Confessing to murder

THIS is an extraordinary story about a bloke from Virginia named Daniel Crocker.

On the surface, he was the typical suburbanite. He had a wife and two kids and a good job as a warehouse manager.

But Crocker had a dark secret: Nineteen years earlier, in a drug fuelled haze, he had taken the life of a Kansas woman named Tracy Fresquez. Over the years, the burden of this secret became intolerable. Eventually, Daniel Crocker turned to God for forgiveness, became a Christian, became active in an evangelical church, and he and his family grew wonderfully in their faith.

But he could not bring himself to tell the police about his terrible crime.

It was when Daniel began ministering to a prison inmate that he came under conviction. One day after Daniel returned home from a prison visit, he prayed with his wife, Nicolette.

Daniel then began planning how to go about surrendering to the authorities. For assistance, he turned to the Reverend Al Lawrence, a Prison Fellowship staff member and assistant pastor of a local church. Lawrence is an ex-offender himself, and he counseled Crocker and helped prepare him for prison life.

Lawrence told the Washington Post why Crocker was taking this extraordinary step: “[Crocker’s] faith,” he said, “told him he had to deal with that part of his life that he’s been skirting over the years.”

For Crocker, the hardest part was telling his children, nine year-old Isaac and eight-year old Analiese, why he had to leave them. As the children tearfully begged him not to go, Crocker, himself in tears, told them: “I have to do this. I’d be a hypocrite if I raised you by the Word of God and I didn’t [turn myself in].”

So Crocker boarded a plane for Kansas where he was met by startled prosecutors and charged with first-degree murder.

Charles Colesen who related this story a few years ago said: “The apostle Paul writes that “godly sorrow leads to salvation and brings no regret.” By contrast there’s “worldly sorrow”: grief over being caught, not over having sinned. Paul warns that this kind of sorrow “produces death.”

“The Crocker’s remarkable story is a timely lesson in what it means to repent. The kind of repentance Paul describes produces changed hearts and changed lives. It doesn’t ask “what can I get away with?” but rather “how do I make things right?”


31 thoughts on “Confessing to murder

  1. blerrk!
    Destroying the lives of a wife and kids is NOT the way to “make things right”; NOTHING can undo or alleviate or pay for what he’s done.

    Who gains by his actions? NObody!
    A typical self-centered idiot: me, me, me, me, me.

    If he were genuine about ‘repentence’ he’d have carried his ‘burden of guilt’ (as punishment) and kept his stupid mouth shut.

    Instead he selfishly ruins even more lives (including his own: who knows what ‘good’ he might’ve achieved) in an effort to lighten his own load.

    Nowhere does his (bloodthirsty) god threaten life imprisonment or a death-sentence for a breach of the Ten Commandments; what advice would Jesus have given him??

    For those of you who didn’t read this the last 47 times I posted it:- “…try again.”


  2. He’s no hero. Crocker confessed to his wife before they married. They both kept this secret for eleven years. Took him nineteen years all up to finally come clean—big deal! And this is after he’s been piously counseling prison inmates? Wow!


    • Lazarus Long sort of agrees with you Dom.
      “It’s better to copulate than never”.
      Where have you been hiding?
      (I reckon I saw you once on a news-program. Were you the one wearing a towel-hat and a big bushy beard? 🙂 )


  3. Well, I think it is extraordinary. Who wouldn’t be afraid to confess? I know I would.

    It took great courage.

    He could have well spent the rest of his life physically free, but preferred to be spiritually free.

    I admire him and hope God gives him peace.


    • As I said, Kathleen (“.. but [HE] preferred to be spiritually free. “)

      memememememememe ~ and bugger the cost to others.


      • Didn’t the Apostles leave their families and follow Jesus?

        I think no matter how heinous a person’s crimes in life, God gives everyone a second chance if they truly repent.


      • Did the apostles abandon wives and children ~ and thus abandon their promised-to-god vows?

        If they did have wives and children to support would Jesus have lured them away?
        In any case, who’d want ~ or could count on ~a follower so selfish and untrustworthy?

        ….why am I reminded of Horace Greeley, who’s famous for preaching:
        “Go West, young man, go West”?
        …..and all the young men went West
        ….and Horace stayed in the East with all the young women. 😉


      • Dabbles,
        I cant be too sure, but I’m not aware that Jewish marriages in the time of Jesus actually included vows before God. It was essentially a ceremony and celebration that was organized and presided over by the families of bride and groom.


        PS. So Dabs, you came from a Methodist origin like myself? Well well.


      • What happened to the Methodists Rian?

        Are they still around?

        In my youth there were only two religions it seemed, Catholic and Methodist. But where are the Methodists now? They seemed to have disappeared a long time ago.


