Murder series points to Evonitz, not Rice

Darrell David Rice is the convicted attacker once suspected of being both the Route 29 stalker as well and the Shenandoah Park murderer, as detailed in a pair of Hook stories last spring. But he gets a more sympathetic treatment by the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star last week. While the now-free Rice has been reviled by neighbors in his idyllic Maryland island town, the Fredericksburg paper points out that investigators have inexplicably refused to cross-check forensic evidence from four unsolved murders to a known serial child-killer active in Central Virginia in the mid-1990s, Richard Marc Evonitz. Readers can click on a new Rice-friendly site to see a friendly new photo of Rice and get linked to the book-length package published in Fredericksburg.

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4 comments

And yet we need the truth.

I Totally Agree!

Of course the authorities have refused to cross-check forensic evidence from four unsolved murders to Evonitz. It would possibly without a doubt clear Rice, after he was falsely arrested for several of the murders. They're not going to do anything to prove they actually jumped the gun and accused/arresteed an innocent person. End of story.

Lynching by Internet
Whilst researching for an upcoming lecture on homicide I read some of the comments posted in relation to Rice being the Route 29 Stalker.

First I would inform you that Rice is innocent. There were some misinformed scurrilous accusations made against the defense lawyers in this case but I worked for them on this investigation. They worked for servitiude wages in two insatnces and for pro bono in the case of James Connell. Why? because they believe in fighting potential misacarriages of justice. That would have been the case here had they continued with a kangeroo show trial of Rice despite all the evidence to the contrary. Yes victims of the 29 stalker did pick him out in a photo line up. I think there were 5 or 6. However I am aware that just as many picked out Evonovitz. What is more there were more witnesses that said it wasn't Rice than said it was.

His cell phone records shows that he was in Baltimore (cell sites showed this) together with record of visits to his probation officer. He had a light blue pickup at the time of the crimes and a picture of this is contained on the internet. Even the most color blind biased person could see that his blue pickup could not be regarded as black by any imagination.

Is it so surprising that witnesses pulled Rice's photograph out after it had been displayed by the Attorney General, John Ashcroft himself claiming in a high profile national news conference that they had caught the Route 29 stalker. They falshed Rice picture over every television in the land.

Rice was in custody over another matter at that time. His mug shot was the possesion of the police. None of the witnesses had ever picked him out before that. 9 years had elapsed between the stalking and the photo identification. There is ample research to show that photographic identification is flawed and should stop. There could and should have been a proper line up with defense lawyers resent. Why dont they do that in Virginia? Because they have to let the defense lawyer be present. Oh that something shoudl be fair.

You people who want to condemn Rice without a knowledge of the facts of the case should look in to the mirror. Part of Rice's problem is that he had a persecution complex, I wonder why? Whatever happened to a presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty. There is no evidence against Rice in relation to the murders in the Shenandoah Valley or the Route 29 stalker case. There is DNA available which proves beyond all doubt that it isn't Rice. Do you really think the Government and FBI and other law enforcement agencies would not have shouted it from the roof tops if they did have evidence. They most certainly went on television and proclaimed his guilt even before trial.

I thought lynching was a thing of the past but now it seems people want to do it anonymously by internet. Before you decide guilt or innocence please look at the facts, the evidence, and make an honest assessment. i did and decided that Rice was not guilty.

If you were to read the Fredericksburg Freelance Star they published what I am told was an excllent article regarding Rice. I have no connection or affiliation with that newspaper but I am glad there remains decent people and professional journalists who publish stories that are true even though it goes against public opinion.

Rice was sentenced for a cime which was blown out of all proportion and sentenced because people thought he was the murderer in Shenandoah Valley. It was a case we lost on one thing so we will get him for another. 11 years for that crime is a disgrace. He served that sentence. he should now be left to get on with his life.

I have never spoken with Rice but I did investigate his case. I have 40 years experience in investigating homicide. This as a a classic case of using a sledgehammer to miss a nut.

Instead of criticising the lawyers in this case they should be praised. They should have an award for preventing a miscarriage of justice. Some of you bloggers should be ashamed of yourselves.

Instead of rushing for the needle you should look at what is happening around you. The biggest growth industry in the state of Virginia is building and maintaining correctional facilities. That money could be better spent building centers for the mentally ill. Providing money just so that the State can continue to dish out draconian sentences is crazy.

You will note that I have not suggested Evonovitz guilt because he is now dead and therefore cannot face a trial. I do note the Route 29 stalker appears to have stopped. I do think it would be a good idea for the authorities to examine the DNA and compare it with Evonovitz and eliminate him from the investigations. If it is Evonovitz then the public has aright to know for peace of mind.

The problem in these high profile cases is that nobody wants to admit to a mistake.

I would like to finish by praising Deirdre Enright, Clare Cardwell, and James Connell for their work on this case. If the public only knew just how difficult it is to obtain facts in discovery, how prosecutors in their zest to win suppress evidence, which is not helpful to their case.

This is a great country and I believe in the rule of law absolutely. How the justice systems works is how others judge us. There has to be checks and balances and thank god for people like James Connell Clare Cardwell and Deirdre Enright.