Robert Peernock

As I have said many times in my blogs, when I start researching a story I do not depend on one source and look for all that I can find.  I first heard of this case when I read the book "Checklist for Murder" by Anthony Flacco recently.  I was surprised when I got online to research more on the case that so little was found that did not relate to the book.  Sure, there's a Wikipedia page (that I think is common knowledge cannot be fully relied upon), and a few other articles but truly not a lot.  I did find one other website that one would think would have an abundance of information but I will explain later why I relied on little to nothing from that site.  With that said I should point out that at the end of Anthony Flacco's book he stated that some of the names of the characters had been changed but he did not specify which ones.  I know the names of the major players such as Roberts daughter, Natasha, her lawyer Victoria Doom and investigator Steve Fisk are correct.  I am less certain that Natasha's friend's name was "Patty" or that Robert's girlfriend's name was "Sonia." Additionally Flacco never named Robert's younger daughter by name, nor was I able to find it.  For these reasons you will find those names here as they were in the book.  I will make a notation (*) the first time I use the name to indication that this may or may not be the correct name.

At around 4:30 on the morning of July 22, 1987 a passerby on a Los Angeles highway saw a car that had crashed into a utility pole a bit off the highway.  When the man approached the car he smelled the strong odor of gasoline and light smoke coming from under the car.  As he got closer and the smell stronger he could also see at least one victim in the car.  The man left the scene and went to the nearest home to call 911.  Within just a few minutes paramedics arrived on the scene.  They too smelled the gasoline as the man had but upon a closer looked they learned more.... First, there were two victims.  The driver was checked and it was determined she had already died.  The passenger was still alive, but barely. Secondly, they could tell that the two women victims seemed to be covered in gasoline themselves.  With the car appearing to be smoking a bit they rushed to get the victim that was still alive out of the car just in case the car caught fire.  Police and firefighters would be coming to take care of the rest.... in fact, they were not far behind them at the scene.  The surviving victim had what already appeared to be severe head wounds and was in and out of consciousness.  Police knew they needed to try to see if they could get any information from her just in case she died.  The only name she could seem to muster was "Patty*."  

It did not take the investigators long to realize that this scene did not look right.  The driver of the car also had severe head wounds but they did not seem to be consistent with a car crash, let alone this one.  The car was a 1971 Cadillac  and had only sustained what appeared to be minor damage to the front that had hit the utility pole.  The windshield was even still in tack so they wondered what in the world these two victims could have hit their heads on to cause these wounds.  They also found a liquor bottle on the floorboard of the vehicle with blood fingerprints on it.  When they found a purse belonging to a Claire Peernock they assumed it had to be one of the victims.... they were correct.  Claire Peernock would be the woman who it seems had been behind the wheel of the car.  They later determined it was her fingerprints on the liquor bottle also.

In the meantime the other victim, who would later be determined to be 18 year old Natasha Peernock, Claire's daughter,  was at the hospital being treated.  Tests were run and it was found she had a large blood alcohol level in her system as well as some drugs.  The initial belief, especially among medical personnel was this was just one more tragic accident involving alcohol.  They likely never imagined just how wrong they were.  

Several hours later investigator, Steve Fisk, went to the hospital to talk to Natasha to see what she could tell him.  Due to her head wounds, as well as the effects of the alcohol and drugs, not only was it physically painful for Natasha to give the whole story to the investigator, in the beginning there was some confusion and some holes.   But, they got enough out of Natasha to know that they needed to be looking for her father, Robert. So, what was Natasha's story when all the pieces were put together?

