Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder, they blogged


Two opposing pictures emerged of the Watermans. In one, Rachelle seems to be a bright, active girl, with a loving family led by a sweet, nurturing mother. Then there's the portrait's negative, in which Rachelle is a dark, troubled girl, fascinated by the occult, loathing her woodsy island town and battling an abusive mother.

Lauri and Rachelle Waterman
Lauri and Rachelle Waterman

Her LiveJournal chronicled the thoughts of a girl unhappy but not inexorably so. Amid complaints about her mother, and angst-riden posts about people who don't believe her, about things going wrong, there are posts about visiting friends, DVDs she watched, Christmas presents her family gave her.

Rachelle Waterman
Rachelle Waterman
Rachelle told her boyfriendsfrom schoolboy peers to her ex-boyrfriend Radel, and her on-again-off-again paramour Arrantthat her mother beat her. True or not, she had bruises to exhibit, and she told tales of her mother hitting her with a baseball bat, pushing her down the stairs, threatening her with a knife.

In her initial interview with the police, Rachelle first denied everything, then confessed. In the beginning she claimed that she didn't realize the young men were taking her complaints so seriously, much less that they were plotting a crime. She even tried to blame a cable company employee and suggested that both of her parents were having affairs that may have provided her father or one of the lovers with a murderous motive. But by the end of the interview she said that she egged Arrant and Radel on and did nothing to dissuade them when they started their planeven that she suspected that her mother would be dead by the time she returned from the volleyball tournament.

Those admissions were just what the cops were seeking after their interviews with Radel and Arrant, in which the young men both had confessed their own roles, implicating each other and the girl. They separately had claimed to be acting at her behest. They had tried to make the murder look like a drunk driving accidentand Rachelle would refer authorities to her mother's drinking problem, a weakness other family members categorically deny. When Radel found that bludgeoning a woman wasn't as simple as he assumed, things got complicated, but they hit on the idea of setting the van on fire to obscure the evidence. Radel later asserted that the loss of the vannot of her motherwas a big disappointment for Rachelle.

Investigative interviews and the trial revealed that Arrant and Rachelle shared a powerful motive for the killing: they had been sleeping together, but Lauri Waterman had vehemently forbidden her daughter to see Arrant again.

All damning information, certainly. But there was another side to the story, which cast Rachelle as a na´ve girl victimized by at least two older men.

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