Boy's Killer Hangs Himself At San Quentin

The child's remains were discovered on a hiking trail near Lake Elsinore in 1990; James Lee Crummel was convicted of murdering the boy.

A death row inmate convicted of abducting and killing a 13-year-old Orange County boy, whose remains were dumped near Lake Elsinore, hanged himself in his prison cell, it was announced today.

James Lee Crummel, 68, was discovered hanging in his cell at San Quentin State Prison shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Crummel, who was the sole occupant of the cell, was pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m. The convicted murderer had been housed at the prison since July 15, 2004.

Earlier that year, a Riverside County jury convicted Crummel of the slaying of James "Jamey" Wilfred Trotter and recommended the death penalty. A judge upheld the recommendation, sentencing the Newport Beach man to capital punishment on July 9, 2004.

Authorities said Crummel snatched the boy as he walked to meet his school bus in Costa Mesa on April 19, 1979. The child's remains were discovered on a hiking trail near Lake Elsinore in 1990. The defendant claimed he had stumbled upon the bones and was identified as a prime suspect after investigators delved into his background.

Crummel had prior convictions for child molestation in California and other states going back to the mid-1960s, when he was a teenager. In 1983, he was convicted of killing a 9-year-old Pima County, Ariz., boy more than 15 years earlier, but the conviction was tossed out by a judge who did not believe Crummel had received adequate legal representation.

He remains a suspect in the disappearances of two other boys.

Since 1978, when California reinstated capital punishment, 20 death row inmates have committed suicide, 57 have died of natural causes and 13 have been executed, according to the CDCR. Currently, 723 convicts sit on death row.

