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Crossan David HOOVER Jr.






A.K.A.: "Crossie"
Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Juvenile (17) - Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 6, 1982
Date of arrest: 10 days after
Date of birth: 1965
Victim profile: Richard A. Baldwin, 36
Method of murder: Beating with a baseball bat / Stabbing with knife and screwdriver
Location: Marin County, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison in November 1984

United States District Court
Northern District of California


order granting a writ of habeas corpus


A murder in Camelot

At their weekly meetings, the Leader told them about his plans. The uprising would begin when the country's economy collapsed. Atop Mount Tamalpais, the sequoia-wooded peak that dominated the Bay area, a laser-gun would be aimed towards San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The rebels were to seal off all roads leading in and out of Marin County and establish fortified headquarters in the romanesque castle-like buildings of the San Francisco Theological Seminary that were perched on a hill in San Anselmo; both the Golden Gate Bridge to the south and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge that connected Marin County with Contra Costa County to the east must be destroyed. Prisoners would be released from San Quentin Prison because the insurgents did not want to take responsibility for them; no doubt the convicts would take a cue from the Leader's example and return spontaneously to the paths of virtue.

When Marin was isolated from the rest of California, it would be transformed into a kingdom on the model of Camelot. What the Leader had in mind was not the sentimentalized Broadway Camelot of Lerner and Loewe that had in retrospect become a symbol of the era of President Kennedy, but the ancient British realm over which King Arthur and his forebears (or wise monarchs much like them whose names are lost to history) had actually held sway. The Leader was to serve as benevolent "Pendragon" of Imperial Marin, and his teenage followers would be elevated to knighthood.

Some of the would-be knights had their doubts about the scheme; they pointed out diplomatically that the laser-gun to be placed on "Mount Tam" had not yet been invented. True, the Leader conceded, but financing had been obtained for other weapons, including machine-guns and missiles, and stockpiling was under way on Mount Tam and in Fresno. When members of the Pendragon group went beyond expressing reservations and decided to leave the ranks of the weird conspiracy, the Leader threatened that disclosure of his military plot would mean death.

The Leader's secrets were well kept until a man's body was found floating near the Sisters Island in San Pablo Bay, the northward fist of San Francisco Bay that thrusts beyond the narrows spanned by the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

The body, recovered on Tuesday night, July 13, 1982, by a tugboat operator for the Basalt Rock Co., was wrapped in a plastic tarpaulin and a bamboo screen, bound at the neck and ankles with television cable, rope and duct-tape, and weighted down with a small outboard motor. The dead man was thirty-six year-old Richard A. Baldwin, the owner of a vintage-auto restoration shop, The Classic Car, on Front Street in San Rafael; the left side of his skull was fractured and he had been stabbed to the heart.

At 7 a.m. on Friday, July 16, investigators from the police forces of San Rafael and San Anselmo and the Marin County sheriff's department arrested Mark Richards, aged twenty nine, and two seventeen-year-old boys as they were leaving Richards's house in Sleepy Hollow in a pickup truck.

Richards, a friend of Baldwin, was a home-renovation contractor, and his two companions, Crossan David Hoover and a youth named Andrew, were employees. The detective team had been led to the scene of the arrests by Hoover's loose talk: fellow workers had heard "Crossie" boast that, in Richard's presence, he had clubbed and stabbed Baldwin to death at the auto shop on July 6.

The police believed that the murder conspirators had taken Baldwin's house-keys from the shop and used them to burglarize his residence of several guns, a plastic trash-bag full of marijuana, and a safe. The marijuana and some guns were recovered on Friday in searches of the homes of Richards and the two boys, but the safe was not yet found.

After being taken into custody, Hoover kept talking. In a ninety-minute confession, he told the police that his employer had planned the killing; the contractor had told him that his business was "hurting for money" and claimed that Baldwin owed him $3000. Hoover had agreed to the murder when Richards promised him $5000 and a car. In admitting that this offer persuaded him, the young man candidly revealed that his only regret was poor planning.

I've been stupid. I should have gotten the cash before so I could have taken off for Brazil or someplace. . . . I didn't want to hurt the man. It was the money; all I wanted was the $5000 and the car. Richards got my mind so psyched up that I freaked out. . . . I did it all . . . Just put me away.

