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“Barb, I don’t know what to do -- they want me to testify,” Jane said.

“Wow. Shit just got real,” I said. “What do you mean you don’t know what to do? You have to. Not just because they could subpoena you or whatever, but because it’s the right thing to do. Jane, this guy is crazy. And he’s a serious danger -- that’s why he’s in jail. Plus, he’s refusing any treatment that would make him less crazy. It’s your duty to help out the prosecution and put him away for a little while. Maybe he’ll be sentenced to treatment.”

“I know. God, I know. But Mom said I’m putting myself and my kids in danger. That he’ll get out and come after us.”

“She’s wrong – you’re saving them. And Kate and her kids, and Kate’s coworkers for Christ’s sake. What if you had never called the cops? What then? Could you have lived with yourself when people got hurt?”

“That’s another thing.” Jane’s voice dropped. I was looking out the window in my New Orleans hotel room, but could clearly see my sister’s face in my mind’s eye, drawn and forlorn with the emotional burden that comes with being the whistle-blower. “They’re going to play the tape in court, and I’ll have to listen to it. The things I said…”

“I’m on that tape too,” I said.

“Yeah, but I’m the one who said all those things – I called him a crazy Born Again, I said he hadn’t worked in years, that he’d gained weight. I was crying. I’m going to have to sit there and listen to it, and he’s going to hear it. Kate’s going to hear it--”

“It’s not like it isn’t all true,” I said. There was silence on the phone as Jane and I thought our own thoughts. Eventually, I asked the question whose answer I sensed my sister was contemplating: “How long ago was that?”

“Two years ago was when we made the call. He’s been in jail for eight months.”

“I’ll go with you,” I said. “Moral support. I’m only in New Orleans for another two days. Just let me know when, and I’ll clear my calendar.

“It was supposed to be next week. Rick wanted to represent himself, and he passed the evaluation, but when he got in front of the judge on the first day of the trial, he started talking crazy, so the judge halted the trial and ordered another competency hearing. But he’s smart, he’ll pass it, and then he’ll just go in and talk crazy again. Who knows when the actual date will be. Sometime in mid-January, they guess.” We laughed nervously.

“Paranoid schizophrenic” was the term one psychologist had used to describe Rick, following his arrest. He was given probation but then got busted for violating the terms of his release. For shirking his restrictions, Rick was sent to jail, where he’s been waiting to stand trial for two felony counts of criminal threat.

Two years ago, Rick began saying that corporations were the evil of America, and that he’d never wear a suit or work for The Man, and he didn’t like that Kate, his wife, worked at an office. According to my sister, his rants had been increasing in both frequency and pitch, until he told Kate one weekday morning, in a fit of psychotic rage, that she should warn the security guard at her office, that he was buying a gun. It would be easy to dismiss such a claim as an empty threat… had he not gone to a store that very day to buy a gun.

Jane learned of the threat, and the purchase of the gun, via phone calls and texts from Kate. Because she had once purchased a gun for her husband’s birthday, Jane knew about California’s 10-day waiting period. Thankfully, Rick had not yet received his firearm when Jane arrived at my place that day.

Jane agonized over whether or not to call the police. “He could have just been saying it.” Jane, he bought a gun. “He might not really want to use it.” Doesn’t matter, he said it, and then he acted on his words. “Kate will hate me.” Wouldn’t you rather her alive and able to?

In the end, I dialed the non-emergency number for the police department and handed her the receiver. When the phone was answered, Jane began crying hysterically and I took it from her hands. In an even voice (at least that’s how I remember it, I guess I’ll find out just how even it was when I hear that tape), I explained the situation. I gave Kate’s name, her company name, and what I knew.

Perhaps because she’d collected herself enough to speak, or maybe because she sensed she was missing out, Jane was quick to recover and take back the phone. That’s when she let it all out – her fears, the texts, the threats, every detail she could think of, anything that could help them stop Rick from ever receiving that gun.

In the following months, as Rick’s speech and behavior grew more erratic, as Jane watched her best friend’s life fall apart, my sister regretted ever having made the call. But it was Kate who reported Rick when he broke his probation. It was Kate who mustered the courage to tell the judge the truth -- that yes, she had feared for her life, and her children’s lives, and her coworkers’ lives – even though she was racked with guilt for separating her kids from their father.

“You did the right thing,” I reminded Jane, as I scanned the street below for the discarded beads that litter most of New Orleans. “And you’ll continue to do the right thing. Kate’s way better off without a severely unstable, potentially violent husband hunting ‘bad guys.’ When you go in, all you have to do is tell the truth. No one’s going to be mad at you for that. Well, Rick might be, but who cares what he thinks – dude’s crazy.”

