Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

CHARLES NG: CHEATING DEATH

Epilogue

Ng's cold stare, in court (AP)
Ng's cold stare, in court (AP)

At the time of writing, Ng and his attorneys are presenting appeals against the "harshness" of the sentence. This process alone could take another six years and perhaps another six million dollars, a grand total of almost twenty million dollars to convict one man, even though the evidence against him included videotape footage of two of the crimes in progress. But while Ng and people like him make a mockery of the American legal system, the question remains What made them do it? What possessed them to kidnap, rape and torture their innocent victims including friends and family?

One suggestion is that Lake and Ng were already capable of such crimes as individuals but it wasn't until they met that they began to fuel each other's sado-sexual desires to inflict pain and death on others. The situation may be an example of what criminal psychologists call Gestalt, where "the organised whole is greater than the sum of it's parts," not unlike that other tag-team from hell, Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole. Whatever their motivations were, one clear fact remains, a court of law deemed that Charles Ng and Leonard Lake were jointly responsible for some of the most brutal and sadistic crimes in the annals of criminal history. It's unfortunate that it takes so much time and money to bring such men to justice.

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