A killer found not guilty by reason of insanity taunted a local family on Facebook until NewsChannel 3 took action and got results.
He was given Internet access at Eastern State Hospital and now after our inquiries, his page has mysteriously disappeared.
Some viewers weighed in asking why the family didn’t just block him.
It’s not quite that simple and there`s a bigger issue. The clock is ticking on when the killer is declared sane and released. Bill Knarr wants to protect his grandchildren from the killer who stabbed their mother to death in February of 2010.
Knarr says the mental health system protects Owen Walker, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
“We’re not to know anything. We’re not to know his treatment, we’re not to know what they’re doing or not doing, what permission he has,” says Knarr.
Up until last week, Walker had permission to post on Facebook, taunting the family of the victim beyond the walls of Eastern State Hospital.
Bill credits our NewsChannel 3 investigation for making it stop.
“And if it wasn’t for you, I don’t think that the people would be aware of what’s going on,” says Knarr.
The goings on were disturbing, and Bill didn’t know what to make of them. One strange post from Walker reads: “Let the one who is evil, stop doing evil things.”
“I have a feeling that he will get out one day. I have a fear he will come after my children,” says Knarr.
Psychiatrist Dr. Pat King advises them to stop looking at those Facebook messages.
“So the best thing they can do at this point is to try to create some distance between the murderer and themselves ,” says Dr. King.
That’s hard for the grandparents to hear, considering what the grandchildren witnessed the night of the murder, memories that keep reemerging.
“Gianni, who is seven, remembers it to this day. [He] will, out of the blue, bring up things about the incident, catches me totally off guard,” says Knarr.
Grandparents Ripton and Carol Mitchell have custody of the surviving children and took notes of their memories.
“‘Mommy slip fell down, bump her head, her shirt was wet,’ and I looked at her and I said, ‘What color was her shirt? and she said, ‘Red,’” Ripton Mitchell,the step grandfather, explained.
“At this point, the kids are so young they don’t have a clear understanding of death or the details about what has happened,” says Dr. King.
But the clock is ticking and Bill is aware that there are likely tough times ahead.
“And I’ll have to deal with the fact that there’s a day he might get out,” says Knarr.
While Dr. King suggests that the adults create distance between themselves and the killer, she says the children should have a choice if the father is successfully treated.
“When they’re at a different point in their development, I think they should be included in the decision making on whether or not they make contact,” says Dr. King.