At the time of the murder, Richards, Hoover and Andrew were remodeling Baldwin's home. Hoover said that Richards and he had lured their victim to the auto shop on the pretext of looking at his inventory of classic cars. When Richards scratched his head as a prearranged signal, Hoover slugged Baldwin on the head with a baseball bat and hit him three more times after he fell; he then stabbed him with a knife and a screwdriver.

Afterwards, Richards and he returned to Baldwin's home, where Andrew had been standing guard, and removed the safe and other property. They then wrapped the body at the shop and used a boat Richards had just purchased to deliver it to what they vainly hoped would be a final resting place in the bay.

Mark Richards was also interviewed by the police shortly after the arrest. He denied any involvement in the murder of his good friend Baldwin and offered an account of his whereabouts on July 6 that did not ring true. The two boys arrested with him were his employees, he told Sheriffs Sergeant Richard Keaton, and then startled his questioner by adding: "The poor kids -- I mean, I should take the fall for this, not them. OK? You know, like if somebody is trying to go down [take the blame] for anything."

Keaton asked, "Why should you take a fall?"

"Well, you know." answered Richards, sinking further into the morass of his own words and uncertain whether it was better to incriminate the boys or to defend them, "I understand what it must look like. OK? And all I'm saying is these are kids. You know, they don't have -- they wouldn't have had anything to do with anything like this. Dick didn't owe them any money or anything like that."

After waiting patiently for the strange monologue to run its course, Keaton confronted Richards with evidence that he had used Baldwin's credit-cards and burglarized his home. Richards admitted both allegations, explaining that the car-dealer owed him money; he had used the credit-cards with Baldwin's approval in reduction of the debt. He could not plead the dead man's consent to the burglary, but apparently hoped that the detective would regard the break-in as a frustrated creditor's last resort. Still, once it was clear to him that he could not deny possession of some of the fruits of the crime, Richards backed away from his earlier "protective" attitude towards his young employees; he told Keaton that Crossie Hoover had confessed to him the murder of Baldwin.

These first statements taken from the suspects might have indicated that the killer or killers of the classic-car dealer had acted from routine theft motives. However, a police inspection of Mark Richards's house added a whole new dimension to the case. On July 22 the Marin Independent Journal reported the results of the search under a towering headline, "BIZARRE PLOT FOR MARIN COUP?"

The reporter, Erik Ingram, warned the community, better known for suburbanites relaxing in hot tubs than for corpses floating in its bay, that behind the Baldwin murder "may be a secret organization, called Pendragon, that appeared to be planning an armed takeover of Marin." Ingram reported that among the detectives' startling finds were maps, aerial photographs of Marin County, plans for a laser-gun, instructions for the construction of machine-guns, and "notebooks containing references to a new form of government"; the investigators had also taken away a number of weapons.

The suggestion that Baldwin's murder was part of a plot to overthrow the government of Marin sparked a many-sided controversy. Carl Shapiro, a San Anselmo attorney representing Richards, called the report of the Pendragon conspiracy "absurd upon absurd" and asserted that the documents found by the police were research materials for a science-fiction book Richards planned to write about a Marin of the future.

Shapiro's explanation was backed by Richards's wife Caryn, who added rather vaguely that her husband's fantasy novel, entitled Imperial Marin, might have been published recently in Los Angeles. The staff of the Independent Journal could find no such listing in Books in Print.

The local police were also quick to discount the Pendragon plot. The head of the investigation team, Captain Richard Douglas, overwhelmed with inquiries from the media, stated authoritatively: "This is a homicide for financial gain." He regretted the "silly fantastic stories about some group taking over Marin" that might result in the trial-venue being changed from the county at added expense to taxpayers. The Independent Journal did its best to calm the fevers aroused by its own uncovering of the Pendragon group.

In an editorial of July 28, 1982, the newspaper humorously warned against the assumption that "being a fantasy buff suggests criminal intent." The article cited an array of local fantasy activities, including the third annual "Battle of San Pablo Bay," in which "the airmen drop bombs (sacks of flour) on a Gaelic flotilla (pleasure boats) and then, afterwards, friend and foe share refreshments."

In a separate news item, the Journal noted the unfortunate coincidence that a San Francisco shirt manufacturer was named Pendragon Productions and had as a consequence received numerous hostile telephone calls since the conspiracy story broke. The newspaper assured its readers that the shirtmakers were in no way connected with the crime.

