Skip to comments.Maine Killings Raise Vigilantism Fears(two sex offenders killed)
Posted on 04/18/2006 11:58:39 AM PDT by freepatriot32
CORINTH, Maine - The Maine Department of Public Safety has no plans to change the state's Web-based sex offender registry despite the killings of two sex offenders whose addresses were apparently obtained online.
A Canadian man used the registry to obtain personal information about the victims, authorities said, renewing fears that such lists expose ex-convicts to vigilante violence.
"The events of the weekend will obviously be reviewed, but there are no plans to change the Web site at this point," Stephen McCausland, Maine Public Safety spokesman, said Monday.
The gunman, Stephen A. Marshall, a 20-year-old from Nova Scotia's Cape Breton, committed suicide Sunday night in Boston after being confronted aboard a bus by police.
Investigators were uncertain what relationship, if any, Marshall had with the victims, who lived 25 miles apart.
But the two men were among 34 names in five towns Marshall had looked up on the Web site, McCausland said. Investigators said Marshall typed in his name to receive extra information online, including street addresses.
The Web site was disabled while police searched for Marshall but was restored Monday afternoon.
All states have sex offender registries designed to let people know of child molesters and other sex offenders in their midst, and almost all post the information online.
Maine's registry has the names of more than 2,200 sex offenders. It contains such information as the offender's name, address, date of birth, identifying characteristics and place of employment, as well as a photograph.
The killings added to a growing unease with such Web sites. Jack King from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Washington said making public sex offenders' addresses can be an invitation to violence.
Harassment, vandalism, assaults and even killings of sex offenders have been reported from coast to coast.
"There are going to be crazy people out there," King said. "And there's going to be vigilantism."
After New Jersey passed a public disclosure law on sex offenders in the 1990s, the brother of an offender was nearly beaten to death with a baseball bat when he was mistaken for his brother, King said.
In New Hampshire, Lawrence Trant went to prison after pleading guilty to the attempted murder of two convicted sex offenders whose names and addresses he found on an Internet registry.
A sex offender Web site in Washington state was cited in the slayings of two convicted child rapists last summer. Michael Anthony Mullen, 35, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to more than 44 years in prison.
The registered sex offenders shot to death in Maine were Joseph Gray, 57, of Milo, and William Elliott, 24, of Corinth.
Gray had moved to Maine after a Massachusetts conviction for sexual assault on a child under 14, McCausland said. Elliott was convicted of having sex with an underage girl, he said.
When he shot himself, Marshall had with him a laptop computer and two handguns, said Dave Procopio, spokesman for the Suffolk County, Mass., District Attorney's Office.
Marshall had come to Houlton, Maine, to visit his father, authorities said.
Police tracked Marshall to Boston after finding his father's pickup abandoned in Bangor along with a rifle. They also discovered bullets hidden in a bus stop restroom that were of the same caliber as one of his father's handguns.
Ralph Marshall told reporters his son didn't appear troubled and never said he had been sexually abused.
Gray and Elliott were shot about five hours apart Sunday morning. Neither appeared to have caused a stir recently.
Gray and his wife moved a couple of years ago from Massachusetts to Milo, said Kenny Hudak, a local police sergeant.
In Corinth, residents were alerted when Elliott moved into a trailer in the woods. The property was covered with trash, tires and at least a dozen junked vehicles.
"I think more people were concerned about the mess than him being a sex offender," said Mary Hadley, who lives across the road.
Darn it.. Another Canadian Illegal doing the job that American judges won't do...
Hate it when that happens.
"Maine Killings Raise Vigilantism Fears"
Tell me... When your children are on the way to school do we "FEAR" vigilanies or Child sex preditors? No wonder people stop reading the papers.
Less Child molesters, less crime.
The problem is, they should have been executed, not turned loose.
This guy simply did a job that American Justice won't do.
"There are going to be crazy people out there," King said.
Yeah like everyone on the sex offender list.
Well, its a good start anyway. Wouldn't it be nice if they made this a trend - one for one, illegals and perverts? I wouldn't know who to root for...
So when you see very high numbers in areas, alot are teens that got caught.
Gee that's a real shame pedophiles dead and all.
Oh well, we have to carry on somehow...
I don't shed any tears for the sex offenders, but the big risk here is the possibility of mistaken identity--happens often enough that the police get the wrong guy, and they're presumably better trained in investigative techniques than your average Joe Sixpack. Hate for an innocent person to get whacked because some data entry operator keyed in the wrong address in a database.
is this anywhere near you ?
The Canadian was probably a victim of this type of scum.
One of the victims, Elliott, was convicted of having consentual sex with a girl less than a month away from the age of consent. He was 19 at the time. He was hardly a predator type. That is the problem with the registry in Maine, there is no way to differentiate between the real predators and those who, like Elliott, used poor judgment. There is no suggestion that he was considered an ongoing threat.
I agree entirely, I don't think citizens as individuals should be doing this kind of justice normally. But face it, when the government won't do it's job, someone has to.
Anyone who molests a child and is found guilty of it in a court of law, needs to be executed, and that within 48 hours of his/her conviction.
It seems to me that the best way to curb vigilantism would be to keep the rapists locked away.
Now, THAT'S a damn good question. Puts it right into perspective.
give him an H1b visa. he's got "skills".
Could the following be applied to the judiciary?
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.