Joyce Wishart was living out her life's dream, running her own art gallery in sunny Sarasota, Florida. But that dream ended in nightmare when a deranged drifter named Elton Brutus Murphy walked through the door with a knife in his hand and a voice in his head commanding him to rape and kill. In the space of half an hour, Joyce was dead - brutally mutilated - and the tony arts enclave plunged into terror as a frenzied manhunt ensued. Told in the convicted murderer's own words, a chilling tale of one life spiralling into madness-and another gruesomely cut short. EVIL SEASON-Michael Benson
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers in true crime, history and the authors that have written about them: Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer, the night Stalker Dtk every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killers in true crime, history, true murder, with your host journalist and author Dan Zupansky good evening. This is your host Dan Zukowski for the program, true murder, the most shocking killers and true crime, history and the authors that have written about it about them.
I want to apologize for the the in your fixed income, stand the test of time, markets change, but the role of fixed income should that's why, for more than forty years, I'm a fast to stay. True to our traditional approach, we calling essential, fixed income, find out more and the fast dot com, Slash fixed income, late, Beginning of our program. Technical difficulties on my end, welcome to program back back on the program, Michael Benson, how you doing Dan Fine. Thank you. Sorry, for the screw up in the beginning, welcome back to the program and the book that we're profiling this evening for our audience is evil season. With my special get best selling author and journalist, Michael Benson, so welcome back to the gram and congratulations on another scary book, Michael thanks.
Number one. I want to ask you a question: how do you come about these stories in terms of does the editor dish, sometimes where they They ask you to cover a story, or are you independence? You pick the stories that that you were interested in. I have picked most of my own stories myself. A couple times. The editor at Kensington would give me a call and say this looks like it's a nice fit for you and got done it. That way, and in this particular case I was working on a book called uh killers touch, which some of your listeners I remember was the story of Florida mother named Denise Lee, who was kidnapped from her home in front of her baby boys, raped and killed by creep named Michael king was interviewing one of the prosecutors on that case, and she told me that I should really consider writing a book about the art gallery murder, because the killer was a piece of work and it turned out to be an excellent tip for me. 'cause I found Elton Brutus.
Murphy the killer in evil season to be in Arctic. Kill a teller of his own story. In fact, his ability describe. What it was like to develop. Schizophrenia is one of the best. I've ever heard say that not only is a good book for people who enjoy a juicy murder story, but it would make an interesting and formative, reefer, all mental health care professionals. If you can, I mean sometimes No sorry what I wanted to say to this very, very important to because I was just speaking about this to someone in America and the issue of and I talk about it. A lot of times in terms of the difference between American in canadian law and I won't get into all of that again. But the major difference is that in sandy the defenses are not so uncommon in Canada and there are successful in Canada, and in a primarily in America it doesn't matter if the if there's star graving crazy,
almost no one gets in an insanity defense and is successful with that. So I think it's important that this is what you have clearly an insane person. But then you have Well we're going to get to that. I would think we have clearly we have a crazy person, but not one who is insane and the distinction there was key to this case. Exactly ok, now we didn't talk about it very at the beginning. But I asked how sometimes you come to these stories. This sorry, the murder happened then later Elton Brutus Murphy comes into the picture. How did you hear about this story? Tell us about the where you were and how it came to this story came and what was your impression when you first heard about the actual murder itself? Well, I was, I was
down in Florida at the time it happened, and I was I was with my family and the theme parks with universal or Disney how to remember which one, but the first time I heard about the art gallery. Murder was, local television from Orlando, and this happened in Sarasota, which is five thousand and sixty miles away. And what was your first impression about the the case itself? I mean where you instantly interested, I mean obviously the Murphy come into the picture right away. But what was your impression about. This was something that you said. I I think I'm interested story or you just dressed and we're following it. What I I wasn't initially interested in the case of because I didn't know that much about it. Please accept a very, very tight. Your information people in the
Neighborhood, where occured do something that ghastly. It happened inside that art gallery, but they didn't know the details and some of them didn't learn the details until my book came out because they've done that pic type of a job of keeping that secret right, but I mean terrorized it just terrorize the neighborhood, something Now, for our for our audience, let's go back to choice. Wishart is at at this time: she's an older, older woman, fifty nine years of age, I believe sixty so take us back to who joy wish art was and her background and who are a portrait of Winston Joyce Wishart for well, victor in this case was a lovely woman from the midwest which. I was nineteen years old in one thousand nine hundred and sixty one. She married a twenty two year old truck driver named Robert. They lived in Cincinnati at four kids. Two boys, two girls.
