Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder, they blogged

Single, Bored, Lonelyand Dangerously Weird

Underwood described himself on his blog as a "single, bored and lonely" man with "dangerously weird" fantasies. He recognized that he was depressed and socially incompetent, noting that his days off were spent in front of his computer, blogging or playing the computer role-playing game, Kingdom of Loathing.

Reports say Underwood had no prior history of serious mental illness. But on his blog he discussed his social phobia, medication and therapy at length. He also acknowledges crippling periods of depression when starting college and when an unrequited crush died in car accident.

Off his medication, Underwood seems to have recognized that his thoughts were growing more bizarre. Along with posting links to odd news stories or the results of an online test on "How Evil Are You?", he considered seeking another prescription for Lexapro just weeks before the killing, but did not.

Instead he simply wondered what he might do and what others would think. The Silence of the Lambs fan wrote, "I'm afraid the cops would come into my apartment and see all the knives and swords and horror movies and commentaries about serial killers on my DVD rack and suspect me." But no onenot his readers, his mother across town, his neighbors, nor his managers at Carl Jr's burger restaurant or Grider's Discount Foods (where he worked with his aunt)seems to have recognized a real problem in this quiet man or done anything about it.

Kevin Ray Underwood
Kevin Ray Underwood
Underwood's defense would contend in his March 2008 trial that he suffered from bipolar disorder, sexual problems (his blog revealed that he was nearly a virgin) and social phobia. Grisly photos of the crime scene admitted as evidence along with sex toys and a ceremonial dagger couldn't have helped Underwood; and, unlike fellow blogger, Rachelle Waterman, Underwood's videotaped confession was beyond question.

Neither mitigating factors nor the defense's call for mercy nor Underwood's remorse had much of an impact on the public, broad swathes of which called for the death penalty, or on his jury, who took less than an hour after a comparatively short trial to convict him of first-degree murder and sentenced him to death, rather than life imprisonment without possibility of parole.

On April 3, 2008 McClain County District Judge Candace Blalock ordered Underwood's execution by lethal injection. Underwood's defense attorney, Matthew Haire, plans to appeal the conviction.

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