Again, I had to go to a foreign newspaper in order to get an article with substance. I saw a blurb in my local paper about the capture of a serial killer of homeless people in Orange County California. It’s a tragic story of four homeless men getting brutally stabbed to death. The U.S. version of events leaves you with the impression that a crazy man killed these people and our courageous police have cracked the case and saved us from this monster.
I wonder why they left out the part about him being a clean cut decorated U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and was honorably discharged in 2010. He was a fun loving polite kid when he went into the Marines. He did his tour in Iraq and came back sullen, with hands that shook, experiencing horrible headaches, and became an alcoholic. What did this kid experience in Iraq that turned him into a serial killer? This is not an isolated incident. Our soldiers are coming back from the Middle East totally fucked up. These endless wars of choice are destroying the boys we are sending over there. Do you think the neo-con chickenhawks care about these men? They only care about winning their real life game of Risk. The soldiers are just pieces on a gameboard to these psychotic fucks.
Lives are being destroyed. Families are being ruined. The four homeless men murdered by this soldier will not show up on the Iraq War casualty count, but they should. If our leaders weren’t sending our young men to kill people in foreign countries without a valid reason, declaration of war or understandable mission, these men in Orange County would still be alive and a young man would still be fun loving and trying to pick up girls on Saturday nights. The real terror in this country has not been wrought by Muslim terrorists, but our own government.
Father of Iraq war veteran who ‘killed four homeless men’ is HIMSELF homeless and lives out of a truck in a parking lot
The father of a Marine veteran suspected of killing four homeless men in Southern California is himself homeless, it has emerged.
Furthermore, just days before being arrested Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, went to his father, showed him a picture of one of the victims and warned him of the dangers of living on the streets.
‘He was very worried about me,’ said Refugio Ocampo, 49. ‘I told him, “Don’t worry. I’m a survivor. Nothing will happen to me.”‘
His son is awaiting charges in connection with the killings of four homeless men since late December.
The father also said his son came back a changed man after serving in Iraq, expressing disillusionment and becoming ever darker as his family life frayed and he struggled to find his way as a civilian.
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Mr Ocampo, a former lawyer, said his son (pictured right in an image released by police after his arrest) came back a changed man after serving in Iraq
The father said he lost his job and home, and ended up living under a bridge before finding shelter in the cab of a broken-down big-rig he is helping repair.
Itzcoatl Ocampo was arrested Jan. 13 after 64-year-old homeless man, John Berry – believed to be a Vietnam veteran – was stabbed to death outside a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Anaheim.
Bystanders gave chase, and police made the arrest.
Refugio Ocampo said that on Jan. 11 his son came to him with a picture of the first victim, 53-year-old James Patrick McGillivray, who was killed on Dec. 20.
‘”This is what’s happening,”‘ the father quoted his son as saying.
In addition to Berry and McGillivray, Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was killed near a riverbed trail in Anaheim on Dec. 28; and Paulus Smit, 57, was found dead outside a Yorba Linda library on Dec. 30.
Refugio Ocampo said investigators came to him on Friday night and showed him surveillance photos from a crime scene, but he did not recognize his son as the person in the images.
Itzcoatl Ocampo’s family have released these images of the young man, showing him in happier times
The victims: From left, James McGillivray was stabbed outside a shopping centre on December 20; Lloyd Middaugh was found stabbed on a riverbed on December 28; and Paulus Cornelius Smit was found stabbed outside a library on December 30
‘If he did it, it wasn’t right, obviously. But there’s something wrong with him,’ he said.
Itzcoatl Ocampo had been living with his mother, uncle, and younger brother and sister in a rented house on a horse ranch surrounded by the sprawling suburbs of Yorba Linda.
At the humble home, his mother, who speaks little English, tearfully brought her son’s Marine Corps dress uniform out of a closet and showed unit photos, citations and medals from his military service.
The son followed a friend into the Marine Corps right out of high school in 2006 instead of going to college as his father had hoped. Itzcoatl Ocampo was discharged in 2010 and returned home to find his family in disarray, the father said.
That same month, Itzcoatl Ocampo’s friend, Cpl. Claudio Patino IV, 22, of Yorba Linda, was killed in combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
‘Once he received the news he was never the same,’ said the suspect’s younger brother, 17-year-old Mixcoatl Ocampo. He said his brother visited Patino’s grave twice a week.
Refugio and Mixcoatl both described a physical condition Itzcoatl suffered in which his hands shook and he suffered headaches. Medical treatments helped until he started drinking heavily, both said.
‘He started drinking like crazy, too much, way too much,’ the father said.
A neighbor who is a Vietnam veteran and the father both tried to push Itzcoatl to get treatment at a veterans hospital, but he refused. Refugio Ocampo said he wanted his son to get psychological treatment as well.
‘He started talking about stuff that didn’t make any sense, that the end of the world was going to happen,’ he said.
While Refugio Ocampo lives away from his family, they remain close. He saw his children every day, and his wife brings food to the parking lot where the truck is located in the city of Fullerton. He and his two sons went to get haircuts together just a day before the arrest, the father said.
Refugio Ocampo, who said he was educated as a lawyer in Mexico, immigrated with his wife and Itzcoatl in 1988 and became a U.S. citizen. He described building a successful life in which he became a warehouse manager and bought a home in Yorba Linda. In the past few years he lost his job, ran out of savings, lost his house and separated from his wife.
Standing near the truck where he sleeps, the father fought back tears as he described the changes he saw in his son in the year since returning home.
