Danny Crump, 28, left a package
marked Handle with Care on the hood of his ex-wife's car on
September 20, 1980. The package, filled with ten sticks of dynamite
and rigged to explode when opened, did just that, killing Susan Post,
Crump's ex-wife, and five members of her family and tearing apart
their Olathe home. Crump was sentenced to six consecutive life terms.
Post family pleads with parole board to keep
killer in prison
By Kevin Wright - Theolathenews.com
July 29, 2008
Although 28 years have passed since six members of
the 11-member Post family were killed, the memories of those lost
still evoke deep emotions in the surviving members.
“Our lives were forever changed that day,” said
Michael Post, trying to hold back tears.
Robert Post, 51; his wife, Norma Jeanne Post, 47;
sons Richard Post, 21, and James “Bobo” Post, 10; and daughters Diane
Post Crump, 19, and Susan Post, 20, were killed Sept. 20, 1980, when a
bomb ripped apart their house at 910 Van Mar Drive in Olathe.
The bomb — contained in a package placed on the
hood of a car at the home by Diane’s former husband, Danny Crump, then
27 — included 10 sticks of dynamite hooked up to a motorcycle battery
rigged to explode when someone opened the package.
David Post, who was 18 then, climbed out of the
rubble. Randy Post, Diane’s 4-month-old son, was thrown from the
house, and a neighbor revived him.
Michael Post was at work, and Joe Post was
stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base and brought back to Olathe after
the explosion occurred.
Cindy Post Foster lived a block away with her
husband, Jim Foster, and their 3-year-old son. She also was four
months pregnant with their daughter.
Lori Post Joray, who was 7 years old, was outside
playing. She remembers little about the explosion, and although her
parents and siblings are now vague childhood memories, “nothing will
fill the hole in my heart,” she said.
The surviving Post family members and their
children and friends shared these emotions Monday with the Kansas
Parole Board, which is set to decide whether to parole Crump. He was
convicted on six counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to six
consecutive life terms.
If Crump had committed the crime under today’s
sentencing guidelines, he would be an inmate on death row or die from
old age in prison while serving 240 years for six consecutive life
sentences. Crump, however, committed his crime when Kansas sentencing
guidelines were more lenient, and he first became eligible for parole
after serving 15 years. That first parole hearing, in 1995, caught
surviving family members by surprise. The family quickly mobilized
support and went before the parole board. Board members denied Crump’s
parole and gave him the maximum extension of three years before he
would become eligible for parole again.
The Post family didn’t let the three years go to
waste. Working with former state legislators John Ballou and John
Toplikar, the family got a bill signed into law that would allow the
parole board to extend the time between an inmate’s parole hearings to
up to 10 years. The Posts sought and received those 10 years when
Crump was eligible for parole again in 1998.
But time passes quickly, and the family members
found themselves before the board again Monday at Kansas City, Kan.,
City Hall. The family, however, was prepared, and their numbers have
grown to include grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.
“The choices Danny Crump made, made choices for our
whole family,” Chrystal Post Doleshal told board.
Doleshal talked about living life without knowing
her grandparents or her aunts and uncles. Crump’s actions changed the
family’s world, she said.
David Post said that serving 28 years for six
deaths is not long enough.
“It should be at least 30 more years before this
creep is eligible for parole,” he said.
Diane Post married Danny Crump in October 1979. The
couple got a divorce the next year, but Diane had given birth to Randy
in that short time. That ignited a custody dispute between them. The
bomb, prosecutors contended, was meant as revenge against Diane but
also as a way to gain custody of Randy.
Congressman Dennis Moore, who prosecuted the case
as Johnson County district attorney, described Crump’s actions as
brutal and vicious and asked the parole board to pass over Crump for
another 10 years.
Law enforcement officers who attended Monday’s
hearing agreed that Crump should remain behind bars.
Larry Griffin, who was a detective on the case and
has since retired from the Olathe Police Department, said Crump never
has taken responsibility or shown remorse for his crime.
Griffin was a Vietnam War combat veteran, and he
said he never had seen something so horrific as the Post bombing.
Griffin said that Crump was “cold and calculated,” and that the bomb
was “designed to kill.”
When Griffin and Moore interviewed Crump in prison
almost a decade after the killings, Crump blamed his conviction on a
crooked district attorney’s office and a crooked judge. He also
claimed his friends framed him.
