Darren Dee O’Neall – Sexual Predator And Serial Killer

darren_o'neallFull Name: Darren Dee O’Neall
Date of Birth: Born February 26, 1960 in Albuquerque, NM
Characteristics & Traits: Pathological liar, thief, dead beat father, drifter, sociopath, rapist, murderer
Number of victims: Six (known victims)
Location of Murders: Washington – Oregon – Idaho – Utah – USA
Date of murders: Threw out 1987
Date of arrest: September 22, 1987
Age at time of arrest: 27
Method of Murder: Stabbing with knife / Hitting with a hammer
Motive of Murder: Sexual Predator

Darren O’Neall didn’t have a positive childhood which would mold him into the person he became. A psychopath.

O’Neall grew up a pathological liar and when he hit his teen years he became interested in watching and performing violent sex acts and taking part in illegal behavior. He had impregnated woman and left them to fend parenthood alone. A transient, he traveled the western United States reading the novels of his favorite author, Louis L’Amour, who would regularly write books about cowboys, Indians, gunslinger, outlaws, Texas Rangers and frontier marshals. O’Neall envisioned himself as the characters he read about and even assumed alias’ using their names.

As a teenager he would commit petty thefts and other illegal activity. He never had a proper home life to give him any balance and his behavior continued to grow more dark. As he grew older he started frequenting bars and pubs and remained a loner who went unnoticed among the public. In fact, aside from family and the few friendships he managed to have, it seemed the only people who knew about O’Neall were different Law Enforcement agencies throughout several states. Officers would describe him as a man who kept on his feet most likely in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the law.

Petty thefts would soon turn  to burglary and robbery, carjackings and then assaults, and in 1987 his crimes would turn fatal and ruin the lives of many families.

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Robin Pamela Smith, born in New Britain, CT, on April 4, 1965. On the night of March 28, 1987 when she was 22 years old, she left her home for a party with her new friend, “Herb Johnson”. Family and friends didn’t know much about her new male friend. They also didn’t think for a moment that she would never return home.

Photo of Robin Smith as a child (age 11)

On May 1, 1987, over one month after Robin vanished, police found her vehicle abandoned near Marysville, north of Seattle, WA. When they searched the trunk they found her bloody clothes and several of her teeth. She had been bludgeoned to death with a hammer. Police already feared the worst but after the gruesome discovery they were certain of her death and immediately started to investigate to determine a possible suspect. A check on the vehicles registration revealed it had been stolen two weeks prior in Nampa, Idaho.

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Photos of Robin’s bloodstained coat and bloody sock

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Photo of the stolen car where police found Robin’s teeth and bloody clothes

The owner of the vehicle was a trucker who recalled the thief in vivid detail. He described a young, blonde man with the word “JUNE” tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand. The trucker had picked him up and offered him a place to stay the night.

Apparently no deed goes unpunished and when the trucker woke up the following morning the unidentified man was gone and his vehicle had been stolen along with his licensed gun, a .357 magnum revolver.

The tattoo description gave authorities a clue which would eventually lead to the culprit. A culprit who was running from child support payments after abandoning his wife and child six years earlier. Sadly, by the time Robin wasn’t the first nor the last victim of the killers bloody rampage on woman.

Read Crime Library – Serial Killer Darren O’Neall for the full in-depth look into the life of Darren D. O’Neall, before, during and after his murder spree.

For shorter versions of this case, read Murdapedia – Darren D. O’Neall for a list of articles.

 

The Kidnapping of Stasta Groene,8 – The Murder Of Dylan Groene,10

Stasta, Above Left – Dylan, Above Right

On May 16, 2005, authorities discovered the bodies of Brenda Groene, 40; her boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, 37; and her son, Slade Groene, 13, in their home along Lake Coeur d’Alene, outside the city of Coeur d’Alene. Two of Brenda Groene’s other children, Dylan, 9, and Shasta, 8, were missing. An AMBER Alert was issued and searchers combed the area for the missing children while authorities investigated the deaths at the home as homicides.Autopsies determined the cause of death to be “blunt trauma to the head”; authorities also noted that the victims had been bound.

