Rice might have to keep the GPS

Last summer, less than a week out of jail on a decade-long attempted kidnapping conviction, Darrell David Rice took to surfing the web for pornography on his mother's laptop computer. That admission has already pushed the federal court in Charlottesville to force Rice into sex offender treatment, random polygraphs, and genital testing. Now, the court will hear arguments this Friday that could potentially keep Rice under surveillance for the duration of his three-year probation. For Rice, released July 17, 2007, the transition to normal life seems to get tougher every day. In late summer, when neighbors in his idyllic Maryland town realized they had an attempted kidnapper in their midst, they reacted like zoo-goers in the presence of a hungry tiger. Residents of Kent Island began flooding message boards with rumors that Rice was on the verge of– if not in the process of– another attack. "I have repeatedly advised citizens calling me to allow the federal agents

supervising Mr. Rice to do their job and not engage in activities that escalate the tension," wrote Frank M. Kratovil Jr., the State's Attorney for Queen Anne's County, where Rice now lives at his mother's spacious waterfront home. Despite the plea for peace, in the same letter, Kratovil asked federal judge Norman K. Moon to extend the court-ordered ban on pornography and continue Global Positioning System monitoring for Rice. In a series of court orders last August and September, Rice agreed to wear a GPS monitor, install a home phone without call forwarding, and– whenever demanded by his probation officer– don a "penile plethysmograph," a device that measures blood flow to the penis. It's part of the program for the man who attacked a Canadian bicyclist in Shenandoah National Park in 1997. If some Kent Islanders find Rice abhorrent, his new website portrays a family man who goes on outings smiling with friends and family, including children. It's a far different portrayal from the one offered in 2002 by then-attorney general John Ashcroft when the nation's top crime-buster accused Rice of capital murder, the "hate crime" killing of two gay women at their campsite near the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park six years earlier. The government's case against Rice collapsed, however, as no physical evidence could be produced tying him to the crime. And the supposed anti-gay statements recorded by a jailhouse snitch? They turned out, on further analysis, not to be anti-gay statements at all. In recent days, pressure has begun mounting to reopen the case of the slain hikers for further DNA testing against known serial killers such as Richard Marc Evonitz, who, in 1996 and 1997, killed three girls in Spotsylvania County. And in just the past few days, a 61-year-old man named Gary M. Hilton has been suggested as the perpetrator of multiple Appalachian Trail and other murders in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. Rice's hearing is set for 9:30am on January 18. Spokespersons for Rice's prosecution as well as his defense declined to be interviewed for this story. #

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10 comments

I haven't heard anything from investigators (other than the now discredited jailhouse audio tape of Rice) to suggest that the killer of the two women in the Shenadoah National Park were targeted for or even aware of their sexuality.

Does anybody know why it was determined there was a connection between the ladies' murder and their sexuality? Is it just supposition?

I brought up Rice in the book I wrote about Marc Evonitz (INTO THE WATER, St. Martin's Press, June 2004) My impression about Ashcroft's statements was that he and the justice department were trying to get bonus PR points with the public for highlighting the sexual preference of the women.

Does anyone have a link to Rice's web site?

Just click on the photo of him above, and that'll shoot you straight to http://www.darrellrice.org/ which is entitled "Darrell Rice is Innocent"-- Hawes Spencer, Hook editor

Thanks. I thought I had missed something. I hadn't really been following the updates closely.

WHOA! WAIT A MINUTE!

What if the suspect really was the trooper? :)

Sick, is this the correct way to spell "duh?" We all knew we were being set up for that.

Throughout all of these cases that are associated with each other in discussion around this area, the funniest thing that ever happened was one of the victims picking out and identifying a Virginia state trooper in a photo lineup as the suspect that attacked her. Once told she had picked out a trooper and then coached by whoever, she supposedly changed her tune to "I meant the suspect looks like him!", according to press releases.

Eyewitness identification and $1.50 will buy you a large cup of coffee at McDonalds.

It was a joke. That's why the little :) is beside it.

Haven't you ever watched the movie My Cousin Vinny? Once the kid figures out he is being charged with murder instead of shoplifting he jumps up and yells out, "WHOA! WAIT A MINUTE!"