Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.



Foster Care Failure

January 19, 2006 permalink

Here is the story of a man raised in the Charles Manson tradition. The damage done by separating a child from his family cannot be undone by later payment of conscience money.



Accused Killer Was Receiving Money From State

OCALA, Fla. -- The teenager suspected of killing two college students in the Ocala National Forest may have funded his crime spree with cash from the state.

Investigators said Leo Boatman used money he got for being a former foster child to buy gear and bus tickets to carry out his murder plot, WESH 2 News reported.

Marion County investigators are finding out more every day about what they call a plot to kill. The targets were the two unknowing 26-year-old students, Amber Peck and John Parker.

Boatman just got out of jail four months ago and started collecting on money owed to him because he spent so many years in the foster care system.

Investigators said they are certain Boatman cashed the state check worth $875 and bought a bus ticket to Ocala and camping gear once he got there. They think he then tracked down two victims in the forest in a popular camping area and shot them to death.

"He was receiving that money, approximately $500 monthly, and then it was recently increased because he had enrolled at St. Petersburg College," said Maj. Chris Blair, of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Boatman told a fellow customer at a camping store near the crime scene that he was enrolled in veterinary college.

Police said two movies may have influenced Boatman -- The Silence Of The Lambs and Cape Fear. Both movies have plots that revolve around killers. Boatman rented those two films about a week before Peck and Parker were shot to death.

Blair said that Boatman revealed to a friend and an uncle that he wanted to commit a murder or even more than one.

"Our interviews were that he made numerous statements about where he wanted to commit a homicide to see exactly what it felt like," Blair said. "He talked about how he wanted to be a serial murderer."

The money Boatman was getting comes from a mix of state and federal dollars. Former foster children get the money once they turn 18, and then they get even more while they are enrolled in college.

Investigators said Boatman's uncle said once he enrolled in college he thought the teen was turning his life around after having spent several years in juvenile custody.

Boatman's case goes before a grand jury on Jan. 27 to determine if he could receive the death penalty.

Source: WESH