Seven weeks later, in the early morning hours of July 2, 2005, Shasta Groene was seen in a man’s custody at a Denny’s restaurant in Coeur d’Alene. A waitress, manager, and two customers at the restaurant recognized Shasta from the media attention and surreptitiously called police and positioned themselves to prevent Duncan from leaving.Police officers arrived at the restaurant and arrested the man, later identified as Duncan, without incident.[ Shasta Groene identified herself to a waitress at the restaurant and to authorities, and was taken to Kootenai Medical Center for medical treatment and to be reunited with her father. Coeur d’Alene police, meanwhile, detained Duncan on kidnapping charges and on his outstanding federal warrant

When Shasta Groene was found without Dylan, authorities held little hope of finding the boy alive. Police asked the public for tips, specifically with respect to sightings of the stolen red Jeep Cherokee with Missouri license plates that Duncan was driving at the time of his arrest.Authorities discovered that Duncan had rented the car in Minnesota and never returned it. A gas station employee in Kellogg, about 40 miles (64 km) east of Coeur d’Alene, recognized the vehicle as one that had stopped at her station hours before Duncan was arrested. The employee suspected the girl wandering around the station might have been Shasta, but did not confront her, as nothing appeared out of the ordinary. The employee and her manager notified authorities after reviewing surveillance camera footage and seeing Duncan and Shasta in the video.

Many tips provided to authorities centered around remote areas along the Idaho–Montana border. On July 4, 2005, investigators found human remains at a remote makeshift campsite in the Lolo National Forest near St. Regis, Montana.The remains were sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for DNA testing and were positively identified as Dylan Groene.

Shasta Groene’s interview

Much of what is known about the murders of the Groene family was revealed by Shasta Groene herself. According to Shasta Groene’s police interview, Duncan killed her mother, older brother and her mother’s fiance and then took her and her brother away in the red Jeep Cherokee.

Shasta told investigators her mother called her into the living room, from her bedroom where she had been sleeping, and she saw Duncan wearing black gloves and holding a gun. Her captor tied her mother’s hands with nylon zip ties, and did the same to her mother’s fiance and her brother Slade. Dylan and Shasta were removed from the house and placed inside the stolen rental car. While she waited with her brother, she heard her mother’s fiance scream out and then saw her injured older brother staggering away from the entrance to the home. Duncan then bludgeoned the three to death; neither Shasta nor Dylan witnessed the murders. Both Shasta and Dylan were removed to other locations, where they were repeatedly molested for six weeks. Joseph Duncan taunted the children and videotaped sessions for his own sick pleasure. He video-taped himself sexually assualting and then shooting Dylan in the Stomach and laughing as the little boy layed there dying. Stasta said that they drove a long distance and stayed in two different campsites, Duncan told her of having beaten her family members to death with a hammer. Dylan’s remains were found in a remote, woodland area in Montana days after Shasta was rescued. Shasta is now in the custody of her father.

Duncan linked to Anthony Martinez – Cold Case

Duncan’s arrest led the FBI to launch a nationwide review of unsolved missing child cases. He was implicated as a possible suspect in several crimes that occurred between 1994 and 1997, when he was on parole, and between 2000 and 2005, when he was free from prison. Although he was cleared as a suspect in some cases, authorities in California and Washington had enough evidence to believe Duncan had committed unsolved murders in their jurisdictions.

Duncan link to Anthony Martinez – Cold case

On April 4, 1997, 10-year-old Anthony Michael Martinez was playing with friends in the front yard of his home in Beaumont, California, when an unknown man approached the group asking for help finding a missing cat. When the boys refused, the man grabbed Martinez at knifepoint and threw him into his vehicle. After a 2-week search, on April 19 Martinez’s body was found nude and partially decomposed in Indio. Investigators noted that he had been sexually assaulted and bound with duct tape. Although a composite sketch of the suspect was made available and a partial fingerprint taken from the duct tape found on Martinez’s body, the case eventually went cold.

In July 2005, bloggers noticed similarities between Duncan and the composite sketch in the Martinez case, as well as between Duncan’s vehicle and the one Martinez’s assailant was driving.The FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children became involved, and in turn contacted Riverside County authorities. Riverside authorities were able to match the fingerprint taken from Martinez’s body to Duncan, and on August 3 the Riverside County Sheriff officially announced Duncan’s connection with the Martinez case.