When the youngest was seven she filed for divorce and dug up husband of adultery and abuse. She trying to earn her masters degree and executive management from ash university. Future all mapped out. She, her master's thesis, was in economics of running an art gallery, She started her own marketing. Consultancy called portfolio place one thousand nine hundred and ninety and became president of the Columbus chat fear of the American Marketing Association. She was still in the Midwest. She was asked what her dream job would be, and she answered I'd like to be the old In art gallery in a warm sunny climate fish, went vacation one year to Sarasota and said this is this: is the warm sunny climate for me, She got a couple of nice jobs down there. She she was doing contract
work with Nova CARE, employee services. She was marketing director for the Asolo Repertory Theater in Sarasota, and she saved up her money and she bought a gal. Free on Palm Ave receive little strip in downtown Sarasota, and that was where her her life was so brutally cut short in two thousand and four now. It's also interesting that at this time this. When this happened it was a weekend and what you talk about in your book two is that she, was a real and you know, community. Member and she was a proud member of the community, She was involved in a lot of things and but she had to separate groups of people which, which led to no one reporting her for quite a few days after this I'm kind of jumping ahead, but tell us about the art days and really
Maybe not ironically, but unfortunately, what was planned for this very artsy area of fine dining and boutiques, an art gallery's in this wonderful, sunny place of Sarasota. Tell us what was planned and and then we can talk about just leading up to the just before this murder in this week if you happened to the murder, coincided with a film soul, festival in Sarasota and approximately forty fifty thousand people from out of town were coming in for the film festival, so there are a lot of strangers around and, as you said, it was a holiday weekend. The one of the things about the little shops on that strip. Is they had a front door but no back door? So if someone did come in last well, he proprietor was in there alone the only way out was to the front door so
it was easy. It was easier to trap a woman in that sense and the doors were left open because it's a shop, you you wouldn't do you. In fact, you invite people in probably a little Bella on the door, but that's about it. Never locked up. Uh and our killer timed his entrance to the gallery right at closing time. And nobody thought to look for Joyce until she would have returned to work on Tuesday and her body was found on Wednesday, but like a lot of times. There are people that have plans or At least are in contact with her and they found it unusual. Yet no one again report missing, but she had some plan for that Saturday evening. Didn't she. Okay, you were out late. It was about and and and some some friends known as well, she didn't show people thought that it was on the clothes. Sorry wasn't on the door that they thought it was odd that
I hadn't shown up for a couple of social engagements over the weekend. I don't think Major alarms went off so then I still somebody reported a foul odor and, and with all my God, we haven't seen her in a few days. Something bad must've happened, so we're their speed. They police speculate to, or you can tell us it's the weekend, but then they don't find the body with unless have the foul odor complaint and that was like Wednesday right. That's correct, yeah, now. Tell us almost tell us tell us the the events that occur once that maintenance man opens up the door and they tell us what they act. Julie discover at this crime scene. Ok, God, you know, I don't know if this is the most brutal crime scene. I've ever encountered in my ten years running through crying, but it it certainly is close. The body was discovered. Aft
the holiday weekend by a maintenance man at the Bay Plaza apartments? The gallery was on the ground, Floor of an apartment, building she you went in there. He took one Glen. The body and ran, please showed up: are they on the body of an older woman, with red hair laid out on her back legs, obscenely spread, Eagle and the body was stretched out on a carpet in and out cold out of view from the street on the north side of the building, the head was like in the direction of the north corner in the alcove contained artwork, hanging on the walls and lying on the floor. From leaning against this, she didn't believe in negative space was just jam, packed with our work artwork, our work NASH said as much in there she could. The body was yep discolored water. From to the courtesy
and it had one arm stretched outward left. Leg was partially covered with clothing which had been cut off, and immediately visible, were multiple stab wounds to the chest. Slash wound at the stroke that went all the way to the bone attempt to be had the victim It's often try to be had their victims with a knife, and I realized that it just doesn't work any indian axe or hatchet. The medical examiner would later count. Twenty three stab wounds are the most disturbing part. Wasn't what was there, but rather what was there. The victim's vagina and lower abdomen had been sir quickly removed those just a large raw whole there between your legs and the legs were spread apart and pointing eastward sort of demanded attention. I mean the first but the thing nobody wanted to look at with the first thing: they ended up looking at yeah
Her for head shoulders and back were also deeply cut and she had defensive when she bravely fought back. There was almost no blood on the body was playing blood under body works Oak, the rug and the in her clothes, but the killer had wiped her off and had pretty clearly posed. The body yeah she's been wearing a green pantsuit. Scarf around the neck. Her. Shoes had been removed and had been turned around to inset between her legs. To stand in her shoes would be to look down upon the body scarf it's slits in it. It had been still on while he was stabbed her in the neck, hum What was in the shoe. Ha ha ha
choose a single droplet of blood which turned out to be very key in solving the mystery Clothing at the cut off for the sharp bladed instrument, the the killer turned out to be a up a barber and had to having equipment with a scare. There are indications that that the killer had played in his victims, blood and in some cases the artwork was stained by what appeared to be a combination of blood and bits of flesh, and in some cases there was wiping across this pattern. As if a half hearted attempt to clean up that or perhaps the killer just wanted to finger paint if lingered at the scene, to the murder of not only had he performed surgery on the victim, but there blood in many places in the gallery indicating that he wandered around after the murder.
