It looks like the state of California is trying to extradite Joseph Duncan from Idaho in order to try him for the 1997 assault and murder of little Anthony Martinez. Duncan just began serving 6 life sentences as well as awaiting a death sentence, all of which were bestowed for the crimes he committed against the Groene/Mackenzie family, including the kidnap and murder of 9 year old Dylan Groene in June 2005.
Duncan allegedly confessed to the 1996 murder of Anthony Martinez, as well as two other child murders, all committed while he was on Parole for the aggravated rape of a 14 year old boy.
The Martinez case is historic in that it was actually solved well before Duncan's confession, by of all things, an amateur crime blogger, by the name of Steve huff, who had been closely following the Groene case on his blog.
Huff used the Internet as his primary source for tracking Duncan's whereabouts in relation to various unsolved child murders that had occurred in the same geographic areas that Duncan was known to have been within the proper time frame of those murders. What made this possible at all was the fact that Joesph Duncan was keeping a blog himself in which he recounted many of his travel and vacation activities. This, amid self persecutory rants that were supposed to enlighten society to the sex offenders terrible plight.
There were those in fact that felt thatDuncan was actually using the blog as an alibi measure in case he was "accused" of any child crimes in his area. The problem is that he was in fact guilty of just such crimes and thus, inevitably his online journal helped to place him in several crime scene vicinities; That is, if anyone was compelled to put the information together. Steve huff did just that, and as one of his original readers, I was privy to the entire thing as it unfolded.
It was impressive for a so-called amateur.
Where does all of this leave little Shasta Groene, the now 11 year old lone survivor of a quadruple murder/ kidnapping? She is finally done with the criminal cases connected to those crimes and is reportedly beggining to heal. No easy task considering that she has had to hold on to the horrible memories of the entire experience in case she was needed to testify against the man that had committed such brutality against her and her beloved family.
On Monday, the very last group of charges against Joseph Duncan were adjudicated with a heaping of 4 more life sentences added atop the 3 he already was serving for the first murders of Shasta's mom, step dad and older brother Slade.
According to Police sources, Duncan reportedly also told the then 8 year old Shasta that he killed Anthony Martinez , going so far as to give details of the crime, this while he had shasta in captivity! And thus, she may very well be called to testify in Anthony's murder trial in California next year. Her dad Steve Groene, wants to avoid this at all costs and he has made it very clear that he thinks that a trial for Anthony is unnecessary, in that it is redundant and costly in terms of both money and pain to all the families involved.
The state of California in turn believes that it owes Anthony and his family, a trial whereby his murderer is formally brought to justice for kidnapping assaulting and taking his life.
This is a tough one and I personally feel that the parents of little Anthony should decide
if there is a trial or not. For some people it would be a pointless formality, but for others, the only way that they can feel a sense of closure. Either way, let the family decide.