A profile of Jonathan Luna's killer



     On February 12, 2004, officials charged with investigating Jonathan Luna's death held a press conference in Baltimore. Among the investigators at the press conference were representatives of the FBI and the Pennsylvania State Police.
     "The fact is, the task force is looking at every possible scenario," Pennsylvania State Police Captain Steven Daniel told reporters. "We would be remiss is we ignored any possible basis for Mr. Luna's death." Investigators, at this news conference, also released a bare bones, eleven-point timeline of Luna's last movements.
     Most chilling of all, at their press conference, officials cryptically let drop that Luna may have "had contact with someone" on his midnight ride. Who was that person? they suggested they wanted to know. Perhaps someone he met in Delaware, probably when two hundred dollars was withdrawn from his ATM account.

The bottom line: A profile of Luna's killer.

     That person, of course, is probably the murderer of Jonathan Luna. That whispery shadow is the subject of our story. That shadowy person is probably a man. That man, who delivered a difficult coup de grâce to Jonathan's neck, has probably killed before. That killer seems versed in criminology. The thirty-six stabs are his calling card, his warning, his crime, his deflection.
     This criminologist may be an FBI agent, or a mob informant with close, unholy ties to a threatened, bad-acting agent. Or, he could be a state or local policeman, or a foreigner with a law enforcement background, trained in another country.
     "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth," Arthur Conan Doyle wrote. What remains is this: an FBI agent, or other law enforcement officer attached to the troubled Maryland precincts, may have had a hand in the death of Jonathan Luna.
     Deep-seated problems in the Baltimore FBI field office prevent these agents from properly investigating themselves, or their counterparts in state or local law enforcement.
     If an agent is the murderer, or connected to the murderer, this agent may even be working close to this case, sitting beside his fellows with feigned diligence, his dark hand a silent misguide, pointing every which way but at the eyes in the mirror. The FBI's own statistics suggest it's almost a sure bet there's a bad acting agent, or several, in the Baltimore field office.
     This though is something else. If it's an internal crime, which it seems to perhaps partly be, Luna's death could be the work of a network of agents, or of a single, deranged agent. Pick your poison.

     The viciousness of Jonathan Luna's attack suggests organized crime. The terror with which Luna stumbled from his car and and hid in an icy stream to apparently evade his assailant or assailants speaks volumes. Yet someone in all this appears to have knowledge of law enforcement techniques. The jurisdictional problems introduced in a circuitous car ride. A lack of clues.

     Luna's body was not disposed, but left where it could be found. That tends to rule out traditional American organized crime players. If this was the American mob, the body would not have been found. For that matter, the American mob would not have killed a prosecutor -- bad for business, and unnecessary. What does that leave?
     Perhaps then Luna's killing is the strange fruit of a South American drug gang. Ruthless and violent, these gangs stop at nothing for profits. In South America, moreover, this type of drug violence runs hand-in-hand with public and police corruption.
     Has this type of violent drug corruption finally reached American shores? That's the nature of the warning found in The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna.
     It is the nature of the monster that Jonathan Luna saw as he stumbled from his car.

     What about the people who live near the place where Jonathan Luna's body was found?
They'll tell you they think a ruthless killer is probably afoot. That sound and fury you hear, the rattle emanating these many months from lands to the south, in Baltimore, is the shudder of America dying, lying face down in an ice cold stream, driven down by the dark hand of evil.

Updated 4-21-05


This is an excerpt from the book The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna, by William Keisling. © 2005 William Keisling. All rights reserved.


Read more about Bill Keisling's new book >>