Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dysfunctional Whites

From the AP:

Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III, 20, is already charged in the killing of Mark Niederbrock, a pastor at a Presbyterian church in central Virginia. He's expected to face more charges in the future, after investigators sift through hundreds of pieces of forensic evidence.

At a news conference Tuesday, the other victims were identified as Longwood University professor Debra Kelley, 53; Emma Niederbrock, 16, the daughter of Kelley and Mark Niederbrock; and Melanie Wells, 18, of Inwood, W.Va.

The bodies were discovered over the weekend at Kelley's home in Farmville, about 50 miles west of Richmond. Debra Kelley and Mark Niederbrock had been separated for about a year.

Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Ennis would not reveal what kind of weapon was used, if the victims suffered other injuries or a possible motive. He confirmed that McCroskey was staying in Kelley's home during a visit to Virginia and called the investigation "unparalleled."


The girls had last logged in to their MySpace pages [here, perhaps] on Sept. 14. Mark Niederbrock was last heard from on Thursday, when he told the church treasurer he was going to Richmond for a meeting.


Sarah McCroskey has said her brother -- who rapped about killing, maiming and mutilating people under the moniker "Syko Sam" -- was a meek and kind person who never fought back when picked on and wouldn't do anything unless provoked.


Niederbrock and Kelley had taken their daughter and Wells to a concert in Michigan on Sept. 12, and the girls hung out with Richard McCroskey before and after the show, according to a friend.

Here is a picture of "Syko Sam". Here is a picture of Pastor Niederbrock.

News reports locate the pastor's church in either Hixburg (really!) or Pamplin, neither of which rates a mention at City-data.com. The cities towns wide spots are pretty close to each other. Here are the stats on Pastor Niederbrock's church. (Parenthetically, the main page of the PCUSA website makes no mention of Niederbrock's death, but does tell its parishoners that next month is "Domestic Violence Awareness Month". I don't know if this is what they had in mind, but note that the PCUSA is the oldline liberal Presbyterian denomination.) Walker's Presbyterian is down to 35 members after having lost 42 members in 2008. Appomattox is a conservative county, and Niederbrock's "separation" probably wasn't very popular.

The murders took place in the college town of Farmville at the home of Niederbrock's estranged wife.


Justin said...

That kid is giving wiggers a bad name!

Anonymous said...

The town name, "Hixburg," is a bit ironic, but it is actually named after a local family who owned a general store there and still owns a dairy farm across from the church.

They *are* conservative and, of course, religious, but I don't think too many were bent out of shape over the separation. Mark was too beloved by the congregation for that. They were sorry, but come on, even in the country people know that divorce happens. Indeed, a recent study suggested that divorce is far more common in the rural south than anywhere else in the country.

I knew Niederbrock and attended his funeral. Many of my extended family members attend Walker's and it is my mother's home church.

I'm just a liberal atheist ;) Now, *that* does get them going...lol.

Burke said...

Anon: thanks for the comment!

I apologize if my tone was judgmental. That judgment was not directed at Niederbrock himself, necessarily. You are correct that divorce happens, although if this was not the reason for Walker's declining membership, surely something else equally dramatic must have happened.

My narrative of these events is, loosely:

- wayward wife (as evidenced by the fact that he kept the house);

- delinquent daughter (as evidenced by her facebook pictures);

- poor parenting by somebody (as evidenced by tolerating daughter's participation in an alt-music scene with an older girl)

- really poor parenting / non-judgmentalism by wayward mother (as evidenced by allowing obviously criminal young man to stay overnight in same house with daughter).

My theory is that Dad found out about this, grew a set, and went over to wayward wife's house to confront the situation. This obviously didn't go well.

If you have any inside (sort-of) knowledge that can support or contradict any aspect of this theory, I will gladly run it and retract my idle speculation.