And the award for worst moral panic of the month for September 2009 goes to…

…the Richmond Times-Dispatch for their coverage of the murders of four people in Farmville, Virginia.

On September 20, 2009, the Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a story with the headline “Police: Lyrics may have played role in Farmville slayings”:

Investigators are trying to determine whether a suspect’s fascination with violent rap lyrics fueled the killings of four people found dead Friday in a Longwood University professor’s home.

Farmville police said the victims, which include a church pastor, might have been killed on different days, although they still were awaiting completion of autopsies.

Police on Saturday captured the suspect, Richard Samuel Alden McCroskey III, at Richmond International Airport as he was waiting for a flight to California. That was one day after police found the bodies in the Farmville home of professor Debra S. Kelley, and her daughter, Emma Niederbrock.

The only victim police are identifying is Kelley’s husband, Mark Niederbrock, the pastor at Walker’s Presbyterian Church in Appomattox County. Authorities have identified the three others only as females, and they are not discussing how the victims were killed. Friends and associates identified the females as Kelley, Emma Niederbrock and Melanie Wells, a friend of Emma’s visiting from West Virginia.


People who know McCroskey described him as him as a fan and promoter of the horrorcore, which is hip-hop music adapted to violent lyrics, but they said they did not believe he was violent.

One song attributed to McCroskey on one of his MySpace pages discusses committing murder in a rage, trying to get rid of the remains and driving a stolen vehicle.

That’s right folks, music lyrics were responsible for the murders of four people.

It’s nice to see that the astute geniuses at the RT-D didn’t take a single college class that involved logic. See, you’re supposed to find the “independent variable” when talking about causes of crime and other problems. The independent variable in this situation is not “horrorcore” rap, it’s the fact that the guy (allegedly) responsible for the murders is frelling insane.

Is that so hard to figure out?

And the funny thing was yesterday, while on my way to Richmond in the morning, I turned to 96.9FM and was listening to the goofball they have on in the mornings and he was talking about the “weirdest songs” and whatnot. One song he mentioned was “Butcher Pete” by Roy Brown which was released in 1950. Check out the lyrics for the song:

(Part I)

Hey everybody, did the news get around
About a guy named Butcher Pete
Oh, Pete just flew into this town
And he’s choppin’ up all the women’s meat

He’s hackin’ and wackin’ and smackin’
He’s hackin’ and wackin’ and smackin’
He’s hackin’ and wackin’ and smackin’
He just hacks, wacks, choppin’ that meat

Butcher Pete’s got a long sharp knife
He starts choppin’ and don’t know when to stop
All you fellows gotta watch your wifes
‘Cause Pete don’t care who’s meat he chops

Ever since Peter flew into town
He’s been havin’ a ball
Just cuttin’ and choppin’ for miles around
Single women, married women, old maids and all

Wakes up in the morning, half past five
Chops from sunrise to sunset
I don’t see how he stays alive
Meat’s gonna be the death of ole Pete, yeah

The police put Pete in jail
Yes, he finally met his faith
But when they came to pay his bail
They found him choppin’ up his cell mate

That Butcher Pete is a crazy man
Tries to chop down the wind and the rain
Just hacks on anything he can get
Say, turn this record over, you ain’t heard nothing yet

(Part II)

Well, they let ole Pete out of the jail
He went back to his store
All the women who payed his bail
Were waitin’ on Pete to chop some more

There’s an old woman, who’s ninety-two
Lives down the street
She said, one thing more I wanna do
Is find ole Pete and let him chop my meat

Pete went to church one Sunday night
He gave the preacher a fit
That crazy Pete started a fight
When he went hackin’ on the pulpit

Well, they put him in jail again
They tried to give him life
Pete beat the case, he pleaded insane
They gave him back his same ole knife

Well, he got out of jail on Sunday night
Monday he tightened his grip
He started to China to see the sites
Went nuts again and chopped up the ship

Brought ole Pete back to town
To electrocute him there
But Pete was crazy like a clown
He chopped down that electric chair

He’s a maniac!
He don’t do nothin’ but hackin’

So, my question to the Richmond Times-Dispatch is how many murders is “Butcher Pete” responsible for? 4, 8, maybe 12? Come on, give me a number.