And what about reports that there was a painting that was exactly the same I mean well when I first saw these reports go ahead, Sir, if it's actually it's actually two paintings. The one was a painting that the victim had been holding at the time she was attacked and the other was a painting that overlooks the crime scene. And in the one ship it holding was a nude. Of woman lying on her back with closed Dover. One leg and she'd been post imitate that and the painting that was on the wall showed a woman with one arm stretched out and pointing with her finger and the victims arm had been stretched out. It was pointing with finger in a magazine had been
play underneath the hand so that her finger pointing at all and that set the fighting madness. Okay, what was seen the crime scene photos is is is going to agree that that you know I had a temp was made to imitate art work. That was there it's just if the. If, if the killers, this is my art, my heart, I've made my sculpture out of human flesh. But he later admitted to me that he he he denies that he staged at the crime scene is ego or something will not allow him to admit it, but he did admit to me that he stole his victim, slushy bagged. It took it home, He says that he didn't pick that magaziner that article on purpose, but if he had done it subconsciously that was pool he said because,
fine madness perfectly described? It was a magnificent description of his state of mind at the time that he committed the crime So, let's look at no idea what it is about his particular psyche that won't allow him to fess up to that particular thing, but he won't well. He confesses to almost everything else. So it's interesting threats. Let's, let's go backwards, though, because this case really spins, the minds of Sarasota Police and other law enforcement agencies that are aware of this so tell this is how the police- everybody knows, that the family member, the Ex husband, the Sumbu. See that's around. There is going to be question and then eventually ruled out. How do the please proceed here that they have any idea who comes into the FBI come in initially tell us how police proceed and what, if any ideas, do they released to the media
assumptions or ideas? Tell us how the police respond? Ok, I was I was lucky in this case and I got just about the complete police files, so I was able to follow the investigators on a day by day basis and like good cops. There first assumption is: at the victim knows her killer. So, therefore, the answer to who did it is somewhere in her past and she does. She have the next husband. That she had a nasty relationship with, but other than that she doesn't really have doesn't have that many enemies. She is people she had little spats with, but certainly nothing that would that would indicate a violent outcome she, one of the things about the art gallery, Strip and she's, not the only art gallery, then that block there's six or seven of them
and they're are used to, having hardest wannabes dropping in and trying to get the proprietors to sell their art. So there's music, an assignment sorry This is a consignment gallery gallery right and she's she's had some dating experience, you known to hang around with some guys and is there. Everybody was very check everybody that every male that she had had any contact with over the last months of her life was asked for a dna sample because of the pope, the drop of blood that they found. It wasn't hers and slowly but surely the detectives realized that the answer is not hum is not in her past the answer going to be in matching with the dna at that blood sample
and uh. Eventually the matches made, but not until. I mean the poor ladies along that strip or are just completely terrified yeah. I talked to a lot of them now that I'm sympathetic to that I mean I grew up in a neighborhood that was just kind of a paradise in the country and it turned into a crime scene in a in a nightmare overnight, So I know how that feels. The black card comes over your neighborhood stays. The people of of downtown shares. So they did receive some relief from their. You know their haunted house syndrome when the killer was captured, but then again, there's a strong argument that yeah catching the killer does not completely alleviate the fear. Once a person has been enlightened to violence is proximity and it's brutal effect. Pandora's box has been opened in its can't.
Could ever be stuff that can't in the course of my research on this case, I spoke with several of the ladies in there, and then they were mostly ladies who were in the galleries and day. They said that you had for several years have passed. They still Felt the effects of a kind of scary future shock their lives had gone from one of comfort and security. What is your business nervousness in danger, I'll describe the same symptoms. Their lives forever the day of the murder they ate several themselves to be in their store alone, they pay their husband. Son's friends, whoever to keep them company. They were escorted to and from their cars before and after work and because, there were no back doors. The store started to seem a little bit like traps. Um. Yeah, it was like they were in a tunnel one way out, one way in and one way out.
Well, there's a little more to the story because they there was people. There were people. Persons involved. With the I don't know not gallery owner, but the gallery, the style critic. The journalist that that was a friend It also was interrogated or at least question the everybody. The cops were clutching at straws, so they were questioning anybody that any involvement they went, they have to rule out some connection. Into the magazine the article, the article writer the the gallery. Owners thought for a long time, maybe even to. This day that there was some kind of connection because is. It ends up the guy but it's also a barber, also believe he's an artist. So will that again jumping the gun a little bit here, but so with police that the the Ex husbands ruled out a bunch of other people are ruled out and they should be able to do this with Pooh.