In the weeks that followed, a number of witnesses came forward with stories indicating that the Pendragon group in fact existed. Crossie Hoover told investigators that one of the inducements to the murder was Richard's promise to appoint him Duke of Angel's Island.

The mother of a Novato youth informed the Independent Journal that her son had left the group a month before because Mark Richards "was getting really weird." Another person close to Richards told the newspaper that Mark was fascinated with medieval history and talked about taking over all of California -- a dream that did not prevent his friend from describing him as "enthusiastic and not at all sinister."

The Independent Journal also learned of Richards's plans in 1977 to lease the San Francisco Theological Seminary building for use as a school to study the future. According to a proposed catalogue, the school, called Futurecastle, would be an "innovative academic community dedicated to the origins of a new renaissance." The ambitious project, which was to provide a faculty including actor William Shatner and writer-producer George Lucas, came to nothing when the seminary cancelled the lease for nonpayment of rent.

In a court affidavit, another teenage employee of Richards, Pete Neal, disclosed that Hoover was not the only person Richards had solicited to murder Baldwin. Neal stated that in late May Richards had offered him a dune-buggy and $1000 as a reward for disposing of the car dealer. Another young man told the Independent Journal that he had attended a Pendragon conclave some months ago but found it "too far fetched" to take seriously. He had been invited to the four-hour meeting by a friend who had reportedly been paid $500 by Richards to recruit Pendragon members.

In August 1982 a preliminary hearing of the charges against Mark Richards was held in the Marin Municipal Court. The star witness was Andrew, who had been given immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony about his participation in the murder plot. Andrew confirmed that Baldwin had been murdered so that the killers could rob his house and sell his vintage cars.

The crime had been planned months in advance, and Andrew was to receive $2000 to stay at the Baldwin house while the murder was in progress. The young witness had trouble recalling times and dates, testifying that the three confederates had bought a boat a few days after the killing; the purchase was in fact made on the evening of the murder.

Andrew recalled more clearly the trio's misadventures in disposing of the body; Richards, Hoover and he had put the boat in the water at the Loch Lomond Marina in San Rafael and returned to Baldwin's shop, where the body was hidden under a car. After they had brought the corpse back to the boat in a pickup truck, their troubles had begun.

The boat engine had stalled several times as they headed out into the bay, and they had been forced to drop the body closer to shore than planned. A carton of weights intended to sink the corpse to the bottom of the bay had broken the rope binding it to the body, so the small outboard motor had been substituted. Asked by Richards's attorney Shapiro whether he had ever considered going to the police prior to the murder with a report of Richards's plot against Baldwin, young Andrew seemed offended by the notion: "We weren't going to turn Mark in just because he was talking about killing somebody."

Judge Gary Thomas was satisfied by the evidence offered at the hearing and ordered that Richards be committed for trial.

Before the trial began, the lawyers battled over the maximum punishment that could be imposed in the event of conviction. On April 9, 1983 it was announced that the Marin district attorney's office would not seek the death penalty because of Richards's lack of a criminal record. However, the prosecution filed statutory charges that, if proved at trial, would justify life imprisonment without parole.

Three of these so-called "special circumstance" allegations were sustained in a pre-trial ruling by the appellate court which found adequate ground for the district attorney's claims that the alleged crime was a murder for financial gain, in connection with a robbery, and in preparation for a burglary. Despite this adverse ruling, in December Richards was ordered released on $250,000 bail pending his trial, which had been rescheduled during the appeal for early 1984.

On January 11 the defence filed a motion seeking to prohibit use of any evidence relating to the Pendragon conspiracy. Dennis Riordan, one of the defense lawyers, argued that the alleged financial motive for the murder reflected in the special-circumstances charges filed by the prosecution had no relation to the Pendragon group. He voiced the concern that a jury of Marin residents would be prejudiced by the introduction of documents that would be claimed to reflect a bizarre plot for an armed takeover of the county.

In response, Deputy District Attorney Berberian sidestepped the question of the reality of the Pendragon plot, contending that the prosecution was entitled to show that Richards had used his dream of conquest as a means of manipulating two teenagers who were "not mental giants." Berberian further suggested that if the defendant could persuade the boys that Marin could be turned into a kingdom, he could also incite them to help murder Baldwin.

