Saturday, November 23, 2002

November, 20. 2002

webmaster, artist, murderer, dead...

Last Meal: None

The Skinny: William Jones Jr. was executed for murdering a man at a suburban Kansas City park frequented by gay men.

Early Years: Defense lawyers said Jones had a confused sexual identity from a bizarre childhood of early exposure to sex by his own parents, and erotic strip dancing his sister had led him into. Early in his life, Jones was exposed to both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Once, his father broke a guitar over his head.

Defense attorney Charlie Rogers cited a neuropsychologist's finding that Jones suffered from "ego dystonic homosexuality"-confusion about one's sexual identity and uneasiness about homosexual inclinations.

We said, they said: Jones' attorneys said he panicked when Albert propositioned him. Jones had maintained he shot Albert in self-defense after Albert made unwanted sexual advances.

But prosecutors called it a cold-blooded execution-style killing over a car. They contend Jones plotted the killing after meeting and dating Albert and deciding he wanted his Camaro. The lawyer who prosecuted Jones' case, dismissed the "gay panic" defense, noting that Jones was bisexual and living with a gay lover at the time of the murder.

The best defense...But sexual confusion wasn't Jones' only problem. Attorneys say the lawyers who represented Jones at his murder trial were inept. One was an alleged alcoholic who has since been disbarred. Another now works as a pit boss in a gambling casino.

Love in the strangest places. The case drew attention in Europe, where opposition to the death penalty is strong, since Jones married an Austrian, Gerti Jones in January 2001. They'd met over the Internet a year earlier. Jones described her husband as charming, intelligent, ``extremely sensitive'' and a ``great artist.''

A sample of his work...

Final sentiments:
"I regret what has happened. I do not deserve death for it. To the family of the victim: does this really give you a sense of closure or simply a sense of vengeance?"

Factoids: Prison officials said 32 capital punishment opponents protested the execution outside the prison.

Jones was the sixth Missouri inmate put to death this year and the 59th since the state's death penalty was reinstated in 1989. Missouri ranks third, behind Texas and Virginia, in number of executions since 1976.

On the Net: William Jones' Web site