Serial Killer Managed by Quick Thinking Victim

Neal FallsThe man in the photo is Neal Falls. He’s dead. And I have to admit to being okay with that — even a bit happy. I’m not proud of that. But he appears to have been a serial killer — responsible for as many as ten murders and disappearances that we know of. There are two clusters — separated by a decade. So there’s a good chance that there were lots more in between.

This doesn’t mean I’m in favor of the death penalty. Had he just been caught by the authorities, I’d be fine with him rotting in jail until the end of his natural life. I wouldn’t want the state putting him to death. But the way that Falls died is so wonderful — so appropriate — that I just can’t help feeling good about it.

About a week ago, Falls contacted a woman on Backpage — something like Craig’s List, but apparently where sex ads are still okay. According to the NBC News, Man Killed by Sex Worker in West Virginia Could Be Linked to 10 Other Attacks:

The woman, whose identity hasn’t been released, told investigators Falls drew a gun and tried to strangle her. She said she grabbed Falls’ gun when he set it down to overpower her and shot him.

It should be clear from this what I like: the empowered woman. I do hope that the police are treating her as a hero and not as a criminal. And I hope this is an opportunity for her to get into a better line of work. I have no problem with sex work. But in this country, it is usually associated with drug addiction and other dysfunctions. It doesn’t usually pay well. Most people deserve better lives than sex work provides.

On the other hand, I have no special mallace towards Neal Falls. If what has been reported is true, he seems like a garden variety psychopath. And I no more blame him for his behavior than I do a grizzly bear who attacks a human: something that needs to be managed. But dead at the hands of one of his victims? I’m fine with that.


Heather - HeroI just found out that the woman was not arrested. That’s her picture there on the right. She asked to be called Heather. She said that Falls came to her home with a gun and said, “Live or die?” He then started to strangle her. She grabbed a rake. He put the gun down to get the rake, she grabbed the gun and shot him. Then, “Heather ran out of the house and flagged down a neighbor, who called 911.”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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