With all of the technological advancements that enter the field of forensics and assist members of law enforcement in bringing criminals to justice, it’s hard to imagine anyone will ever develop an instrument that can explain fully the psychology behind some of the violent acts committed around us. I guess there always will be the question, “How could anyone do that?”
This very question can be asked of Erik Grumpelt, who had been living with the decomposing body of his girlfriend for two months before being arrested earlier this week. Grumpelt admitted that he hit Malinda Raya several times in the abdomen after she admitted to cheating on him. He left the apartment for a period of time and returned to find her unresponsive.
Officers found her body on the bedroom floor, surrounded by air fresheners and carpet cleaner. Grumpelt had continued to occupy the apartment the entire time, as a corpse remained within the same walls. They made the discovery after Grumpelt wrote a letter to his dad confessing that he accidentally killed Raya. He was arrested in Arizona on Monday and faces second-degree murder charges.
It really is a startling investigation into criminal behavior to spend time thinking about how a person can rationalize the presence of a corpse in their home. Was he simply afraid of reporting the death to the authorities? Did he not want to admit that his girlfriend was really dead? Did he not notice the smell or become disturbed by the sight?
I cannot help but be drawn to forensic psychology for its terrifying elements as well as its fascinating qualities. I continue to strive to learn more about what makes people act in the way they do, and hope that my lifelong studies are evident in the crime novels that I have written and that explore the mind’s motivation to violence and murder.
* * *
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting