Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darren O'Neall

Extremes of Sexual Violence

Puzzled and somewhat startled at first, the girl stopped in her tracks and looked up quizzically at the man. Not wanting the girl to scream and cause a scene before he could get her under his control, the man attempted a halfhearted smile as he leered at her with Charlie Manson eyes. Quick as a snake he reached out and grabbed her by the front of her ny­lon jacket. Terrified, the girl stiffened and froze, un­able to scream or fight back. The man lifted her off the sidewalk and pushed her forcefully into the truck's sleeping compartment. He leaped inside after her and pulled the door shut behind him, brandish­ing the hunting knife for the girl to see. He also told her that he had a gun, but she didn't actually see the .357 Ruger he was carrying.

"If you scream or try to get away, I'll kill you," said the man, brimming with a matter-of-fact, arrogant confidence. The girl, wild-eyed with fear, couldn't take her eyes off the knife. The knife was having the ef­fect that he wanted it to have, and he seemed aroused by her wild display of fear. Although terrified, she kept quiet and involuntarily allowed the man to stuff a gag inside her mouth and to bind her hands and feet. Squirming from discomfort and crying uncontrollably, her young mind instinctively told her that it would be futile, and possibly very dangerous, to resist. When he was certain that the bindings were tautly in place and was confident that she couldn't get away or cause him any trouble, the man exited the sleeping compartment and climbed back into the driver's seat. Certain that he had drawn no attention from passersby he calmly started the engine and pulled unobtrusively away from the curb. He crossed the overpass, then took the freeway on-ramp that headed him south into rural Clackamas County, his predetermined destination. He wanted his privacy, and he knew that he would get it there.

Fifteen minutes later, he pulled off onto a dark, tree-shrouded unpaved road and parked in an area not unlike that being frequented by serial killer Dayton Leroy Rogers (see Blood Lust:  Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer), also known as the Molalla Forest Killer.  O'Neall wasn't aware of Rogers, who had not been apprehended yet and wouldn't be for several more months.  But no one would bother him there, of that O'Neall was certain. With steady hands he reached into a sack on the floor­board and pulled out a lukewarm can of Black Label beer, next to the last can of a six-pack that he had purchased just before leaving Washington State. He lit another Camel, climbed out of the truck, and lis­tened intently. All he could hear was the wind-driven rain pelting the metal of the cab's roof. He was alone with the girl in a silent forest, and though her tears flowed like the rain coming down outside and he could hear her whimpering in the compartment be­hind him, he made not a sound. He was feeling good, strong, and in control. After several minutes of savoring the moment, he climbed inside the sleeping compartment and sat down next to the frightened, whimpering girl, a mere child who was only now beginning to learn about life's darkest side.

Keeping the knife where she could see it, he carefully removed her restraints. He drew back his hand at one point, as if he was going to slap her hard across the face with the palm of his hand. The display was to show her that he meant business. But for some reason he didn't strike the girl. Perhaps it was the way she had flinched sharply in anticipation of the pain that the slap would have caused, or perhaps it was because she had promptly nodded in affirmation that she would do just as she was told, everything that he instructed her to do as long as he promised not to kill her. But the only promise he made to her was that if she didn't obey, she would suffer dearly for it. She believed him, and slowly followed his in­structions by removing all her clothing.

The girl slowly unbuttoned her blouse and slipped it off. She next unfastened her jeans and, from a sitting position, slipped them down. She looked at him for a mo­ment, as if waiting or hoping that he would change his mind.

"Go on, get the rest of those off," he commanded as he showed her the knife again. "What the f*** are you waitin' for?"

She unfastened her bra in the back and, attempting to cover her breasts with one arm, she removed the bra the rest of the way with the other. She then slipped her panties off and kneeled on the floor.  He pushed her onto her back, but she remained rigid.