      • Hi Mon,
        Where are the Methodists? Dont think that there would be more than a sprinkling now. In Australia, at any rate, that is. Just around a corner from my place, there actually is an old trad Methodist church, but apparently the numbers attending fell so low, with pretty well just a couple of elderly ladies, that the building was sold, just several years back.

        For the most part, of course, the greater number of Methodist congregations round Aust just joined all those years back with the Prezzies and the Congregationalists, to form the Uniting Church. To my knowledge that hasnt happened overseas, as yet.

        My own big big memory of the Methos revolves round the packed church services when I was a kid, The singing was always great in their churches. (What was the old saying…. Methodism was born in song.) Also of course my Dad’s sermons, and his playing of the organ when necessary.

        Thems were the days, the forties and early fifties, I mean.


      • So that’s where they got to, the Uniting Church.

        Thanks Rian,

        I knew they had amalgamated with some other denomination but couldn’t remember which one, it’s been so long ago.

        In my youth I wanted to be a missionary and to do that I had to leave the Catholic faith and become a Methodist (or was it Presbyterian?). I can’t remember. Whichever denomination it was had a hands-on intensive course which sounded wonderful, just what I was after, with the promise of being sent to Africa afterwards, but I was too afraid to leave the Catholic Church. I was only young—17, and certainly not religious, but I always had an unexplained yearning to be a missionary. In any case my parents expressly forbade me to even think about it, so that was that. But my Nanna’s neighbour was a Methodist, and she would always corner me and mention God, and I would fight back tears (because I had stopped going to church by that stage—it was the beginning of my rebellion). I guess God was still trying to get through to me. She was a lovely old woman. What she said about God went deep into my heart even though I kidded myself that didn’t want anything to do with God anymore.

        I absolutely love that photo of your Dad playing the huge pipe organ at church. He looks like he was having a ball….like he really wanted to be there. That’s how it should be, hey? Not going to church because you feel you have to so’s you won’t go to Hell.

        Cheers Rian.


      • Hi Rian.
        I don’t know either whether young jews actually made vows to god.
        It’s possible they addressed their vows to Higher Authority: Jewish Mothers and Mothers-In-Law! 😆

        And yep. Much of my childhood was lived in the boondocks of Wantirna and Bayswater ( about 19 km from Melb.CBD for non-Victorians), and even jesuit missionaries hadn’t gone that far out yet.
        My mother reckoned whichever god was ‘The Authority’ might forgive her decision that any church was better than no church, so we walked a couple of miles up to the local Methodist Bush Church (nearly) every week.

        I must say it gave me a sound grounding in christianity on a very real and day-to-day practical level which I enjoyed because I could understand it and it made sense to me. And a very big part of that was the genuine, kind and all-embracing ‘christianity’ which held the community together and was shared without thought or ANY kind of judgment/dogma/ritual getting in the way; neither was it left in the church when everybody went home to Sunday lunch; a hugely-diverse, but small, community lived accordingly all week long ~ ‘rich’ and poor, old and young, even strangers that came and went.
        ….and yet there was nothing of ‘religion’ about it; just people who realised they were all in the same lifeboat together ~ and worked together each individual according to his capacity, but NOBODY ever did less than their best ~ to make things as good as possible for everyone.

        Given my fairly traumatic early years (bombed-out post-war germany, stresses (both mine and most of the people around me) of going to the ends of the earth and leaving everything behind (forever was the general impliction) ~ especially my very special Grandma! ~ bleak migrant-camps and a nasty racism, and no father for weeks at a time (away working)…….
        ….despite all that the Methodists gave this little kid (less than 4 yo – about 9yo) a warm, secure sense of being ‘home’.

        They’d get my vote anytime.


      • Hi Mon my love,
        Oh yes you are just so right about my dad on the ‘Wesley’ Pipe Organ. Music of course was only one of his many talents and offerings to society. I suspect that he was actually at his most ‘real’ when he was creating or delivering music, and he used to say that music just had to be one of the greatest gifts that God had given to man.

        He was actually a very shy person, but get him in front of a piano or organ and he was a man of great power. In that photo, Mon, you see that great beaming smile and you just know that he took the greatest of joy in both his Church and his music. he was a rattling good public speaker too, and as a Lay Preacher, he offered very good Sermons. I must add here of course that for the most part, the Methodist Church of my youth, had a great deal of the societal appeal that Dabbles refers to.

        I tried to insert that photo of dad at the organ into one of my earliest postings on the Blog, but somehow it wouldnt work.

        Cheers, Rian.


  4. Read the full story below.

    Apparently Daniel Crocker had told his wife that the murder he committed was accidental when in fact he had first tried to rape her before killing her.

    “The Fresquezes (victim’s family) also voiced anger at Nicolette for harboring a killer for so long. But she insists that until the news accounts following Daniel’s surrender, she had no idea what had really happened. “If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone to the authorities,” she says.”