‘Before, he had the initiative to do things, the desire. But after the military, he didn’t have any of that,’ he said.
That was far from the son who in high school was a polite and motivated student, he said.
A school friend, Brian Doyle, portrayed Itzcoatl Ocampo as a fun-loving teen who liked to hit on girls when he joined the military. After he was discharged and returned home he became isolated and trusted no one, said Doyle, 23.
Doyle had difficulty describing the change he saw in his friend from high school.
‘He went from being a tall, geeky kid, really fun-loving…,’ he said, trailing off.
Doyle said he once offered his friend a self-help book based on Eastern philosophy that he had found useful but Itzcoatl Ocampo rejected it.
Doyle said he tried to find out what was going on with his friend but didn’t press it, never imagining something like the serial killings.
‘Everyone’s got their issues, you know,’ he said.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter has said investigators are confident they have the man responsible for the string of murders that struck fear into Orange County’s homeless since Dec. 20.
Prosecutors have yet to file charges.
On Saturday, mourners wept and placed flowers at the scene of the latest victim, John Berry.
Since mid-December a task force of police officers, sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents had been looking for the single suspect they believed was responsible for the attacks.
He was found between 8pm and 9pm Friday in a Carl’s Jr. parking lot at the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Imperial Highway in Anaheim, police said.
Marilyn Holland, an Anaheim resident who befriended the victim and regularly brought him oatmeal raisin cookies, said he was uncharacteristically nervous since police warned him to stay vigilant in the days after the killings began.
‘He told me he thought he was being followed,’ Holland said.
‘I told him after pay day I was going to get him a cellphone, so he could call 911 if anything happened. Normally he would refuse help but he was willing to accept the phone because he was scared.’
Holland was paid Friday but didn’t get the chance to get the phone to her friend.
Several witnesses reported an assault in progress, and officers arrived to find the homeless man dead near a trash bin in the restaurant parking lot.
Witnesses followed a man who ran from the lot and led police to him, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.
‘We were having dinner in the area and saw about 40 police cars scream into the parking lot. I ran over and hugged my friend, screaming, “Please tell me it’s not John!” But it was,’ Holland said, fighting back tears.
Police set up a large containment area at the crime scene in a search for the killer and scoured nearby neighborhoods, including a mobile home park, Dunn said.
A police bloodhound traced the scent from Ocampo’s belongings back to the scene where the attack occurred, about 10 miles northeast of the Disneyland Resort, authorities said.
Ocampo was being held without bail on suspicion of murder, Dunn said.
A task force of law enforcement officers from Anaheim, Placentia, Brea, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI had been formed to investigate the killings of the three other homeless men.
James Patrick McGillivray, 53, was killed near a shopping center in Placentia on Dec. 20; Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found near a riverbed trail in Anaheim on Dec. 28; and Paulus Smit, 57, was killed outside a Yorba Linda library on Dec. 30.
Police and advocates have been urging those living on the streets to head inside or buddy up in the wake of the killings.
The identity of the Friday night victim was not officially released but nearby residents said the man, known as John, was well known.
Krista Schegetz, who had known John for five or six years, told the Orange County Register she had warned him about the killings.
‘When the second one happened, I didn’t know if he’d heard,’ said Schegetz. ‘I know he reads the paper. But I wasn’t sure and I said just please be careful.
‘He was very solitary. When I first met him, I asked him if there was anything he needed, and he said “I have everything.”‘
‘He was the nicest guy you can imagine,’ Kevin Christensen told the Register. ‘I wanted to warn him there was a serial killer loose, and he said “Don’t worry about it.”‘
John’s murder comes after the deaths of three homeless men in ten days last month. Each man, found dead in Orange County, was alone at the time of the killings and stabbed repeatedly.
James McGillivray, 53, was found killed with multiple stab wounds outside a shopping center in Placentia. Eight days later, Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found along a riverbed trail in Anaheim.
Paulus Cornelius Smit, 57, was found stabbed to death on December 30 in a stairwell outside a library. His daughter told NBC he had been stabbed 15 to 20 times in the chest and that his bicycle had been stolen.
‘He was a proud man,’ Julia Smit Lorenzo, who said her father enjoyed making bicycles from scratch, recounted. ‘He wouldn’t walk away from a situation or into one. It looks like he was ambushed.’
She added: ‘He was street smart. Homelessness was one thing I overcame. He succumbed to it.’
It is not yet known for certain if the killings are linked, but a task force is investigating a connection.
‘Each victim was stabbed multiple times,’ Anaheim Police Deputy Chief Craig Hunter said. ‘There are some additional similarities between the victims that we are not going to discuss.’
No information was released on the man they took into custody, but Hunter said ‘in a very general sense’ he matched the description of the man suspected for the earlier deaths.
But police are not assuming they have solved the serial killings. ‘We are certainly not letting down our guard,’ Hunter said.
Authorities had released grainy photographs from surveillance video of a man in dark clothing wanted for questioning. Video also showed a white Toyota Corolla driving past the scene an hour before the murder.
Police had urged homeless people to seek shelter and visited homeless camps across Orange County to warn transients of a serial killer is on the loose.
On Friday, the Orange County sheriff’s deputies union had announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, told City News Service: ‘This guy is a serial killer preying on some of the most vulnerable people in society.
‘We have to do whatever we can to stop him from killing anyone else. If a reward can get someone to talk and help find him, it’s worth every penny and more.’
They have also been stopping and questioning motorists around the locations of the crimes.