Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder by the Book: The Amy St. Laurent Case

The Killer's Perspective

Moments after he was convicted, Russ Gorman turned toward Amy St. Laurent's loved ones in the courtroom and mouthed the words, "I'm sorry." Many who witnessed the incident assumed that it was an admission of guilt. But just hours later, in an interview with Gregory Kesich of the Portland Press-Herald, Gorman denied that. He claimed the gesture implied no guilt. He maintained that he was commiserating with them for what they had been through.

Amy St. Laurent
Amy St. Laurent

He added, "If I was in their places and I thought someone killed my daughter, I would hate that person and want to see that person put away for a long time." He said that he was aware of his public image. "People think I'm a monster," he said.

It was a telling interview, and Gorman was by turns smug, defiant and defensive. He insisted that the use of his mother's taped testimony "violates every right, every rule." Gorman said he had not confessed to his mother, and he could not explain why she told the grand jury what she did. But he acknowledged that the two had had a troubled relationship.

"I love my mother a lot," he told Kesich. "We have had difficulties when I was growing up, but doesn't every family? It wasn't like she was chasing me around the house with a butcher knife.

"I was a bastard growing up...completely resentful. I didn't go to school. I caused my mom a lot of problems. I guess when I got older she got tired of it, me staying home from school, drinking and smoking weed and breaking things around the home.

"I'd scream at her and tell her 'I'm not going anywhere. What are you going to do about it?'...I have matured a lot since I've been in here. I'm not a kid any more. This is serious."

When Kesich pressed Gorman about the lies he told police about his movements on the night St. Laurent disappeared, the convicted killer blamed his drugs-and-alcohol lifestyle. "So many nights, so many beers," he said. "They run into each other."

He'll have 60 years to think about that one night in October, 2001.

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