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Comments

Twister Dec. 23, 2011 @ 8:04 p.m.

To keep another monster where he belongs, please write a letter to the Parole Board. Tell them how afraid you are that if this pathological killer is let out, you may be next.

Label your letter as follows:

CONFIDENTIAL

Re: Craig Peyer CDC # D-93018

Dear Commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings California Men’s Colony – East

Attn: BPH/Lifer Unit P.O.Box 8101 San Luis Obispo, CA 93409-8101

Send a copy to:

San Diego County District Attorney Attn: Lifer Hearing Unit, Lynne Darius 330 W. Broadway, 8th Floor San Diego CA 92101 Fax: 619-615-6451

THE DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 30, 2011

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 23, 2011 @ 9:37 p.m.

Twister, how did you knwo Peyer is coming up for parole??? He has not doen 25 years yet.

I felt so bad for Sam Knott.

December 02, 2000

SAN DIEGO — Sam Knott, a grieving father who became a crusader for victims' rights and police officer accountability after his daughter was murdered in 1986 by an on-duty CHP officer, died of an apparent heart attack Thursday night while tending a memorial at the spot where his daughter's body was found. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/dec/02/local/me-60177

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Twister Dec. 23, 2011 @ 10:50 p.m.

Peyer was up for parole only four years ago, and a couple of times before that. The Knotts continue to suffer; grief is not a strong enough word for the torture that monster and the "justice" system has put this family through. These parole hearings bring it all back even more strongly when he comes up for parole. The twisted and naive "justice" system, in feeling the need to demonstrate how successful it is at rehabilitation, needs poster boys to reinforce their delusions. Peyer is one of those kind of guys who thinks he is soooo much smarter than everyone else that he can be "mother's little angel" in prison, then get out so he can release his Hyde personality again. You see, he is a CHRISTIAN. But he doesn't have to admit guilt or express remorse or apologize to be let out on parole. The rules on this have changed. The last I heard he was getting conjugal visits. It makes me sick.

Sam was an exceptional man in so many ways. After Cara's murder, he devoted himself to trying to ensure that law enforcement administration could know where their officers were at any time via GPS. His widow has not remarried. The Knotts are about as close to an All-American family as there could possibly be. How they show as much restraint as they have done and do is the epitome of maturity.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 23, 2011 @ 11:06 p.m.

Twister, did you know Sam Knott??? One of my good friends, his parents were close friends of the Knott family, and Sam Knott. Sam Knott used to use an attorny who had an office next door to my pad on Bankers Hill and I used to see Sam coming and going every now and then. This entire city felt the pain he was going through.

I had no idea Peyer had already been given a few parole hearings. I don't recall specifics of the case, but thought he had a 1st Degree Murder rap under his belt, which would be 25 to life. I remember when the DNA technology was perfected 10 years after his conviction and Paul Pfingst gave Peyer a chance to clear his name by offering Peyer to give his DNA to match it to DNA on Cara Knotts boot (??), and Peyer declined. That said it all. He was guilty as sin and there was NO way the jury got it wrong after he had the DNA opportunity to clear his name and refused. Ugly guy too. How could he have killed a 20 year old colege student while on duty???????? Must be a nutcase for sure. Sam Knott was a strong man.

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Twister Dec. 23, 2011 @ 11:08 p.m.

It is quite possible that the murder-monster could be released. See these links for details:

http://www.10news.com/news/29938469/detail.html

http://www.10news.com/download/2011/1207/29937653.pdf

http://www.10news.com/download/2011/1207/29937654.pdf

I wish there was some way to disseminate this information more widely . . . Would Bauder post it on his site, or maybe do a piece on the issue?

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 24, 2011 @ 1:07 p.m.

8.It is quite possible that the murder-monster could be released ==

Peyer has NEVER admitted responsibility for the murder of Cara Knott. He cliams his innocence even today, despite having an opportunity to clear his name with DNA.

Peyer will NEVER get out as long as he denies responsibility-you can take that to the bank. Just won't happen with his attitude.

If he came clean and manned up, and was contrite it may have been different.

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Twister Dec. 23, 2011 @ 11:14 p.m.

SP, you're right on all counts. Hope you will help spread the word--the more letters the better.

In reply to: By SurfPuppy619 11:06 p.m., Dec 23, 2011

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 23, 2011 @ 11:19 p.m.

OK, I just read the wikipedia entry on Peyer-he did get 25-life in 1988-but had a parole hearing in 04 and again in 08.

