Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Parker Werewolf Murderers Sentenced

On this blog, I have been following the story of the brutal beating death of a Florida teenager by his erstwhile girlfriend's adult male friends, a story of human viciousness that is as insipid as it is abhorrent. The girlfriend, Stephanie Pistey, told her three adult male friends (one of whom appears to have been her lover) that the victim, who was her boyfriend, had raped her. She then lured him to a house, where some very little children were being supervised by another woman. Once there, he was set upon by her friends and severely beaten. He tried to run away, but they followed him onto the lawn and continued beating him until he died. They then hid the remains in a storm drain, where they were discovered a month later. This disgusting tale is of interest to me because of Pistey's claim, in a prison interview and on her facebook page (where she rather unwisely bragged about getting away with the murder), that she was "part vampire and part werewolf," and claimed to have drunk the blood of her lover.

If you are one (or the other) of the regular readers of this blog you know that in my spare time (ha!) I am collecting information about historical "werewolf trials," legal proceedings in which the defendant claims to be a werewolf. I am interested in the way these proceedings generated a kind of "diminished capacity" legal defense which usually resulted in a reduced sentence. I had imagined that these trials were exclusively of the distant past (the medieval and early modern periods), but just through idle mouse-clicking I discovered some eight cases in the US just in 2011. These were mostly in the realm of the banal but more or less harmless - from a fellow who hid in portapotties to ambush tennis players in a public park to a couple of lassies who lured a man across country and then held him against his will and played violent sex games with him.

This case was different. If, as the medieval witch-sniffers had it, becoming a werewolf is a willful abdication of the moral strictures that govern human life, the Pistey case is a keen, if horrifying, example. But the outcome was eerily similar to those medieval events - Pistey has been declared mentally unfit to stand trial, while one of her accomplices plead no contest to second degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years. Interestingly, another of her accomplices hoped to be also found incompetent to stand trial, but his gambit failed, and he is facing further charges.

Read more, if you can stomach it, here.


  1. I'm struck by how much times have changed. If this had happened when we were teens, I would have assumed the girl was listening to too much Sisters of Mercy and probably taking her Wiccan friends a little too seriously. These days, it probably means she's been reading too much _Twilight_. Getting old means what was transgressive when you were young is now on the New York Times Best Seller list.

  2. @Trevor: no doubt. I was thinking of this same phenomenon when I was researching ROCKY HORROR, the stage show, on Broadway - in 1975, it closes after a month at the Belasco, a tragic failure. In 2001, at Circle in the Square, it wins a crazy amount of Tony and Drama Desk awards. Yesterday's fringe, yesterday's edgy, is today's kitschy mainstream. Does this mean that our minds expand, or that the passage of time makes things seem harmless? Is it harder to trangress because our society just eats transgression? My first day at Carnegie Mellon I met a chemistry major wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt; he'd paid $20 for it, and it was probably manufactured in a Nicaraguan sweatshop by underaged laborers. In 2010, Che's daughter Aleida joked about this, saying that her father would have laughed, or at least been delighted to see his face plastered over the breasts of so many beautiful women. Beaumarchais wrote in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO "I hasted to laugh at everything, for fear of being obliged to weep." But Stefanie Pistey is ill in her mind, and her boyfriends are just murderers. They can try to cloak this in some kind of TWILIGHT Romanticism, claim some kind of Byronic superiority, but you know what? They are just selfish, tiny-minded people, utterly devoid of the element that makes us human - compassion. Thanks for writing.