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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.

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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