I thought violent crimes were supposed to do 85% of the time before they could get paroled. Peyer had a parole hearing after just 16 years. Don't understand how that works. He claims he is innocent but refused the DNA test that could cler him-that claim is enough for anyone to deny parole. One of the requirements of parole is that you admit your wrongs and ask forgivenss from those you have hurt-Peyer has not learned this lesson, and after 24 years in jail it is unlikely he ever will learn it.

I hope Cara Knotts family is present at the 2012 parole hearing and I hope he is denied again.

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Twister Dec. 23, 2011 @ 11:30 p.m.

The Knotts are there for all of the hearings, and it HURTS!

"One of the requirements of parole is that you admit your wrongs and ask forgivenss from those you have hurt . . ." This is no longer required as a condition of parole.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 24, 2011 @ 1:10 p.m.

"One of the requirements of parole is that you admit your wrongs and ask forgivenss from those you have hurt . . ." This is no longer required as a condition of parole. == You sure???

Admitting responsibility seems to have always been a major part of parole in the past-but I don't know....

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Ponzi Dec. 26, 2011 @ 4:12 p.m.

Re: Craig Peyer

Don’t forget to also write Governor Brown. In all “lifer’ cases in California, the Governor must personally approve each lifer parole decision.

Since only five lifers a year are released, his chances are slim and none.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 26, 2011 @ 9:41 p.m.

Peyer received 25-life-is that considered a lifer?

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Ponzi Dec. 27, 2011 @ 11:09 a.m.

SP, Peyer was sentenced to 25 years to life, or what is called an”indeterminate sentence.” It is “with the possibility of parole,” but in the majority of murder cases it is a life sentence. Those convicted of life without the possibility of parole (determinate sentence) never appear before the parole board because they are ineligible for release.

Craig Peyer may be a model prisoner, and probably – due to being housed in special quarters reserved for ex-law enforcement – did not commit any offenses. He has a wife and a home to return to. He could become one of the few to be paroled. But he is a predator of young women.

So it’s vitally important that the community of San Diego demand that he not be released because we feel he still would be a danger to the community. They can’t just reiterate his criminal act to keep him behind bars, San Diegans have to petition the Parole Board and Governor Brown to keep him locked up for life.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 27, 2011 @ 2:46 p.m.

Yes, I understsand the 25-life parrt, but I was unsure if that is considered a life term, and was unaware that most 25-lifers were not paroled.

I think anyone who was here in 1986 and lived through the Cara Knott murder and the trial of Peyer would agree that Peyer should remain locked up. I know I have that opinion and I would in most cases like to give people a second chance-not with Peyer.

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Ponzi Dec. 27, 2011 @ 3:05 p.m.

After some more review, I see that Governor Brown is releasing substantially more lifers;

“Gov. Jerry Brown is letting convicted killers leave prison on parole at a far higher rate than previous governors, only rarely using his power to block decisions of the parole board. Early in his term, Brown has let 106 of 130 convicted killers' parole releases stand – about 82 percent, according to Brown's office and records provided in response to a California Public Records Act request. Brown’s deference to the state Board of Parole Hearings is in contrast to his predecessors, who more aggressively used their power to overturn parole grants. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger let stand only about 27 percent of parole decisions. Gov. Gray Davis was even less lenient, letting only nine of 374 paroled killers out of prison while he was governor." If you take someone else's life, forget it," Davis said shortly after he took office in 1999. "I see no reason to parole people who have committed an act of murder."

Read more here: . http://www.sacbee.com/2011/04/29/3588083/brown-departs-from-predecessors.html#storylink=cpy .

Apparently due to a pair of State Supreme Court’s decisions in 2008. This could get interesting.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 27, 2011 @ 11:58 p.m.

Another reason to hate idiot Davis -every case should be decided on the merits, not a blanket policy of denial.

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anniej Dec. 27, 2011 @ 9:47 p.m.

no, a lifer is someone who is there FOREVER...........someone who will die in prison.

life without possibility of parole ---------- that is the definition of a lifer.

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Ponzi Dec. 28, 2011 @ 10:01 a.m.

This is from the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation website: Note the word "Lifer" =====================

Lifer Parole Process

Parole Hearings

Only inmates sentenced to life in prison(Indeterminate Sentenced), with the possibility of parole, are subject to suitability hearings by the BPH. Some life inmates are sentenced without the possibility of parole. All prison inmates in California who are not serving life sentences (known as Determinate Sentences) are released on parole after serving the sentence imposed by the court and are supervised by the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Many "lifers" do not die in prison.

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tomjohnston Dec. 27, 2011 @ 1:29 p.m.