A week later, Marin Superior Court Judge E. Warren McGuire ruled that the Pendragon evidence was admissible, basing his ruling on a California Supreme Court decision to the effect that Charles Manson's relationships with other members of his cult were relevant to the murders of actress Sharon Tate and others in 1969.

When the long-delayed trial at last began, Carl Shapiro acted as Mark Richards's chief counsel. In his opening statement, Shapiro charted a line of defense that was an elaboration of the tack taken by his client in the first police interview: Richards, he argued, had participated in the attempted coverup of Baldwin's murder but had done so only out of misguided loyalty to his teenage employees, Hoover and Andrew, who had clubbed and stabbed the victim in the course of a burglary of his home in which Richards took no part.

Deputy District Attorney Berberian, in the prosecution's opening statement, claimed that it was Richards who had masterminded the killing in order to clear the way for the burglary. He told the jury that handwriting experts would testify that it was Richards, not the two teenagers, who had signed checks and credit card receipts in Richard Baldwin's name and had also used the dead man's name in applying for credit at a stereo store. Exercising the authority he had been given by the pre-trial ruling, Berberian announced his intention to show that Richards had formed the Pendragon group.

The prosecution, he explained, did not undertake to prove that Richards was planning a takeover of Marin county, as some Pendragon members believed, but would seek to establish that the defendant had used the group to "manipulate and condition Mr. Hoover to accomplish the murder."

The prosecution's evidence began with a videotape of the classic-car shop and evidence that the police had gathered there, including a blood-smeared and broken baseball bat. The jury also heard a recording of Richard's interview with the police.

A college student who had worked for the contracting firm in the summer of 1982 testified to his surprise that in the days following the murder Richards had purchased a boat, new video equipment, and jewelry for his wife. These signs of affluence struck the witness as particularly odd since his first paycheck from Richards had been dishonored by the bank.

When the witness had noticed on the floor of the defendant's garage a safe that had been "punched open," Richards had explained that it had been given to him by a person for whom he had done remodeling work. The witness had alerted Marin detectives after another employee told him that Hoover had been boasting about killing a man and burglarizing his home.

This introductory evidence was followed by the testimony of the prosecution's "baby-faced" star witness, Andrew. According to him, Richards had first mentioned the idea of killing Baldwin on July 1, 1982. He had told Andrew and Hoover that Baldwin owed him money, was a "Nazi" and a "faggot," and that it "would be a service to the public to get rid of such a menace."

After the murder, Richards had expansively asserted that "if we made enough money, he could use some of it to buy guns for Pendragon," but Andrew was skeptical, continuing to believe that money was the motive. Richards, he testified, needed cash to save his contracting business from bankruptcy.

The contractor had told his two young confederates that they might raise as much as $50,000 by selling Baldwin's property, including shop equipment and vintage cars. Andrew also described a nervous moment during the launching of the boat at the Loch Lomond yacht harbor: they had been noticed and questioned by a security guard, but had apparently satisfied him with their answers.

When they returned to the marina with Baldwin's shrouded corpse, the guard questioned them again but let them pass. It was perhaps just as well for the guard that he had not looked more closely, for all three men were armed with pistols. Andrew stated that Richards had told him that Baldwin's classic-car collection could be sold through a Fresno automobile dealer named John Carrington.

The latter, who was the next witness, testified that he had read part of Richard's science-fiction manuscript, entitled Pendragon, and that "it involved the separation of Marin from the rest of the country."

At this point the trial was interrupted by a startling diversion: Judge McGuire ordered special courtroom security measures after hearing the prosecution's allegation that the defendant had been seen with a gun. The judge announced that he would rule later on a motion by Deputy District Attorney Berberian that Richards's bail should be revoked and he should be returned to jail.

The judge's action was based on testimony from San Rafael detective-sergeant Ted Lindquist. He had been informed that Linda Lipes of San Rafael, who was dating Richards (divorced from his wife since the murder), once felt a gun under Richard's coat and on another occasion saw a pistol in the glove compartment of his car.

When Miss Lipes was called to testify, matters began to take a comic turn. She said that Richards had identified himself as Francois Ragocazy, a South American consular official, and had introduced his mother, Lois, as an aunt. Apparently fearing that she might recognize him from newspaper photographs, he had told her that a cousin, named Mark Richards, was in trouble with the law. When she asked him why he kept a gun in his car, the fictitious diplomat had told her that he needed it for "political reasons."

