Common Sense: Murderers becoming increasingly malevolent
By Justine Panieri February 12, 2013 7:38PM
Adam M. Landerman (clockwise, from top left), Alisa R. Massaro, Joshua F. Miner and Bethany L. McKee | Supplied photos
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:03AM
The new year wasn’t even two weeks old, when the murders of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins rocked Joliet to its core
It isn’t that murder is uncommon in our fair county — many have been killed over the past several years — but the horrific nature of this crime incites a primal fear.
How do apparently normal human beings morph into predators? Why are so many people murdering each other? Isn’t there another way to settle differences?
What might have possessed the four accused murderers into allegedly luring their so-called friends to a home where they would later be killed? And how and why did the situation get out of hand?
I studied the mug shots of the killers in the Sunday, Jan. 13 Herald-News. The expressions on the faces of the accused haunted me for days. Looking at the mug shots, there was no way I could comprehend the enormity of the charges.
The photos of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins reveal young men in their prime. Unlike the perpetrators, the victims appeared strong, healthy, clear-eyed and intelligent.
Glover was a football player and wrestler. Wrestlers are trained to break a stranglehold, right? How could someone so young and strong be overpowered? It’s a mystery, and terrifying to contemplate.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, yet another Will County woman — Diane Nichols — allegedly was murdered by her husband. Police reconstructing the crime speculated that Jerry Nichols beat his wife with a blunt object before backing over her with his car. An EMT at the scene, said he had witnessed Nichols “stomping” his wife’s head.
What strikes me about these murders is their malevolence. There’s something vile and disturbing about human beings tearing into their victims like a pack of jackals, then playing video games while the bodies cool.
There is something even more alarming about a man — who made a vow to love and honor his wife — not only hitting her with his car, but stomping her while she lay dead or dying. What could anyone say or do to incite such viciousness?
Is it me, or does it seem as if there are far too many Will County women murdered by their husbands, or who mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again? It seems to me the wheels of justice turn far too slowly.
Murder has always been far too prevalent in our county, and indeed, all over the country. But lately, murderers seem casual and totally unmoved by the horror of their deeds. They kill someone and try to happily get on with their lives, showing no apparent guilt.
After Drew Peterson (with his smirk) and Christopher Vaughn (with his vacant stare), were finally put behind bars, I had hoped such callous killings would stop. They have not, and that does not bode well for the future.
Email Justine Panieri at firstname.lastname@example.org.