself and that he would be prosecuted.  It's easy to see how he was gradually drawn in and made more complicit.  

As well as being in quite genuine fear for himself and his relatives. 

If it were me - having lived for more than 5 decades - and if I had the money, which this kid probably didn't either, the theoretical Right Thing to do would be to hire a lawyer to try to ensure protection from Beasley after talking to the police.  I wouldn't feel I could trust the police to adequately protect me from him.  Probably often they don't protect people in that situation.

And of course, a criminal defense attorney to ensure I wasn't prosecuted after telling the police about it. 

But when I was 16, there is no way I would have known how to handle it. 

It's too much to blame this kid for it, he was a victim too. 

 

the story of Timothy Kerns. His relationship with his sons is of a man holding his life together with threads. It's a story that has something we should all learn from.

Yes, that also got to me - these middle-aged white men who were vulnerable, having a hard time in their lives, and preyed upon.  It's not the stereotype.

The teenager's story also reminds me of abusive relationships, which often start out better than normal relationships, like finally having arrived in the emotional Promised Land.  Then, once one is bonded to the abuser, the betrayal starts, and the using of the bond - as Beasley did. 

Brogan said he thought of Beasley as Santa Claus literally, and that Beasley helped him a lot.  Then, Beasley started doing things that were out of normal experience, like murdering people.  It was like Beasley went at him with an emotional wrecking bar. 

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