January 9, 2004
Criminals and Crashes
Here's a little detail from the story of that guy who killed four relatives (including his daughter) and then kidnapped the three step-daughters: when the police were in pursuit, this is how it ended:
Keenan said deputies spotted the car and saw the children, but Jones refused to pull over. He drove a short way off the interstate when a state trooper bumped the back of the car, forcing it to spin and crash into a telephone pole. The 10-year-old got out and ran, and officers saw Jones slump in the front seat, Keenan said. They pulled the other children out, one of them covered in Jones' blood [because he shot himself in the face].Now, I've seen this bumper-car move on World's Scariest Police Chases a thousand times, but I didn't think the police would use it on a car carrying a bunch of little girls. I guess they figured they were in greater danger from the homicidal maniac driving the car, so they'd take their chances. I wonder if that's a standard procedure for such instances, or if the deputy just did what he thought he had to do.
Anyway, here's another interesting tidbit:
Jones' mother and stepfather were killed in the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Florida Everglades, and David O'Donnell said Jones got a substantial settlement. "He blew the money almost as fast as he got it, mostly on drugs," [his ex-brother-in-law] said.Sort of strange how the sad trajectory of this guy's life on the wrong side of the law was book-ended by crashes that in each case presumably traumatized the children involved -- he being the child traumatized by the first one.