Get in a dna database or where other people, criminals, DNA is stored, but there's a A bit of a delay, tell us a little bit about what happens there- that It isn't immediately put in that database what seems to be the problem, Ok, I can remind me what you're talking about here Well, that was a different by the time they, but it turns that Murphy is they had it in a Take you from him after his arrest in Texas. From that point on. So I mean there's no delay in find the killer because of because of a database problem. It okay, sorry dna. If the dna from the crime scene Photo was put in lake in the long run. It didn't matter. Okay, so sorry and so Elton Brutus Murphy is arrested in Texas
tell us what those charges are and then I'll. Please proceed with that. Dna match. Yeah, ok uhm. He you know he is life would be. Sliding steadily downhill. I don't know where at what point in his life you want. You want to start. He he gave this entire bio, but he He is after after the murder, she's, on the run. He takes off Heasley and burglary and pickpocketing he's got about four. Buy fake ids on four five wallet and he's he breaks into a dentist office in Houston. And is rummaging around looking for stuff when the
police show up and arrest him and and and that's that's the end of his days as a as a free person and they end up taking a dna sample and it goes into the data bank and bloom. It would be investigators and Serra so to get a very happy phone call from the from the crime lab. We have a match, so me immediately had to head to Houston to talk to their man and try to get a confession. And what are the results? What what happens from that questioning? Well, she Murphy doesn't want to any twenty of it, but he can't resist toying with them, On one of the one of the Key- the to his guilt. I mean other than the fact that they know what you must have done it, because they've got the science but every time they mention the name: choice, wishard. She doesn't.
Little Comedy act, it's not funny, but you know: Joyce, rejoice, who's, Joyce, ok,. Seems the link provided by you mentioning her again, but we completely out of tone with the rest of his responses. Yeah he's he's not he's not cool enough to be able to talk about his victim without family, just a little bit giddy overall, they think is behaviors bizarre, but does he exhibit this by the polar symptoms of bipolar or schizophrenia. During that interview, is it that evidente? You know he's He's he's in and out of his of his mental state he can as long as he's taking the proper medical He could seem pretty normal, but
I mean you see. He spends a lot of time talking about how he doesn't think he's immortal man. He believes that he shares D, any with God. This reason is dnas at the crime scene because he's the Lord God Elton Brutus Murphy are his disciple. Bulls who are invisible, he can. He can cause people to have heart attacks just by pointing his finger at them. So they are aware that they've got a little bit of a wacko here, but you know again there are not sure whether or not he's malingering. Or if this is. Being as Lou cities. He can possibly be right right now. It doesn't really make any real headway in terms of a actual confession. With him when's the trial set for and tell us a little bit about what happens between time in the trial. Any developments in between that time.
Ok well yeah. It takes forever for him to come to trial, Firstly, the trial wanted. If it does, this occur is not going to be a matter of whether or not he did it. He did it all right, but was criminally insane when he did it, and there was a quote. That was a question that needs to be answered. So in two thousand six. Thirty, two years after the after the murder is a court hearing to determine if Murphy was competent to stand trial and judge. Owens says, while the best way to find out this guy's insane I'll talk to myself So says: state your name I am the Lord God Elton Brutus Murphy. The choice, wishard murder trial must not be delayed, so the judge not that competent. Subsequently, two psychologists exam working they said it look. You know we get this guy's meds right. We can get him competent to stand trial because he understands the court system.
And in the mean time he said through a high security mental facility. Then then, then something happens. It's sort of changes, the ball game A prosecutor by the name of Lou Errand says I'm, not gonna? Let this go. I want this guy in prison. A women's prison for the rest of his life in lower end is the hero of the book yeah. He he make some moves the might of flow in the face of conventional political wisdom, but you know he got his man. He took one look at the Murphy case and saw a winnable prosecution, his strategy had to do it, educating the jury, which is a tough thing to sometimes we he up to the task. He told me forget free pools near average. Joes he's been surprised at how many Ph Ds. He knew, who didn't understand, the legal meaning of insanity?