He ran his large, rough hands across her breasts, and took the hunting knife and ran its tip slowly and ever so lightly across her stomach. With careful, deliberate movements he continued dragging the knife in a downward motion, across her abdomen and pelvic area to, finally, between her thighs. He felt good, all-powerful. He wriggled out of his own pants He forced himself on top of the girl and entered her forcefully. . His breath stank of beer and cigarettes, and he panted as he continued to rape her.

His manhood was important to him, even if he really wasn't the man he wanted everyone to think that he was. He had to maintain the image. It was all an extension of his fantasy, which he believed he had to keep alive to get along in the world.

The girl didn't want to take any chances of angering him by protesting his demands that she perform oral sex on him and so she continued the deviant act until he backed away on his own. She didn't know what he might do with the knife.

He would continue to rape her over the next two hours. At one point, when it appeared that he would not be able to attain another erection, the man grabbed the now empty soda pop bottle that the girl had been carrying when he kidnapped her and placed it angrily be­tween her legs.

"Bet you know what I'm doing to do with this, don't you?" he laughed. The girl remained silent, and only stared at him with wild, frightened eyes.

He carefully, but forcefully, worked the bottle's neck into her vagina.

When O'Neall realized that he was finished with the girl, he also knew that he had the problem of deciding what to do with her. He had kidnapped, repeatedly raped, and sexually penetrated the body of a juvenile female with a foreign object, among other crimes. If he let her go, he knew that she would likely be able to identify him at some point. He thought and talked of killing her, but she cried and pleaded with him to let her go.

"I promise I won't tell anyone what happened if you'll just let me go," she cried. "Please don't kill me!"

"I could sell you to pimps in California," he said after several minutes of silence, an evil gleam in his eyes. He seemed lost, deep in thought for several more minutes before finally breaking the quietude. After taunting her by telling her all of the horrible things that he could do to her, he demanded that she promise, again, not to tell anyone about what had happened to her. After threatening to find her if she did, O'Neall miraculously agreed to let her go. He allowed her to dress, drove her back to the city, and dropped her off at a location where she could easily find her way home.

When the girl arrived home, she discovered that her parents were still up, frantic with worry. They had already called the police, but, they had been told, there wasn't much that they could do until more time had passed. She hadn't been missing long enough to qualify as a missing person. Trembling un­controllably, she tearfully recounted to her parents the horror she had been subjected to over the past few hours. They reported the crimes that had been committed against their daughter to the Portland Police Bureau, and the girl was taken to a local hospital for examination. A standard rape kit, which includes a comb, swabs and evidence containers, was used to collect the evidence.

Following the medical examination, Portland Police Bureau Detective Bill Carter interviewed the girl at length. She described her attacker as a white male, approximately 25 to30 years of age, nearly six feet tall, and about 160 pounds. She said that he had a thick mustache and beard, and somewhat crooked teeth. However, despite the investigation that was initiated as case number 87-12-37738 that evening, it would be nearly six months before the girl would positively identify her attacker as one Darren Dee O'Neall.

In the meantime, she would begin to despise and distrust nearly all men because of what happened to her on the night of January 17, 1987, and would grow up harboring such feelings despite extensive therapy. And, like so many others who had become victims of violent crime, she would become afraid of the dark.

O'Neall eventually would be charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of first-degree rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object, three counts of third-degree rape, and single counts of first-degree sodomy, third-degree sodomy, and sexual abuse, but not before returning to Washington State and murdering Robin Smith, and likely other victims.

Bearded Darren O'Neall has become a master of disguise (Mugshot, Multnomah County Sheriff's Dept.)
Bearded Darren O'Neall has
become a master of disguise
(Mugshot, Multnomah County
Sheriff's Dept.)

Following the attack on the young girl in Oregon, O'Neall, being a master of disguise and possessing an uncanny ability to elude the law, did not return to his job but instead changed his appearance, took on an alias and moved from Puyallup to nearby Edgewood, an even smaller town of only 1,600 people where he obtained a job as a laminator.  As would become a part of his overall profile, he managed to stay one step ahead of the law.


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