Natasha had been dropped off at her home by her friend Patty around 4:00 in the afternoon on July 21, 1987.  It was readily apparent that her father, who did not technically live in the home, nor had he in about four years, was there as both of his cars (one apparently stayed there most of the time) were at the house.  Natasha tried to steer clear of her father as much as possible and figured this time would be no different.  She had some things she needed to finish around the house before her mother got home and then Patty would be back to pick her up as the two had plans for later in the night.  Natasha thought she would grab a quick bite to eat in the kitchen before starting on things.  As she did her father came into the room and began not just asking her questions but complaining about the utility bills of the house that he was apparently still paying.  An argument had ensued and Robert had began choking Natasha.  This was not the first time that Robert had been abusive towards her, hence her reasons for trying to keep distance between them.  A few years prior Robert had pushed Natasha so hard that her arm had been broken.  Claire, as well as Robert, had encouraged Natasha to lie at the hospital as to how her injury had occurred so technically there was no record of the abuse. However, other things would be discovered later that would give credence to Natasha's claims of abuse.  Robert finally stopped choking Natasha and told her to stay where she was that he "had something" for her.  Natasha knew enough to know that any resistance made things worse when Robert was in this sort of mood so she did as she was told.  Robert had gone outside and when he returned he had handcuffs, rope and what in a sense looked like a black bag.   He was also carrying a gun.  Scared, but again knowing resistance would make things worse, as Robert began to bound her with the handcuffs and rope she asked her father if he was going to kill her.  He in a matter of fact way responded that he was planning to do just that.  The "black bag" thing was placed over her head and the strings pulled to tighten it up as if used as a mask.  A slight slit was in the area of the mouth. Natasha was moved into her mothers room and for the next several hours a tube was placed in this slit, into her mouth, off and on, in which liquor was poured in.  If Natasha attempted not to swallow the liquor she was threatened and sometimes hit, so again, she just did as she was told.  At one point the "mask" was removed for a short period of time but put right back on.  A radio was turned on in the room but between the DJ not apparently announcing the time often, as well as Natasha being in and out of consciousness she really had no concept of time.   

Natasha was "awakened" at least twice more during the ordeal.  Once her father came into the room and told her no matter what that she was to be quiet.  She realized then that her friend Patty had returned since they had plans that night.  Patty seemed uneasy about leaving but she could never imagine what was going on inside.  She knew Robert Peernock well enough that she too steered clear as much as possible and since no one opened the door, despite her knowing how to get in otherwise, she decided to leave.  For her part Natasha was hoping that Patty would have possibly called the authorities but she did not. The second time Natasha was jarred awake by a thumping.  It sounded to be just outside the door of the room she was in.  She believed then, as she continued to believe, that the thumping she heard was her mother's body hitting the floor. Robert had mentioned earlier that he planned to have her mother sign some papers and Natasha knew that Claire would not just simply sign something because Robert wanted her to. Natasha also knew that if her mother had known what was being done to her, if she had any opportunity to do so she would have tried to save her.  

The next thing that Natasha realized was that she was being lifted off the bed and carried out of the room.  She was placed in a vehicle.  She felt around (she still had the mask on) and felt leather seats and was convinced it was her father's car.  She could hear the sound of her mother breathing heavily next to her.  Soon the car started and Natasha knew she was in the back seat.  No words were spoken throughout the drive in which Natasha and her mother were in the back seat of the car.  Defense attorney's would attempt to use this fact to say that since Natasha could not identify the driver of the vehicle she was in she could not be certain that it was her father.  A reasonable deduction says that it was Robert Peernock behind the wheel.  The car drove for some distance and after it stopped the driver got out and seemed to be doing somethings both under and behind the car.  Natasha was then moved to the front seat of the vehicle and this is where her memory fades completely.  

By the time Natasha was able to get most of her story out investigators had already been on the case and were learning more and more.  First, the autopsy performed on Claire had proven what investigators initially thought at the scene of the crime.... her injuries were not consistent with the car accident that they saw in front of them.  Claire too had drugs and alcohol in her system.  It appeared that she had been hit along the head with a "blunt force" weapon.  Most puzzling they discovered that Claire's fingerprints were not on the steering wheel of the vehicle that she was supposedly driving.  They had also discovered, or maybe a better word would be realized, that it looked as if the perpetrator had expected the car to his a retaining wall that was at the end of the road, and had the car done that it was rigged in a way in which the gas tank would be punctured and an apparatus had been connected to then cause the car to go up in flames.  It was later thought that Claire's body likely slumped over as the vehicle was moving, turning the wheel with her body so instead of hitting the wall as the perpetrator expected, it simply hit the utility pole and caused less damage to the car, as well as the bodies inside.

