Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darren O'Neall

The Evil Within

By January 1987 the darkness within Darren O'Neall began to surface. O'Neall's job as a trucker took him to Portland, Oregon, some 130 miles to the south, on the evening of January 17. Driving toward his destination, he spotted an attractive 14-year-old girl walking across a freeway overpass on the city's southeast side on her way to a nearby convenience store.  Driving a big rig, O'Neall's insatiable sexual urge compelled him to turn around and drive back for a second look, just in time to see her walk inside the convenience store.  With his libido now dictating his actions, he positioned his truck on the side of the street along the route she had come and waited for her to emerge from the store.

This was too good to be true, or so O'Neall thought.  After all, he had just driven south from Tacoma to Portland, Oregon, the City of Roses, and he had already found himself a perfect victim.  While it was certainly bad luck for the girl, it was indeed good luck for him. Rarely was finding a victim so easy.  Fate was clearly on his side once again.  Thinking through a quickly made plan, O'Neall told himself that it would all be worth it once he had the girl under his control.  He lit up a Camel filter, his favorite brand of cigarette, and drew the harsh smoke deep into his lungs as he waited for the girl to leave the store.

Five minutes passed. As he waited for her to re­turn, he became more anxious, excited, and his breathing grew heavier, more intense with each sec­ond that ticked by. Three minutes later he lit another Camel from the one he was smoking, and flicked the finished one out into the street. He continued to wait, and he took out one of the long-bladed hunting knives that he always carried with him as he began to fantasize about what he would soon be able to do with the girl. He turned the knife over and over in his hands, feeling the sharp, turned-up tip. The things he planned to do to the girl were terrible, unthinkable by most people's values - but not to his. People, to him, were objects to be used for his pleasure alone, to be discarded like garbage  when he was finished with them. He didn't care whether she had a family or what kinds of repercussions his ac­tions would have on them or the girl. Thoughts of decency were foreign to him. All he cared about was himself, what he needed, what he wanted. Even more frightening, there was a part of him that under­stood all of this.

Although he was not yet versed in the legality of what he was about to do, by definition he was going to interfere with a person's personal liberty and com­mit the crime of kidnapping in the first degree with the sole purpose of causing physical and psycholog­ical injury to his chosen victim. He was going to confine her secretly so that he could terrorize her without being disturbed, ultimately for his sexual pleasure and the delight he would enjoy of having her under his power, under his total control. He knew what he was doing, and he knew right from wrong. But he didn't care. He was evil.

Finally, there she was, coming out of the store. She was carrying an open bottle of soda pop in one hand and a small sack of candy and other treats in the other. There was no time to lose. The man moved quickly into action. He climbed out of the cab of his big rig, the half-burned Camel hanging from his lips, and moved toward the truck's sleeping compartment door, pretending that he was attending to some kind of a problem with his rig. Such tactics had worked for him before. There was no reason for him to believe they wouldn't work this time.

When the girl was alongside the truck, the hairy man, without any warning, pulled on the outside handle of the sleeping compartment door and swung it open, then stepped onto the sidewalk in front of her and effectively blocked her path, all in one swift action. It was imperative that he move quickly. He couldn't risk anyone seeing him kidnap the girl.


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