yeah we live in a world in which insane and crazy are synonyms, but in a legal sense, they're very different if you get a jury to understand that he was pretty sure he's going to be able to put Murphy away the fact that Murphy had obvious mental issues that the death penalty came off the table. You know he knew he wasn't going to death penalty, but he felt he could get life. And at least that would guarantee that Floridians would never again have to worry about running into this guy in the fall two thousand and seven Murphy was declared competent dial new hearing new judge. Ah they have trial in front twelve jurors we've been taught and quiz, just the legal, many meaning of the world word in thing, argue that in order to be criminally insane, the defendant would have to be unable to distinguish and appreciate the difference right and wrong,
in this dependence actions prove conclusively that he could make that this distinction. You know he he covered up. You ran yeah yeah, it's so that so it was it a multi, multifaceted. Explanation I mean, is or was it just the right and wrong or was like as your explaining as well there's there's some planning some deliberate. In some running from the scene. Concealment are tell us about the whole, I don't think again. Our audience might want to hear exactly what insanity is defined in how he did that my argued that Murphy planned the crime, since you showed up with tools. He planned to get away with it. When you left the gallery after the murder, he managed to lock the door behind them in such a fashion that he left no fingerprints. If he hadn't been able to distinguish appreciate,
difference between right and wrong. He would not have told his vict. I'm not to scream. And when she did scream, he would not have put his hand over her mouth and when he did that she bit him on the knuckle, which was. Why he bled into her shoe later so it by biting. Killer on the hand provided the key evidence to solve crime. Yes, there was a man who stole his victims, wallet and keys and to effectively cover up his crime. He didn't do the simple thing: which would have been to just throw away the keys in the wallet the nearest receptacle. Instead, he threw each key yeah way individually and cut up the contents of the wallet before before, throwing those pieces away in a variety of locations so that you know it be traded guilty conscience working in this site, rules of right and wrong He knew what they were. It just didn't think they applied to him. He thought himself above those laws.
If such a man, the prosecutor, argued, was guilty of murder right and tell us how the jury decided, ah well, you know that the jury took less than an hour to convict Murphy and he was sentenced to life in prison, which was The situation he was in when, when I first wrote him a letter and say, asked him if he was interested in cooperating with the book of his but his story and what was his response to your letter. Well, he was all in favor of it still. I always help you on that, not just killers, but anybody always cooperate with the writer who wants to tell you, story, because it's better to tell your own story than to have other people tell it for you. Oh my
as you noted before, there are a couple of differences between. Is the narrators. It was me, I guess the narrator of the books, version of events and Murphy's Murph He will not admit to feeding his victims flush to his neighbors. He said that he didn't do it, but if you look at the facts, his neighbor Albert Sanchez says that Murphy had cooked Served his neighbors, too Murphy said that he only cooked once while at that address and served a stew made of boiled pork, it did. She cut off a big piece of his victims, ash tasted it took it home and while at home cut that flesh into little pieces- and he admits that he was angry at his neighbors, because they've been steel his food out of the communal refrigerator. So you know what do you think happened? Yeah? You can make the inference pretty easily
sure for the poor guy who ate this too. Yeah. You did other problem here, suddenly stew anymore or will board yeah or anything Now tell us more about this correspondence, because I think this is one of the unique aspects of your book very few. As you know very few But really get close to a subject like this and then for them to be. Candid. Not everybody gets one hundred percent and these guys are notorious, Storytellers but tell us more about your correspondence. I was told Yeah by one of his psychiatrists that he was a fellow who like to talk about himself so
So I he immediately agreed to help me write the book. We exchanged letters for close to a year that this wasn't the first time that I had used the killer's own words to tell a story. I did it and kill her twins, but in that case, Roberts Volsky's narrative is, as vivid as it was, was obviously self conscious policy with a guy who He wanted to punch it up. You want to describe his actions as if you were a legendary criminal in reality he was just to run in the milk dirt bag
turn. The thing that made exceptional was the fact that he had an identical twin, who is also a killer. Shooting now, in this book, Murphy tells his story. Is it thick with regret career Morse? You know if he spends maybe too much time blaming all of his mistakes he made on on the voices in his head rather than his own poor decisions, but it's clear he wants readers who might be suffering from their own mental difficulties to seek medical help. Now don't do as I did and let it go until your your voices are saying rape and kill. So yes, point is, is if you let the voices of schizophrenia have their way. There will be a reputable damage and there are in spots places where people feedings, narrative in Murphy's version a story told match, but for the most part yeah. He sees me
The trigger. When I could corroborate what what he said I did, and he he did a pretty pretty good job of describing himself without looking at himself through rose tinted glasses. He saw himself works at all, which was refreshing, I thought yeah. He did. He didn't try to work me as a sociopath would right right now. He talks about you've gotten this decline into free or his slide into this mental illness, and he describes it for it's a very, very interesting how long after he convicted. So we can know how long he was on or long was he on medication before you interviewed him? That's maybe my question. Okay, she.
Started on medication it around two thousand and seven. I would say three years: you know he, then they did fine tuned, his medic and he's been acting relatively normally I mean I I I should add that I've gotten letters from him more recently in the streets to events and slippage go over here, yeah that that the new stuff is this looks a little bit too but then I'm is. Is it sorry you use he's become a religious zealot and they always strikes me to remind me of David Berkowitz, who went from being a devil worshipper to being of Christ, worshipper and so which of those traffic is parallel between the two states.