Investigators were also contacted by an attorney named Victoria Doom. She not only would have some very interesting information but little did she know when she contacted the police just what a huge role she would play in this investigation.  Victoria informed investigators that in December of 1986 Claire Peernock had come to visit her to file for divorce from her husband.  The filing had been made and Robert had been served.  They were expected to have their first court hearing in early January of 1987.  Before the hearing Claire had called Victoria and asked if she could delay or put the divorce on hold.  She told Victoria that Robert had approached her about making a deal, one in which he had drawn up himself and she had signed. He had asked her to put off the divorce until August 1st so that he could start up a business.  He had promised her that once that was done that he would give her the divorce that she sought without issue.  Victoria has said that other than telling Claire it was not advisable for her to sign anything without having an attorney look it over, she assured Claire that the divorce could be delayed.  At that time she simply put a note in Claire's file to call her near the first to check in.  A few days later Victoria received a copy of the agreement that Claire had made with Robert but she only skimmed it over before putting it in her file.  It was not until a few days after the murder that Victoria heard of the murder. She immediately went to the file and pulled out the agreement to look over it more closely. Obviously the timing itself stuck out at her.  The agreement was to end August 1st and Claire had been found on the morning of July 22nd.  Upon looking at the agreement further she found some odd things listed.  One of those things was a "promise" from Robert to not physically or verbally abuse Natasha, or Claire for that matter.  He had also promised not to dispose of any marital property.  Investigators would soon learn that Robert had reneged on both of those promises.  Victoria would soon be approached by Claire's brother who lived in Canada asking her to take on the estate issues to protect assets for Claire's daughters.  It would now become her quest to preserve as much of the estate as she could.

Obviously one of the first people investigators wanted to talk to was Robert.  Early on they knew he was involved and even put a guard outside Natasha's door long before the entire story would be let out.  On the evening of July 22nd the police called the home of Robert's girlfriend, Sonia*, where Robert had been residing.  Sonia informed the office that Robert was not at the home at the time but would have him call as soon as he returned.  She would later say that although she initially defended (and helped) Robert that she had found it odd that he had come home the night before, nor had she seen him that day.  According to Sonia the only times that he had ever stayed at Claire's in the four years that he had lived with her were the occasional nights in which he took his youngest daughter home and she asked him to stay.  On the night of the attack however Roberts daughter was at home with Sonia. Investigators had told Sonia nothing about what was going on and simply waited for Robert to call them.

Robert had been rather busy that day it seems.  Investigators learned that around 9 am that morning Robert had walked into the bank and began emptying out not just his own accounts but those belonging to Claire (at least the "joint" ones) also.  He had attempted to close them out but due to the large amount of money involved the bank did not have the funds and required that he wait a day to get the remainder of his money.  Robert had been inside the bank before investigators even knew the names of the victims in the accident, let alone had announced anything or contacted any next of kin.  When he finally returned home later that day Sonia told him about the police calling.  Robert would later claim that he called and spoke to officer Steven Fisk, the main investigator in the case.  However, Fisk, Sonia and others would claim that it was another officer who had called the house and who would later speak to Robert.  It was then that Robert was informed of Claire's death, Natasha's injuries and asked to come into the police station the following morning, which he agreed to.  He would then tell Sonia that he was headed to the hospital to see his daughter.  He would return later telling her that he had been unable to see her or speak to anyone involved. Sonia would later say that she found this odd and encouraged him to return.  Robert was never seen by anyone at the hospital so it is uncertain if he even went at all.  The following morning Robert would tell Sonia that he was going back to the hospital and to the police station.  He did neither.  Instead he went back to the bank to obtain more money and then he took off for Las Vegas Nevada.  By that evening he had checked into a hotel under an assumed name and even took in a show that night.

Over the next several weeks Robert remained on the run while the investigation continued. An arrest warrant was issued for Robert and Natasha was all but put under guard but he was successfully eluding police.  Sonia it seems was helping him.  Both her home and Claire's home were searched several times.  In Sonia's home they found insurance policies for both Claire and Natasha that seemingly came from Claire's home.  Investigators would believe that he had taken these and had likely searched high and low for the "agreement" he made with Claire, not knowing she had sent it to Victoria Doom.  Sonia was questioned several times also as well as investigators watched her movements quite often.  Robert and Claire's youngest daughter was taken from Sonia's home and placed in foster care.  At some point Robert's car had been found at the local airport when it had been left longer than it should have been in the long term parking area.  Inside they found a gun that matched the one that Natasha had described as Robert holding up to her on the night of the attack.  They also found lots and lots of papers, many of them seemingly just scratch paper with notes on them.  Investigators would take those and box them up but it would be years before they were actually gone through officially.  

