Pittsburgh mayor wants cop killer's profile off pen pal site

AP News
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Posted: May 13, 2016 1:18 PM
Pittsburgh mayor wants cop killer's profile off pen pal site

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The mayor wants a pen pal site for inmates to remove a profile posted by a man convicted of killing three city police officers, a posting that includes a music video montage of crime scene photos and photos of him with weapons.

Mayor Bill Peduto sent a letter Thursday to CONPALS InmateConnections.com LLC after KDKA-TV told the mayor's chief of staff about the profile posed by Richard Poplawski, 29.

"Poplawski's page and video both inflict great pain," Peduto wrote. "On your site, Poplawski's video glorifies the massacre, replays media coverage of the carnage, posts pictures of the slaughtered, and of the mourners. All to a relentless repetition of the lyrics, 'I watched them die.'"

Poplawski was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 2011, two years after gunning down officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle, and Paul Sciullo II in April 2009 when they responded to a domestic dispute at the home he shared with his mother. Peduto notes that Kelly and Mayhle left behind wives and children, Sciullo a fiancee, and all of the officers were survived by at least one parent, all of whom are "grief-stricken" and victimized by the profile .

The Rolling Stones song "Hand of Fate" is the soundtrack for the 4-minute, 29-second video Poplawski included with his profile.

Its lyrics include, "Yeah, I gunned him twice/Yeah, and I watched him die, watch out boy/Yeah, I watched him die" and "The hand of fate is on me now/I shot that man I put him underground/I put him underground/Yes I did."

Eugene, Oregon-based CONPALS Inmateconnections.com didn't immediately return an emailed request for comment Friday.

Peduto threatened legal action if the profile isn't removed. He also said he would pursue laws like those passed in Indiana, Florida and Missouri, where the mayor said inmate pen pals are prohibited from advertising.

Poplawski's profile is equal parts introspection and sarcasm. It lists his "release date" as "April 2196."

"For years, I've battled to maintain my identity, to not become unduly impressed upon by my environment on Pennsylvania's Death Row," Poplawski writes. "You can help. I'd like to see my reflection in your eyes. That's partly how we know ourselves. If I write you, it'll be for the right reasons. I don't need your money. Don't try to save my immortal soul. I've lost all faith in true love."

He closes his profile with this salutation: "Take it from me, Richard Andrew, Too late lasts forever."

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Information from: KDKA-TV, http://www.kdka.com