Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darren O'Neall

Louis L'Armour

When he searched O'Neall's apartment, Detective Stout found a clue in O'Neall's own handwriting.  It was an outline of his future plans and ultimate goals, plans that emphasized living in a secluded cabin in the wilderness with minimum assistance and only the bare necessities.  Among those necessities that he included in his writing were a copy of the Bible and Louis L'Amour novels, specifically L'Amour's books on the Sackett family of the wild west.  Stout also found dozens of L'Amour's western books as well as western magazines scattered about the apartment.  Stout soon learned from his colleagues in Idaho that O'Neall, while living in Idaho, went by the name Larry Sackett.  And still more evidence of the L'Amour obsession and of yet a second alias was a medical card, allegedly used by O'Neall, in the name of Zebulan J. Macranahan.  O'Neall, Stout learned, purportedly told friends that the names Sackett and

Macranahan were names of characters in some of L'Amour's books, which was why he chose them as aliases.  Police now believed that O'Neall's fantasies might help explain Robin's disappearance.

"We believe that it does," said Detective Terry Wilson, "and that he actually intended to go into the woods somewhere and live like some of the characters in L'Amour's books."

Despite the intensity of the police investigation, Edna and her family were not satisfied.  In a series of events orchestrated by Edna, family members and friends went to O'Neall's apartment.  They gained entry on their own and searched it thoroughly.  They found drug syringes and needles, paraphernalia, and other evidence of drug use and abuse.  They also found signs that a struggle had occurred there and other evidence that was apparently overlooked by the police.  They also spoke with Mary Barnes, and soon suspected her of hiding O'Neall in the hours after Robin's disappearance.

Still being directed by Edna, family friend Jim Chaney, Robin's brother, Robert Sharp, and others paid a visit to the home of O'Neall's friend, the friend that O'Neall visited the day of Robin's disappearance.  They questioned him at length, and he appeared nervous.  At one point a known junkie and another man came out of O'Neall's friend's place of business and began talking about the case and the day that O'Neall had shown up there.  The junkie told of O'Neall opening the trunk of his car, and of seeing part of a naked leg.  Before being told to shut up by O'Neall's friend, the junkie also described a purple and white sock, the type that would eventually be found with Robin's clothing in the forest near Greenwater.  Because of the junkie's reputation, the police, of course, discounted his story.  Edna, however, maintained that the junkie, O'Neall's friend, and the other man knew more than they were telling the police.

 

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