    Nicolette was the one who confronted her husband in the end. But yes, he did the right thing in the end.

    Crocker says, “People don’t understand, I needed to do this so I could have a closer relationship with the Lord.”

    Only a Christian would understand that….and I do, but I wish he was more convincing that he acted from true repentance and not just because he was backed into a corner to confess. Only God can know that.,,20127126,00.html


    • ….again: mememememe.
      “I needed to do this so I could have a closer relationship with the Lord.”

      Apparently it hasn’t occurred to those who approve his ‘surrender’ that the torment of a guilty mind WAS god’s punishment for what he’d done, and that to lay it off via the SECULAR legal system is a use of his own ‘free will’ to defy the very god with whom he wnts a “closer relationship”.

      eg, Don’t you lot think god could have arranged his arrest if that’s what he wanted?

      I asked before:- WHAT WOULD JESUS HAVE SAID?


      • Dabbles,
        There are a few points that need to be made about the Biblical references you made:
        – The woman brought to Jesus for judgment was caught in the act. This fellow was not caught until he confessed.
        – The Jews who brought the woman before Christ for jugment did not follow Jewish/Biblical law to begin with, namely they brought the woman before Jesus but not the person she had had sex with. Under Biblical law both the woman and the bloke she’d had had sex with should have been brought before Jesus for Jugment.


      • Dabbles, more points about the Biblical reference you quoted:
        – The case against the woman fell apart, when Jesus turned the tables on her accused. The case against this fellow did not fall apart, because the accuser (or conscience) kept hammering at this fellow constantly.
        – There was no restitution involved in the case of this woman. In the case of this fellow, jailing would contribute as a form of restitution to the parents and relatives of the female he had murderedand raped.


      • Dabbles more points about the Biblical case you just quoted:
        – You might have mentioned the case of Zaccheus the tax collector, who upon being accepted by Jesus, made the commitment to provide restitution to all that he had wronged. This fellow under question feels that some restitution is required to the relatives of the woman he killed, by allowing himself to suffer the punishment for his crime.


      • Dabbles one last point:
        – Jesus made the comment once that if you have dispute with your brother, leave your gift at the altar, reconcile yourself with your brother then come and offer your gift to God. In this case, this fellow is in conflict with the family of the victim, hence as part of his reconciliation efforts, he needs to confess what he did and take his punishment (if the society in which he lives demands this).

        What would Jeusus do? He would forgive, but not always shelter a person from the consequences of his actions. The bible seems to be very clear on the point that secret sins (which don’t involve anyone else) must be confessed to God. PUblic sins which involve someone else must be confessed publicly and obtain both God’s forgiveness as well as the public’s.


      • davinci,

        One thing that no-one has put in here, is that there was no law within Judaism that made it a punishable crime for a man to have sex relations with a woman who was not married. There was no law that forbade ‘fornication’, unless the female involved was the daughter of a Priest. In such case, the scriptural penalty for the girl was to be burnt.
        Highly unlikely that such a punishment was ever carried out in the time of Jesus.

        The woman in that interpolated little gem of a tale in Gospel of John, was being accused of Adultery, not of Fornication of any kind, (nor of Prostitution, which was not forbidden. Interesting that the passage gives the only occasion on which Jesus ever wrote anything. Loads of speculative ink have been spilt on the question of just what he was actually writing. Some speculated that he was writing the same accusative passage that is described as the ‘writing on the wall’ in the tale of Daniel.

        I found a suggestion by Rev. Leslie Weatherhead once that actually he was not writing anything in particular. He went on to point out that women were stoned to death naked; and so with the greatest sensitivity, Jesus chose not to give the lady any further shame, and simply turned away and refused to look at her, as he scribbled on the ground. And just maybe, the terribly self-righteous band of men who brought her to him, were guys who were getting a great lustful kick out of the situation; and who probably had enjoyed liasons of their own. That is likely why with their guilty consciences, they all got to hell out of it, leaving the woman alone.



      • 😆 The do-it-yourself home handyman brigade.

        Give me the bush any day, although I did get a tick attach to my bum one day. Asked Nanna to put some turps on it to kill it and she poured half the bottle on me. Ended up with a blackened and burnt bum! Had to gingerly sit on a cushion all week!


    • ??? “Nicolette was the one who confronted her husband in the end. But yes, he did the right thing in the end.”

      Which end? 🙂

      (…with a pineapple?)


  5. I’ve always had a problem with someone clearing their own conscience when it helps none but themselves, brings suffering to others.


  6. News flash…how long had he been dong prison ministry? Eventually they would have gotten around to checking those fingerprints…that ONE fingerprint would have flagged…it was just a matter of time…..


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