Defence attorney Shapiro put Richards on the stand to respond to Miss Lipes's testimony. Everything she had said was true, he acknowledged, but he had not known that the gun was in the glove compartment of the car, which he had borrowed from his father. He had quite a different explanation for the gun's presence when Berberian asked him to clarify his comment to Miss Lipes that it was there for political reasons. Richards answered: "I see this trial as political. You and Lindquist are trying to save your necks from a bad bust [arrest]."

After hearing the testimony, Judge McGuire ruled that the evidence that Richards knowingly possessed a pistol was not strong enough to justify either increasing the bail or returning the defendant to prison.

The trial resumed with additional evidence regarding the operation of the Pendragon group. Mike Fuller, a former employee of Richards, stated that Willie Robles, a fellow employee, had approached him about joining Pendragon and that Richards had later warned him that he would "be eliminated" if he said anything to outsiders about the group. Robles had testified earlier that Richards paid him to recruit members.

A friend of the defendant told the jury that Richards had taken him to the top of Mount Tamalpais to show him the promised land of the new Marin and to demonstrate his plan for the insurrection; Richards had said that "we could blow up the Golden Gate Bridge down there, and we could blow up the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and destroy the Richmond oil refineries. And if we went farther north and blew up the bridge to Petaluma, Marin would be isolated."

Richards's friend said that he did not take these grandiose remarks seriously.

The prosecution also introduced the testimony of Michael Waller, an expert from the state crime laboratory. Waller stated that microscopic examination of television cable seized in Richards' pickup truck at the time of the arrest positively matched the cable used to wrap Baldwin's body. Berberian then put before the jury a collection of bank and accounting records that showed the perilous state of Richard's finances shortly before the murder.

The prosecution's case concluded with the testimony of the security guard who had challenged Richards and his two young employees at the Loch Lomond Marina; a Mill Valley man who had sold Richards the boat on July 6; and Richards's former wife. Caryn, who had now reassumed her family name, Cerutti.

She stated that on the night of the dumping of the body in San Pablo Bay, her husband had left home at about 11:30 p.m. and had not returned until 3:00 a.m., when he had fallen into a deep sleep. Caryn told the jury of her surprise that Richards could afford the boat or even the charm bracelet that he had presented to her shortly after the day of the murder.

The defense attempted to challenge the prosecution's chronological reconstruction of the crime by calling a witness who swore that he had seen Richard Baldwin alive on the night of July 6, 1982. Robert Hudsmith testified that his shower drain was plugged and that between 10 and 11 p.m. he had gone to a chimney-cleaning firm located near The Classic Car to try to borrow a "snake."

At the chimney cleaner's, an assistant named Devon Hird had told Hudsmith that she did not have a snake but suggested he borrow one from Baldwin. Hudsmith did not follow her advice because he knew that the car dealer did not lend his tools -- but he clearly recalled seeing Baldwin talking to friends at his shop. Hird confirmed Hudsmith's story.

This defense testimony proved to be a three-day wonder. On Thursday, rebuttal evidence gathered by Detective Lindquist proved that Hudsmith had been mistaken as to the date. The prosecution introduced a rental agreement showing that Hudsmith had rented a plumber's "snake" in the early afternoon of July 6 and returned it half an hour later; he had visited the chimney cleaner's and seen Baldwin a week earlier, on June 29.

In his closing argument for the prosecution, Deputy District Attorney Berberian asserted that the defendant "lied at the beginning, in the middle and at the end, to cover up the murder of Richard Baldwin." Berberian pointed out that the load of trash that Richards and his two employees were taking to the dump at the time of their arrest included the cable and plastic sheeting linking him to the murder. Shapiro, in rejoinder, trained his major attack on Andrew's testimony, which he regarded as tainted and unworthy of belief: Andrew had implicated Mark Richards to cover his own guilt. The defense counsel also dismissed the theory of the Pendragon conspiracy:

Mark's role-model was King Arthur. Pendragon was the dream of a young man who wanted to be King Arthur. Is that evidence of a crime? He has a creative imagination. These kids were playing a game of Knights of the Round Table and either misunderstood it or wanted it to be a game of cops and robbers or a game of war.

It took the jury four days to find Richards guilty of first-degree murder. After deliberating on the separate penalty phase of the trial, the same jury found that the three "special circumstances" charged by the prosecution (that the murder involved a hired assassin and was motivated by financial gain and a burglary plan) were established, and Richards was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.

