This is an article from Miller-McClune Magazine by Jack Levin called The Invisible Hate Crime which is basically about how violent crimes that target the handicapped are hate crimes and do not receive the attention they deserve from media or law enforcement.
For the most part Mr. Levin is dead on however there is one part of the article that I vehemently disagree with and it’s about John Odgren who stabbed and killed James Alenson at random in the bathroom of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.
Here’s what Mr. Levin had to say about Odgren…
On Jan. 19, 2007, John Odgren stabbed to death his 15-year-old schoolmate — a random victim — in a restroom at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts. The 16-year-old killer had been diagnosed, early on, with major depression, Asperger’s Syndrome,attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Because of his disabilities, Odgren had a long history of having been bullied and having sought to retaliate violently. In third grade, he threatened to shoot some girls who had harassed him. In fourth grade, he jabbed a pencil into another student’s chest. He was bullied repeatedly as he bounced from school to school and finally got even with his mainstreamed peers by killing an innocent victim. For taking the life of his schoolmate, Odgren was tried, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole eligibility.
What Mr. Levin fails to note that Odgren not only had an obsession with knives and allowed by his parents to stockpile a large knife collection, Odgren also planned out his crime meticulously and often bragged to people about how he could pull off the perfect crime. also I don’t see how Mr. Levin can call this a tit-for-tat crime since James Alenson not only didn’t know Odgren but I believe that James Alenson was probably a victim of bullying himself.
Mr.; Levin does a disservice to people who truly have Asperger’s as they do know right from wrong and anybody who does should know that stabbing and killing a random victim after planning it for months is definitely wrong.
Judge again rules against use of jailhouse conversations in Odgren case:
On Friday a judge ruled once again that the taped jailhouse conversations of John Odgren. Previously prosecutors asked for all the tapes but this time they narrowed their request to 10 to 15 hours of tape.
Prosecutors want the tapes to show that Odgren doesn’t really have Aspergers which is the key to his defense.
Use of taped conversations barred in student’s trial:
The judge presiding over the proceedings of accused killer John Odgren has ruled that recorded conversations between Odgren and his parents are inadmissible.
If you’ll remember a then 16-year-old Odgren stabbed 15-year-old James Alenson to death in a random attack at Lincoln-Sudbury High School in Massachusetts.
Prosecutors wanted to use the tape to prove that Odgren is sane. Odgren’s attorney is using an insanity defense because Odgren has Aspergers.
Again I say being genetically socially inept does not make you insane and Odgren’s lawyer is doing a great disservice to Aspergers patients by using an insanity defense.
Prosecutors will appeal and are confident that the tapes will be allowed in the trial.
Odgren attorney: Throw out first-degree murder indictment:
Criminal defense attorneys never fail to amuse me. Take for instance the attorney to John Odgren, Jonathan Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro wants the first-degree murder indictment against his client because the prosecution did not instruct the grand jury properly as to Odgren’s mental and psychological conditions.
For those of you just joining us a then 16-year-old Odgren is accused of stabbing 15-year-old James Alenson to death in a bathroom at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Alenson was allegedly chosen at random by Odgren. Odgren has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome which some think that Odgren was not responsible for his own actions. To which I say bullshit.
Aspergers does not cause someone to become randomly violent and to claim such will only make people with Aspergers outcast and reviled probably more than they already are. Asapergers did not make John Odgren plan this murder months in advance. Asperegers did not put the knife into John Odgren’s hand.
So in my unprofessional opinion I think the prosecution absolutely did the right thing by not disclosing his alleged mental deficiencies to the grand jury. To do so would be almost criminal.
Trial date set in Sudbury high school slaying:
You have got to be kidding me.
A trial date has been set for John Odgren. Odgren is the teen accused of stabbing his classmate James Alenson to death at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts. The thing is the trial date is almost a year away…
Middlesex Superior Court Judge Isaac Borenstein yesterday set a Sept. 15, 2008, trial date for John Odgren, 16. Odgren is charged with the Jan. 19 murder of classmate James Alenson, 15, inside the high school.
Not that I give a damn about Odgren but why so long for a trial? Whatever happened to the speedy part? I want to see this kid get put away as soon as possible.
Odgren is also one of the kids that the Helen Lovejoy’s are rallying around not only because he was charged as an adult but he also has Asperger’s.
Lawyer Says Teen Charged In School Killing May Recover Memory:
Now that he’s been ruled competent to stand trial John Odgren’s attorney is saying that Odgren’s memory of the murder of James Alenson may return.
Jonathan Shapiro now tells “The Boston Globe” that the extent and permanence of Odgren’s amnesia is unclear. Last Monday he withdrew a request for a mental competency hearing.
This is after prosecutors planned to hire their own psychologist to do a comprehensive examination that would give them access to all of Odgren’s medical and psychiatric records.
