Kim Kardashian made waves earlier this week when she posed alongside convicted murderer Kevin Cooper, per The Inquisitr. Cooper has been a lightning rod of controversy, with many claiming he was framed for his crimes while others remain convinced of his guilt. Here are the facts surrounding the gruesome tale.
Cooper was convicted for the murders of four people in California back in 1983 — three members of the Ryen family and 11-year-old Christopher Hughes, who was staying at the Ryens for a sleepover. Christopher’s friend, Josh, ended up being the sole survivor of the brutal attack.
As summarized by the Criminal Justice League Foundation, Cooper was originally considered a suspect as he had been hiding out in the house next door after escaping from prison. In this house, a sheath from a hatchet used in the murders was found in the bedroom where Cooper slept. In addition, hunting knives and at least one ice pick — all items that were used in the brutal attack — were missing from the house where Cooper was staying. Bloody shoe prints found in the Ryen home matched the size and brand of shoe that Cooper had received in prison.
In addition, a blood sample found came from a “black person with the same blood group” as Cooper, though the sample was too small to be analyzed as a match for Cooper’s blood type. Moreover, when the Ryen’s missing station wagon was found, Cooper’s hair and tobacco brand were found inside.
However, Cooper’s defenders claim that there are holes to the story. A New York Times report claimed that a woman named Diana Roper told police that she believed her boyfriend, a convicted murderer, may have been involved in the attack — and gave them a pair of bloody coveralls. The police never followed up on this lead.
Those who believe Cooper’s innocence also claim that Josh Ryen, the surviving victim, originally said that three men were responsible for the attack. They also point out that the sample of Cooper’s blood that tied him to the scene had EDTA, a blood preservative, suggesting that it had come from a lab and was planted. Finally, they alleged that police did a poor job of protecting the crime scene, leading to contamination in addition to the alleged planting of evidence.
Many law enforcement officials have come to Cooper’s defense, including retired FBI agent Thomas Parker.
“This guy is innocent.”
However, the Criminal Justice League Foundation claims there is an answer for each of the points. For starters, there were serious issues with Diana Roper as a witness. Roper was a “professed witch who claimed she had a vision during a trance that the murder had been committed after she heard about the Ryen case.” She also claimed that she did not even know to whom the bloody coveralls belonged.
I had an emotional meeting with Kevin Cooper yesterday at San Quentin’s death row. I found him to be thoughtful and honest and I believe he is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. pic.twitter.com/FveajjjA5y— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 1, 2019
The report also claimed that Josh Ryen never said that three men had been the attackers, but rather that three Mexican men had been in the house earlier and they could possibly have been the intruders. Ryen says that he was hit on the head before he could get a view of his attacker, though Cooper’s defenders claim he was coached to give that answer by police.
Finally, EDTA is also present in many household items, such as hand lotion and laundry detergent, meaning that the shirt would show signs of the chemical if it had been in contact with a variety of common household items.
Cooper was a shady character even before the alleged quadruple murder. When he escaped from jail in California, he was also wanted in Pennsylvania for the rape of a 17-year-old girl. Though Cooper denies the rape, he confessed that he kidnapped her by forcing the teenager into his car. He was also wanted for several burglaries and had escaped from a mental hospital.
Moreover, after the alleged quadruple murder, Cooper reportedly raped another woman at knifepoint and threatened to kill her husband, per an archived article from The New York Times.
But the most alarming evidence pointing to Cooper’s guilt is that two members of his original defense team have since said that they believe that Cooper is guilty.
Debra Saunders, an investigative reporter for SFGate, points out that having two members of the defense publicly claim their former client is guilty “never happens.”
“I’ve covered a lot of crime stories. I’ve never had two people who worked for the defense tell me an inmate is guilty.”
A 1991 California Supreme Court ruling is similarly definitive in its conclusions about the case, which can be read via Real Clear Politics.