A criminal justice professor and her daughter, who police say were slain by a horrorcore rapper, were in counseling over the teenager’s obsession with the macabre music, and the mother took her daughter to the concerts to keep an eye on her, a family friend said Wednesday. Debra Kelley, 53, an associate professor at Longwood University, was hoping that Emma Niederbrock was just “going through a phase,” said James F. Hodgson, a former colleague who had known Emma since she was about 1 year old. He said Kelley took her to horrorcore concerts, which feature artists who rhyme violent lyrics over hip-hop beats, in Michigan and Illinois. “She’s either going to go on her own or I go with her and make sure she’s OK,” Hodgson said of Kelley’s reasoning. “She said that she needed to be there for her, and that she was going to grow out of this.”
Kelley and Emma were found bludgeoned to death at their Farmville home in Virginia along with Emma’s father (and Kelley’s estranged husband) Rev. Mark Niederbrock, 50, and Emma’s friend Melanie Wells, 18, of Inwood, West Virginia. Police have charged Emma’s boyfriend, Richard “Sammy” McCroskey III, 20, of Castro Valley, Calif., with first-degree murder in Mark Niederbrock’s death. McCroskey, who rapped under the name Syko Sam, is also suspected in the other murders.
McCroskey and Emma, who went by “RagD0LL” online, appear to have met through the underground horrorcore scene. Authorities believe the killings occurred shortly after the group returned from the Sept. 12 concert in Southgate, Michigan. McCroskey’s sister, Sarah, said her brother’s friends told her that he and Emma had some kind of falling out at the concert. Hodgson said Kelley, who specialized in violence against women but has taught classes in homicide, had been struggling since Emma got into horrorcore a couple of years ago. She and her husband separated about a year ago, and all three were in therapy.
Syko Sam’s MySpace page, which has since been removed, contained links to horrorcore label Wiked Intent Records, which recently shutdown, giving this message:
With the recent events in Virginia that have shaken this scene, the Wicked Intent websites will be temporarily closed. We appreciate your support, but out of respect for the fallen and their families will not be accessible at this time. A senseless crime has been committed and Wicked Intent does not condone nor endorse these actions in anyway shape or form. We are just as shocked as everyone else and are disgusted by the recent findings. We send out our condolences to all effected by this senseless act.
McCroskey’s sister described him as a kind person who never fought back when people picked on him, saying “He was extremely passive. Just hearing that my brother is the main suspect just really blows my mind.” McCroskey’s father played guitar in a band called S&M. Sarah McCroskey says she thought something might be wrong after she heard a voice mail her brother left at the family’s house last Thursday that ended with “I love you guys.” McCroskey took the name “Syko Sam” because he was obsessed with the infamous serial killer David Berkowitz (AKA “Son of Sam.”) His MySpace page features his raps about killing and mutilating people. His YouTube name is “Lill Demon Dog,” another reference to Berkowitz.
McCroskey posted a video of himself after he flipped over a cross on the grave of a U.S. Marine:
As deputies escorted McCroskey to the police station Saturday after his arrest at the Richmond airport, McCroskey was asked by a reporter why he did it. He said, “Jesus told me to do it,” WRIC television reported. McCroskey has not cooperated with police since his arrest on Saturday. Police found him napping in the baggage area of an airport waiting to fly back home to the Bay Area.
Here’s horrorcore rapper Mars being interviewed about the murders:
We love this line: “When I met him, he was kinda creepy.” This is coming from Horrorcore Rapper Mars, mind you.
McCroskey has been charged with six counts of capital murder. He is currenty held in Piedmont Regional jail and is on suicide watch.
McCroskey pleaded guilty to killing his 16-year-old girlfriend, her parents and her friend and was sentenced to life in prison as part of his agreement to plead guilty to two counts of capital murder and two counts of first-degree murder. (source)