“He never would take responsibility,” Griffin said.
“I believe him to be cold, calculated and
cowardly,” Griffin later added.
The irony of the crime, retired Capt. Phil
Patterson said, was that Crump almost killed Randy.
“The man interested in getting custody of this
child had almost killed him,” Patterson said.
Moore said this crime had two sets of victims: the
Post family and survivors, who were the direct victims, and Crump’s
family members, who were the indirect victims. Crump had four children
besides Randy, and two of his children, Daniel and Diane, asked the
board to release their father. They had grown up without him and would
like to have him back in their life, they said.
The support for Crump’s release, however, was small
compared with the 50-plus Post family members and friends who attended
Many wore shirts that read, “Justice For Six.” The
shirts had the six deceased family members’ photographs surrounding a
cross underneath the words.
This solidarity among the family will continue to
give them strength as they fight to keep Crump behind bars, David Post
The family knows not everything about the tragedy
can be explained, and the family draws comfort from each other.
The mother, Norma Jeanne Post, drew comfort in
difficult times from the Serenity Prayer, which was printed on the
back of the shirts: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I
cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know
Crump will go before the parole board Aug. 11, and
the board then will render a decision four to six weeks after that.
Bomb blast in house kills six in family
Logansport Pharos-Tribune Indiana
September 21, 1980
Olathe, Kan. (UPI) -- A large explosion believed
caused by a bomb blasted a house apart and killed six people Saturday,
scattering bodies and debris over a large area of a residential
"It's very likely it was a bomb," said police Lt.
Five bodies were found at the scene and one of
three people injured by the blast died at Olathe Community Hospital.
An infant and a young boy were reported in critical condition at the
hospital, undergoing surgery.
Killed in the blast were ROBERT POST, 51; his wife
NORMA JEANE, 47; a son JAMES, 10; and a daughter, DIANE CRUMP, age
about 20. Police tentatively identified the other victims as another
son, RICHARD POST, 21, and another daughter, SUSAN POST, about 20.
Reported in critical but stable condition at Olathe
Community Hospital were 4-month-old RANDY CRUMP, son of DIANE CRUMP,
and KRAIG WEBER, age 10 to 12. Police said KRAIG was visiting the POST
home when the blast occurred.
Police Lt. Robert Patterson late Saturday said nine
people were inside the house when it was nearly leveled.
Another POST son in the house received only a
facial cut, Patterson siad. In addition, two young daughters playing
outside the house were uninjured, he said.
An exact cause of the explosion had not been
determined, said Patterson.
Anthony Arnold, who lives four houses away, was
among the first on the scene and said he found the body of a baby and
a woman in the back yard and the body of another woman, whose head was
severed, in the front yard.
He said the family had lived in the home about 18
months and were "pretty nice people; friendly people. I'm just sorry
"It was the worst blast I ever heard in my life,"
said Larry Lindner, another neighbor who lived a few houses away.
An unidentified woman said the force of the
explosion was felt several blocks away. "We live a good six blocks
away and we felt the house shake," she said.
The explosion blew out the walls of the frame
ranch-style home and the roof collapsed.
Witnesses said the wreckage was scattered over a
large area of the neighborhood, a relatively new development started
about five years ago.
Supreme Court of Kansas
State v. Crump
STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee,
DANNY EUGENE CRUMP, Appellant.
December 3, 1982
Danny Eugene Crump appeals from his convictions by
a jury of one count of premeditated murder and five counts of felony
murder (K.S.A. 21-3401), three counts of aggravated battery (K.S.A.
21-3414), one count of arson (K.S.A. 21-3718), and one count of
attempted arson (K.S.A. 21-3718, 21-3301). Defendant asserts six
points on appeal, none of which warrant reversal. We affirm.
The defendant was convicted of using a booby-trap
bomb in killing his ex-wife, Diane Post Crump, and five members of her
family: her father and mother, Robert and Norma Jeanne Post, a sister,
Susan Post, and two brothers, Richard and James Post. The blast
destroyed the Post home and injured David Post, Craig Weber and Randy
Crump. There had been hard feelings between the Post family and Crump
for some time as a result of his troubled marriage and divorce from
Diane and the bitter fight over custody of their son Randy.
