Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Michael Mullen, Sex Offender Vigilante

Crying Out for Help

Mullen's brother, Larry, told the Seattle Times that Michael Mullen was a troubled man who had been molested by a neighbor when he was in elementary school.

He had been "crying out for help all his life," the brother said. He had limped through an undistinguished life aided by alcohol and medications, including anti-anxiety pills, anti-depressants and sleeping pills.

He had served two prison terms in Washington for theft and check fraud, then spent 18 months a California prison on a 2003 conviction for vehicle theft. He had two or three children from relationships earlier in life.  

In a court affidavit, prosecutor Mac Setter said, "He described himself as a thief and a 'con' whose life was wasted and implied that murdering sex offenders was giving his life value."

The affidavit also quoted a letter that Michael Mullen sent to his girlfriend:

"Murder is not a solution and what I did was also wrong," he wrote. "I can only pray that God will see my intentions were good."

After the arrest, reporter Mike Carter of the Seattle Times sent a letter to Mullen in jail asking him to expound on his motivations. He did so promptly and thoroughly, replying in a four-page, hand-printed note.

"My goal is to beat J. Duncan to death, so I can be there when he arrives," he wrote. "It made me sick to think of the abuse Dylan suffered before he died. To be discarded like garbage."

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