RICHMOND, Va. – A California man who recorded violent rap songs and posted them on his MySpace page was arrested Saturday by investigators who suspect him of killing four people in a central Virginia college town.
Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III, 20, of Castro Valley, Calif., was taken into custody at Richmond International Airport, where authorities believe he tried to catch a flight back to California. Officers found McCroskey asleep in the baggage claim area, Farmville police Capt. Wade Stimpson said.
McCroskey is being held in Farmville, where he faces charges of first-degree murder, grand larceny of an automobile and robbery, Stimpson said. McCroskey is scheduled to appear Monday in court, when he can either hire an attorney or have one appointed.
Officers found the bodies Friday afternoon in the home of Debra S. Kelley, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies at Longwood University, school spokeswoman Gina Caldwell said Saturday.
Authorities are awaiting identification of the dead from the state medical examiner's office, but that isn't expected until Monday. Stimpson declined to discuss the case, including how the bodies were found or how the victims were killed.
McCroskey was immersed in the so-called horrorcore rap music scene, and he recorded songs that spoke of death, murder and mutilation under the name Syko Sam. His MySpace page says he has only been rapping for a few months.
One of several songs posted on his MySpace page under his stage name talks about the thrill of killing someone. A friend confirmed the site and the songs were McCroskey's.
"You're not the first, just to let you know. I've killed many people and I kill them real slow. It's the best feeling, watching their last breath. Stabbing and stabbing till there's nothing left," McCroskey sings in "My Dark Side."
On his personal Web page, McCroskey posted videos and pictures of a grave where a cross and miniature American flags had been turned upside down.
"We defiled the grave, and then lightning struck seconds ago. I think we were being warned," he says in the video, laughing. In the photos, the gravestone identifies the person buried there as a Marine.
McCroskey's page shows that he last logged in on Friday. His status is listed as "out of town" and his mood "determined."
The owner of a small, independent record label that specializes in the horrorcore genre said others shouldn't judge McCroskey by what they see on his Web site or hear in his music. Andres Shrim, owns Serial Killin Records in New Mexico and performs himself under the name SickTanicK, described McCroskey as a "great kid," articulate, smart and professional.
Shrim said he has known McCroskey for at least two years, and he last saw him Sept. 12 at an all-day music festival in South Gate, Mich.
"You would never, ever imagine that kid even being a suspect," Shrim said. "If he is found to be guilty, I would be 100 percent shocked."
Shrim said even though horrorcore focuses on murder and other morbid subjects, performers and fans shouldn't be labeled as violent people.
"People get the impression we're these twisted, sick individuals and we don't have hearts and we just want to talk about murder and the devil," he said. "But we just want to express that other side of life."
In Farmville, police cordoned off a one-block area around the home on First Street next to a Longwood athletic field with yellow tape. On Saturday, curious motorists slowly drove by to get a glimpse of the two-story gray house.
Residents sitting on their porches a block over said they saw officers in bulletproof vests and shotguns entering Kelley's home Friday afternoon. Most said they did not know her well.
Police had sent flyers to authorities elsewhere to help identify McCroskey, of Castro Valley, Calif., Stimpson said.
McCroskey showed identification when officers approached him, didn't resist and wasn't carrying any weapons with him, airport spokesman Troy Bell said.
State police were assisting in the investigation in Farmville, about 50 miles west of Richmond.
Longwood did not issue an alert after the bodies were discovered because it happened off campus, Caldwell said. She said the 4,500-student school and the small town were unaccustomed to such violence.
"Not only on campus, but even in Farmville — it just doesn't happen here," she said.