The State's case consisted of evidence that
sometime around two o'clock in the morning, September 20, 1980, the
defendant and his girlfriend, Sandra Goold, took a dynamite bomb to
the Post residence and left it on the hood of one of the family cars
parked in the driveway. The bomb was rigged in a cardboard box
addressed to Diane. Around nine o'clock that morning, a neighbor
observed someone from the Post house looking at the package on the
car. That person then took the package inside the house. Shortly
thereafter the explosion occurred.
Craig Weber, who survived the blast, testified that
he and his friend, James Post, had entered the kitchen of the home for
a drink of water just before the explosion. He said they observed
Diane, her mother, father, Richard and Susan, seated around the table
with the package sitting in front of them. When Diane attempted to
lift off the lid, the bomb exploded leaving dismembered corpses and a
heap of rubble where the Post home formerly stood.
The State's case was established primarily by the
confession of Danny Crump and the testimony of Sandra Goold. Ms. Goold
had been granted immunity in exchange for her testimony.
The defendant denied any involvement in the crime
and testified that he observed Sandra Goold and one Charles Price
placing a mysterious package on one of the Post cars about three
o'clock on the morning of the fatal day. With testimony that filled
well over two hundred pages of the transcript, the defendant related
in minute detail the events he claimed to have observed on the evening
of September 19 and morning of September 20. The jury, however,
evidently found more credibility in the State's case and convicted the
defendant on all eleven felony counts.
Appellant's first point on appeal is that the trial
court erred in failing to suppress his confession. He asserts that the
statement was a result of mental coercion and not a product of his
free will. A Jackson v. Denno hearing was held by the trial court.
Testimony at the hearing disclosed that on the afternoon of September
mony at the hearing disclosed that on the afternoon of September 20,
police officers located and questioned the defendant as a suspect in
the bombing. The defendant voluntarily submitted to being swabbed for
explosive residue and drove himself to the police station to submit to
police interrogation. It is undisputed that the defendant was required
to wait some five hours in the interview room until a detective, who
had been investigating the crimes, arrived to question him. He was
then questioned for two and one-half hours. He says he was not allowed
to leave nor make a telephone call. He claims to have been
interrogated by an angry and aggressive detective. He also presented
psychological testimony from Dr. Robert Schulman to the effect that he
was an individual who does not handle stress or anxiety well and that
he would say almost anything to avoid the emotional impact of the
interrogation. The doctor was of the opinion that the confession was
not voluntarily given. The State, on the other hand, submitted expert
testimony in rebuttal to that of the defendant's witness.
The State points out that, although the defendant
spent nearly eight hours at the police station under suspicion, he at
no time asked for a lawyer or otherwise asserted his right to remain
silent. It is undisputed that he was adequately advised of his Miranda
rights and that he waived them more than once by signing written
waiver forms, although he later contended he really didn't understand
his rights. The State's psychological expert concluded that the
defendant was capable of protecting himself during the interrogation
by the police. He was not coerced. Unfortunately, the trial court
failed to make any findings in overruling the motion to suppress the
statement given by the defendant and allowing the confession to be
admitted in evidence. However, inherent in the court's ruling is the
finding that the statement was freely, voluntarily and knowingly
given. In State v. Kanive, 221 Kan. 34, 558 P.2d 1075 (1976),
"When a trial court conducts a full pre-trial
hearing on the admissibility of an extrajudicial statement by an
accused, determines the statement was freely, voluntarily and
knowingly given and admits the statement into evidence at the trial,
the appellate court should accept that determination if it is
supported by substantial competent evidence." Syl. ¶ 5.
See also State v. Lilley, 231 Kan. 694, 647
P.2d 1323 (1982). We have examined the record and find the ruling of
the trial court is supported by substantial competent evidence.
Appellant's second point is that the trial court
should have stricken Count I of the amended information because it
alleged in the alternative that the murder of Diane was either
premeditated murder or felony murder and was therefore duplicitous. In
State v. Lamb, 209 Kan. 453, 497 P.2d 275 (1972), this court
"[W]here an information charges a defendant with
murder in the first degree on both theories � the premeditated
killing and killing while in the perpetration of a felony � a
defendant is not prejudiced because the state has apprised him that
it is proceeding on both theories of first degree murder, and that
it intends to produce evidence on both theories." Syl. ¶ 9.
