Debt. Arson. Murder.

I certainly agree with Visduh that this was a 'miserable' story. A genuinely sad affair with not a single 'winner' anywhere near any part of it. I followed it to some degree during its progression, but I had no clue as to the magnitude or gruesomeness of all the circumstances. Firstly, the notion the jury couldn't totally agree on the 'murder' charge scares me, At least in the sense that if ever there was a case to put a guy in prison for a long long time, this was one of them. Having one of your minions (a young, naive, loyal one at that) do your 'dirty work' so you can not only appear 'clean', but also ultimately counting on coming out the other side more 'whole', is as cosmically immoral as any. No amount of legal argument or rhetoric can supersede the actual 'truth' in such a matter. Steigerwalt & Pfingst should ALMOST be ashamed of themselves. This story also isn't about a 'mistake' made by a seeming desperate man attempting to fix some wrongs in his life by questionable means. We have to get past this notion that everybody is ultimately good and that they just screw up sometimes. This is a guy who systematically never could get enough or take enough from the world around him. He always wanted more. Apparently at any cost. He had become what they call a 'benevolent dictator'. He might 'give', but only as much as he had to. The ultimate goal is him getting what he wants and, simply, he knows it won't necessarily come free. The minions might get a crumb or two - just enough to keep them hanging on - but in the end it is he that gets the whole loaf (and sadly, believes he's the only one entitled to it). Finally - overlooking the perverse reality of it - I use stories like this to vividly teach my children about the evils of the world. The simple fact of the matter is real evil does exist. And you don't have to have any 'religious leanings' to know and believe that. It's personified flawlessly (ironically) in guys like Kurtenbach. He is truly evil. His real intentions may have been muddied up by a 'hung jury', but the truth is he never had any intention of owning up to his life's mistakes the proper way and take his lumps like honest, respectable people might. He wanted all of his bad decisions to be cured quickly and by a simple, expedient means that would cost him very little, but produce serious relief from his self imposed 'prison' of debt. It doesn't appear he gave any 'serious' consideration to solving his problems the usual way a legitimate business might in, say, declaring bankruptcy etc. He wanted it only on his terms and his way and with his own 'hopes and dreams' being the sole arbiter of the righteousness of it all. I would bet dollars to donuts that if you asked him today if he has any regrets or believes he was truly in the wrong, he would say "no way". The good news is at least now his 'prison' has four walls.
— October 11, 2011 5 p.m.

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