Murder of Jennifer Moore
- 1 Background
- 2 Murder
- 3 Investigation and arrest
- 4 Blame
- 5 Sentencing delay
- 6 Krystal Riordan's plea
- 7 Comparisons to other crime victims
- 8 New York City and other states' nightlife legislations
- 9 References
Moore graduated from Saddle River Day School, located in Bergen County, in May 2006, where she had been captain of the girls' soccer team. Moore was scheduled to attend and to study nursing at the University of Hartford.
Initially, Moore was reported as "missing". Her murder prompted a media comparison to John Jay College of Criminal Justice graduate student, Imette St. Guillen, who had also been abducted, raped and killed five months earlier. Moore's murder, as well as St. Guillen's, focused public attention, and later bureaucratic scrutiny on New York City nightlife. It also brought to public attention the issues of teenage drinking and fake IDs to obtain access to nightclubs. Nightlife legislation was begun in other states following New York.
During the night of her disappearance, Moore and a friend had driven into New York City, for a night of clubbing and drinking. Moore was underage at the time. Moore's friend parked her vehicle on the street outside a nightclub named Guest House, located in the Chelsea district on West 27th Street. Moore's friend later moved the car, but it was ticketed while the girls were inside the club and finally towed to the West 38th Street impound lot. When Moore and her friend went to get the vehicle at the impound lot, the attendants refused to surrender it. The friend collapsed, allegedly from too much alcohol consumption and an ambulance was called. Moore had walked away unnoticed.
Moore's friend later awoke to find herself in an ambulance, on her way to St. Vincent's Hospital. The friend tried futilely to contact Moore on her cellphone. Witnesses had reported seeing Moore walking uptown alongside the West Side Highway.
Moore's body was found in a trash bin in West New York, New Jersey. Moore's funeral was held at St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church in Saddle River, New Jersey. Five hundred friends and family members attended.
Investigation and arrest
New York City police arrested a man suspected of her murder, Draymond Coleman, age 35, of New York City, who was later charged with the slaying. Coleman had an extensive arrest record. After interrogating Coleman, New Jersey Police located Moore's body in a dumpster in West New York.
It was later reported that the crime had taken place in a nearby Weehawken, New Jersey motel named the Park Avenue Hotel. A New Jersey judge had later signed an arrest warrant on Thursday, July 27, 2006. Videotape recovered from the hotel showed Coleman and Moore entering the premises. Police had said that Coleman beat and strangled Moore, then stuffed her body into a duffel bag for disposal. It appeared that Coleman tried to remove his DNA evidence from her body by cutting Moore's fingernails and cleaning her body with alcohol.
Coleman's criminal history included two assaults for which he served community service, and a conviction for selling drugs for which he served about five years in prison. Coleman was released from prison in June 2002. He spent the next three years in-and-out of detention for parole violations. His last incarceration ended in January 2005. His parole board noted that Coleman failed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the criminal-justice system.
Cell phone investigation
It was reported that police found Coleman through the use of a cell phone. Cell phone usage investigation was also the technique applied in the Imette St. Guillen murder case in tracing the steps of alleged killer, Darryl Littlejohn, who reportedly made cell phone calls near Fountain Avenue, the site where St. Guillen was later found.
Coleman had an accomplice, a 20-year-old female prostitute named Krystal Riordan, who allegedly helped Coleman in the disposal of Moore's body and was also arrested. She credited herself as being an escort and she was reported by a police source as allegedly trying to sell herself for sex, offering a "$150 special" with the web-name, "Lisa", a day after Moore's death, July 26, 2006, on the website, Craigslist. Riordan was later charged with a felony murder with the kidnapping of Moore who investigators say was raped, beaten and strangled in a Weehawken hotel on July 25. Riordan had been accused of participating with her boyfriend, Draymond Coleman, 35, in crimes leading to Moore's death. Hudson County Prosecutor, Edward DeFazio indicated that Riordan was an accomplice with Coleman in Moore's murder.
Coleman's extradition to New Jersey
It was reported that Coleman was fighting extradition to New Jersey. A warrant was issued by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and Manhattan prosecutors decided to drop a 1997 charge against him for allegedly having a small knife. Coleman later appeared in State Superior Court where he had to face Moore's mother and her sister. He glared at them as he was led out of the courtroom in shackles. The Superior Court Judge, Sheila Venable, imposed a $2 million cash bail against him. Coleman was extradited to New Jersey to face trial in October 2006.
The initial discussion of "blame" was in a Bergen Record article that was reproduced on a "Crime and Justice" blog. That article discussed Moore's murderer and the failure of bureaucracy. In another Bergen Record article, Jeffrey Page had also commented on the issue of blaming the victim, criticizing how blog websites were discussing how Moore dressed, and related topics.
- "Some postings on blog sites and Internet message boards hint through some crazy logic that Moore was somehow culpable. You've heard this garbage before: They get drunk, they dress provocatively, so what do they expect? The more obscene version includes the words 'asking for it'."
- "At some point these young women have to take responsibility for putting themselves in vulnerable positions. And this is an 18-year-old girl who has, you know, free will and a free mind. And if she's walking around by herself, bombed, you know, it could be very dangerous."