Finally by September investigators had enough of the cat and mouse games.  There had been supposed sightings of Robert in the area off and on but he had not been caught. It was later discovered that while Natasha had been recovering in a duplex owned by the family of a friend the other side had been put up for sale and Robert had been identified as looking at it. The owner would later say that while she was cleaning the place to prepare for the sale Robert had come in to look around but seemed more interested in what view he could see of the other side of the building.  They were convinced that Sonia was helping, and probably meeting with him.  They decided to arrest her and charge her with assisting a criminal (those charges would later be dropped) and press her for information harder than they had before.  Although she was still protecting Robert, at least a bit, Sonia's support was beginning to waiver.  For one, several weeks after the murder she had finally seen Robert face to face and learned that he had gone to a plastic surgeon who had all but "redesigned" his face.  Robert had convinced her that he was being frame (I will get into his reasoning in a bit) and so she was less troubled that he had the procedure than she was about the fact he had not discussed it with her or even told her about it.  Then of course she got arrested herself and apparently decided it was time for Robert to face the music and clear himself legally.  On September 4th Sonia would tell investigators where to find Robert. He was promptly arrested.  

Robert had not been in jail long before things got worse for him.  A fellow inmate contacted authorities and told them that Robert was soliciting to have Natasha and Victoria Doom murdered.  Authorities were able to wire the other inmate and get Robert on tape.  He would eventually be charged for this also.  

Robert would not face trial until October 1991.  This is after he had fired at least 5 attorneys, had seen 6 judges oversee the case and even the original prosecutor would move to another division and be replaced.  However, throughout this time he did not remain outside a courtroom.  One of his first actions was to file against Victoria Doom who by this time had been able to freeze nearly all of his assets.  His argument, and possibly rightfully so, was that with all of his assets frozen he did not have the ability to hire an adequate defense attorney. For her part, Victoria argued that Robert had taken a large amount of the assets when he took off for Las Vegas and should not be entitled to eat up Claire's estate to pay for his defense of her murder.  This was not one of those cases in which the children of the deceased believe their other parent was innocent and would in essence use the funds themselves. Natasha was claiming he had in fact committed the murder so she was not about to allow the estate to pay to defend him.  Robert had been able to get the judge to allot some of the money to him for a defense but it was not nearly what he wanted, or even nearly enough considering over the next several years he would continue to fire attorney, after attorney. Robert also filed a pro-se claim to have his youngest daughter returned to Sonia's home. Some wonder if his goal was really just to get Natasha on the stand in juvenile court so he could question her about what she intended to say or possibly intimidate her into changing her story.  Whatever his goal may or may not have been his youngest daughter remained in the foster care system.

For his part Robert denied committing the murder.  As far as the assault on Natasha, he did seem to deny it also, but less vigorously it seems.  The defense goal mainly seemed to focus in on the time in which Natasha either could not remember or could not identify who had done things due to the mask as well as her state of mind (i.e the drugs and alcohol).  So who would they try to point the finger to?  Well, the theory tended to change or waiver as they gave more then one possibility even though the core reason behind it all remained the same.

At the core of Roberts defense was the fact that he was arguing that he had been set up because he had in essence been a "whistle blower" for political corruption.  Robert and Claire had married in the late 1960's and appeared happy for many years.  Robert had a career as a pyrotechnic engineer and over the years had worked at a variety of placed.  In the early 1980's he had worked for the Department of Water Resources.  It was while he was there that he claims his troubles began.  He would claim that he had discovered a scheme in which sub standard work would be done on things such as piping or equipment purposely so that more monies could be allotted to fix the said problem.  But, in turn the same company would be hired again to come in and do more work, that again was likely sub standard.  In the end the taxpayers were forking over for bills that were supposedly not needed and politicians were pocketing the money.  Robert became so obsessed with this while working at the company that most people who knew him claim that his personality completely changed.  Eventually he would claim that he had injured his back at the company and filed for a disability claim.  Some say it was granted if for no other reason than to get him out of the company, although the reason for that may differ among people. Over the next few years he would learn how to file cases against the company and individual people on his own.  It was said that he "won" at least a few cases but I have to be honest here in saying I have no information on this for sure.  I could find nothing that actually said any investigation was done into the issue and it is plausible that while legally it could look like a win for Robert, some of the cases may have been settled for no more than what it would have cost the company or individual to pay their own attorney's to settle the case.  That is done often just to simply prevent time and money.  However, over the years between his cases and his disability he apparently had amassed enough money to which he bought several houses that he used as rental property.  During all this time it seems that Robert became overly paranoid.  He became convinced that everyone was "out to get him" and often spoke of it. Claire apparently continued to put up with this behavior until about 1983 when she and Robert officially split up and either immediately, or soon there after Robert moved in with Sonia but continued to pay most, if not all the bills, at Claire's home as well has still keep many of his possessions there.  It appears that for the next four years Robert would come and go as he pleased at Claire's, likely on the premises that it was still his home and he paid the bills.  For her part Claire had began to work outside the home so she could support herself and her children.   It had taken her until December of 1986 to officially decide to divorce Robert.  At the time of his trial Robert would claim that he had been in the process of writing a book about the political corruption and that he was being framed for the murder and attack to all but shut him up.  It seems he had little recourse as far as fighting the charges that came about after he went to jail pertaining to looking to find someone to kill Natasha and Victoria Doom.