Yeah sure I mean the characteristic of schizophrenia, or at least Some of the same themes are the God Satan. And the world you know. So those are a kind of common. Did you have any? I did that he may be malingering that he may be faking at the is smart enough, certainly maybe to be able to do that user. Well. There was it was a jailhouse snitch who testified at the trial that he had recommended to Murphy's it would be a good idea if you started acting crazy 'cause? I was probably his only way out, but the thing is that Murphy does thing. That are so odd that just do them means you have a mental problem. For example, you would sleep in a swamp, even though his apartment with only a couple
blocks away and he was punishing himself for you and they would find half dressed and out in the swamp so Yeah, I don't know how you yeah yeah yeah. That's was going to say he he was diagnosed bipolar many years before. So Is it like a new defense? You know so there was yeah. He was that click clicking on all cylinders. The fact that she was loose enough during the time when we were corresponding to get the story out the way he did if we go a little little bit of a miracle of which you know we're all beneficial The crime scene was fantastic, incredible Very very unusual, very unusual. It's almost like a back black dahlia kind of situation where there's some o Maj. To sum it seems,
artists or or in general, some statement tell us. When you ask him about this posing you said he denied. Right is my admits to being an artist, wannabe he's going around trying to sell artwork he's constantly going alongside the road. Looking for things, you could turn into strange sculptures ' the similarities between the crime scene. And the artwork in this. The gallery is, is indisputable and and yet she won't fess up to so creating that scene on purpose because understand why I see what you would not want to admit to being a cannibal or forcing cannibalism on other people, because He has to worry about his own standard of living, which is already pretty doggone low 'cause he's in prison for life, but he could. He could be miss
treated in prison because of that, but when it comes to his artist, Wanna be and his killer self being one and the same got you yeah. You clearly wants to keep that separate. Maybe maybe I did it sub consciously hello out. All right but backers of With- and I don't what was also interesting too, because you're talking that he he has this opportunity in your book to to talk about, regret and remorse and, of course, blame his mental illness. Certainly he's not going along with the courts decision and contention that he knew right or wrong. He is clearly once the benefit from sympathy and Those sorts of things well sure this is the the mental health facility is a nicer place to be than the prison. On the other hand,
along with blaming the voices in his head for what he did. He blames himself for not listening to the advice of his family and love ones to see, seek out professional help before he did sure you know he his advice is if this stuff starts happening to you, yeah go to a doctor right away. You I I was His pride would not allow him to to admit that he was having real mental health issues. Here's a guy who wanted to be a Navy seal. I mean you really. You know he. He was a guy who saw himself as a man of substance successful with women. He he had a career that he was good at there's a photographer. He was a scuba diver instructor learn how to cut hair became deal. We have a very good hair cutter, and here he was
there's a problem. That's a little bit shameful. You know, even even in today's society it's like losing your hearing. People will not get hearing aids because they don't want anybody to know that their deaths are there embarrassed by it. You know if he was embarrassed by his growing mental health difficulties and didn't do anything about it until it was way too late. So did he have the traditional bipolar patient that 'cause. I know there's medication, but I have side effects from the medication, because you did talk about this fine tuning. I don't know
active with that? Well, you know if he was ever resistant to taking the medicine he was given. I'm not aware of it. I know that he he felt that the bi polar diagnosis wasn't even close to what his problems were and the technician didn't do anything. I think it was when they finally got to the so the air tight state, so medicines that that's probably give him some relief. Who is who is currently plagued by hallucinations day? We woke up one morning and everybody's eyes: look like military flashlights and their lips were moving bizarrely fast and turning in the border flies and paranoia he'll start to flood in any. He came to believe. Is the entire world is made up of a gigantic conspiracy aimed at him yeah? so pretty overwhelming, pretty overwhelming symptoms, yeah they're not minor,
I think that, just just judging just judging from what I know of him, the res He is able to describe his descent into schizophrenia. So well is because it's real. Every part of malingering. Is getting over a lot. You know pudding over a lie. That's huge and complex, and that does not seem to be particularly in his skill set. I was going to ask a question and I'm going to ask it now before I forget: ok, did you viewed crime scene photos and if you did, why did you this Friday ends? Did you get? Did you look at the crime scene? Photos if you did. Why did you ask for hi absolutely looked at the crime scene. Photos well aid! That's my job! I my job is to.