After his arrest, Crossie Hoover's lawyers had argued that he should be tried as a juvenile. A child psychiatrist, Dr. Roman Rodriquez, had testified that Crossie was suffering from a borderline personality disorder and that there was a "good chance" that he would not kill again if properly treated. Deputy District Attorney Berberian, finding little comfort in the odds the doctor was quoting, asked whether he was willing to bet his life on his prediction. Rodriquez could only reply that there were "no guarantees."

According to the witness, Hoover was "a tool" in Richards's murder plan and, because of his mental condition and learning disability, was incapable of planning and carrying out the crime on his own. The doctor did not urge that Hoover be set free, but recommended his confinement in a mental hospital for long-term intensive treatment.

Berberian sought sterner treatment for Hoover, who had told another psychiatrist that he found killing "as easy as brushing your teeth," and advocated his trial as an adult -- which, in the event of conviction, could entail a prison term of twenty-five years to life, as compared with the maximum five-year term that could be imposed on defendants prosecuted as juveniles. Juvenile Court Judge Peter Allen Smith ruled for the prosecution, finding Rodriquez's testimony too speculative and highly optimistic.

In May 1984, the legal battles in the murder case of Crossie Hoover were renewed, and the defense scored a tactical victory. After a secret hearing, granted to avoid prejudicing potential jurors, Justice Louis H. Burke ruled that Hoover's confession would not be admissible at the trial.

The tape-recording of Hoover's statement revealed that San Rafael police sergeant Walt Kosta had advised the suspect of his right as a juvenile to have one of his parents present during the questioning. Hoover had answered that he wanted his mother to be called. The judge stated that at this point Kosta should have immediately stopped the questioning.

Instead, the sergeant had erred by taking a "second bite of the apple": he had asked Hoover to reconfirm that he wanted his mother brought to the station before talking to the police, and Crossie, perhaps taking that comment as a challenge to his manhood, had withdrawn his request and proceeded with the interview in his mother's absence.

The Pendragon conspiracy did not figure significantly in the prosecution's presentation of its case against Hoover. Deputy District Attorney Berberian advanced the straightforward argument that Hoover was motivated by Richards's promise of money. Unable, however, to resist the opportunity to make his own contribution to the psychological portraits of Baldwin's murderers, Berberian hypothesized that Hoover saw Richards's blood money as a means of "buying the love he never had to alleviate the frustration in his life."

During the course of the five-week trial, the prosecution introduced a strong chain of evidence against Crossie that more than compensated for the suppression of the youth's confession: a college student employed by Richards during the summer of 1982 testified that Hoover had bragged about killing a man, and the defendant's fingerprints were found at the scene of the crime.

In his closing argument, defence attorney Edward Torrico felt compelled to concede that his client had participated in Baldwin's murder, arguing that the young man was mentally disturbed at the time. The Marin Superior Court jury found Hoover guilty after a day's deliberations.

After rendering its verdict, the jury considered Hoover's insanity plea. Dr. Rodriquez, testifying for the defence, supported Torrico's argument that Hoover had slipped into a temporary psychotic state at the time he struck the fatal blows. The prosecution countered this evidence by introducing the comments that Hoover had made to a clinical psychologist in September 1982 regarding his state of mind just before the killing:

It was like Richards was coaching me. He would listen to what I said and push me on. When I was with Baldwin, I kept thinking, this is the guy standing between me and money. It made me excited. I thought about guns I could buy and all the other stuff. I knew it was wrong, but I didn't give a damn. Did you ever think of getting $5000? Did you even think of wanting to be with your mother? My mother would come back to Marin County. I could have my own room so I wouldn't have to look at her all the time. Oh, man. I was just thinking of how happy I'd be, how much love I would get, how many things I'd have.

As Berberian reflected on this statement, he must have wondered which were more chilling, the imperial dreams of Mark Richards or his hireling's limited mental horizons.

The jury rejected Hoover's insanity defence, and in November 1984 he was sentenced to twenty-six years to life. In February 1987 his conviction was affirmed by a California appellate court. The board had been swept clean; the new Camelot had lost both its King and its knight.

This article was previously published in Jonathan Goodman (ed.), The Vintage Car Murders 196-210 (London, Allison & Busby, 1988).

Collected Essays of Albert Borowitz



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