So, the "political corruption" as he called it was the why in Robert's mind... but what about the who? It was kind of difficult to keep up because in one of his stories as to what happens he would claim that Natasha and Claire had argued about Natasha's behavior and that he had simply gone out into the backyard to finish a project he had started and that the two women started to drink and had apparently taken off in his car.  Since he could not explain several things, especially involving the crash scene, one of his early "theories" was that faceless, nameless people had somehow between that kidnapped the women and rigged the car, all in retaliation for the supposed corruption.  Later he would try saying that Victoria Doom and Steven Fisk had been the culprits... but why?  Well, by his accounts Victoria had contacted Fisk after Claire had met with her and they realized how much there were in assets and then they decided to frame him.... again because of the supposed corruption.  To be fair there was never any evidence whatsoever that pointed anywhere but to Robert, no matter how you looked at the evidence.

Over the next four years Robert would add to his conspiracy theory.  By the time it was all over he had fired at least 5 attorneys, claiming that they all were in cahoots with the prosecutors, the judges, the investigators, the witnesses (basically everyone) in securing a conviction.  When he decided on his last attorney, Donald Green, and once again asked for a continuance prosecutors fought it.  It was not because they feared, or didn't like Green, they were simply tired of Robert continuing to fire his attorney and delaying the case.  The judge, Howard Schwab, the 6th on the case, allowed it on the stipulation that this would be the last change and that Green would represent Robert through trial.  Of course this was okay with Robert, at least in the beginning.  Every time he hired a new attorney he expressed how great the person was and how "this time" his attorney could not be coerced into working with the "enemies." But, just like every time before hiring Green, eventually Robert became convinced that this attorney too was working against him.  He attempted, but failed to fire Green from the start.... to the end of the trial in October of 1991.

Just before the trial started the prosecutor would finally go through all those pieces of paper that had been found in Roberts truck in the airport parking lot.  What he would find surprised him and ultimately became the title for Anthony Flacco's book, Checklist for Murder.  Robert had apparently been an avid writer of lists.  Not only did he seem to write them often, he dated them, as well as crossed off the items that he had finished.  Among the pile of papers there appeared to be lists dating back to just around the time that Claire had filed for the divorce in December of 1986 right up until the early to mid part of July that were indicative that the crime had been completely planned.  Some of the things were not completely clear on the list as they were abbreviations, such as "Cl pur."  Prosecutors would claim this meant "Claire's purse" that was found in the vehicle when the car was found.  They also found that just weeks before the murder Robert had gotten the window tinted on the vehicle, and yet it was a vehicle that many said he rarely drove.  To add to that investigators found several people who claimed that Claire NEVER drove that car so he could not very well say he did it because Claire wanted it nor could he really explain why on that night Claire was supposedly driving that vehicle.  

Prosecutors had a very strong circumstantial case against Robert.  In fact, in my opinion, with Natasha's testimony as to what she did remember, the evidence of the agreement made with Claire in early January, and testimony from people such as Sonia (who later seemed to figure out that Robert was in fact guilty), neighbors, former friends, and people like the lady who was selling the duplex next to where Natasha was staying it was as slam dunk as you could get in that time period.  Sure, they did not have fingerprints, or any that would matter, matching Robert or DNA because it was not really around yet, but I do not think either of those things would have mattered and a good defense attorney could have explained that away.  More importantly, other than Claire's bloody prints on the liquor bottle in the car they seemingly didn't have any other fingerprints worth noting, meaning there did not seem to be any unknown prints. Of course with his conspiracy theories in the case I am sure Robert would have, or maybe he really has, said there were some but they were lost or investigators did not take any.  