So as much as possible about the crime and the criminal and then the victim, so that I can tell the story in as much detail and depth as I can so it's I'm in the wrong business. If I'm going to start censoring stuff for my own comfort. Sure I'll tell you I I looked at them exactly once I took notes and then I put them away and never looked at them again, but yeah I mean I have to I'm I'm from the writer yeah. It's just yeah- I mean I type yeah. I I on an amateur basis I might pass, but this one with a working at the look at the pictures as horrible as they they may be, and I yeah I I I've seen worse. I want to compare you know that the
Tragedy, tragedy, but crimes involving children are, for me at least harder to look at them. This way sure This is this is incredible for sure. Certainly now, what about Murphy being a suspect in his own mother's death? Explain their telephone it briefly. He was living with his mom. He already was having problems. He was in halfway houses and sleeping on his brothers couch and getting picked up because he was sleeping in dumpsters and things like that. He was living with his mother for awhile and his mother died. She fell in the kitchen and hit her head for a time. Murphy's brother dean thought that mom fell because Brutus calling vertis poster and he didn't get over that notion until the medical examiner ruled the woman's death an accident, and that was pretty much the end of that.
But it is interesting that only brother Very well would have thought him capable of of mattress side years before he became an actual killer. Yeah, that's it! Well, I mean I think people are are more for. Eight of the insane killer- and I think that's why you have this super resist in America, letting this person go into a mental institution because they think somehow or other someone is going to let them out and they're going to run. A lot of, I think, the more fearful of the psycho killer, then you're right the garden hitman yeah everything? So what you before about yeah, it's true of american juries do not like the insanity defense, but also I think that one of the reasons that more insanity, defenses aren't successful is because, in cases where,
the killer is genuinely insane in the case, never comes to try, no it just doesn't. It doesn't go to a jury trial right, Right, the only thing again, one precipitates, the other as well. When you know you don't have any real grounds when, when you talked about how this prosecutor did the you know put a basic on a basis basis on planning and then he just knew the difference between right and wrong. I've seen that decision in a bunch of states where it just comes down to show bring some proof to that jury that this person did know the difference made that distinction made. You know so Pika Canada go into it, but you can't believe some of the the insanity defenses that have worked. And the person is walking around.
The difference in the long Canada. Well I mean you got a case where a doctor cardiologist kills his two children stabbed him to death. He finds out that his wife, who is divorcing, is having an affair with one of his colleagues, part of his defense or is cover up or part of the evidence was that he looked on the internet on ways to kill himself, create some cocktail drank. The cocktail of course, didn't die but stabbed his children, because in his mind he felt they. You know he's going to kill himself, but he, he kill his two children, the end of defense fence there, a guy testified that he didn't serotonin. He was depressed, temporarily insane temporary yes. I know yeah yeah right prior evidence and two years two years and mental institution released. From the from the hospital yeah. So walking around
yeah. We have. We have defense experts who try that stuff there's a guy who makes a pretty good living saying that the killer had limited ability to limited impulse control because of a blow to the front of the head is a child sure and then they take they take color photographs of the guy's brain and show how it's no sparking properly and all Two juries hate that yeah yeah. If they can't wait to put this on there, yes, but you know it's it's tried, and sometimes it works in some jurisdictions. It works and I'm not saying that it's in Canada, so it is very much like precedent that once something is goes through, then it can go through so again based on someone using that same president, using that similarity to that case. So it's
It's a dangerous precedent. I know what you're saying there's a lot of things to that are psychiatric diagnosis. After the fact Is to me I'm a little leery about it. You know it's three thousand and forty years old, but we talk about all the odd behavior that he had when he was young strap. He fell off the swing, but documented eventual king earlier case down there. He was in a sledding accident Steven Stanko, was hit in the forehead with Coke bottle use a teenager, and these all came up as part of their defense and series just disregard it. Well. You have to because otherwise uh every hockey player in football player and athlete fits off eight times. So it's right. Yes, I'm using amazing. Now there was It was a murder of Carlie Brucia and maybe it'll tell us briefly. Significance of that in Sarasota to okay,
there is a yeah. The commute the sphere in shock was compounded with only two weeks after the art gallery, murder that eleven Year Old Sarasota girl named Carlie Brucia was ducted and murdered she walking home? from a friends house in broad daylight was abducted by a and in the car and she was we can strangle to death. The party wasn't discovered for four days and the case broke when it was discovered that Carly's abduction was caught on video by there were mounted on the rear of the car wash. So if the murder took place exactly five miles southeast of the program's gallery choice, we should scalar. If doctors, family man
I get a fight him from the from the film I remember seeing them pay, they showed it again and again the little girl being affected behind the car wash, but the the killers family. What was thought it said you know, that's it's are Joe and Josephine, Thirty nine year old, auto mechanic was was arrested now yeah, the Sarasota police couldn't wait to take this guy's dna, but they were disappointed to find out that you know he wasn't the guy with the next of to birds with one stone there yeah absolutely now, let's get back to evil season. Just for a moment in terms of what do you think from everything that you're as close to this per soon as humanly possible and you had all the information you have written twenty something books.