Page then went on to discuss alcohol and its effects on teenagers and their family members. By coincidence, Page had written a column before Moore's murder about other teenagers being shot to death in New Jersey and encouraged families to "Watch the kids carefully. This is a fearful time."
In March 2010, Coleman pleaded guilty in front of Hudson County Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan, in Jersey City, to the murder of Jennifer Moore. The plea terms require Coleman to serve 50 years in prison plus more time beyond that period.
Lawrence Auster wrote an online critique on the reasons for the delay of the trial of Draymond Coleman.
Krystal Riordan's plea
In May 2010, Krystal Riordan, then 24 years old, pleaded guilty to her role in the kidnapping and murder of Moore and received a sentence of 30 years. Both, Moore's parents and Riordan's adoptive parents were in the courtroom for the sentencing.
The Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Michael D’Andrea petitioned Judge Callahan to impose the maximum sentence of 40 years on Riordan and to discount the testimony of a "rough childhood" as a mitigating factor, then he made this statement:
- “There is only one victim here, judge, make no mistake about it, her name is Jennifer Moore. She will never feel the sun on her face. She will never feel the warmth of love or a kind embrace. She’s dead. She’s dead because of what this woman did.”
Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan made this comment to Riordan:
- "You won't see anything but a roof over your head and bars in front of you through your 20s, your 30s and into your 40s; think about that; but you'll walk free one day, and Miss Moore never will."
At Riordan's Sentencing, Moore's mother, Candida, had a rather long prepared statement, which she read to Riordan before the sentencing. In her statement, Moore's mother mentions her views upon seeing the security camera footage in 2006, the mention of the violence done to her daughter and some of Riordan's own family history. Her statement was summed up thus:
- "Your honor, it is our belief that Ms. Riordan has given up her right to be part of society at this time. It is evident from her actions, or non-actions, that she should be considered dangerous. She aided in abusing the trust of a young, naive girl and allowed a horrific crime to take place in her presence. She accepted the brutality of her partner and worked with him to cover up their actions."
Comparisons to other crime victims
Comparison to the murders of Imette St. Guillen and Chanel Petro-Nixon
The Spanish language newspaper periodical, El Diario, in its Friday, July 28, 2006 edition, used the front page headline title, Otra Imette, with Moore's high school picture on the front page to compare her murder with John Jay College of Criminal Justice student, Imette St. Guillen, who was murdered earlier on February 25, 2006, allegedly by one of the bouncers at The Falls bar. Her death was also related to nightlife in general. With Moore's death, some news and media sources such as the New York Post, started article series that focused on nightlife, bars, bouncers, underage drinking and fake I.D's in their newspaper and television stories.
As the year 2006 had been one in which a number of high-profile murders of young women students were covered in the media, there have been no revelations, however, to the case of even younger Chanel Petro-Nixon, who disappeared in broad daylight while walking in Brooklyn on a Sunday afternoon to apply for a job. This further murder prompted columnist Andrea Peyser to write an article titled "It's open season on young gals", linking together the murders of St. Guillen, Moore and Petro-Nixon:
- "It's open season on young girls. An 18-year-old was found murdered this week in Jersey, allegedly by a man who took her from Manhattan after a night of underage clubbing. In February, graduate student Imette St. Guillen was taken from a SoHo bar and killed, allegedly by the bouncer. But the case of Chanel Petro-Nixon stands out for three reasons: She went missing in broad daylight, blocks from her house – not at night, coming out of a bar."
An article published one year after Moore's death in the New York Post reported that felony assaults had dropped 13%; that every person seeking admittance to a club had to present an I.D. card which would be checked by handheld scanners and mentioned other areas of the city affected.
Comparison to Laura Garza
The disappearance of 25-year-old Laura Garza, missing since December 2008, has entered the NYC news headlines and she was initially compared, in the print edition of the New York Daily News, to Moore and St. Guillen. She had left a Chelsea club named Marquee on Tenth Avenue and has not been seen since Wednesday, December 3. The remains of Laura Garza's body have since been found by the Police.
New York City and other states' nightlife legislations
Recently, in September 2011, the NYPD Nightlife Association updated their Safety Manual Handbook "to include a section on counterterrorism, after several bars and clubs around the globe were targeted by terrorists". To further quote the article:
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- North Jersey Record: Cut it out, and stop blaming the victim. Jeffrey Page, August 4, 2006.
- Jeffrey Page (July 12, 2006). "Kids need watching now more than ever". The Bergen Record NorthJersey.com. Retrieved 2007-11-27.[dead link]
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- Lawrence Auster (March 26, 2009). "REASONS FOR THE THREE YEAR DELAY IN THE DRAYMOND COLEMAN MURDER TRIAL". View From The Right. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
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- "Otra Imette: Joven sale a tomar tragos con una amiga y amanece estrangulada al estilo del caso St. Guillen". El Diario. July 28, 2006. p. 4.
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- Montefinise, Angela and Elizabeth Wolff. "Dead-drunk risky world of 27th St. party horde." New York Post, 30 July 2006.
- "Suspect says he didn't kill Bergen woman." The Record (Bergen County). 7 August 2006. (NOTE: This contains the information of which college Moore was to attend in the Fall of 2006.)
- Garvey, Marianne. "I got a fake ID in 5 minutes flat." New York Post. 29 December 2006.