In State v. Jackson, 223 Kan. 554, 575 P.2d
536 (1978), we said, in commenting upon our holding in Lamb:
"Thus, the state is not required to elect between
the murder theories charged as long as the defendant is fully
apprised of the charges against him." p. 557.
Appellant's second point lacks merit.
Next, appellant asserts that it was error for the
court not to dismiss the five counts of felony murder on the grounds
the felony murder provision of K.S.A. 21-3401 is unconstitutional. The
appellant relies on two Michigan cases, People v. Wilder,
411 Mich. 328,
308 N.W.2d 112 (1981), and People v.
409 Mich. 672,
299 N.W.2d 304 (1980), to support his
assertion that our statute is unconstitutionally broad, vague and
constitutes double jeopardy in violation of the Fifth and Sixth
Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Michigan cases are not
They dealt with the common law definition of the
crime of felony murder and the Michigan constitutional provisions and
not with a specific statutory enactment as set forth in K.S.A.
21-3401. It has long been the law in Kansas that the underlying felony
to support a conviction of murder in the first degree must be one that
is inherently dangerous to human life. Appellant's position appears to
be that such a classification of the underlying felony is
impermissibly broad and vague. In State v. Underwood, 228 Kan. 294,
615 P.2d 153 (1980), we said:
"Theoretically the elements of malice,
deliberation and premeditation which are required for murder in the
first degree are deemed to be supplied by felonious conduct alone if
a homicide results. It is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove
these elements or for the jury to find such elements of the crime.
They are established by proof of the collateral felony. State v.
Wilson, 220 Kan. 341, ¶ 2, 552 P.2d 931 (1976). Therefore, to
support a conviction for felony murder all that is required is to
prove that a felony was being committed, which felony was inherently
dangerous to human life, and that the homicide which followed was a
direct result of the commission of that felony. State v. Bey, 217
Kan. 251, 260, 535 P.2d 881 (1975).
"The felony murder rule has logic based on the
theory of transferred intent. The malicious and premeditated intent
of committing the inherently dangerous collateral felony is
transferred to the homicide to supply the elements of malice and
premeditation without further proof. Consistent with this thinking,
most courts> require that the collateral felony be inherently
dangerous for the felony murder rule to be applicable. 2 Wharton's
Criminal Law § 146, p. 210 (14th ed. 1979)." pp. 302-303.
In State v. Goodseal, 220 Kan. 487, 553 P.2d
279 (1976), the court stated:
"The felony murder rule represents a long
standing policy of this state. We have already indicated its
rationale � to furnish an added deterrent to the perpetration of
felonies which, by their nature or the attendant circumstances,
create a foreseeable risk of death. "The legislature, acting in the
exercise of the police power of the state, is empowered to enact
measures in furtherance of the public welfare and safety, and its
enactments in such areas are not to be judicially curtailed where
they reasonably relate to the ends sought to be attained.
Classification honestly designed to protect the public from evils
which might otherwise arise are to be upheld unless they are
unreasonable, arbitrary or oppressive' (State v. Weathers, 205
Kan. 329, Syl. para. 1 & 2, 469 P.2d 292). The felony murder
rule, designed as it is to protect human life, represents sound
public policy, is reasonably related to the end sought to be
accomplished and is not constitutionally impermissible." pp.
493-494. (Emphasis added.)
The felony murder statute, as interpreted and
applied requiring the underlying or collateral felony to be one which
is inherently dangerous to human life, is neither overly broad nor
vague and does not violate the Sixth Amendment or the due process
clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Appellant's attack on the statute as subjecting him
to double jeopardy under the Fifth Amendment is based upon the
decision of the Michigan court in Wilder. We do not find the rationale
of Wilder to be persuasive. Our statute creates two classes of
first-degree murder: premeditated murder and felony murder. The crime
of first-degree murder resulting from the perpetration of a separate
and distinct felony, which is inherently dangerous to human life, is a
separate and distinct statutory crime from that constituting the
underlying felony. In such cases there is no constitutional
prohibition against prosecution for both crimes and a conviction of
both crimes does not constitute double jeopardy as banned by the Fifth
Amendment. In State v. Ragan,
123 Kan. 399,
256 P. 169 (1927), we held:
"In criminal cases the ultimate test applied in
determining the validity of a plea of former conviction or former
acquittal is identity of offenses, and it is not necessarily
decisive that the two offenses may have some material fact in
common." Syl. ¶ 2.