You're you're one of the more experienced true crime, author journalist. What do you think was the real reason, despite his denial, what was the reason why he did what he did. To joy, spicing key. I think he was he set out that day to commit rape He was a man who who's here growing need for deviant sex. He kept breaking up with women because you would want to have group sex or he would want to deal experiment this way or just something weird that way or whatever it was. I think that he wanted to rape a woman and what happened was he got nervous, so he went to a bar. It had quite a few drinks, just
for entering the gallery and when it came time to commit his rape that he's been trying to build himself up for all day. He couldn't do it so his knife came out. Instead, I think what happened. I think that that the whole notion of turning it into a you know, an artist wanna be thing was something that probably occurred to him. After the fact, the choice is already dead. At the point he says. I know I'll make her look like this painting over here, and I were point like that painting over there. This will show the cops uh now, whether or not he wanted to commit rape that day, because there was a voice in his head saying you had to do it. They said it was the voice of voice of Jesus Christ came over and said to rape. A woman strikes me as unlikely. But he seemed to think it was real that that that- I don't know, but I don't know how those two things work together but It was uh pretty obvious that he lost. It was uh
murder, right and what he did is he drank himself if it before it and it turned into into the about mutilation wow, how it's kinda surprised with conclusions a little bit. I know I know the last murderer. I mean there's, there's there's a very many of these culprits for sure these type of killers, so basically you're, saying he's an insane person that was out for rape, and this was a total unfortunate Rand, Random ACT of murder. Yes, all figures in Saint Louis and I will think he was insane mentally disturbed absolute right, but I all that- and I can't it hurts the choosing. Richard was a matter of convenience. She was vulnerable
she was in a situation where she couldn't run. He knew would easily overpower her. So show me she was. She was chosen because her vulnerability in in the and in that sense not random, but I mean it could have been. Anybody any any woman in the door at that time would have been inspected, yeah, nothing, personal, yeah, very tragic tale. You're out here, and so you say that, then he said: did you say now that he is sent you some letters and it seems he's had all The turnaround, would you say, in terms of sales is thinking and his deluded thoughts. I yeah, I guess that's, maybe I got lucky. Maybe I hit the window of lucidity on Murphy's part. It is not says, use he's completely nonsensical as letters it's just that there is showing signs of
of obsession and compulsion he's repeating things he's almost chance like syntax, and that was according to according family that's very much the way he was writing at the time when, when his his mental state was going south So either the medicine is not working. The way it once was, or just the fact that he's spending every day in a cell is driving him crazy. Well, you know I thought I found it. Very interesting because the idea of it's very rare to be able to get the viewpoint from a schizophrenic- It really is, and so you've done an admirable job is very fascinating to be able to have that, and then The lucidity like you say again, that's again for the future I'm that I've ever interviewed one schizophrenic killer and.
He was lucid when I spoke to him, but he really was not so helpful explaining his thought process that time he kept saying you know you know, and I kept saying no, I don't I don't know her, so I think I think you've done this incredible job of taking us in this mind of person it again as lucid enough to be able to describe his thoughts as a deluded purse. And I agree with you that he's not- I don't believe in the insanity defense, because I think you still have to it ends up to be the Results, I don't really care where you go. I don't want to punish you, but I just want to keep you separate from the public. And so it doesn't matter where you go in my it's just so long as you don't get out. That's my only. Stipulate either think that there should be a verdict guilty, but insane, which would be like, like your prison without parole, except for in a mental facility. I mean the way
is now you're either going to going to prison. For the rest, your life or your go. The mental facility until you are cured sure. Well, that's so I think, there's there's room for there's room for a verdict in between there. It could maybe be more humane and still keep society safe, and I think a lot of people, prosecutors and I've talked to a lot of true crime authors. I think that would be the option that they would they would choose in terms of incarceration in a mental institution forever, just in terms of humanity just being humane a little bit of credit, not much credits. This ends The same end result and still you're a danger to the public so yeah. I agree anyway. Anyway, thanks
for this interview it's been very good check. Little. I really people that have been listening to the program. They've been talking about the book, evil season, the latest by Michael Benson and about Elton broody. Murphy, very, very interesting story. Thank you very. After this interview, Michael and hope to talk to you again in the near future,. Tell us about it? You have a website and Buddy might peruse and take a look at all the your backlog over the background on the tablet page on Amazon dot com, if you, if you go to him dot dot com and put in Michael Benson. You it'll take with my page, and it has all the books, I've written true crime sports. We have had several careers, uh, ok, you get to see, you know nice picture of my mug yeah yeah, that's for free, so that's good! Absolutely no charge
yeah well! Thank you very much, Michael it's a little off evening here. It's about one hundred degrees in my apartment here. So I want to thank you very much for taking the time and coming on and talking about your latest and greatest evil season. Thank you, Michael thank you goodnight
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-06.