California Girl May 29, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Well it says there are 723 left on death row!! Which is way to many!!!
Darlene Bell May 29, 2012 at 11:06 PM
This is GREAT news...one less scum bag that we, the taxpayers, will have to take care of for the rest of his life!!!!!
big aunt harry mary May 30, 2012 at 02:49 AM
once convicted, proved and all facts have been positively, absolutely certain they are correct, kill them... this 13 years of horsesh*t legal fees WE pay for appeals and wasted court time is insane ! richard ramirez--- why in the fu*k is this murderer still alive !?!?!? we all know theres no doubt about HIS guilt ! OVER 700 ON DEATH ROW.. WHAT ARE THEY WAITING FOR ? a free ticket for the show !!?!?!? liberal jerk offs..
big aunt harry mary May 30, 2012 at 02:50 AM
now he needs to be buried under a cat box....
Tonto May 30, 2012 at 02:59 AM
The morons are now paying for inmate sex changes with the fruits of our labor. How screwed up is that?
Steve May 30, 2012 at 03:49 AM
If we were to abolish the death penalty, the first step should be taken by our friends the murderers.
Citizen May 30, 2012 at 04:20 AM
1 less scumbag we have to pay for! 723 to go!!
Kevin - Wildomar CA May 30, 2012 at 09:43 AM
I'm pro-death penalty, but I don't think they should be executed quickly. I know I'm alone on this, but I like the idea that a condemned inmate has to wake up everyday knowing it's going to be the same old routine. It'd be nice if all death row inmates were guaranteed execution in 10 years, then they'd dread each and everyday. What we have now is a joke. The odds of dying by execution are far less than all other causes combined.
Wildomar Resident May 30, 2012 at 02:56 PM
If anyone believes there will ever be another execution in the State of California, I'm sorry to say that you are sadly mistaken. With all the negative publicity surrounding executions throughout the US and the liberal politicians, who believe anyone can be rehabilitated, we will continue to house convicted murderers until such time as the laws are changed and the death penalty is finally stricken. In the mean time, I don't understand why they have to be segregated from the general population or why we spend millions of dollars on appeals. I say repeal the law now and turn them over to the general inmate population. Our cost of housing these people will go down dramatically and many of the +700 death penalty inmates will suffer at the hands of their own kind - How's that for justice?
sporkonafork May 30, 2012 at 04:58 PM
the name "uncle fester" above sounds like a nickname of a pedo lol, why wait so long to carry through the death sentance? each person on death row costs tax payers millions of $$ especially if theyre using public defender attorneys!! hurry up and die death row ppl!
KJ May 30, 2012 at 05:02 PM
This is the person (?) who took our friend Jamey from us 33 years ago and put Jamey's family through h*ll. Now it's his turn to spend the rest of eternity there. Jamey's mom passed away five months ago and I am so sorry she, as well as Jamey's dad and older brother, didn't live to see this day. I only regret there's several other families out there whose children never returned home and will now never know with certainty if Crummel was the responsible party. Jamey's brother told me that most of us think the worst part is the not knowing, but really it's not. The worst part is having your worst suspicions become reality. To Mr. Mitchell, I remember all the hard work you put into this case and we are so grateful for you and all the other LEOs for the outstanding work you did. I never thought I'd ever see the day where I would want to celebrate the death of any human being. I was wrong.
Diana May 30, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I don't think "uncle fester" sounds like a name of a pedo, if his name was "chester the molester" then maybe...just sayin
Diana May 30, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I agree, put them on main line population, convicts don't think to highly of baby rapers and the likes, they would be dead in no time at all. Problem solved!
Steve May 31, 2012 at 07:12 PM
How come I never hear that song by the Beatles, "little child" on the radio....
timothy venable June 01, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I think if we start today we could clear the backlog in six months. Probably be able to reduce the deficit in CA to near zero.
mike johnson June 01, 2012 at 06:03 PM
We just need to start hanging them in the streets,and let the junior,and high schools watch,would lower crime rates ,and decimate the gangs in California ,that have made this one of the ugliest places in the world.we don't act now ,then we will witness what Mexico is going thrue now ,give it five years ,these gangs already have the cops wetting there panties .
rocky j squirrel June 01, 2012 at 06:20 PM
How hard was it for the judge to retry him? Wth Arizona? You can carry weapons on your person but you cant retry a sexual predator monster?
Steve June 02, 2012 at 06:48 PM
http://community.cbs47.tv/blogs/kenmalloy/archive/2012/06/02/4485276.aspx Quick executions, or solitary confinement torture?
just thinkin June 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Wasn't Uncle Fester that old guy on Adams Family? Or was it that hillbilly mountain show from the 60's?
dummy california girl June 03, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I hate when all these welfare moms biatch about " their " tax money being spent... Stay out of politics, worry about your nails or something.
Questions June 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Quick to judge? And the hanging idea sounds radical... 10yrs of solitary confinement?? Just kill them quickly because it saves money. They will just rot in hell anyway.
vences June 04, 2012 at 03:08 AM
What does welfare have to do with a coward killing himself?
JD horowitz June 04, 2012 at 07:21 AM
People hate islamic laws but the reason it chops off the head of such criminal in city square is to make an example out of them.. Thats why Gold jewelers there can leave their shop and go and noone can dare steal.. Just saying
capt mark serrato June 04, 2012 at 10:34 AM
Any one who hurts a chid should be taken out im a ff paramedc trainn cpt I see it a th time god says to for give bt I cant forgive some one who hurts a kid mark with the los angeles county fire dept
capt mark serrato June 04, 2012 at 10:38 AM
My condolences 2the fam my heart goes out to u my god confort you in yr time of need im so sorry
big aunt harry mary June 11, 2012 at 03:33 PM
uncle fester... is the name of a character from the old t.v. show ''the addams family".. so was morticia, gomez, wedensday, thing, lurch, cousin it, grandma-ma, and a few others. i thought about using the name i use everyday but, it just doesnt have the panache uncle fester does... to ken, i understand your feeling on the "make them wait and suffer" but at the same time, the cost to keep these CONVICTED murders alive, is way too high to justify the "wait and suffer" youd like to see. sure its a good idea but, its too expensive and leaves a big open door for more appeals, wasted court time and plugs up space in the jails where we need it for future incoming inmates. since we have lots of them staying on our dime, why wait for the inevitable. ?
big aunt harry mary June 23, 2012 at 07:51 AM
making them "suffer" by waiting the inevitable all sounds good but, in fact, they probably could not care less. knowing they have the right to appeal this crap over and over untill the 13 years runs out or they actually get a judge to swing the other direction... and then its usually a wrong decision anyway.. once found 100% guilty--with no question of mistakes, 1 year to say good bye.. and i think thats too much time too.. they sure as hell didnt give their victims a chance to say good bye to anyone (in most cases) it was either brutal, painful or just plain ugly.. they deserve nothing.. not even food.. die.. they had no problem taking a life, they should not have the right to complain about losing theirs... like the old days.... "he's guilty...get the rope!"
big aunt harry mary June 23, 2012 at 07:56 AM
fester was a character on gunsmoke... uncle fester was a character on the adams family... i hope this clears it all up for everyone... and i like the way it looks... thanks for playing !
big aunt harry mary June 23, 2012 at 07:58 AM
questions---- YES !!!! you need to be president !!!!! simple, to the point and make 100% perfect sense !! thank you !!!!
big aunt harry mary September 05, 2012 at 09:39 AM
i think it was pointed at spending "their money" on convicts insted of wasting it on their kids that we pay for too.. free is never enough and if you want to see something disgusting, go the welfare office and see what these "welfare stealing" people drive, the clothes they wear and mouths they badger the employees with... they should be hung too ! i have no problem buying the rope ..


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