Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joel Patrick Courtney

A No-Show at Court

Courtney, at the time a supervisor for a construction cleaning company, was driving a green 1997 Dodge Caravan, a company vehicle, from Portland to Newport, Oregon, to appear for his drunk driving charge on May 24, 2004, the day Brooke Wilberger disappeared. He never arrived at court.

At 1:15 p.m., he called the court and left a message that he'd been delayed, was in Corvallis, and was on his way.

According to Dr. A. Nicholas Groth, in his book Men Who Rape The Psychology of the Offender: "Rape is always and foremost an aggressive act. In some offenses, the assault appears to constitute a discharge of anger; it becomes evident that the rape is the way the offender expresses and discharges a mood state of intense anger, frustration, resentment, and rage. In other offenses, the aggression seems to be reactive; that is, when the victim resists the advances of her assailant, he retaliates by striking, hitting, or hurting her in some way. Hostility appears to be quickly triggered or released, sometimes in a clear, consciously experienced stage of anger, or in other cases, in what appears to be a panic state. In still other offenses, the aggression becomes expressed less as an anger motive and more as a means of dominating, controlling, and being in charge of the situation an expression of mastery and conquest. And in a fourth vicissitude, the aggression itself becomes eroticized so that the offender derives pleasure from both controlling his victim and hurting her/him an intense sense of excitement and pleasure being experienced in this context whether or not actual sexual contact is made. These variations on the theme of aggression are not mutually exclusive, and, in any given instance of rape, multiple meanings may be expressed in regard to both the sexual and the aggressive behaviors." 

Book cover: Men Who Rape
Book cover: Men Who Rape

If Courtney were particularly stressed over his upcoming court date, perhaps he had an idea of what could take the edge off that anxiety.

Groth goes on to say about those who rape in anger: "Typically, such an offender reports that he did not anticipate committing a rape. It was not something he fantasized or thought about beforehand - it was, instead, something that happened on the spur of the moment."

So that green minivan that Brian saw "driving recklessly" at or around the time of Brooke's disappearance took on a whole new meaning and a new priority level for the police.


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