It’s funny how things work out that way.
Principal says ‘extra step’ not taken before stabbing:
Yesterday the principal of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School and the superintendent said at a school board meeting that the school psychologist who confiscated a knife from John Odgren then gave it back at the end of the day should have reported it to authorities. You don’t say.
John M. Ritchie told the school board in a meeting last night that he didn’t think that there was “flagrant neglect, disregard for the welfare of the school, or irresponsible ignoring of school policy.”
Still, he said, “Some additional effort had to be made that wasn’t made to determine whether this was a pattern, to call it to someone’s attention, to determine whether it was completely innocent.”
“That was where people did not execute reasonable expectation on my part,” Ritchie said. “I think that in a school setting with safety being of paramount concern to us, an extra step had to be taken.”
Ritchie did not single out any school staff, and he declined to say whether disciplinary action would be taken, citing confidentiality.
If that school employee doesn’t lose his or her job then there’s seriously something wrong with that school system.
Doc: Teen stab suspect competent to stand trial:
John Odgren, the 15-year-old suspect in the fatal Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School stabbing of James Alenson, was ruled competent to stand trial yesterday. A psychiatrist informed the court that Odgren is competent and no longer needs to be housed in a psychiatric facility. Odgren swore at the judge when he was told that he was going back to juvenile lockup.
“(Expletive) it,” Odgren said. “(If you) send me back to Plymouth, I’m not coming back.”
Odgren’s attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, argued that Odgren’s Asperger’s puts him at risk in lock up.
Shapiro argued Odgren’s Asperger’s syndrome puts him at risk in jail because he makes ‘inappropriate comments’ to other boys. “Frankly, it’s dangerous,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro also states that Odgren is at risk for suicide and that he has, get this, amnesia of the whole stabbing incident. Isn’t that convenient? So you’re going to tell me that someone who was joking with police and offered to assist the crime scene investigators all of a sudden has amnesia of the entire event. Amnesia, it’s not just for soap operas and cartoons anymore.
Shapiro argued that Odgren should still be kept at the mental facility but the judge put a quick stop to that.
Judge Isaac Borenstein responded and said, “The very same doctor you quote said he does not need to be in the hospital.”
Well since Odgren allegedly has amnesia then he won’t remember where he is.
What a drama queen.
Prosecutor outlines L-S murder suspect John Odgren’s history of violence:
I’m linking this article because it has an interesting PDF file. It’s entitled “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. John Odgren”. I found it compelling and hard to put down. Let me give you the highlights for those of you who aren’t PDF enabled.
- Odgren had January 19th, the day of the murder, marked on his calendar.
- He was accepted by other students and there was no evidence of bullying.
- He took particular joy in the blood splatter experiments in his forensic class.
- Odgren threatened a student with a screwdriver.
- He chased another student with a sharpened object which according to the article was a shard of glass.
- The knife used to murder James Alenson was a 13 inch kitchen carving knife.
- When Police Crime Scene Services arrived he excitedly offered to help them.
- He made jokes with police and investigators.
- He said that he didn’t even know the kid’s name (Alenson).
If I didn’t know any better, and I do, I’d swear this was a premeditated murder on a random victim.
I don’t care if Odgren was in a wheelchair stricken with polio after his puppy died. He’s obviously in need of a lengthy stay behind bars. And as in lengthy I mean forever.
Lincoln-Sudbury student pleads not guilty in slaying:
John Odgren pleaded not guilty today in the stabbing death of James Alenson. So let me get this straight. He stabs James Alenson to death, basically confesses to the crime to police at the scene, then pleads not guilty. Just once I want someone to plead guilty. Why has he plead not guilty? I sense someone laying the grounds for an insanity defense…
Odgren, a 16-year-old sophomore from Princeton, looked puzzled during the proceeding as his attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, asked the judge to transfer his client from jail to Westborough State Hospital so he could receive medication and psychiatric treatment. Odgren’s condition has deteriorated, Shapiro said, and he has been on suicide watch for the last four or five days.
Judge Isaac Borenstein ordered that Odgren be sent to Westborough State for observation for 20 days.
Call me a cold-hearted bastard if you want but I’m not buying it. I think Odgren and his lawyer are trying to use his Asperger’s to their advantage. I would lay odds that during the trial they’re going to make it seem like that all Asperger’s patients are all just time bombs ready to go off and kill someone at any given moment.
Let’s not forget what Odgren did either…
Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett said that Odgren slashed Alenson’s throat before plunging a 5.5-inch knife through his ribs and then into his though the stomach. A third student was in a bathroom stall and heard Alenson say, “What are you doing, you are hurting me,” Bennett said.
That doesn’t sound like someone who “just snapped” to me. That sounds more like a stone cold killer.