Column: Native woman's killer weeped only for self
"It wasn't until Wednesday that I realized I had sympathy for Joshua Wade. He was a murderer. A brutal, sloppy one. But as he told his story in an early morning hearing at the state courthouse, I was drawn in.

Maybe it was because I spent years covering his case. Familiarity breeds compassion even between hostages and captors. I knew the grayish circles around his eyes and the range of expressions -- disdain, indignation, boredom, and red-eyed self pity -- that might cross his scrubbed, sallow face. I knew there was a tattoo between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand. I knew he walked on the heels of his shoes and that he had a habit of tensing his jaw, making the muscles around his temples bulge. I knew he cried a lot.

So Wednesday, he wept. He told the families of the people he killed how he was raped as a boy. He said he had been broke, addicted and scorned by women. He couldn't control the dark and violent parts of himself. That was why he killed Della Brown and Mindy Schloss. I thought he was expressing something close to remorse.

He kept saying the right things. He said he made bad choices and refused help when it was offered. He said he chose not to overcome his past and that it wasn't an excuse. He said he wanted forgiveness but didn't deserve it. He turned toward the family members with an expression both serious and sincere, asking their permission to speak.

"I think you guys have been way too kind to me with your statements. I deserve much worse," he said. "I'm sorry.""

Get the Story:
Julia O'Malley: Beneath the apologies, he wept only for himself (The Anchorage Daily News 2/17)

Also Today:
Wade to spend rest of his life in prison (The Anchorage Daily News 2/18)

Relevant Documents:
Plea Agreement | Sentencing Recommendations

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