The same rule applies when a defendant contends
that he has been placed in double jeopardy by the prosecution of two
crimes in the same trial. See Wagner v. Edmondson, 178 Kan. 554,
290 P.2d 98 (1955). The jury in the present case was instructed that
the felony murder charges would be supported upon a finding of guilty
of any of four underlying felonies; the premeditated murder of Diane,
second-degree murder of Diane, arson or attempted arson. Obviously,
the underlying felonies meet the test of separate and distinct
offenses from the charges of felony murder. For an interesting and
informative article on the history and evolution of the felony murder
doctrine in Kansas, see Note, Felony Murder in Kansas - The
Prosecutor's New Device: State v. Goodseal, 26 Kan. L. Rev. 145
(1977). Appellant's constitutional attacks upon the statute are
Appellant's next point is that the trial court
committed error in allowing certain gruesome and gory photographs in
evidence. The photographs portray the devastation caused by the bomb
blast. One photograph is of the dismembered trunk of Diane. Her face
was obliterated. Other photographs show her lower limbs in various
locations on the premises. Another photograph shows the corpse of her
father and another shows his perforated heart outside of his body. The
defendant argues that these photographs are gruesome and unduly
prejudiced his case by inflaming the jury against him.
At the beginning of the trial, the State and the
defendant stipulated that the cause of all of the deaths was a
point-source explosion. Thus, the defendant argues that the
photographs really added nothing to the State's case and were
introduced by the State solely in an attempt to prejudice and inflame
the jury. On the contrary, we said in State v. Campbell, 210 Kan.
265, 276, 500 P.2d 21 (1972), that even when the defendant
concedes the victim's death and the cause of death, it is incumbent
upon the State to prove all the elements of the crime charged.
We have faced this issue many times and have often
said that so long as the photographs are relevant and help the jury to
better understand the testimony and other evidence in the case, they
are not inadmissible simply because they portray the macabre result of
a violent and heinous crime. State v. Johnson, 231 Kan. 151,
643 P.2d 146 (1982). The photographs were utilized by the pathologist
to explain his testimony and were also relevant to show, by the extent
of the damage, the wilful and purposeful nature of the defendant's
acts and the violent nature of the victims' deaths. The admission of
such evidence is discretionary with the trial court and no abuse of
that discretion has been shown.
For his next point on appeal, the appellant asserts
the trial court committed error in failing to grant a change of venue.
Due to the nature and results of the crimes committed, the news media
treatment and coverage was extensive. The court delayed his ruling on
the motion to change venue until after the voir dire examination of
the jury so as to be in a position to determine whether a fair and
impartial jury could be selected at which time the motion was
The law concerning a change of venue in a criminal
action has been clearly set out in a number of cases. In State v.
Porter, 223 Kan. 114, 574 P.2d 187 (1977), we said:
"A change of venue in a criminal case lies within
the sound discretion of the trial court. [Citations omitted.] The
burden of proof is cast upon defendant to show prejudice in the
community which will prevent him from obtaining a fair and impartial
trial. [Citations omitted.] Media publicity alone has never
established prejudice per se. Defendant must show prejudice has
reached the community to the degree it is impossible to get an
impartial jury." p. 117.
As the State points out, only ten potential jurors
were dismissed by the court for cause. Of those, only six were related
to feelings generated by pretrial publicity. In reviewing the record
of this case, it is apparent that the trial judge was extremely
careful to excuse veniremen and women at even the slightest hint of
possible prejudice or conflict of any kind. The judge did not attempt
to press anyone into service or in any way to shake their convictions.
He made a commendable effort to ensure that this defendant was tried
before an impartial jury. The court did not abuse its discretion in
denying the motion.
For his final argument on appeal, the defendant
contends that the trial court erred in refusing to give his requested
instructions on lesser homicides. As we said in State v. Foy, 224
Kan. 558, 582 P.2d 281 (1978), when a murder is committed during
the commission of a felony it is not necessary to include lesser
homicide instructions when proof of the underlying felony is strong as
it was in this case. As to Count I, dealing with the death of his
ex-wife, defendant did have the benefit of an instruction on
second-degree murder. Defendant denied that he was in any way
responsible for the explosion which resulted in the six deaths. The
evidence and the defense asserted in the present case would not
warrant the giving of instructions on lesser degrees of homicide.
The judgment is affirmed.