Any news story involving a murder is sad, but this is just horrific and grotesque: The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that Chad Gurney, a former lacrosse player at Liberty University, has been arrested and charged with murdering 18-year-old Zoe Sarnacki. According to her sister Kristin Kosnow, Gurney choked Sarnacki to death, cut off her head with a Samurai sword, and then tried to hide the murder by setting fire to his apartment.
Usually in these cases, people talk about how the accused seemed like a “really nice person” who was “quiet and kept to himself.” Not so here. One person told the SUN JOURNAL that Gurney was “undisciplined and suffering from a bad attitude” as an athlete. Another person said that people often cringed when Gurney arrived at parties. In addition, he may have had a thing for teenaged girls:
Watson Atkinson, owner of another Portland tattoo parlor, said Gurney told him that he wanted to use his settlement money for good. He planned to travel to Thailand to “find himself,” Atkinson said.
But many people felt uneasy about Gurney’s demeaning and confrontational attitude. And he seemed to focus on teenage girls, which troubled Atkinson to the point that he prohibited his 16-year-old daughter from hanging out with Gurney, and warned Zoe Sarnacki to stay clear of him.
“But none of us were really aware at how dark his thoughts may have been,” Atkinson said.
I guess we know now. Gurney was involved in a serious accident while playing at Liberty University, when the team van was rear-ended by another van and pushed into the path of a tractor-trailer, ejecting Gurney. He almost died in the crash, nearly having to have his leg amputated, which he said was the reason for the having the letters P-A-I-N tattooed on his knuckles.
Needless to say, prosecutors have ordered Gurney to undergo a psychiatric evaluation (you think?). And Sarnacki’s family is preparing to file a wrongful death suit against him next week - they not only want to take away his assets (including his sizable settlement money), but since there might not be a criminal trial, they want him to go through some sort of trial.