Donald Green, as most defense attorney's would, did not recommend that Robert take the stand in his own defense.  By the time the trial started Green knew that Robert was his own worse enemy and would likely make things worse.  However, there was no convincing Robert that he should not take the stand.  He was openly hostile with Green on direct examination so the prosecutor knew it was likely that he could get Robert to "lose it" on the stand, to which of course he did.  In fact, the judge abruptly ended Robert's testimony, sent the jury from the courtroom and then removed Robert from the courtroom himself.  This was not the first, or the last time this would happen in the trial.  While on the stand Robert all but refused to really answer questions.  He always seemed to elaborate his answers that all would circle back to someone else being responsible for the crime, or everyone being against him, or get on any number of  soapboxes he was on at the moment.   It is not surprising that the juror found him guilty.  On the day of his sentencing, Robert walked into the courtroom all but ready to "fight" and started in once again about how everyone was against him, the unfair trial he had received, firing Donald Green more than a few more times.  Judge Schwab warned him that if he did not sit down and be quiet he would have him bound and gagged and returned to the courtroom.  Schwab would tell him that he had not done so throughout the trial to ensure he did in fact receive a fair trial (to which Robert over talked the judge) but that he had no hesitation to do so now in order to make him face the people he had harmed and know what he had done.  It did nothing to deter Robert so Judge Schwab had him removed from the courtroom.  When he returned he was handcuffed behind his back, and the bottom part of his face (covering his mouth) was covered in duct tape.  The proceedings would continue.  By the time Judge Schwab was finished he made it completely clear exactly what he thought of Robert Peernock, a man who had not only murdered his estranged wife, but had attempted to kill his own daughter, and when that did not work had solicited to have her murdered, along with her lawyer.  First he sentenced Robert for the murder for hire charges, then for the attempted murder of Natasha and then for the murder of Claire.  After announcing each of the first two sentences he said "and when you are done serving that you will serve" and announce the next charge.  Ultimately the only one that matter was the murder of Claire as he received a sentence of life without parole. But, Schwab did not stop there.  He announced he was recommending that he be sent to the most secure and isolated prison in California.  I am pretty sure if he could have sentenced him UNDER the jail he would have done so.  By the time of sentencing it had been discovered that throughout Robert had still employed a private detective and a list of the jurors names and addresses were found in his cell.  Schwab was certain that if given the opportunity Robert would continue to stalk any number of people involved in the case and possibly solicit the murders of more people.  

It seems that initially Judge Schwab's recommendation was heard as he was in fact placed in the most secure and isolated prison in California but it does not seem it lasted for very long. He was transferred to a prison in San Diego where it appears he resides today.  Although I admit to know little about the California prison system something I found in my research indicates to me that he may have little contact with the outside world.  Then again, I cannot say what kind of inmate communication he has.  The reason that I state this is because while doing my research I came upon a website (www.freerobertpeernock.com).  It would seem that someone "on the outside" would have had to create the site but it also appears that it is likely Robert has provided all the information contained within.  I honestly went there and tried to look the site over but I could not bring myself to look at it too much.  It was full of Roberts stories about political corruption.  There was a section of "new information" also.  It was a 122 page PDF file.  I could not bring myself to read the ramblings.  It is well documented that while in prison waiting trial that Robert did a lot of writing, legal and otherwise and from what I had already seen from the website it was full of his theories and ideas that seem to be nothing more than paranoid and delusional ramblings.  

At some point after his conviction it seems that Natasha (and maybe her sister, I am uncertain) sued Robert for the wrongful death of her mother.  She was awarded $11 million in damages that I am sure she will never see, although it does likely give her the right to seize any assets he had managed to keep, but do not hold me to that.

While I was reading Anthony Flacco's book I kept asking myself if I thought Robert Perrnock was sane.  I still struggle with that.  It seems that he was tested prior to his trial and was found to be competent and sane enough to stand trial, but even that is a standard that I do not always believe in.  In my opinion someone can be "insane" but not meet the legal standard. Also from personal experiences dealing not only with the mental health community, but as well with someone who has been required to be evaluated after committing a crime, I cannot always trust the evaluations themselves.  Of course my "opinion" does not matter but it did not stop me from asking myself this question.  I cannot tell you if there was any political corruption as he has alleged or not.  Maybe there was.  Maybe there was not and yet he truly believes that there was.  What I do believe is that his obsession with this, real or not, became pure paranoia.  That being said, I do not believe that his paranoia involving supposed corruption had anything to do with the murder of his wife and the attempted murder of his daughter.  I believe that was done for two reasons, the need for control and greed.  Robert Peernock is right where he belongs in my opinion, but I do not believe he is done.  I believe if he is not continually watched, even after all these years there are those who are at risk.  We can never know if the next inmate he approaches will go to the authorities or help Robert carry out his plan.


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