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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

William Van Poyck: On Virginia's Death Row


On October 3rd, 1999, an unusual thing happened in the Virginia Correction System. William Van Poyck handcuffed arrived in Virginia from a plane from Florida. He was not a Virginia criminal he was transferred here for committing crimes in Florida.

William Van Poyck was no ordinary prisoner, he has the distinction of being the only prisoner transferred to Virginia who is awaiting the death penalty. He was transferred to Virginia, for a range of reported reasons. Perhaps the most likely that if he continued to stay in the Florida Penal system there were serious concerns that he would live long enough to face his planned execution.

William Van Poyck has enemies. And if he did stay in Florida penal system, the guards would be the ones who would most likely see him dead. Guards in Florida had already beat and killed his partner Frank Valdes, and there is no doubt they would like to see the same for William Van Poyck. And if you think the guards acted badly for killing Frank Vales, perhaps you could understand better knowing that Frank and William killed a Correction guard in Florida when they tried to free one of their friends.

There was no reason to kill the guard. They executed him with three shots to the head. William Van Poyck was most likely not shooter, and he may or not have approved that the guard should have been shot, but he knew what he was getting into, and that possibility should not have been lost to him.

I recently received an email from Lisa Van Poyck, William's sister. Here is what it said:

"In response to your comment on my brother's blog, if you had read his autobiography, "A Checkered Past" you would not be asking where Bill's remorse is. Your questions would be answered
Lisa Van Poyck"

I have not read his book, that is listed on Amazon.

But I can tell you, that William is a prolific writer. He has written several books, and short stories, writes his own appeals, and is the only person on death row that I know that maintains a blog, which is published through his sister.

As far as seeing any remorse for killing the guard, I have not found any on his website, or in his blog. When I first delved into who William Van Poyck was. I was open to his plea to mercy, and read all that I could read of his plight, from his point of view.

Then I looked at the reports from others, how he had been a criminal since childhood. How he had manipulated the correction system and even sued them, receiving what some have reported 50,000 dollars. And I realized William Van Poyck is a psychopath that knows how to play his audience. He knows how to be endearing, but his compassion is empty, and only serves as a mask for a more sinister uncaring person inside.

Should William Van Poyck be executed? To me his only redeeming quality is that he is very intelligent. And if you question the logic of putting him to death. I think you should also question why the guard, who had cooperated with him, when they had their gun on him was shot three times in the head. He had a life also.

To read all our post on William Van Poyck go here.

15 Comments:

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a regular visitor to your site, I'm dissappointed to see that with each visit, less and less content is about Lynchburg and the surrounding areas.

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto that. I enjoyed the local content when this blog first started. Lately it's become more of a collection of oddities and non-Lynchburg articles.

 
At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you people talking about? There is more local stuff on here now than there has been in a long time.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger William Van Poyck said...

I just read your post about my brother, William Van Poyck, and your blind ignorance really shows. First of all, you have never met the man and thankfully, never will. You know nothing about him, refuse to read his autobiography, spread lies about him getting $50,000. That never happened and you can check it out on Florida's case opinion website. And you cite "some sources". Who? Also, my brother did not kill anyone; if you knew the facts of the case, you would know that the Florida Supreme Court has said in numerous cases that Bill was not the triggerman, and had no intention of hurting anyone. You know nothing about his compassion or the Griffis family who has already forgiven my brother for his crime. So the only thing that is apparent here is your stupidity and your eagerness to broadcast it to others. I'll be praying for you.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger reddawgdead said...

I bought and read, "A Checkered Past".
It brought back memories f the times and his brother Jeffery, who I know.
You don't speak much about Jeffery. I am wondering if there is a particular reason?
My heart goes out to William.
Jim Ritchey
Palmetto High 1967

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tripped over Mr Van Poyk's blog while checking on a Death Row case from my town. It just so happens that my brother was a Police Officer pursuing the murder vehicle that day. He got three bullet holes in his windshield from the vehicle your brother was in. Thank God he was not hit. Many shots were fired at Police Officers during that chase. It is fortunate they wrecked before they got to the airport terminal.
I don't feel sorry for your brother at all. It is Justice. God will have his way with him sooner or later.

