Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joe Hunt: White Collar Psychopath

Final Complications

Reza and Ben were both caught, based on Reza's falsified identifications. They were tried in the kidnapping and murder of Reza's father, based primarily on the testimony of Dean Karny. Ben claimed that he hadn't been part of the actual venture, as Joe Hunt had said he wasn't needed. Reza said he'd known nothing about the plan at all.

Both were found guilty of the charges, except that Reza was not found guilty of knowing about his father's murder in advance. A note he'd made in his planner indicated that he certainly had known about the plan to kidnap.

Both young men were sentenced to life without parole, and they filed appeals immediately.

Jim Pittman (aka Graham) went through two trials for the murder of Ron Levin. Both resulted in hung juries, and by Horton's account, the prosecutor accepted a plea bargain of being an accessory after the fact to murder and carrying an illegal weapon.

A 1992 trial brought Joe Hunt back to the courtroom to answer for his part in the kidnapping death of Eslaminia. His numerous petitions to the court for delays and documents had cost the taxpayers an estimated two million dollars. Joe claimed that he had spent 9,000 hours preparing himself. He petitioned the court for a look at documents that the CIA had removed from the home of Eslaminia, because he felt sure there might be evidence of others who wanted the Iranian man dead, but the court upheld the CIA's right to nondisclosure of sensitive material. Nevertheless, Joe ably defended himself, throwing all the blame on the conniving Dean Karny, and charmed the jury. They deadlocked, so charges were eventually dropped, since Joe was already in prison for life for the murder of Levin, whose remains were never found. He vowed to keep going until he was free.

Charges in the Eslaminia case were also dismissed against Jim Pittman.

Ben (Arben) Dosti
Ben (Arben) Dosti

In 1998, the U. S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reduced the convictions of both Reza and Ben, who were cellmates in Folsom State Penitentiary. Based on an error during the trial, the case had to be reviewed. In August, Ben pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and kidnapping, and he was sentenced to time already served. So in 1998, after only a decade in prison, he was a free man.

Reza had appealed his conviction as well, and when Dean Karny's testimony was barred in 2000, due to his participation in the Federal Witness Protection Program, the prosecution felt it would not have sufficient evidence to go forward with the case. The case was thrown out.

Reza was elated. He insisted he was innocent and this just proved it. Nevertheless, the judge encouraged the attorney to appeal his decision, as he was not infallible. It seems unlikely that he will proceed. In August 2001, Reza sued Ben Dosti and 20 other individuals for the murder of his father. It remains to be seen how Ben will react, given what he may have over Reza.

Dean Karny was given a new identity. As stipulated in his agreement, the prosecutors helped him to pursue a legal career, and he passed the California Bar examination.

The other members of the BBC went on to repair their lives and some of them became quite successful. One even became a collector of BBC memorabilia. It's unlikely, however, that any of them ever will forget their encounter with a man who, by many accounts, might be a psychopathic genius. In any event, his unrelenting drive to keep attention to his case will involve them. He claims, according to Sullivan, to be a real life character "trapped in a work of fiction."  He wants the world to see who the real Joe Hunt is.

 

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