Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joel Patrick Courtney

Another Blonde Coed

On November 30, 2004, a foreign exchange student in New Mexico was grabbed at knifepoint and ordered into the back of a red two-door Honda with tinted windows. The assailant drove her to a deserted parking lot, and threatened to kill her unless she undressed and performed oral sex on him. He tied her ankles together with a shoelace, tied her wrists with a scarf, stuffed her panties into her mouth and pinned them there by tying another shoelace around her head.

Then he drove her to another parking lot. At one point, he stepped outside the car, and she wriggled her hands and ankles free and ran.

According to The Oregonian, Dana Finks, a waitress driving her three daughters to their grandmother's house in Albuquerque, was stopped at a red light when she saw a young blonde woman, wearing only an unzipped jacket with her underwear up around her neck, come running down the street. The young woman ran across traffic and into a Mexican Restaurant.

A police sketch of the suspect
A police sketch of the suspect

Ebony Finks, the seventeen-year-old daughter in the car, ordered her mother to pull into the restaurant parking lot, where she jumped out and met the naked girl coming out. No one inside the restaurant had offered to help her.

Hysterical, the woman got into their car and told her story in heavily accented English while Dana called 911 on her cell phone. Fresh knife marks on the woman's neck validated her story.

The red Honda drove slowly by them in the parking lot several times before the police arrived.

The victim took police to the parking lot where she was assaulted. They found a shoelace on the ground. When they interviewed neighbors, they were told that a man named Joe hung around there a lot.

Albuquerque Police patch
Albuquerque Police patch

With the details provided by the college student, Albuquerque police arrested Joel Patrick Courtney, a married father of three. After being treated at the hospital, the woman positively identified him as her attacker.

Joel Courtney
Joel Courtney

He was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual penetration, kidnapping and aggravated battery.

 

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