Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joseph Edward Duncan III


Joseph Edward Duncan
Joseph Edward Duncan

The State of Idaho's motto is Esto perpetua, and it means let it be perpetual, it is forever. It seems like a fitting motto for a state that was pretty much established by the Jesuits in the early 1840s, and gives pause for one to wonder what its motto might have been had it been founded by another group. Nowadays Idaho's family and religious values are heavily influenced by the Mormons, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nonetheless, Idaho is as unusual in its diversity as it is in its natural beauty, with a topography that consists of many mountains that reach elevations of 8,000 feet and areas, like that of Hell's Canyon, where the terrain plummets to 1,500 feet. Idaho's scenery is often breathtaking, and recreational opportunities such as world-class skiing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, fishing, whitewater rafting, snowmobiling and snowboarding, to name a few, abound.

Liberty and freedom are very important to the citizens of Idaho, resulting in part in the state's lawmakers being historically known for writing laws that rarely infringe on individual or property rights. It is also common for residents to own firearms. When all is said and done, it doesn't make much sense that a convicted child molester would make a conscious decision to travel hundreds of miles from the Midwest to a state where his past deeds were not likely to be readily accepted, a region whose conservative residents were not likely to throw out the welcome mat and allow him to assimilate into their society. But that is exactly what sex criminal Joseph Edward Duncan III had done, and in the process his alleged criminal actions would literally shock and horrify the state, stun the nation, and ultimately destroy a family.


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