Opinion » Letters

Look again

Albuquerque, NM

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Regarding your story “May I have some more, sir?” (Aug. 21, 2008), the “guy” Mark Delaplane murdered was my brother, Kevin John Pfaffl. Kevin was 19 years old in December 1976 when Delaplane waited for him in the parking lot of an apartment building, hit Kevin multiple times with a baseball bat then shot him twice—once up through the jaw “so he couldn’t talk.” What Delaplane wanted to stop Kevin from talking about was the robberies they had committed together.

As part of an effort to turn his life around, Kevin was cooperating with the police—without any ‘deal’—and it was likely that the more Kevin cooperated, the more trouble he would have caused both young men, especially Delaplane, since he was the mastermind. Delaplane did not want Kevin to testify in the robbery trial, so apparently he thought the smartest thing to do was to plan and commit a murder. After the murder, he went home and went drunkenly to bed, which is where the police found him.

Kevin lived long enough to crawl up the stairs to the apartment and tell emergency and hospital personnel who had attacked him, bleeding profusely in front of dad and our very young brother and sister in the apartment. Oh—and the murder took place the morning of my wedding day. It affected every family member, and our mother never recovered from her loss. The rest of us have moved on with our lives. I truly do not think of it often and Kevin is not forgotten.

While Delaplane may look to you like he belongs in middle management, the disdain he shows for the prison system is nothing compared to the disdain he showed for the life of Kevin and our family. Delaplane is exactly where he should be and I have no sympathy for his loss of peaches. I heard a rumor that he was allowed to marry and may even have children. I don’t know if this is true, and I wonder what my brother’s children might have been like had he had the opportunity to father any.

Some might interpret Delaplane’s ‘model’ behavior as evidence that he would not commit murder again. I don’t see that as having any bearing on his possible release.

I am not a vengeful person, I can’t even carry grudges more than a couple of days—I truly believe that prison for life is the appropriate consequence for his actions in the premeditated cold-blooded murder of Kevin Pfaffl. Kudos to the governor for denying his parole.

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