MURDER USA: True Crime, Real Killers
The Claudia Pickeral Murder
I wrote in THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY the following update on the murder of Claudia Pickeral in December of 2018:
Thirteen-year-old Claudia Pickeral alighted from her school bus one warm afternoon in February of 1997 a short walk away from her home. Standing nearby was a next-door neighbor, Keith Green.
Green had been studying the rapidly developing girl and while he was home alone – his wife was at work – he made a move to accost Claudia. She resisted, he persisted and began to choke her.
Another resident of the small, predominately black waterfront community of Longview Beach was on her way home, and as she drove by the bus stop, she observed Green dragging the body of Claudia Pickeral across a lawn as he attempted to hide the body behind a neighbor’s house.
A significant police response brought more than a dozen law officers to the scene, and detectives began their investigation.
The next afternoon, police recruits were combing the area for clues, and Keith Green stood out on his lawn, arms folded, as he pondered the progress of the probe.
Several television satellite trucks were parked on the small side streets of the neighborhood and reporters talked to detectives while a dozen neighbors chatted among themselves and viewed the crime scene.
Feb. 25, 1997
On the second day of the investigation into the murder of the 13-year-old Longview Beach girl who died of strangulation at the hands of a vicious killer, the forward progress of the probe was temporally cast into severe turmoil when a St. Mary’s prosecutor and the county’s sheriff sidelined the chief investigator in favor of a deputy who is known in law enforcement circles as a prima donna.
By the end of the day, the grieving Thompson family, along with their neighbors and friends, attended a two-hour candlelight-service at the Long Beach Clubhouse after planning funeral arrangements. The family of the dead girl had the added trauma of what some say is race-based political grandstanding at the center of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department investigation interfering with bringing the killer of their child to justice.
Early the next morning a meeting of Sheriff’s detectives working on the homicide probe met to lay out the case for review by Sheriff Richard Voorhaar.
Voorhaar, to the surprise of the detectives, arrived with St. Mary’s Deputy States Attorney Christy Chesser and the Assistant States Attorney James Tanavage.
During the meeting, Voorhaar told Chesser to not hold back on her views. Chesser reportedly told the detectives that she wanted a deputy who was not currently assigned to the criminal investigation division, Cpl John Horne, to handle the questioning of the chief suspect in the case.
Chesser’s move was approved by Voorhaar who then told the lead investigator and supervisor, Sgt. Ernest Carter, who had been personally directing the probe, to step aside and let Horne take over the questioning of the suspected killer.
As both the victim and the suspect are both black, as is Sgt. Carter, and the theory that society is color blind and race never makes a difference is all a cruel mockery of the truth.
The sole purpose of the investigation underway last week, was that of arresting the killer of the young child who was merely walking home from her school bus stop and the probe was sidelined as the white sheriff and white prosecutor made decisions that had the community howling by the time the sun set on Friday as word spread that Detective Sgt. Carter had been benched.
To make matters worse, Horne, according to police sources, has refused to work under Carter since the senior detective was put in charge of the detective squad two years ago. Voorhaar had recently attempted to create a special sergeant’s post for Horne but was rebuffed by the County Commissioners who saw through the Sheriff’s finagling of the merit system.
Search Attempted Was of Victim’s Home, Not Suspect
Horne’s first decision after Friday’s meeting was to send out white detectives out to the murder scene, where the houses of the victim and the suspect stand side by side, to conduct a search.
But to the horror of the Thompson family, the two plainclothes cops didn’t come armed with a search warrant to root through the suspect’s home in an attempt to find physical evidence which could possibly link the suspect with the murder and change his status to that of the defendant.
Instead, Cpl. Horne had sent the detectives on a true ‘Mission Impossible’: their assignment was to ask the Thompson family for permission to search their house.
In no uncertain terms, the officers were greeted with loud protests and were told to leave the property after the family learned of their assignment.
Jeers of ‘you won’t come in here and plant any evidence’ were shouted, reminiscent of the O. J. Simpson trial testimony of planted gloves and socks.
The Thompson family couldn’t understand the cruel hoax of the police even if they intended to find any notes or diaries that the girl might have kept which could point the finger of fate at the felon who took her life.
The hapless cops who had been given the job of jolting the family with one of the most outlandishly inept moves in local law enforcement history cruised back to Leonardtown with their tails between their legs, leaving behind them a sizable portion of the local black community up in arms. READ MORE —
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WHY IT MATTERS? Keith Green was released from prison on parole by the State of Maryland in 2018 after only serving twenty years of his thirty-year sentence for the attempted rape and murder of 13-year-old Claudia Pickeral at Longview Beach in St. Mary’s County, Md. Maryland officials placed him in a halfway house for ex-cons next door to the Brown Elementary School playground in Waldorf. Green can sit in a lawn chair in his backyard and select his next victim. Green is on the Maryland Sex Offender registry which notes his half-way house address and his “employment” address which is in a residential neighborhood in Linthicum, Md.
GREEN, KEITH ALLEN
Primary Residence: 745 University Dr, Waldorf MD 20602
Address Change Date:08/02/2018
Temporary Residence: NA
Employment Address: 305 Regency Cir, Linthicum Heights MD 21090