According to the Board of Parole Hearings, you are incorrect. The Office of the Governor has the discretion to review any decision, within 30 days. One of the options available to the Governor is reversing the decision to reverse the parole in a murder case. Prop 89, approved in 1988, "No decision of the parole authority of this state with respect to the granting, denial, revocation, or suspension of parole of a person sentenced to an indeterminate term upon conviction of murder shall become effective for a period of 30 days, during which the Governor may review the decision subject to procedures provided by statute. The Governor may only affirm, modify, or reverse the decision of the parole authority on the basis of the same factors which the parole authority is required to consider. The Governor shall report to the Legislature each parole decision affirmed, modified, or reversed, stating the pertinent facts and reasons for the action."

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Ponzi Dec. 27, 2011 @ 2:32 p.m.

Not sure of where I am incorrect unless we have wildly different ideas of the definition of “reverse.”

“A 1988 state constitutional amendment approved by California voters allows the governor to overturn parole board decisions in murder cases. Since then, governors have used that power to reverse hundreds of parole board decisions that would have freed inmates sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.” Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/129Ui)

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tomjohnston Dec. 27, 2011 @ 5:18 p.m.

"Not sure of where I am incorrect unless we have wildly different ideas of the definition of “reverse.” No .first off, you didn't refer to reversing of decisions. I am referring to the fact that you incorrectly said that the Governor "must personally approve each lifer parole decision." The Governor has the discretion to review ALL BPH decisions and in murder cases only, reverse the decision. He also has the choice of referring the decision back to the BPH for reconsideration, modifying the decision, actively approving the decision to parole or letting the decision stand by not taking any action or not reviewing it within the 30 day period. There is no action that the governor "must" take. As your own quote says the amendment " allows the governor to overturn parole board decisions in murder cases", but implementation of the BPH's decision is not dependent on any action by the governor. That said, I'm of the opinion that any governor should look at any parole decision that involves an indeterminate life sentence.

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Ponzi Dec. 27, 2011 @ 7:52 p.m.

Talk about splitting hairs. Whatever. The governor has options as you pointed out. Now we are ruminating about the word “must.” Well of course he “must” do something and that can include doing nothing.

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tomjohnston Dec. 27, 2011 @ 9:24 p.m.

well, if it's splitting hairs you're the one splitting them. You said the governor must personally approve each lifer's parole decision. That simply is not true. Allowing the decision to stand by not reviewing it is not "personally approving" it, especially considering that an "active" approval is one of his available options. And I am pretty certain that when you made your comment you had no idea of the choices outlines. How many of those 130 parole recommendations do you think the sugar plum fairy actually reviewed for himself and how many do you think he relied on staff recommendations? With over 56k paroles granted in 2009, I doubt that all of them were reviewed by the governors office and I would be surprised if a portion of the decisions issued by Brown weren't done simply on the recommendation of staff with a mere perusal by the Gov.. Since he seems to be deferring to the state Board of Parole Hearings decisions in a majority of cases, it's not hard to believe. Just my opinion. Opinions vary.

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Ponzi Dec. 28, 2011 @ 9:59 a.m.

Of course the Governor uses his staff for recommendations. But the staff is considered “the Governor’s Office” as they report to the Governor.

Where on earth did you come up with 56,000 paroles in 2009? I was discussing the lifer murderers, not all the other paroles.

And a “mere perusal” by the Governor is good enough for me to stick with that he must ultimately decide.

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Ponzi Dec. 26, 2011 @ 4:23 p.m.

I remember when that case was going on. A few days after Cara went missing, a KGTV news reporter went on a ride along and interview with Peyer. They picked him because she went missing along his beat and he was giving advice on “how to stay safe on the freeway at night.” He had visible scratches on his face, which he claimed were from an encounter with a chain-link fence. Later it was theorized those were scratches that Cara made in her struggle.

Peyer is a predator of young blond women. One of the people that came forward was a man who had long (surfer like) blond hair. Once pulled over, Peyer realized it was a man and let him go on his way. Another witness retold her experience of being pulled over one night. Her boyfriend was sleeping in the back seat of her car. When he woke up, Peyer decided to let her go. In both cases the reasons for pulling these people over were lame.

He committed these crimes under color of authority. He is a disgrace to the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement everywhere. He should be left to die in prison.

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Twister Dec. 27, 2011 @ 6:51 a.m.

Thanks to all who have written letters and who will write them before the Dec. 31 deadline (for receipt).

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anniej Dec. 27, 2011 @ 9:51 p.m.

death at the hand of ANYONE, but at the hand of someone who has sworn to protect us. unbelievable!!!!!!!!!

not that i mean to cast a cloud over all of those peace officers who consistently, day in and day out do all they can to protect us.

surely they detest this crime as much, if not more, than we.

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