There’s a nasty crime being detailed in the news lately; the girl was 10 years old and he is 26. She was in a stable, loving home with her father and the upstairs neighbour was quiet and kept to himself. He’s single, employed and web-savvy.
The girl, Jamie Rose Bolin, entered his apartment willingly, on more than one occasion and liked his pet rat. Last week her body was found in a plastic storage tub in his closet. He had tried to remove her head and had sexually assaulted her before and after he killed her. He had also planned to eat her. You’ll find loads more information in a quick scan of the news stories out there. Try Google News.
Fortunately, this was his first and only victim. He admits to plans for more. For the morbidly curious (as I can be) I offer some links for your own investigation. The killer was a blogger. He had been blogging since 2002. It didn’t take long to find his trail on the internet, and like many of us, has a presence in several online communities. The site all the news reports are talking about (and with good reason) is:
I also easily found him here and here. Though those pages offer little about the man directly, the “Page O’ Links” certainly gives a feel for his interests.
There is an interesting new phenomenon happening in web society, one where a blog could give important clues in a murder case or the voyeuristic invitation to watch a serial killer evolve. Kevin Ray Underwood (this particular killer) documented his inner demons just as millions of us do everyday on our blogs. I would guess it won’t be long before our online journals are searched for criminal criteria just as email is scanned for potential terrorists. It’s still early to be able to tell patterns, but I’d bet money that there are agencies working on blog profiling technology today.
So do we have any obligation as readers or commenters to alert authorities over the next Kevin Ray Underwood? Could we be sure of what we’re reading? Would any of us feel an urgency to act if we read:
“my fantasies are just getting weirder and weirder. Dangerously weird. If people knew the kinds of things I think about anymore, I’d probably be locked away. No probably about it, I know I would be.”
“Pretty much the only time I believe in God is when I blame him for something,” “Or, when I’m really depressed, to cry and beg him to make me better, to make whatever is wrong in my brain go away, so that I can live like a normal person.”
But then to read the following quote from 29 September 2004, he sounds like any number of bloggers:
“I was off today, and I’m off tomorrow. I’m really glad. That also means I can spend the day playing Prince of Persia, the game I rented when I took back Silent Hill 4.
I’m a loser. Last night I got drunk and watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show. By myself.”
The more I read on his blog, the more normal he sounds. 11 September 2004, he filled out a typical meme that just sounds… normal. There are outbursts of depression and uncomfortable expressions, but this budding serial killer’s blog reads (on the surface) like any one of millions of blogs out there.
I’m not sure what to think about that.
UPDATE: Sites that have anything to do with Kevin Ray Underwood are disappearing. The “Page O’ Links” that I mentioned earlier in the post is gone. From reading threads and comments on other blogs and sites, it looks like several of his online friends have also deleted their own blog accounts in an effort to stay out of the line of fire. Can’t blame them really.
UPDATE 2: Looks like his “Page O’ Links” may still be up afterall. I think perhaps it was a case of too many hits that made it unavailable for a spell.