Suspect Sought in Homicides

WVIR reported this evening that police have a suspect in yesterday’s downtown homicides. They’re seeking 20-year-old Craig Nordenson, who normally spends a great deal of time on the Mall, but he has not been seen since Friday. Charlottesville police say that a “team of investigators” are working “around the clock,” and spoke highly of the members of the “gothic subculture” that they’ve been working with to solve the crime. Anybody with information about the murders, or about Nordinson’s location, is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 977-4000, or simply call the police.

11 thoughts on “Suspect Sought in Homicides”

  1. I, too, caught the WVIR article on these recent, horrible crimes. However, I must admit that the close group of friends that I viewed this piece with all joined me in uncontrollable laughter in hearing the police report the help of the local “gothic subculture”. I can indeed understand the convenience of labeling the downtown teen subculture that has grown over the past few years, but I think some care should have been given in that labeling. I would not have taken it upon myself to label such a group, and certainly not with such a misnomer as “gothic”. Without getting into a discussion so trite as what is or isn’t gothic, I think the police need to start thinking in a mindset that is a little bit more P.C., and get to know the members of this subculture before attempting to label them so generically.

  2. I can certainly agree that we don’t need a discussion of what is or isn’t goth, since that burning issue is adequately addressed over on “”. I can’t help thinking, though, that I ought to oppose any “mindset that is a little bit more P.C.” just on general principles. But I digress.

    How do you know the police really aren’t talking to the goths specifically? Perhaps all the other teenagers have been surly and unhelpful, while the goths were singularly forthcoming with whatever information they had. It seems an unlikely scenario, to be sure, but not beyond the realm of possibility. Now, if I were a betting man, the scenario I’d put my money on is that the police, knowing that the “goth problem” has caused a lot of controversy in the past, wanted to highlight the fact that these kids were being responsible citizens, and they wanted to identify them in such a way that community complainers would know exactly who they were talking about. It may not be, strictly speaking, accurate, but it is the tag that much of the community knows them by, and surely the important thing is that the right people get credit for their good deeds, no? In any case, I’m glad to see the goths getting a little good press. I have to confess that I kind of like them. They add some much-needed color (albeit mostly black) to the downtown mall. Go, goths!



    “Proud Visigoth since A.D. 410”

  3. these are the goths… I don’t think they’re particularly pissed about being labeled that way. infact, I’d say they wear that label pretty proudly. So yeah, you’re kinda out of the loop on this one.


  4. Yeah, what you said. I’m impressed that the police named goths specifically, and spoke highly of them. I think this is a case of damned-if-they-do and damned-if-they-don’t.

  5. I’m not familiar with the downtown youth scene, but is it common for people to be sleeping outdoors by the tracks?

    If there were a free, safe place for them to stay overnight, do you think it would be used? Just hoping to come up with something that would prevent this from happening again…. I knew Katherine and her mom.

  6. Yeah, that was so insensitive to refer to them as “gothic.” I mean, there are so many more acceptable terms:

  7. mallrats
  8. loud people by the movie theater
  9. the anti-bathing faction
  10. amazing technicolor fatgirls
  11. individuals of the leather persuasion
  12. etc.
  13. could be the typo (at least, I hope it was a typo) from the article in today’s Progress:

    “The majority of people in this Gothic subculture, they all seem to know who everybody is and who was there,” Harding said. “They seem to be a fairly close-nit group.”

  14. My point was more that the gothic subculture is a related, but distinctly different group of individuals in this town. Certainly, there are going to be crossovers, but it’s just not the same thing. If I might be so bold, I’d say that the group intended to be mentioned is more commonly known as the “punk subculture”, not that this is any more of a fitting label than the one I initially mentioned.

  15. Hell, I wouldn’t even call ’em punks. A bunch of ne’er do well losers would be more like it. They aren’t sophisticated enough to be goths and not socially conscious enough to be punks.

    Isn’t that what the term ‘gutterpunk’ is for? White trash in psuedo-punk trappings, aiming for the career path of Drunk Homeless Guy? They own a Misfits T-shirt, but have obviously pawned the stereo on which to listen to the music long ago in order to buy heroin.

    Goths generally go to college, get real jobs or otherwise join mainstream society; they just do it in darker clothes than everyone else. And the real punks usually go vegan sooner or later and turn into obnoxious, preachy Naderites.

    Of the 3 groups, I’d say that the goths are most likely to be suspended for writing bad poetry about suicide; the punks are the most likely to get arrested at an IMF protest; and a gutterpunk is most likely to to murder 2 people in cold blood at the coal tower down by the tracks (his aim will also be better than tha boyz on Cherry Avenue, but that’s another story).

  16. Unlikely. The downtown youth scene has many factions and subcultures. The kids who are sleeping by the train tracks are by no means the majority. Half of them are drifters; runaways, etc. from other towns and states. I know the downtown youth scene well.

    They don’t *want* to be part of some external system to support them. Often, they have *chosen* to be the way they are (or at least convince themselves that this is the case). They will eventually regret it, but meanwhile they take a macabre sort of pride in their poverty. Also, many of them have drugs with them and would be fearful of being arrested for it if they were staying in some formal type of free lodging. That alone would keep them away.

    This is no more than 1-2 dozen people. Ages ranging from 15-25. They mostly seem to be a harm to themselves; that is to say that you don’t have to worry about them mugging you or anything.

    I also knew Craig. He is just a dangerous guy and I have no doubt that he is guilty. He is very, very intelligent and is not the type of criminal that many policing changes can affect or deter. The odd one like him will always turn up. The gun was stolen and no changes in gun laws will prevent that from happening with an intelligent, motivated thief.

    If you want to prevent violent crime on the whole from happening in Charlottesville, you should encourage a shift in focus from drugs to violent crime. Muggers, burglars, hit-and-run offenders, and other forms of common thief and assaulter are let go every day. Police don’t bother investigating, prosecuters compromise too easily and judges give soft penalties. Craig Nordenson was already a multiple violent offender. He should have been in prison, but the authorities just let him go.

    The focus in crime prevention is largely on drugs. Meaning that the very kids who need to be protected are the ones getting thrown in prison while violent offenders are let off with a slap on the wrist. Probably the reason why Marc and Kate were at the coal tower was to smoke pot. The reason why they likely knew Craig in the first place was to buy drugs of some sort. They had to put themselves in this dangerous position in order to hide from the police while they weren’t really hurting anyone. Craig was able to kill them because the criminal justice system let a known violent criminal back on the streets within months of his conviction.

    They had to make room for the pot smokers, don’t you know.

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