Itzcoatl “Izzy” Ocampo, a resident of Yorba Linda, stands accused of four horrible murders – but I did not like the way O.C. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas went after him at his press conference. Ocampo served our country as a U.S. Marine – and by all accounts he was a good man before he left.
According to the OC Weekly, Rackauckas called Ocampo “a monster” and a “vicious killer”– but indicated he’s been “cooperative” with investigators. He also said, “There is no evidence that is he mentally ill.” Really? The Veterans Administration had diagnosed him with psychological problems.
Bonnie Tisdale, who acted as Ocampo’s supervisor at Camp Pendleton, told the Times he was a punctual and reliable Marine. ‘Regardless of what he’s been accused of, I trust him with my life,’ the 27-year-old, of Vista, said. ‘He’s a veteran who did not get the help he needed. ‘It’s traumatizing over there and it is difficult for Marines to come and ask for psychological help. Whether he’s proven innocent or guilty, he is our brother. We are his family.’ (The Daily Mail)
Orange County Republicans were among President George W. Bush’s biggest cheerleaders when he made the asinine decision to invade Iraq. Now a soldier comes back from Iraq with immense mental issues that apparently led him to kill four homeless men – and Rackauckas won’t even let Ocampo see his lawyer? WTF?
Defense attorney Randall Longwith said that until Friday he had spoken once with his client after obtaining a court order, and even then it was for only a matter of seconds. That was Tuesday. After being turned away again Thursday, Longwith obtained another court order, this time by Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Robison, granting access during normal attorney visitation hours, according to the L.A. Times.
Inexcusable. Ocampo has rights despite the horrific allegations he has been charged with. And this man served our country. He has a right to a defense – and I have to wonder if he was even read his Miranda rights when he was interrogated by Rackauckas’ prosecuting attorneys.
So why did Ocampo start killing homeless people? We don’t know what set off specifically – but we do know that a group of Fullerton cops killed homeless man Kelly Thomas, in Fullerton, on July 5, 2011. The first of Ocampo’s victims, James Patrick McGillivray, 53, was killed in Placentia on December 20 – mere miles away from where Thomas died. Did the brutal slaying of Thomas push Ocampo over the edge? No one seems to be asking that question.
It is a tragedy that four homeless men were brutally murdered. But it is also a tragedy that Ocampo never got the help he needed when he returned from serving our country in the misguided Iraq War. That Rackauckas can’t recognize that is pathetic.