The Night A Twisted Fantasy Became Demented Reality
They thought about their evil fantasy for months. Then, wound up like clockwork toys … they acted.
In April 1997, pretty, 22-year-old Jacine Gielinski stopped her car at a red light in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She had no idea that the two young men looking at her from the car next to hers would in that moment decide she would be their target for unspeakable horrors.
George Woldt and Lucas Salmon were an unlikely pair of best friends, much less killers. Woldt was a fast-talking, well-dressed ladies’ man who boasted of his sexual conquests. Salmon was deeply religious, and socially misfit, obsessed with losing his virginity.
Woldt was the leader, Salmon his willing follower, but neither had been in serious trouble with the law. However, inspired by the cult movie, A Clockwork Orange, with its dystopian violence, they fantasized for months what it would be like to abduct, rape, torture and murder a woman. Then, aroused by watching ultra-violent pornography, they decided to act upon their evil thoughts.
Revised and updated with a new afterword from the author, A CLOCKWORK MURDER recounts the steps that led to an unthinkable crime and its impact on a community, as well as the friends and especially the parents of an innocent young woman who paid with her life for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
From The Book:
During the oral part of the questioning, the investigators asked them why they did not stop at this point. They had had time for reflection, time to make a moral choice and at least mitigate the damage already done. The girl was asking for mercy. But there was none to be had in that dark hour on that black night. They decided she had to die. She had seen their faces. She could identify them. Moreover, her death was part of the fantasy.
“At this point, George and I had a discussion on who would cut her first, and how it would be done,” Salmon wrote. “I said I didn’t want to do it. He got upset. He said I had to do it, that I had to make the first cut.”
Woldt fetched the knife from the glove box and handed it to Salmon, who knelt in front of Jacine. “I took the knife, and prepared to cut her throat,” he wrote. “I told George to lift her head up by the hair, and to cover her mouth.” Reaching down, Woldt had pulled Jacine’s head up by her hair. The shirt still covered her face, but her neck was exposed.
“I then made my attack,” Salmon wrote. “I placed the knife low on her throat, near her clavicle. I made a cut about 6 to 7 inches in length and pulled the knife until it was away from her. She did not scream, but made a light moaning sound.”
On this point Woldt’s account concurred. “Lucas told me to hold her head up so I did, and he cut her throat,” he wrote. “She was still breathing so Lucas handed me the knife to do the same as he did.”
The two men told their victim to roll over on her back, but to leave the shirt over her face so that she could not see them. Perhaps hoping that following orders would move her attackers to pity, she complied.
Woldt placed the knife about an inch above the wound created by Salmon. “I cut her throat as well.”
Salmon noted, “Again, no scream. We began to discuss again what we should do next.”
As they described their vicious attack for the investigators, the killers talked about the life and death of Jacine Gielinski as though they were on the high-school debate team and she was the audience. The investigators and Zook were struck by how even hours later, they talked and wrote about their participation in Jacine’s ordeal without emotion and with no sign of remorse.
They could have been moviegoers reviewing the last film they’d seen. In fact, they’d shown more passion when the Egg McMuffins arrived than at any other point in their interviews.
From The True Crime Library Of New York Times Bestselling Author Steve Jackson:
“The brutal murder of Jacine Gielinski is one of those that stays with even an author as exposed to horrific crimes as I have been. Part of that is it was so random. She pulled up to a red light one evening at just the wrong moment and that sealed her fate. Part of it is the way this ‘fantasy’ took on a life of its own with two misfits for months before it became a reality.
It’s also an in-depth look at our court system and the machinations that go on in the search for the truth and justice that seem to forget that this was about the horrifying murder of a young woman at the hands to two young men. As one reader has noted, it’s a story that questions whether some people are born monsters, or are created. And what role does violence in the media, particularly something like violent pornography add fuel to an evil plot?
However, I think more than anything, what really affected me about the case was the impact the murder of her daughter had on Peggy Luiszer. It was as if the life had been drained from her, too. And then to top it off, what she was put through as the defense attorneys tried to wear her down so that she would ask the District Attorney to drop the death penalty possibility against the defendants was premeditated and beyond the pale. Cruel and unusual punishment? Why is that protection afforded only to the accused?
This isn’t to say that defense attorneys should not do everything within the law, and reason, to fight for their clients’ rights and lives. However, is there a point when that crosses the line and adds to the horror of what happened to Jacine Gielinski and its impact on her family? Read about it in A Clockwork Murder and let me know what you think. –Steve Jackson