PURCELL, Okla. — The man accused of killing a 10-year-old neighbor girl for an elaborate plan to eat human flesh joked about cannibalism on his online diary, discussed the effects of not taking his anti-depression medication and mentioned “dangerously weird” fantasies.
All he wanted in life, Kevin Ray Underwood wrote in his blog, was “to be able to live like a normal person.”
People who knew Underwood described him Sunday as a quiet, “boring” and seemingly trustworthy young man. His mother who lived across town called him a “wonderful boy.”
The 26-year-old grocery store stocker was arrested Friday. Investigators searched his apartment after he aroused their suspicions at a checkpoint, and found a large plastic tub in a bedroom closet. According to a police affidavit, he confessed that he killed Jamie Rose Bolin, telling FBI agents: “Go ahead and arrest me. She is in there. I chopped her up.”
Jamie’s unclothed body was inside the tub, along with a towel used to soak up blood, officials said. Police said that, while there were deep saw marks on the girl’s neck, she had not been dismembered.
“Regarding a potential motive,” Purcell Police Chief David Tompkins said Saturday, “this appears to have been part of a plan to kidnap a person, rape them, torture them, kill them, cut off their head, drain the body of blood, rape the corpse, eat the corpse then dispose of the organs and bones.”
Investigators found meat tenderizer and barbecue skewers that he planned to use on the body, McClain County District Attorney Tim Kuykendall said in this small community 40 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Underwood, who is to be formally charged with first-degree murder Monday, lived alone in an apartment downstairs from the one where Jamie lived with her father.
Authorities believe Underwood killed the girl Wednesday, when she disappeared after going to a library, by beating and smothering her.
Underwood’s family was shocked.
‘Always a wonderful boy’
“This is something that I don’t know where it came from,” Underwood’s mother, Connie, said through tears in a brief telephone interview Sunday with The Associated Press. “He was always a wonderful boy.
“I would like to be able to tell her family how sorry we are. I just feel so terrible.”
On his blog, an online diary that he had kept since September 2002, Underwood described himself as “single, bored, and lonely, but other than that, pretty happy.”
He mentions cannibalism, asking “If you were a cannibal, what would you wear to dinner?” and responding: “The skin of last night’s main course.”
In an entry dated Feb. 4, 2006, Underwood wrote that he struggled with depression and social interaction.
His greatest wish: Be ‘like a normal person’
“Pretty much the only time I believe in God is when I blame him for something,” he said. “Or, when I’m really depressed, to cry and beg him to make me better, to make whatever is wrong in my brain go away, so that I can live like a normal person.
“That’s all I want in life, is to be able to live like a normal person.”
He wrote that he rarely left his apartment for long stretches, except to go to work and to buy food. “I just sit here at the computer every minute of the day, when I’m not at work. A week or so ago, I spent my day off sitting here at the computer, barely moving from the chair, for 14 hours.”
He said one of his main interests was the online role-playing game “Kingdom of Loathing,” in which stick figures battle one another.
In September 2004, he wrote that his depression deepened after several months without taking the medication Lexapro, an antidepressant also used in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
“For example, my fantasies are just getting weirder and weirder. Dangerously weird,” he wrote. “If people knew the kinds of things I think about anymore, I’d probably be locked away. No probably about it, I know I would be.”
Dutiful but ‘boring’ worker
Underwood worked for nearly seven years at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant, where shift leader Bill Verdan described him as a quiet person who kept to himself. “He did a good job,” Verdan said Sunday.
However, he said Underwood, who quit about a year ago, was a “boring” man who rarely smiled.
“Just his tone of voice, he just sounded dull,” Verdan said. “Trying to get a smile out of him took an act of Congress.”
Verdan said he and his wife and young daughters never suspected anything unusual. “He gave my wife rides home from work numerous times,” he said. “We never felt uncomfortable. I talked to my girls after this happened, and they said they felt comfortable around him.”
His most recent job was as a stocker at a Griders Discount Foods grocery store in Oklahoma City, where he arrived early for his shift Friday, said a manager at the store, Jerry Castro.
“He was the same as always,” Castro said. “He was quiet and kept to himself. He didn’t interact with people. It just didn’t dawn on you that this was something he’d do.”
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