When he took the mic, aspiring California horrorcore rapper Richard McCroskey was known as Syko Sam, a violent, ax-wielding alter ego whose lyrics were flush with tales of killing people and whose MySpace page bears the warning, "I hate everything and I hate everyone."
Now McCroskey, 20, is in jail after being arrested on Saturday at Richmond International Airport in Virginia, one day after police found the bodies of four people in a Farmville, Virginia home. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that McCroskey's MySpace page bore a number of messages from an adoring teenage fan from Virginia, Emma Niederbrock, who the rapper flew to visit on September 6. A friend said that McCroskey attended a horrorcore show in Michigan with Niederbrock and her best friend on September 12 called Strictly for the Wicked, with Niederbrock's parents driving them to the gig. Police believe that sometime after attending the concert, McCroskey killed the girl and three others in her home.
McCroskey will remain in jail following his first court appearance on Monday, according to The Associated Press. He appeared via video conference in Prince Edward County Court and was given a court-appointed attorney after being charged over the weekend with the first-degree murder of Mark Niederbrock, a pastor at a local Presbyterian church identified in published reports as the girl's father.
"It's a horrific crime. It's hard to imagine what these people must have gone through," police Sergeant Andy Ellington told the paper about the murders in a small town (population 7,200) with very little violent crime. "It's a close-knit community and everybody knows everybody. It's just devastating." Though not all the victims have been identified yet, police believe they include Emma Niederbrock, a friend of hers and another female.
There is no known motive yet, but Ellington said that when asked by a reporter how he committed the crime, McCroskey said, "Jesus told me to do it." He is suspected of first-degree murder, robbery and grand larceny in the theft of Mark Niederbrock's vehicle, and officials plan to charge him in the other three killings once the bodies have been positively identified.
According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, police went to the home of Niederbrock's estranged wife, Debra Kelley -- where the bodies were found -- on Thursday after an unidentified West Virginia woman called to say that it had been days since she'd heard from her teenage daughter, who was staying with Kelley and Emma Niederbrock. When investigators went to the home, a man matching McCroskey's description allegedly told them the girls had gone to see a movie, but when the mother still hadn't heard from her daughter on Friday, police entered the home and found the bodies.
They arrested McCroskey the next day at the airport as he slept in a chair while waiting to take a flight back to California. Neighbors described him as a loner who almost always wore a black hooded sweatshirt. His lyrics included one song where he rhymed, "I've killed many people and I kill them real slow/ It's the best feeling, watching their last breath."
The Mercury News reported that someone appeared to have accessed McCroskey's MySpace page on Sunday and deleted many of the messages, including those from Niederbrock, who had reportedly once written on the page, "I know my mind works weird cause I always expect the worst, but I'm trying sooo hard not to with you cause I know you'd never hurt me."