RCMP vet helps put murderous psychopath back where he belongs

Canadian to the Rescue in California

By —— Bio and Archives--October 30, 2018

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Daniel Marsh
On October 24 in Woodland, California, judge Samuel McAdam ordered convicted double murderer Daniel Marsh back to prison to serve his original sentence. Canadian psychopathy expert Matthew Logan helped send him back, but it was a close call and the killer had everything going for him.

Marsh was only 15 in 2013 when he murdered Oliver Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin in their home in Davis, near Sacramento. A police report said the victims were killed with “exceptional depravity.” After his arrest, Marsh told police that torturing, killing and mutilating the victims was “pure happiness.”


Marsh was tried as an adult and after a grueling 2014 trial, a Yolo County jury found he was sane when he committed the crimes. Marsh was sentenced to 52 years to life, with possibility of parole in his early 40s. Victims’ families believed he might never get out, but the killer caught a break.

The 2016 Proposition 57 barred the direct prosecution of juveniles in adult court. An appeal court applied the law retroactively to the case of Daniel Marsh. His conviction was reversed pending a “transfer hearing” to decide whether he was eligible for adult court. If found more suitable for juvenile court, he would serve only until age 25, another four years and only nine years total for two murders.

The chief defense expert was Dr. Matthew Soulier, a forensic child psychiatrist Marsh had threatened to kill during the trial. Soulier told the court Marsh had not been violent in prison and had demonstrated “significant growth” even though he had never shown remorse and tested 35.8 out of 40 on the psychopathy scale.

When asked if the convict might be faking it to gain early release, Soulier told the court “I am not a human lie detector.” It was as though an FBI scientist had discovered through fingerprints or DNA that a suspect’s claims were false, then testified that it was not his job to detect lies. Soulier would recommend Marsh suitable for juvenile court and testified that the convicted murderer “could easily provide for himself and be employed.”

The prosecution brought in Dr. Matthew Logan, a veteran of nearly 30 years experience with the RCMP and a noted psychopathy expert. Violent psychopaths, Logan testified, were cunning manipulators who learned to speak “treamentese.”

Logan had not interviewed Marsh, but based on his experience, anybody who scores 35.8 on the psychopathy scale is “unbelievable dangerous for violent recidivism” and “no way should he be out in society.” Logan told the court public safety was always his major concern. 

Judge McAdam played it close to the vest but all evidence showed Marsh suitable for adult court, which prosecutors had rightly decided back in 2014. The judge ordered Marsh returned to prison to serve his original sentence. That came as great relief to the victim’s families, but the judge left a warning.

Governor Jerry Brown had signed senate bill 1391, which barred prosecution of juveniles ages 14-18 in adult court, whatever the gravity of their crime.

“It will soon be the law of California,” McAdam’s ruling stated, that even a 15-year-old who commits a brutal double murder of strangers in his neighborhood will be adjudicated in juvenile court and not adult court, without any weighing of factors.”

After January 1, any juvenile could commit crimes even more depraved than Marsh’s and get out at 25. That means no justice and no peace. So all California residents, and those who come on vacation, should be sure to lock their doors and windows.


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Lloyd Billingsley -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Lethal Injections: Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, Canada’s Serial Killer Nurse, and Our Time After a While: Reflections of a Borderline Baby Boomer, a memoir about growing up in Windsor, Ontario.

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