How to identify a psychopath

By his casual comments.

Today, the Daily News published its popular feature, a column called Justice Story, which goes into the archives to bring out decades-old real life mysteries and mayhem. Today, the story concerned a young man, 23, brought up in Illinois by a respected businessman father. This happened in 1937.

Lester Brockelhurst was his name. Lester fell in love with a teenage girl with whom he rode around the country, stealing cars, stealing money and killing people. Not banks, though; this was not Bonnie and Clyde.

I’ve read a lot of these stories over the years but two calm quotes, extracted from interviews with Lester about two of the murders, actually chilled me.

“I felt sorry for the guy, but what was I to do? I wanted his car and I got it.”

“He looked awful funny lying there in the road crumpled up like a balloon with the gas out of it.”

Lester was sentenced to the electric chair, pissed off that his girlfriend hadn’t gotten a death sentence.

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