Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The bizarre case of Duane Hurley and Daniel Kovarbasich

The Neighborhood Reacts

News of the fact that Duane Hurley had died as a result of homicidal means naturally frightened his neighbors, leaving many on edge after his death was announced. Of course, the sight of all the police activity and Hurley's body being removed by the coroner's office did not help matters. Many of the neighbors remembered Hurley as a nice man, and were in shock as to why anyone would want to do him any harm.

"I got a call from my neighbor and she said, 'look out your front window,' and there's the police taping off the area of his home and all these police cars," said one neighbor, who only gave her name as Denise. "He was a wonderful person, he was my dear friend and neighbor, and I thought a lot of him. I just can't believe this happened...I'm scared to there somebody out here running around in this neighborhood that might harm some other people? That's what I'm wondering."

Of course, no one knew at that time that the police were already focusing on a suspect, Danny Kovarbasich.

"I have no idea who would do that or why," said Ray Kleinsmith, another neighbor.

"He's a real sweet fella," said yet another neighbor, Steve Bobulsky. "I borrowed lawn tools from him and such, and we were always talking about our lawns together, but I don't know what's going on around the house...this is one quiet neighborhood, let me tell you."

"He would give you the shirt off his back if he thought that you needed it," Denise added. "He was a very kind person....It hurts me...I have to look out my front window and I see his home. He's not there anymore and it really hurts."

Neighbors told investigators and reporters that Hurley lived alone, and took much pride in a large collection of model cars that he kept stored inside his garage.

Other neighbors, however, said they sometimes wondered what occurred inside Hurley's home—especially after news was released that Danny Kovarbasich allegedly had been involved in Hurley's death. Talk of Hurley possibly having been a pedophile began to circulate, and many began to openly question what had brought Danny into Hurley's life in the first place, and what may have occurred to trigger such violence.

"Why would a 16-year-old boy stab a grown man?" asked neighbor John Buckner. "I mean, we can only think."

"That's baloney," Denise said of the rumors about Hurley. "That's pure garbage. He was not that kind of man."

Or was he?