Sunday, February 28, 2016

"48 Hours" airs "A Student of Murder" about an apparent thrill kill by an academically gifted person; Dateline airs a push over a cliff in Colorado

CBS “48 Hours” re-aired, on Feb. 27, an episode titled “A Student of Murder”, about the death of Yancy Noll in Seattle, shot by a young man named Dinh Bowman, through the right window of Dinh’s car in what at first looked like a road-rage incident, link here.

But this turned out to be a very disturbing case of an intellectually gifted young man of 29, of partially Vietnamese ancestry, going down a dark path, or putative “thrill killing”, possibly on compulsion, or to “find out what it feels like to kill somebody.”  The only other case that comes to mind of someone with advanced education is James Holmes in Colorado.  But I vaguely remember cases like this in Washington DC in 1991 and in Kansas City in the 1960s.  It wouldn’t require a gun; this could happen with a car itself.

Investigation showed a fascination with methods of murder, and with weapons.  He had a relationship of bizarre affection for his wife.  He also engaged in numerous acts to cover his tracks after the incident on Sept. 1, 2012.

When he was arrested, he complained that the interrogation was taking too long.  At the trial, he claimed self-defense.  At sentencing, he broke down and cried, but only that people didn’t believe him. He was sentenced to 29 years in prison.

KIRO7 has a detailed story of the prosecution’s evidence here.

Also, on Feb. 26, NBC Dateline aired “Over the Edge(link) where Andrea Canning narrates the death of Toni Henthorn in Rocky Mountain National Park, when, as federal park officials believe, her husband Harold Henthorn pushed her for life insurance benefits.   He was presented as a long time manipulator and parasite on her ophthalmology practice, which she had moved from Mississippi to Colorado after marriage.  The mystery was not as compelling as some other Dateline episodes. The prosecution was federal.

Wikipedia attribution link for Seattle Great Wheel, by James Pressley, under CCSA 3.0.

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