Some improvement in local news coverage of Kim Simon murder suspects

March 18, 2010

Well, it looks like recent Church of Azazel press release (see my previous post) might have influenced subsequent reporting by the Utica Observer Dispatch about the murder of Kimberly Simon, although we didn’t get mentioned. According to the latest Utica Observer Dispatch news storyn, 3 persons of interest in Simon case were questioned in 1980s by Rocco LaDuca, March 17, 2010:

Less than a week after Saturday’s “America’s Most Wanted” aired a program on the Simon’s case, Oneida County District Attorney’s Investigator Richard Ferrucci on Tuesday shared new details about what the 16-month investigation has uncovered so far.

… Simon likely spent the last hours of her life with at least four young males known for satanic rituals, investigators said. As another young girl at the time watched from behind a tree, she reportedly saw one member of the group have sex with a blond girl while she appeared to be drugged.

“Were they true Satanists? No, I believe they were cowards using this as a guise to drug and sexually abuse young women,” Ferrucci said. “I just think this was their way of trying to make people afraid of them.”

I’m glad to see attention paid to the question of whether they were “true Satanists.”

Also, subsequent to my sending him our press release, the reporter seems to have noticed that it’s a bit odd, or at least noteworthy, that these guys weren’t investigated more thoroughly back in the late 1980’s:

Three current persons of interest in the death of 16-year-old Kimberly Simon were questioned by police within the year after she was killed in 1985, current investigators said.

But for reasons that still remain unclear today, past investigators instead turned their attention to 19-year-old Steven Barnes, who was released from prison in late 2008 after DNA proved his innocence.

Good to see the reporter paying attention to that issue, too.

Unfortunately, however, in another Utica Observer-Dispatch story, ‘Teary-eyed’ Barnes reflects on ‘Wanted’ show by Jennifer Fusco, March 14, 2010, the social gathering at which “a woman now says she saw a male having sex with a passed-out Simon a day before she was found dead” is described as “a Satanic ritual party,” with no elaboration or disclaimer.

The Utica Observer-Dispatch also has a story about errors in earlier reporting: Show’s Web site carried incorrect info on Simon Case by Rocco LaDuca, March 14, 2010.

One Response to “Some improvement in local news coverage of Kim Simon murder suspects”

  1. Sean Ryan Says:

    kim was 1 of my dearest friends. We had a close group of friends that young out and we all loved eachother. Some people’s lives, like mine have been turned upside down from this. I was a Heroin addict for 15 yrs.and I suffered emotionally as well with severe P.T.S.D. We need this 1 girl to come forward and tell what she saw that night. If all she did was watch,she will be given immunity in return for her testamony. Kim’s parents and brother had to move and rebuild there lives, but none of us can rest until all the killers,who are still alive go to the prison. Hopefully with the death penalty. We need to know and steve barnes would like to know also. Even after spending 20yrs. in prison, he still cares about finding the real killers too. Sean Ryan

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