 
At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you honstly think he needs to be put to death do you even know the full story of what happen poyck didn't shoot the cop his partner did i agree with the death penty but to for him i was a troubled youth but after i read his book about himself i've changed so yeah something he put together got a cop killed but you saved my life and i'm sure more teens then me would agree so killing him would be killing the person that changed my life so i say to hell with anyone that thinks he shoul be put to death

 
At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't have to be the shooter! He was there and could have stopped it. He would be walking the streets had he shot or even tried physically to stop it all. If you ride shot gun with the devil you gonna have to pay the toll. I don't care what childhood you've had the people of this world need to stop blaming others for thier own actions. He was a man and from experience with the law he knew he should not have gone along. If you don't do anything to stop the crime your just as guilty period. So as the next few weeks go by remember Fred Griffis and what the last 20 plus years would have been like for him. Think about the families of the victims.

 
At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen to yall at this man.. Yeah he may or may not have done anything to stop it.. But yes hes involved in it...do i think he should be put to death? Yes he should be put to death.. Hes a common criminal... That would do it all over if he chance at a free life... But he should have a chance to speak his mind before exceution.. They've denied him so many times.. I dont feel that that is right.. what else does he have to lose except his life before speaking his mind about the situation nobody knows the real truth except him and his friend whom they already killed... Hes in his late 50's and should get another chance.. And find the evidence on him and when they have enough then excute him.. So what he planned to free another inmate. But didnt expect it to go down the way it did.. So yes in some way he should get to speak his mind.. And then be put to death. Its like they kill somebody and then forget they were even here in the first place.. you people dont him.. But me i do know him.. So you people need to sweep around your own back door before you sweep around somebody elses.. Have a nice day..

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His victims do not get a second chance. Its the ultimate payment for the ultimate crime.

 
At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone who starts off life in a privileged position yet spends their life exploiting other people without hesitation or real remorse is diagnosable as a psychopath.

It's hard for me to feel empathy for psychopaths who get caught. Our world would be much better off if they were all caught, especially the many in high places whose crimes against the rest of us are so huge that we can't even see them, we live in them.

Should van Poyck be executed?

Psychopaths are human-shaped reptiles, devoid of the feelings higher-order creatures have.

I have a cat sleeping on my desk in front of me right now who was homeless for years. I ended up supporting him by accident.

At first, he was all hisses and claws - it had been years since humans had done anything but put out some food for him. But now, 2 1/2 months on, he's playful, talkative, gentle, and relaxed. If he were a psychopath, he would have waited til I was asleep and torn out my throat. But cats are high-order creatures who experience empathy and give as they get. They're not psychopaths.

I don't think the death penalty is a good idea. An innocent person is just as dead as a guilty one after being executed. There are no do-overs, no "oops, sorry about that". They're just dead. We shouldn't do that.

But if we're going to kill people judicially, then criminal psychopaths should head the list because no matter how intelligent, superficially charming, or glib they are on the surface, they're reptiles underneath.

 
At 2:22 PM, Anonymous PAM THOMAS said...

Perhaps you should have written and got to know william, he is a gentle giant in a small prison cell. I have his books all of them and keep all his letters, he has inspired, motivated and allowed me into his world for a brief time, before you condemn the man you should get to know him. ow

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is many years later and this man, Van Poyck is dead.

He may not have pulled the trigger or even had any idea that his partner would do such a thing, he was the one who masterminded the plan and was equally involved. The truth is the murder would not have happened had he not planned the escape attempt. This makes him equally culpable for the crime.

I don't always agree with the death penalty as there have been many people on death row who have been eventually found innocent after new evidence has been presented to the courts that was not allowed or available in their original trial. It's hard to think of innocent people being put to death for a crime they did not commit.

This is not the case for Van Poyck. He has admitted his guilt and the state of Florida, according to current laws has the right to execute him.

Has far as his remorse is concerned. It is good that he's feels remorse and if there's a god that will help him on his ultimate judgment day. You have to think though, this man is a psychopath. He did provide weapons for the crime. He did fire his weapon at pursuing police officers which means he had no problem with killing more cops even though he didn't shoot the guard. His remorse only comes from his incarceration. Had he not been caught he be committing crimes and victimizing people to this very day without any remorse. Just because he writes books about how bad he feels now does not change what he did or the person he was on the day the crime was committed.
I'm glad he finally used his intelligence to try to do some good and I hope his story can change the direction for some people on a bad path I can't feel bad for the loss of someone who was so ready to engage in deadly activities for his own personal gain.

I don't believe in the death penalty. Our justice system is not perfect and no government should have the right take someones life as a form of punishment. Especially a system that lets the guards who beat Van Poycks accomplice to death go without any punishment. No judge or jury has the right to take someones life. It makes them no better than the people they convict. And if the person they execute is innocent than they are the one guilty of murder and to even take that chance of putting an innocent person to death is a hypocrisy that undermines the entire system.

 
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